With the start of school, a new weather season approaching, and perhaps a Fall-related vacation in the works, you might be thinking about your morning routine. Are you spending too much time getting ready? Can you barely see your sink for the beauty products covering the surface? If you’re like me, I get up early just so I can spend as much time as possible mucking around with my beauty routine, and I’m usually running an average of five-minutes behind.
My problem: I want to use everything in my beauty toolbox, but maybe the minimalists have it right on this issue: perhaps less is more. In an effort to be more timely, I want to take my skincare routine back to the basics. I don’t need to do a facial every morning just to have that perfect post-coffee glow, even though it is really fun if not slightly messy and time-consuming.
So what are the beauty-basics? What do I need to do to ensure my face is beauty-ready without taking an hour to get there? To answer this question, I thought about my skin and what it needs to thrive. Regardless of your skin type, there are only five-steps you need to go through to ensure that your skin is cared for and ready to face the day. The good news? These five steps only take 10 minutes to complete.
Step 1: Cleanser
Scrub-a-dub-dub time! The first step to a shiny, fresh face-palette is … drumroll please … SURPRISE — it’s simply washing your face. Recommendations for washing your face — yes, there are actual recommendations — is to try and lather your face for a solid two minutes, the same amount of time recommended for brushing your teeth. Rinse your face with warm water, lather, then wash the soap off with cool water to help close pores.
My personal favorite soap is African Black Raw & Unrefined Soap Block for Acne by Sky Organics. If you haven’t heard of African Black Soap, let me start by saying: you’re welcome. My skin is oily, especially in the dreaded T-Zone. This African Black Soap has worked wonders for my skin. I use this soap in combination with the Exfoliating Charcoal Konjac Facial Sponge for maximum exfoliation. The soap has antioxidants which fight premature skin aging, and also contains a higher than normal pH level, leaving your skin soft and smooth.
Now that you’ve washed your face, it’s time to tone.
Step 2: Toner
Toner, the lovely stinging portion of your beauty-routine. The problem with toner, if you’re not using the right kind, you may actually be doing damage to your skin. Did you know that your face has an optimal acidic level — also known as a pH level? The optimal pH level for your face is 5.5 pH. At this level, your skin looks radiant and also resists harmful bacteria. Unfortunately, skin produces excess oil, meaning that your face becomes acidic. If you use toner to help combat the oil, which I do, it can dry out the skin, causing your skin to dip below the optimal 5.5 pH level.
The question then becomes, how do you tone your face to reduce oil and still protect your skin? Get the toner meant to maintain your skin’s healthy pH level, of course.
Deep Sea Cosmetics has a wonderful toner called Soothing and Detoxifying Toner pH 5.5. This toner is specifically formulated for delicate skin and is made with Dead Sea minerals, peptides, vitamins, and bisabolol, a component of chamomile — yes, like the stuff sleepy time tea is made of — to help soothe and calm your skin. This toner, like all other toners, helps remove traces of make-up and oils without drying out your skin, meaning that your skin’s pH level is renewed and restored.
If you want your cleanser and your toner to match, try Dynamic Innovations 2-Step Anti-Aging Toner and Cleanser Kit - Hydrafresh Toner & Milk Cleanser. These products include vitamin B5, which helps sweep away dull skin while protecting against moisture loss, giving you a smoother and brighter complexion.
Step 3: Eye Care and Lip Treatment
Now that your face has been washed and toned, it’s time to pamper your eyes and lips. Dark circles and puffy lids are something of a family curse for me. Back in high school, the best part of my morning routine was sitting on the couch with my mom putting cold spoons under our eyes to get rid of the post-sleepy puffiness while watching the morning news. Unfortunately, that added about 15 minutes to my morning routine. While I enjoyed the quality time with my mom, that time could have been better spent agonizing over which outfit I was going to wear that day.
Enter Innovation Series 60 Second Instant Eyelift from D24K By D’or. This product tightens pores and firms the skin under the eyes, and it does all of this within 60 seconds of application. No more waiting for less puffy skin. Beyond the Soap has a great product for getting rid of dark circles: Time Reverse Eye Lift Contour Serum. Made with Vitamin A and anti-aging Peptides, this product helps minimize fine lines and dark circles.
As for your lips, the prepping stage is not the ideal time to apply lipstick. Instead, hydrate your lips and get them ready for the day. D24K by D’Or has a Mega Lip Plumper which not only gives your lips a plumper look, it also hydrates and smoothes your lips allowing for a more even application of your favorite lipstick.
Step 4: Serum
Hydration is the key to health and beauty. A hydrated face is a happy face. If you’re at all like me, I know that I don’t always manage to get the recommended amount of water per day, but I want to make sure my skin stays hydrated. How? Serum.
OMG! Double Dare Spa’s Light on Serum Primer is a two-for-one deal: moisturizer and makeup primer! This serum has 7 moisturizing ingredients, giving you a makeup primer, brightener, and serum all in one product. Plus, the water-in-oil like product is light-weight enough that your face doesn’t feel coated in product.
Step 5: Moisturizer
The final step: moisturizer. After you’ve washed, toned, treated your eyes and lips, and put a dash of serum on, it is time for your moisturizer. This is the most important step in your skin care routine, and unfortunately, it is also the most time-consuming. To make sure that your moisturizer is fully absorbed, most beauty pro’s recommend a full five-minutes before applying makeup. The good news? If you choose the right moisturizer, you won’t need to apply much makeup.
For me, I prefer a moisturizer that is firming, lightweight, and has SPF. While freckles are cute, melanomas are not. Lovoskin London has an Advanced Bee Venom Anti-Aging Day Moisturizer with SPF 30. This lightweight moisturizer re-densifies skin’s appearance with ingredients such as bee venom, melittin peptide, soy isoflavones, and stem cells. The moisturizer works to brighten your skin tone while improving skin elasticity, giving you a youthful and hydrated complexion. If bee venom isn’t quite your cup of tea, Best Beauty Finds has over nine hundred moisturizer products to peruse!
To get back to basics for your skincare: the key is picking the products that work best for you, products that can be used in your morning and evening routines, and products that hydrate your skin. Now that your skin, eyes, and lips have all been properly cared for, you’re ready to begin applying makeup, if you so wish. If not, your skin is perfectly protected and moisturized. Best news, this routine can easily be completed in less than 15 minutes. What does your simple skin care routine look like?