Good skincare habits help us get and maintain healthy, glowing, younger-looking skin. It’s not enough that we have an effective skincare routine, we must complement that with good habits for truly healthy skin. And the sooner we start, the better!
The road to flawless, beautiful skin starts with a great basic skincare routine but doesn’t end there. To keep it going, we need to break our bad skincare habits and develop some good skincare habits.
Ideally, these are habits to develop in your 20s but it’s never too late.
I’m certainly not in my 20s anymore but when I started doing these little things I saw a noticeable change in my skin and others noticed too! Isn’t that lovely? So let’s get right to it.
Good skincare habit number 1: wash your face
The most basic habit we need to develop is to cleanse our face every night.
Imagine how much dirt, oil, dead skin, pollutants, germs, bacteria, viruses (shall I go on?) accumulate on your face throughout the day. And imagine letting them sit on your face while you sleep. Yikes!
This also means no more sleeping with make-up on, no matter how tired we are. This single bad habit is the cause of many skin problems like acne and premature aging.
I wash my face in the morning too but there’s an ongoing debate about whether or not this is necessary so it’s totally up to you. If you wake up feeling gross and greasy, cleanse. If you feel fine, don’t.
What matters more is what we wash our face with. Be sure to use a cleanser (this applies to all skincare products too) specifically tailored to your skin type (you can find your skin type easily — check this out).
It’s also important to moisturize everyday, morning and evening. Yes, even if you have oily skin. You want to keep your skin hydrated so it looks plump, young and healthy.
Again, the key is using the right products for your skin type. There are a lot of moisturizers for oily skin, as well as dry skin, so make sure to pick the right one. Using the wrong product is almost as bad as not moisturizing at all.
These are some of the moisturizers I’ve tried that worked for me:
- Hada Labo Rohto Goku-jun Hyaluronic Milky Lotion
- CosRx Oil-Free Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion
- Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream
They have magic ingredients like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide that give my moisturizing routine that extra boost.
Wear sunscreen 365 days in a year
I get asked this question all the time: do I have to wear sunscreen in the winter? Or if it’s cloudy or raining? And the answer is yes.
Even if we don’t see sunshine or feel its warmth, the sun is still there with its harmful UV rays.
I even wear sunscreen when I’m at home with no plans of going out because we get a lot of natural light coming in through our windows. Great for the house, not so much for my skin!
So unless you don’t have windows at all, put on some sunscreen and protect your skin.
Klairs sunscreen is a lovely product, especially if you hate putting sunscreen on. It’s creamy, smooth and doesn’t feel like sunscreen at all.
Consider adding vitamin C to your routine
Vitamin C is a powerful anti-oxidant that visibly brightens our skin. It’s also known to reduce dark spots and improve our skin’s overall texture.
Applied in the morning, it works together with our sunscreen to add another layer of protection against UV rays. So it’s definitely a product worth adding into your everyday skincare routine.
I’m currently using Melano CC vitamin C and loving the results so far.
Other vitamin C products I’ve heard good reviews about include:
Read the reviews and see if they’re the right products for you.
And check out this vitamin C skincare guide for beginners for lots more information.
Start using retinol
This is the one thing I wish I started sooner — using retinol.
Retinol is a form of vitamin A and has so many benefits including:
- stimulating collagen production
- reversing signs of aging and sun damage
- improving skin texture
- and more!
I thought I had to wait until I was a certain age before I had to use retinol but I was mistaken; you can start retinol use as early as in your 20s. Better late than never though!
If you’re new to retinol like me, start slow and gentle.
I’ve been using The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane and have had no irritation or negative side effects so far. I think I’m ready to make the jump to stronger formulas. Stay tuned.
Another good skincare habit to develop is exfoliating regularly.
A quick google search led me to our factoid of the day: we lose 40,000 dead skin cells every minute, every day! And while most of them will just flake off and go away, a lot of them will stick around, leaving skin looking dull.
That’s what exfoliation is for.
There are 2 common ways to do this: scrubs and chemical exfoliants.
