Have you ever fallen asleep with your makeup on, or simply just forgot to wash your face at the end of a long day? It happens! When life gets busy, it’s hard to make time for self-care practices like skin care. But there are ways to make it less of a burden and more like the best part of your day. It all starts with creating a simple skin care regimen that you can easily commit to.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a skin care regimen you can stick to.
Step 1: Determine your skin type
No beakers or lab coats required here. It’s surprisingly easy to determine your skin type. Most beauty blogs recommend washing your face as you normally do and then waiting a few hours for your skin to return to its natural state. How does your skin feel? If it’s tight and even a bit flaky, you have dry skin. If your skin gets shiny or greasy, you have oily skin. It’s also possible that parts of your skin feel oily, while other parts feel tight and dry. That means you have combination skin.
All skin types have one thing in common: They need moisturizer. (Check out our guide to choosing a moisturizer.) Most high-quality moisturizers have hyaluronic acid and vitamin E. Both are known for keeping skin hydrated and supple. If you have dry skin, you may want to opt for a heavy, creamy moisturizer. A lightweight moisturizer is ideal for oily or combination skin.
And remember: Skin care is a seasonal affair. Once the temperature drops, your skin care regimen will change.
Step 2: Choose your products
There are different kinds of moisturizers for different parts of the body. And as a rule, during the day you’ll want to protect exposed skin with a moisturizer that contains SPF. Your face and neck are givens, but don’t forget your hands.
Older women and women with some health challenges may face another skin care challenge: vaginal dryness. In that case, not just any moisturizer will do. You’ll want a natural, water-based moisturizer especially for the vagina and surrounding area. A vaginal moisturizer helps restore the natural moisture barrier on your vulva to relieve itchiness and discomfort.
You’ll also want a gentle yet effective face wash and body wash. There’s a dizzying amount of choices, but there are a few key ingredients to look for, and some you’ll want to avoid completely. For instance, many women experience age-related changes in their skin, including newfound sensitivities. Sensitive skin can be triggered by artificial fragrances and dyes, so avoid those ingredients entirely. Instead, look for face and body washes that contain hyaluronic acid and vitamin E. Ceramides are another powerhouse ingredient for maintaining moisture. If you have oily skin or experience acne on your face or body, look for a product with salicylic acid.
Serums are meant to supercharge your skin. You can apply serum after you wash your face and before you moisturize. There’s a serum for just about every skin need: hydrating, toning, brightening, smoothing.
Step 3: Create an easy regimen
Now that you know the skin care basics, put it all together to create a simple skin care regimen that’s easy to keep up.
A.M. Skin Care Regimen
- Vaginal moisturizer
- Body lotion
- Face wash
- Serum (optional, but this is when you would apply it)
- Moisturizer with SPF
- Makeup (optional, of course)
P.M. Skin Care Regimen
- Vaginal moisturizer
- Body lotion
- Face wash (if you wear makeup, consider adding a gentle makeup remover before this step)
- Serum (optional)
- Moisturizer (your PM moisturizer may be a little thicker than your daytime moisturizer)
Stick to Your Skin Care Regimen
Now that you have an idea of what a simple skin care regimen can look like, it’s time to put it into practice. It’s not always easy to get into a new habit, but it does get easier to follow when you try it every day.
To learn more about how you skin can change around menopause, read 7 Myths About Menopause and Skin.