Hey there! Long it's been! I wanted to write this guide for some longer time now already but I kinda kept procrastinating it... I hope you'll enjoy! <3
How to get started (& motivated)
The hardest part about establishing a skincare routine for yourself is - the routine. In order for it to be effective you'll have to do it every day and in order for it to show it's results you'll have to keep up with it for at least a month. In my opinion it's worth it though! When I started getting into skincare, I started by just cleansing my face properly every time I'd brush my teeth, so I would just add something small to the already existing routine of brushing my teeth. In order to even actually looking forward to it I got myself a cute headband, which is of course entirely optional but can really set the mood for you to actually want to do it. Below there are some of my favourite picks from Yesstyle for low money! (I personally got the rabbit ears in light pink for myself ♡)
Another useful tip is to really really put in the effort to have your bathroom look nice and tidy since you'll be spending your skincare time in there and if it's not a place you'd want to be in, it would probably also be much harder to stay motivated for your daily skincare!
What you'll also wanna use is a very soft towel, preferably out of microfiber or a similiar soft material, to rinse the soap from your face gently without irritating it, since normal cloths tend to be too rough. NEVER RUB! You can get those in any local drugstore for low money in all different kinds of colours! (I have this one in white and in purple!)
Nothing is more important in your daily skincare routine than proper cleansing and exfoliating. As long as it's not your hormones acting up, not properly cleansing your face every day is THE no. 1 reason for acne and skin irritations, since your pores get clogged with your own sebum, with dust from your environment and bacteria. Of course, using a cleanser that is not suitable for your skin type can also contribute to irritations and following acne, but if you're not cleansing it properly at all, you can't really expect your skin to like you. There are different types of cleansers of which you can pick your favourite, all of the ones I am introducing here I am using myself with very sensitive skin so as long as you're not explicitly allergic against any of the ingredients, they should be save picks for you! You can really just pick whatever you think sounds the most fun to use / fits your financial needs the most!
Gel based cleanser
It has a gel texture and foams lightly when you use it. When you apply it, your skin shouldn't be entirely dry, but slightly damp instead. I am using a product from Yves Rocher which is no longer in their sortiment, the "Hydra Vegetal gel cleanser", but they still have other products in that "Hydra Vegetal" product line that are suitable for sensitive skin. So sadly I am unable to recommend a specific product here, but since it's one of the more common kind of cleansers, you should be good with anything you can find in your local drugstore which says that it's suitable for sensitive skin, as long as it's NOT from Nivea. Definitely recommending you to NOT buy products from Nivea, especially not if you have sensitive skin. The last 3 products from Nivea I've tried that all should have been suitable for sensitive skin resulted in heavy irritation and following acne and I don't have any allergies against their ingedrients. Don't buy Nivea!
Foam based cleanser
These are the most fun for me personally. They have a texture like shaving foam and you apply them on your dry skin directly and massage them in. They're so fluffy!!!! ♡♡♡ I am currently using the "Ritual of Namaste" foam cleanser from Rituals, which is a bit more on the pricier range for skincare products with its 12,90€ for 150ml, but you don't need much for your whole face so it will last you definitely some time and it's just a very very nice texture.
Oil based cleanser
This one is actually something I'd consider essential to have ADDITIONALLY next to either gel based or foam based. This can be a dedicated oil based product from your local drugstore or even just pure coconut oil instead. It's ALWAYS suitable for sensitive skin and you apply it on your dry skin first. Because it is oil, it can rinse your own sebum much better from your pores, which makes it incredibly powerful. Another advantage is that it does not dry your skin like water based cleansers do. If you tend towards dry skin, it would be very helpful to only use an oil based cleanser since you get rid of sebum and dandruffs but don't have to worry about moisturising your skin afterwards
This is something you should do at least once a week, up to twice a week if your skin isn't too sensitive. It is the only way you can properly get rid of all the dead skin cells that can clog your pores. There are two major categories of exfoliators:
- physical exfoliators, that use an ingredient like sugar to physically scrub the dead skin cells away. For sensitive skin it HAS to be sugar since it's the most gentle type. I personally use the "Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel" from Secret Key which not only smells incredibly nice and additionally moisturises but is also gentle enough for my skin! In general, physical exfoliators are the more common type and less expensive, but you should definitely only reach for those that use sugar for the exfoliating part if you want to avoid irritating your skin! Also, you WILL need to moisturise your skin after using these kinds of exfoliators! So get yourself a basic moisturiser for sensitive skin too, if you're getting one of these!
- chemical exfoliators, even though "chemical" sounds scary, these are actually the better options for sensitive skin, since they don't involve physical rubbing! They're based on AHA and BHA acids, which loosen the ties of dead skin cells with your skin, so you can just wash them off without any rubbing involved. Those two ingredients are real superheroes for sensitive and especially oily skin! I use the "AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner" from COSRX which does not only remove dead skin cells but also tones your skin to make following moisturising especially effective!
Your beginner's skincare routine for getting started and getting into your own rhythm should look similiar to the following: