Skip to content

Beginner’s Guide to Skincare

Interested in skincare but don’t know where to begin or are you worried that it’s too late to starting caring for and improving your skin.

If you’ve been overwhelmed by skincare guides with too many steps and that use only expensive skincare products, we kept this in mind and designed this guide for two specific groups:

  • Complete beginners to skincare routines and products.
  • Those looking to simplify their skincare routine.
    (Yes, there is such a thing as too much!)[1]
Skincare Products Reviewed By Skincare Weeklies Group 2020
If this is the skincare routine you had in mind, you might want to keep reading!

Hopefully, this guide will help you avoid common mistakes, save money and most importantly, get the skincare results you want.

Building your skincare foundation

First, the best day to start caring for your skin is today.
When it comes to skincare, it’s an investment.

During an interview, a dermatologist made a very eye-opening comment stating:

…that most people are using the wrong products for their skin type and that this causes the skin to become sensitized.

Neil, 2012

For some reason, there’s an accepted idea in the skincare community that “more is better”.

Facetory Skincare Mini Fridge with skincare products

This thinking leads to spending way too much on unnecessary skincare products that end up expiring on the shelf!

Remember, the basic goal of any skincare routine is simply to keep the skin’s moisture barrier healthy and the skin hydrated![2]

So how can we accomplish this basic goal?


Facial Pores before applying Differing Pore-Minimizing Toner

How does Differin Pore-Minimizing Toner help shrink large facial pores?

We use this toner for 60 days to find out!

Protect and prevent skin damage

When you hear “skincare”, do you think about moisturizing lotions and toners?

Or perhaps something more dramatic like wrinkle reducing serums or skin brightening creams.

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% Cream Texture
The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% cream texture.

But, what about sunscreen?

Well, it turns out sunscreen is kind of a big deal.

In fact, sunscreen is so important, a scientist took it a step further claiming:

Sun protection is the single most important thing to ensure your skin looks good for a long time.
All the other things you could do to your skin are so minor compared to sun protection — and it’s not just sunscreen: clothing and hats and just not baking in the sun.

Neil, 2012

Simply put, sunscreen lowers a lot of damage that the skin would receive otherwise.

What is commonly known as sunburn ages the skin noticeably, causing wrinkles, loose skin and hyperpigmentation.

Doesn’t it seem counterproductive to apply wrinkle reducing serums and brightening creams, but ignore the cause?

woman wearing black sweater

Now, we completely understand that sunscreen isn’t exactly exciting.

Nevertheless, using sunscreen daily is a must and will only benefit you as your skin ages and as a scientist summarized best:

Sunscreen is the most biologically active antiaging ingredient in skin care products…

Draelos, 2010


Dark Keratosis Pilaris bumps on arm before using Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

Do you have “Chicken Skin“?

See which skincare products help improve the appearance of these dark red bumps caused by Keratosis Pilaris!

Cleanse the skin

Throughout the day, the surface of the skin is constantly changing.

Mostly, it’s through natural buildup of sweat and oils but can also consist of:

  • Bacteria
  • Pollution
  • Residual skincare products/sunscreen
  • Dust

For skincare products to be most effective, all this excess buildup needs to be cleaned off to provide a clean skin surface for your skincare ingredients to work on.

Of course, we clean by using soap.

Today, there’s an incredibly large selection of soaps, ranging from general purpose body soaps to much more specialized facial soaps.

Caudalie Vinoclean Instant Foaming Cleanser Texture
Caudalie Vinoclean Foaming Facial Cleanser texture.

Now, you might be wondering “What’s the big deal about something as basic as soap?”

Well, to a degree, you’re completely right!

But consider for a moment what this dermatologist noticed about his patients:

“it is amazing how many people you see in clinical practice who have dried out skin or itchy flaky skin, especially in the wintertime, and it is solely due to their soap.
Americans tend to over bathe, and those that shower twice a day — they’re drying themselves out. The point of soap is to remove oils, but the skin needs some oil and moisture.” – Dr. Cotsarelis

Neil, 2012

Using an effective, yet gentle soap that won’t leave your skin feeling tight is a fundamental part of skincare that is often overlooked.


CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser Label Closeup

Does CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser really clean the skin without stripping all of the skin’s natural oils?

We’re surprised by what we found!

Moisturize and repair skin’s moisture barrier

Why is keeping the skin hydrated such a big deal?

For starters, moisture is actually necessary to keep the skin:

  • Plump and youthful looking skin.
  • Reduce wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Prevent splits and cracks, reducing chance of scarring and infection.
  • Functioning properly.

So, it shouldn’t be surprising that a large percentage of skincare products are actually moisturizers and in fact, researchers found:

The plethora of over-the-counter skin care products available for patient purchase is overwhelming, yet there is certain commonality among 80 percent of the formulations.
The majority of the products are moisturizers with added ingredients to support marketing claims.

Draelos, 2010

When looking for your next moisturizer, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the choices.

Especially when moisturizers have additional skincare active ingredients.

Drunk Elephant Sili Moisturizer Texture
Drunk Elephant Sili Body Lotion’s thick texture.

To keep it simple, here’s a few terms that should help clarify things a bit.[3]

  • Occlusives: Create an oily barrier on top of skin to lock in moisture.
    • Petroleum Jelly
  • Humectants: Attracts water from the surroundings.
  • Emollients: Reinforce skin with key elements to help retain moisture.

For example, if your skin is severely dried and cracking skin, an oily occlusive like Vaseline would help completely seal the skin, allowing it to recover and strengthen it’s natural moisture barrier.

One major downside is that some people aren’t a big fan of the greasy texture.


Drunk Elephant Sili Body Lotion and CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum Bottles

Do you apply retinol before or after moisturizer?

This small difference can make a HUGE difference!

How to make your own simple skincare routine

At first, skincare routines might feel like it’s all about stiff rules and getting results but it’s important to keep in mind that this routine is simply a time to just relax and focus on yourself for a few moments throughout the day.

They claimed that the relaxing effect of the facial does nothing but benefit your skin and your overall mental and physical health.
One claimed, “The stress of daily life shows up in your skin, so taking an hour to relax and focus on yourself will help you physically and emotionally.
Sure, facials are a luxury because of the money and time spent, but think about the fact that you have over an hour of protected time without your cell phone ringing and your e-mail buzzing.
There is no way to underestimate the power of a little rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation.

Neil, 2012

Remember, a solid and effective skincare routine doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.

We suggest following the simple routine from this guide for at least a month before adding active skincare ingredients to target specific skincare goals!


Acne scars before using The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%

Can skincare products really help old acne scars fade?

We use The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% for 30 days to find out!


Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum Texture Closeup

What’s our FAVORITE Vitamin-C serum?

Here’s a list of the most effective skincare products containing Vitamin C that we’ve reviewed!


Korean Italy Towel Over Hand

Do you know how to use a Korean Italy Towel?

It’s easy to use this secret beauty product from Korean and start scrubbing like a pro!


  1. Neill, U. (2012). Skin care in the aging female: myths and truths.
  2. Ganceviciene, R., Liakou, A., Theodoridis, A., Makrantonaki, E., Zouboulis, C. (2012). Skin anti-aging strategies.
  3. Draelos, Z. (2010). Active agents in common skin care products.