I used to use facial scrubs but felt that they were too rough and abrasive on my skin. They would sometimes lead to breakouts too.
Now I prefer to use chemical exfoliants like AHA and BHA. They are gentler and more effective at clearing out pores and flushing out impurities.
They can lead to irritation too though so like retinol, start slow and look for mild, gentle formulas.
Pay attention to active ingredients
I mentioned the importance of paying attention to the active ingredients of the skincare products you’re using in my post on adding new products to your skincare routine.
Some ingredients are great on their own but don’t react well when combined with others. So develop the habit of looking at the main active ingredients (they’re usually the first ones on the ingredient list) and familiarizing yourself with what they shouldn’t be used with.
It’s also useful to keep track of ingredients you have an allergic reaction to. So next time you go shopping, you know what products not to put in that cart.
Consistency is the key to an effective skincare regimen.
Skincare and healthy skin, like all good things, take time. So don’t expect results overnight. I personally don’t trust products that promise miracle results because they honestly don’t exist.
You have to stick to your routine consistently for at least a month to see any noticeable results. This means keeping up with good skincare habits even if you’re tired, drunk, running late in the morning or very sleepy in the evening.
Keep at it and you should see a brighter, healthier you in no time.
Switch skincare products with the seasons
Remember that your skin type can change with the seasons. You might have dry skin in the winter but totally normal skin in the summer.
This means you’d need to switch products as the seasons change. For example, I usually switch to a lighter moisturizer once spring comes around and only use my heavier moisturizer when the weather turns brisk again in the fall.
Avoid touching your face
Even before all this craziness, skincare enthusiasts already knew not to touch their faces. It’s almost like the golden, implied rule of a good skincare routine. A clean face and unclean fingers don’t belong together!
These days, face touching not only leads to breakouts and fine lines, they also risk our health. All the more reason not to do it.
Remember to steer clear of pimple popping and picking too. This bad habit can lead to permanent scarring. Best to leave them alone or seek the help of your dermatologist.
Change sheets and towels frequently
Our pillow cases, bed sheets and towels come into direct contact with our skin and if they’re not clean, our meticulous skincare routine would be in vain.
It’s widely recommended that we wash our sheets once a week. Remember our little factoid about dead skin cells? Add to that sweat, dust mites and other nasty things we didn’t realize we were sleeping with!
We should be washing our towels more often, every 2 to 3 days, because they provide a moist, dark, damp, and porous environment, which is an ideal growing ground for bacteria.
Clean those makeup brushes
We should be cleaning makeup brushes and sponges regularly too. Imagine using dirty brushes on a newly cleansed faced. Not good.
Clean brushes weekly and wash them monthly. Here’s a very helpful article on how to do it properly.
Good skincare habits beyond skincare
Good skincare habits go beyond what we put on our skin. It’s a whole “skin-friendly” lifestyle.
I don’t mean we need to turn our lives around and completely change the way we do things, though. I just don’t think that’s realistic or sustainable.
You can, of course. But personally, I love potato chips and I’m not willing to give them up just yet!
Instead, I prefer baby steps toward a healthier, better me. For example:
- Getting enough sleep. You know that look — dark circles, sullen skin, zits out of nowhere. All because we didn’t get enough sleep! Getting a good night’s sleep is not only good for our skin but for our overall health. The goal is 7-8 hours.
- Drinking plenty of water. It’s always a good idea to keep hydrated inside and out. Experts agree that about eight glasses of water a day is a good start.
- Eating healthier. Our parents were right all along — we need to eat our fruits and vegetables. I think it’s okay to eat a slice of cake once in a while. Moderation is key.
- Chilling. We live in very stressful times and the anxiety and worry we carry around all day can and will show on our skin. We need to learn to step back, relax and let go. Meditation, yoga, a glass of wine at the end of the day. Whatever works.
Hope you found these skin care tips helpful. Happy skin experimenting!
Do you have good skin care tips? What are some of the good habits you’ve developed over the years to achieve healthy, beautiful skin? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.