Your Skin Care Routine in 6 Easy Steps

Your Skin Care Routine in 6 Easy Steps

No matter what your skin care needs are, building and adhering to a skin care routine can be daunting.

If your vanity is filled with half-used products that are ineffective, irritating or just underwhelming, we’re here to help.

Here’s our guide to an easy, six-step skin care routine to get you started.

Step 1: Cleanser

Properly cleansing your skin is an essential step, because it removes impurities from makeup and your environment. (Yes, pollution affects your skin.) We like Papaya Enzyme for normal to oily skin types or Gentle Soothing for those with dry, sensitive skin. In the mornings, you can use a cleanser if you like, especially if you’re hitting a morning workout and want to freshen up before you apply makeup. If you worry that cleansing could irritate your skin, you can substitute micellar water or gentle towelettes. A few times a week, it’s good to add an exfoliating step to your cleansing routine. We recommend Clay Time, our polishing charcoal mask.

ON THE BLOG: Breaking Down Your Skin Care Routine: First Up, Cleansers >

Step 2: Toner

Don’t worry if you’ve skipped this step in the past (or if you haven’t used a toner since you were a teenager — no judgment here!). This step is an opportunity to target specific skin concerns, like the appearance of pores or active breakouts. And don’t be afraid, because today’s toners are nothing like the stinging, harsh formulas you may recall from your adolescence. We recommend our best seller Crystal Clear clarifying pads to treat acne, dullness, large pores, hyperpigmentation and signs of aging for every skin type. Sensitive skin types should use Crystal Clear as a weekly micropeel, while oily skin types can tolerate 1-2x daily (AM or PM is fine — whenever it best fits your schedule).

ON THE BLOG: 8 Reasons Clarifying Pads Deserve a Spot in Your Skin Care Routine >

Step 3: Eyes

The skin around your eyes is more delicate than the rest of your face, so it’s important to choose a product that’s gentle, but still capable of addressing your main skin concerns – wrinkle prevention, puffiness or dark circles. We created Eye Sculpt, a fast-absorbing cream, for AM and PM use. Like our Youth Serum, Eye Sculpt is packed with peptides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide to reduce puffiness and dark circles while minimizing fine lines. It’s suitable for all skin types and absorbs quickly, making this an easy step before you apply makeup.

ON THE BLOG: Eye Sculpt, the Eye Cream That Actually Works >

Step 4: Serums

Serums help nourish your skin, promoting healing and fighting the visible signs of aging. These go on before moisturizers for maximum absorption. Be sure to pick a serum that can deliver the powerful punch of ingredients you need for your skin type and skin care concerns. If you have extremely damaged skin, you may want to use a serum both morning and evening.

We’re partial to our Youth Serum and Glow Factor. The hyaluronic acid and peptides in our Youth Serum provide intense hydration and noticeable plumping, while the vitamin complex in our Glow Factor helps repair damaged collagen and build new collagen. Glow Factor is packed with active vitamins (in powder form — you get to play chemist and add this to the liquid!) and the perfect dose of antioxidants to brighten and replenish your skin. Think of it like a daily multivitamin for your face — use every morning after your Youth Serum to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and brighten your skin tone.

Our Night Watch is a potent, yet gentle treatment that refines pores, reduces the appearance of dark spots and wrinkles and improves skin texture. Packed with HPR, vitamins C and E, stearic acid and melatonin, this proprietary formula offers all the benefits of a prescription-strength retinol — and none of the irritation.

ON THE BLOG: Serums, A Skin Care Routine Must-Have >

Step 5: Moisturizer

In the morning, you’ll need a formula that absorbs quickly and provides a good base for cosmetics, which is why we love our High Beam brightening lotion. Suitable for all skin types, High Beam uses botanical extracts and natural skin brighteners to reveal the radiant, luminous skin of your dreams. Gentle enough for everyday use, this formula hydrates skin while smoothing and brightening the complexion.

You can use High Beam as your moisturizer in the evening, but if your skin tends to be on the drier or sensitive side, we recommend Face Whip. Powered by ceramides and hyaluronic acid, this whipped, lightweight moisturizer hydrates, plumps and smooths fine lines and wrinkles. (Extra dry or sensitive types can use this AM and PM instead of High Beam, too.)

If you’ve been relying on your moisturizer — or your makeup — to be your sun protection, we recommend that you add a separate SPF product to your skin care routine.

Step 6: Sunscreen

Patients often ask what the most important skin care product is, and our answer is always the same: SPF. The best care is preventive care. No matter your age, applying a product with SPF (we recommend at least SPF 30) on a daily basis is the single most effective way to protect your skin from damage and the signs of aging. We carry options for every skin type, and our favorites are 100% Mineral Tinted SPF or Sheer Defense SPF. 100% Mineral Tinted SPF is best for dry, normal and sensitive skin types while Sheer Defense is best for those who are oily.

If you’re going to be in direct sunlight during the day (any time of the year — not just summertime!), you’ll need to reapply your SPF every two hours, or each time it’s rinsed off with water. And remember, the SPF in your makeup does not count as a reapplication, as you’re likely not applying enough makeup to get the full benefit from the SPF coverage.

ON THE BLOG: Here's Why You Should Wear SPF Every Day >

Weekly: Masks

2-3x a week, treat your skin to a detoxifying treatment with Clay Time. This polishing charcoal mask is ideal for normal, oily and acne-prone skin. Powered by a combination of kaolin clay, charcoal powder and 1% salicylic acid, Clay Time absorbs toxins, reduces breakouts and reveals a clearer, softer complexion with every use.

ON THE BLOG: Is Clay Time As Good As Everyone Says It Is? >

Routines according to skin concern:


Starting a new skin care routine can be intimidating, but we promise it gets easier once you make it part of your daily ritual. Remember, the general rule of thumb is to apply the thinnest products first, and then work your way up to the thickest. (Except for your retinol product, which should be applied after cleansing and toning and before your moisturizer.)

For an even more custom experience, we’d recommend talking to a Skin Pharm provider to determine the best treatment plan and skin care routine for you!


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