How to Build The Best Skincare Routine

Buckle up! We’re going on a trip to discover the best skincare routine by your skin type. And no, you don’t need a 12-step routine.

From Youtuber GRWMs (Get Ready With Me) to #BeautyTok, people are obsessed with skincare. Over the years, many skincare trends have popped up: the Korean 10-step skincare routine, hyaluronic acid and slugging (coating your entire face with vaseline to prevent loss of moisture). It can be really confusing to navigate the arena even as a skincare veteran, so we created a skincare routine for you based on the latest skincare trend: simplicity.


Benefits of a simple skincare routine


@poweredbyplantHow long should you let your skincare absorb? ##skincareroutine ##skincaretips ##skincarecheck ##skincareproducts♬ FEEL THE GROOVE – Queens Road, Fabian Graetz


Honestly, this is more than a trend – a simple skincare routine is beneficial for your skin and the environment. Handmade Heroes’ founder, Lynsey Lim, adopts a very simple skincare routine that leaves her skin looking smooth and glowy: “I keep it natural as possible…I remove makeup with an oil-based remover, then cleanse. I don’t scrub, but I use a clay mask as a micro-exfoliator once or twice a week, depending on whether I’m breaking out.”

In fact, layering too much product on your skin can cause skin irritation due to the wrong ingredient combination. Certain ingredients, such as retinol and vitamin C do not mesh well together and end up cancelling each other out – so essentially, you’re doing nothing for your skin at the end of the day.

Another big factor is sustainability. Global wastage is a serious concern as experts predict that 3.40 billion tonnes of waste will be produced by 2050. Currently, the world generates an average of 2.01 billion tonnes of waste annually. As beauty consumers, it’s time for us to look back at our closet and reflect about the beauty products we use: are they ethically sourced and do they use sustainable packaging? Of course, greenwashing is rampant in the industry and sometimes we’re not entirely sure if a company is truly sustainable. One way to ensure that we are paying heed to Mother Nature is to therefore reduce packaging waste – in other words, trimming your skincare routine.


Build your Ideal Skincare Routine

So now that we’ve discussed the benefits of a minimalist skincare routine, let’s get into it!

1. Pick out a good oil cleanser [Night use]

Ever heard of double cleansing? This process involves using an oil cleanser, cleansing balm or micellar water to first wash off any excess sebum, SPF and makeup on the surface of your skin, followed by a water-based cleanser for a deeper cleanse. Ideally, you want to cleanse until there isn’t a single trace of makeup when you swipe a cotton pad over your face – sometimes this takes more than two tries if you’re not cleansing properly, so make sure you spend time on the first step.

Method: Apply your oil cleanser or cleansing balm onto your palms and gently massage the product into your face for at most a minute before washing off with water. Make sure you’ve rubbed every inch of your face, especially in crevices like the side of your nose and the under-eye.

What’s the difference between a cleansing balm and oil cleanser?

There is a difference between cleansers and cleansing balms.
There is a difference between cleansing oils and balms.

Technically, both do the job just fine. But if you wear more makeup, cleansing balm is a better option since it emulsifies more and dislodges makeup easily. It’s also less wasteful since cleansing balms tend to come in a jar, meaning you can get all the product out conveniently without wasting any of it. You can check out our UpCircle Cleansing Face Balm with Apricot Powder here. 

Of course, cleansing oils have their own merits too. They’re more hygienic since they don’t get exposed to air as often, and are probably more convenient for you if you don’t want to spend time uncapping the jar lid and scooping product onto your palm. It can also double up as a makeup brush cleaner, so you’re killing two birds with one stone. If you don’t mind the mess – oil can slide down your wrists during your cleansing session – then an oil cleanser is a more economical option you can explore. Ultimately, experiment and choose what suits you best!

2. Now onto a cleanser

Now that we’ve gotten the grimes out of the way, let’s talk about the second step: a water-based cleanse. Any facial cleanser will do, but ideally one that caters to your skin. For example, cleansers with AHA or BHA are recommended for oily skin, while people with dry skin should opt for milky cleansers that contain moisturising ingredients such as hyaluronic acid. Remember to cleanse thoroughly, so spend at least one minute to ensure that your skin is entirely rid of any dirt and dead skin cells to allow your skincare products to work more efficiently. 

3. Remember to tone!

After all that cleansing, a toner is the first step to hydrating your skin. It’s usually watery and contains glycerin, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that benefit your skin – so even if it looks and feels like water, it’s not.

Toners have multiple benefits for skin
Toners have multiple benefits for skin

Are all toners the same?

The answer is no! Some toners are more equal than others. Astringent toners usually contain a high percentage of alcohol to remove oil, but most toners are usually alcohol-free, and are probably the ones that you should opt for. Depending on your skin type, these are what you should look out for:

  • Oily skin: Choose an alcohol-free toner with exfoliating properties such as AHA, BHA or glycolic acid;
  • Dry skin: Hydration is key! Look out for ingredients such as aloe vera or hyaluronic acid;
  • Combination or normal skin: Any normal toner is fine, but preferably alcohol-free;
  • Sensitive skin: An alcohol-free toner that’s fragrance free without any harsh chemicals or essential oils that may irritate the skin. We have just the one for you here.

Do I really have to use a toner?

Yes, think of it as prepping your skin to receive more moisture. Charlotte Cho, the co-founder of Soko Glam, provides a very good analogy: a dry sponge can still absorb soap, but not as well as a wet sponge.

4. Essence, ampoule or serum

This is probably the most important step in your skincare regimen, but what is it? Essence is a concentrated formula that treats your skin on a cellular level, targeting fine lines, wrinkles and correct dull and uneven skin tones. It helps in skin regeneration – that is to increase the cell turnover rate, which leaves your skin looking youthful and glowy. 

Is it the same as an ampoule or serum?

Essences are usually referred to as ampoule or serums on the market, but it entirely depends on the concentration. Ampoules usually have a higher concentration compared to serums and essences, and are hence pricier. If you have dry skin, ampoules may be worth looking into.

PRO-TIP: Since essences are usually watery, to prevent wastage, put it in a spritz bottle and spray it on your face! If you prefer to use your hands, ensure that you’re patting it in and not rubbing it onto your face like windex to a window. This aids in absorption and also prevents your skin from losing elasticity! 

5. Moisturise me

With all that hydration, you must be wondering: why do I need a moisturiser? Well, since moisturisers usually function as emollients, they’re here to moisturise, lubricate and protect your skin. For dry skin plant babies, find out more about the moisturizers suitable for you here.

6. SPF [Day use]

The last and most important step of a day routine is sunscreen! There are many benefits to SPF: It protects you from UV rays, prevents hyperpigmentation, reduces chances of getting skin cancer, and prevents early onset of fine lines and wrinkles. Make sure you apply at least an edamame bean sized amount of sunscreen to ensure maximum coverage! You can check out our no white cast SPF30 Mineral Sunscreen by The Kind Sunscreen here

7. Facial Oil [Night use]

@poweredbyplant3 benefits of facial oil and why you can use them! ##facialoil ##skincareroutine ##skincaretips ##sustainablebeauty♬ original sound – xxtristanxo

The best time for your products to work its magic is overnight, so add in a facial oil and your skin will look fabulous the next day! Yes, our skin already produces natural oil, and facial oil will supplement it to increase moisture and repair skin barrier. We recommend jojoba oil – its molecular make-up is similar to our sebum, meaning that it can penetrate deeper into our skin. Apply it at the last step of your routine, go to sleep, wake up, and voila – skin so smooth like a baby’s!

So there you have it! Here’s to your #glowup!

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