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Beauty 4 years ago

skincare for beginners: building your routine



If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I absolutely #nerdout when it comes to skincare. To be honest, growing up, my skin was probably my #1 insecurity. So about 5 years ago I started researching a ton about skincare products, ingredients, etc and also talking with dermatologists and other skincare experts to finally get my skin the help it needed! Now 5-ish years later, I love my skin and am so glad to have found a routine and products that really work for me.

We might all have different genetics or skin issues we are prone to…but what I’ve discovered over the last several years through research and also talking with doctors & skincare experts is that skin is skin and ALL skin needs certain basic ingredients to help it be healthy and beautiful. Today I want to give you a high level, “skincare for beginners” rundown so you can also start to take care of your own skin and know where to start! Skincare can be SO crazy overwhelming. Thousands of different brands and millions of products. Where to start?! Today I’m going to talk about the most BASIC products EVERY single person should have in their skincare routine. I’ll also be sharing options at different price points!

I think we will probably make this topic a “mini series”, because there’s so much information to cover. Today’s post is going to be the MOST basic – breaking down the 3 things I think everyone should have in their skincare routine. We’ll get a little more in depth + detailed in next week’s post!

*also let’s just put a disclaimer on here haha – I am clearly not a doctor, so all of this should be taken with a grain of salt and none of it should be considered as ‘medical advice’



You should be washing your face every single night, without a doubt. I think it’s debatable whether or not you should also cleanse in the morning – I’ve heard some people say you should, some say you shouldn’t. Personally, I usually like to cleanse in the morning as well because I do my skincare routine AFTER my workout. And my face is sweaty and I want to cleanse it haha.

When it comes to cleanser, you don’t need anything super fancy IMO. I typically try and stick with fragrance free products so that the cleanser you’re using isn’t actually irritating your skin with a fragrance. And also something that won’t dry my face out / strip it of all its oils. Sharing my favorites below!


Vitamin C serum

Every single person, no matter your skin type, should be applying a vitamin C serum every single morning. Here’s why: vitamin C helps protect the skin from A LOT of problems: including sunburn, photoaging, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, sagging, dryness, and an uneven skin tone. I think no matter what doctor or skincare expert you will talk to, they will tell you to add a vit c product to your skincare routine. I’m sharing my favorites below!




SPF should be the last step of your skincare routine every single morning! Even if you think you will hardly be outside. Protecting your skin from the sun is SO important – for your overall health and also to prevent your skin from aging!



If you are above the age of, let’s say…20…retinol 100% needs to be in your skincare routine [even if you’re younger than 20, but struggle with acne…the answer is probably retinol]. A lot of dermatologists will prescribe a retina / retinol for you that is medical grade. But if you don’t want to go that route, there are a few really good ones I’ve tried out that you you can get without a prescription.

Retinol is pretty intense, so you only use it at night (because it makes you sensitive to the sun / sun damage). At first, you might want to use it 3-4x a week, as you work your way up to every night. Retinol is kind of a “holy grail” skincare product because it helps with anti-aging, clogged pores, clearing acne, skin texture, and so much more. This is from InStyle magazine: “Retinoids are essentially a form of vitamin A and a class of anti-aging compounds used in skincare. They help fight acne, reduce wrinkles, stimulate collagen, and promote cellular turnover. They’re also known for evening out skin tone and increasing blood flow to the skin.” Sharing my favorite retinol products below [if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult with your doctor before trying out retinol!]

You will use retinol in your nighttime skincare routine, after serums [when it comes to ‘order’ or products…you will typically apply things thinnest to thickest. so retinol would come after serum, before a moisturizer].



Having a good, quality moisturizer in your routine is essential! Keep your skin hydrated and also add in more ingredients that will give you a glow AND help with anti-aging. Sharing a few of my favorites below (you will use these morning in night. In the morning, use it before your SPF. At night, use it after retinol).


Okay so let’s recap. If you have no skincare routine right now whatsoever or don’t know where to start…start here:

  • Cleanser
  • Vit C serum (in the morning)
  • Moisturizer
  • SPF (in the morning. last step of your routine)
  • Retinol (at night. before moisturizer)

This is the most BASIC skincare routine ever but if you can incorporate these products in NOW, your skin will thank you and I promise you…you’ll see a big difference!

Next week I’m going to go a little bit more in depth with other products I’d recommend adding…like exfoliators, eye creams, and a few of my favorite masks as well. Let me know though in the comments if y’all have any questions I can answer for you!

Thanks for reading!

xo Lauren

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