What Is a Good Skin Care Routine?

Medically Reviewed on 9/23/2021
what is a good skin care routine
Depending on your skin type, a good skin care routine typically involves basic steps such as cleansing, toning, moisturizing, and applying sunscreen

A good skin care routine largely depends on:

A board-certified dermatologist can help you determine what type of skin care routine will be best for you. For most healthy adults, however, a good skin care routine consists of the following basic steps:

  • Cleanse: Cleansing is the first and most important step of a good skin care routine. Use a gentle and fragrance-free cleanser based on your skin type. Wash your face gently with cold or lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water or washing your face too often because it may strip moisture from your skin.
    • Alcohol and fragrance-free cleansers are particularly beneficial for people with dry skin.
    • Using mild exfoliants (chemical exfoliants) after cleansing one or two times a week may help with dry or flaky skin.
    • People with oily skin should use oil-free cleansers.
    • For sensitive skin, avoid fragrances, alcohol, and soap. Cleansers with oatmeal, green tea extracts, chamomile, and aloe vera may be good for sensitive skin.
    • Do not rub your skin after cleansing. Gently pat dry with a soft and clean towel.
  • Tone: Applying a toner after cleansing may particularly help people with oily skin. Toner helps remove dirt and any residual makeup you may have on your face.
  • Moisturize: Moisturizer helps keep your skin soft and supple. Use a gel-based moisturizer if you have oily skin. Massage your face gently with the moisturizer while your skin is a little damp.
  • Apply sunscreen: Sunscreen helps protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun. This helps prevent sun spots, signs of aging, and even skin cancer
    • Choose a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher. 
    • Apply sunscreen especially when going outdoors during the day and reapply as required. Your scarves, hats and shades do not protect your skin as effectively as sunscreen. 
    • Avoid applying sunscreen on an infant younger than 6 months old. Kids generally have separate sunscreens meant for their more sensitive skin.

While these are some of the basic steps of a skin care routine, you may also use other products, such as serums, oils, or night creams, based on your skin needs. Avoid using too many products or cosmetics on your skin. Cleaning, moisturizing, and using sunscreen during the day is sufficient for most people.

How can you maintain healthy and clear skin?

You can maintain healthy skin through a healthy lifestyle:

  • Maintain a regular skin care routine
  • Avoid scrubbing or using harsh products on your skin
  • Stay hydrated
  • Eat healthy foods including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fish
  • Get enough sleep
  • Manage stress through mindfulness and meditation techniques
  • Avoid smoking
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Examine your skin regularly for any signs of diseases such as itching, bleeding, skin discoloration, or growth
  • Consult a board-certified dermatologist if you have any skin concerns
  • Never sleep with your makeup on

Why is skin care important?

Your skin is the largest organ in your body. It acts as the first line of defense for your body, preventing the entry of harmful agents including pollutants and bacteria. Skin diseases and injuries can serve as weak entry points for infections into your body.

Your skin serves several other functions essential for overall health. It helps regulate body temperature through the mechanism of sweating and produce vitamin D when exposed to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Your skin may even reveal any underlying health conditions you may have, such as liver diseases, bleeding disorders, lupus, or anemia. Skin problems may cause symptoms such as itching, pain, and irritation, which can affect your daily life. 

Healthy skin helps you look younger and boosts your confidence as well. Looking after your skin is important for long-term skin health and to protect it from problems, such as sun damage, premature wrinkling, uneven skin tone, and infections.

Research suggests that practicing a consistent skin care routine can also help manage stress and improve mental health. While a skin care routine may seem like a ritual for just the face, it is equally essential to look after your skin from scalp to toes.


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Medically Reviewed on 9/23/2021
Cleveland Clinic. What Products Do I Actually Need for a Simple, Everyday Skin Care Routine? https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-products-do-i-actually-need-for-a-simple-everyday-skin-care-routine/

American Academy of Dermatology. 10 Skin Care Secrets for Healthier-Looking Skin. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-secrets/routine/healthier-looking-skin