We get it: skincare shopping can be seriously stressful (say that five times fast). With seemingly hundreds of different categories and endless amounts of options in each, how are you to know what products you really need? And, more importantly, how to use them? Don’t worry, we’ve got you! This convenient guide breaks it all down with the basics. Discover the four products that are the foundation of any good skincare routine — plus helpful info about how to use each one — and of course, some great product suggestions. Prepare for utter complexion clarity.
The Product: Cleanser
What it does: Removes make-up, dirt, oil, and other grime from your skin.
How to use it: Massage a dollop over wet skin, then rinse. (The exception: If you’re using a micellar water, apply a few drops onto a cotton pad and swipe over dry skin, no rinsing required.)
When to use it: ALWAYS at night. (Repeat after us: I will not sleep in my makeup.) If your skin is especially oily, you can cleanse in the morning, too.
For oily skin: Sebamed Clear Face Antibacterial Cleansing Foam dissolves pore-clogging dirt and oil to help prevent blemishes while maintaining your skin’s natural moisture barriers for a soft, healthy complexion.
For all skin types: Trilogy Cream Cleanser is mild yet effective – a foolproof pick for anyone and everyone.
For dry or sensitive skin: Yes To Cotton Micellar Cleansing Water is hydrating, gentle, and won’t irritate even the most sensitive of skin.
The Product: Moisturiser
What it does: Adds moisture to your skin to keep it from looking, and feeling, dry.
How to use it: Post-cleansing, pre-make-up, apply a coin-size amount across your entire face. In the morning, apply it after your sunscreen (more on that next).
When to use it: Morning and night.
For oily skin: NUXE Crème Prodigieuse® – Normal to Combination Skin does double-duty, both hydrating and gently mattifying unwanted shine.
For all skin types: Nip + Fab Kale Fix Moisturiser is rich but not too heavy, and loaded with good-for-your skin greens.
For ageing skin: ELEMIS Hydra-Nourish Night Cream packs an anti-ageing punch, minimising lines, firming, and also hydrating, of course.
For dry or sensitive skin: Polaar The Genuine Lapland Cream is the ideal solution for superdry, red, irritated, or otherwise unhappy skin, thanks to its blend of complexion-repairing berries and vitamins.
The Product: Sunscreen
What it does: Protects your skin from sun damage, which can cause both skin cancer and signs of ageing, like spots and wrinkles.
How to use it: Apply a coin-sized amount across your entire face, then another coin-sized drop for your ears, neck, and chest. Apply it to clean skin and let sit for a few minutes to absorb prior to sun exposure.
When to use it: EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. That’s 365 days a year, rain or shine, since the sun’s rays can penetrate through clouds and even glass.
For all skin types: COOLA® Mineral Face SPF 30 is silky and non-greasy, and has a slight tint to help even out your skin tone.
For dry skin: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser Broad Spectrum SPF 20 makes it easy to streamline your morning routine, delivering hydration, sun protection, and a little bit of colour in one convenient tube.
The Product: Exfoliator
What it does: Removes dead cells that build up on the top layer of your skin, making it look dull and less than radiant.
How to use it: Depending on your skin type and the product you’re using, anywhere from one to three times per week. Follow product directions, but most can be massaged into damp skin.
When to use it: At night, after cleansing. Apply a moisturiser afterward.
For oily skin: Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant both buffs away dead cells and dislodges the most stubborn of blocked pores with salicylic acid – so no scrubbing required!
For ageing skin: Dr Brandt® Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant minimises the look of spots, scars, and blotchiness in just two minutes, leaving your complexion looking extra glowy.
For all skin types: Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator uses papaya enzymes to break down dead skin cells, along with nourishing ingredients like aloe vera and coconut to counteract any potential irritation.
For dry or sensitive skin: Derma E Hydrating Scrub is packed with hydrating hyaluronic acid to help moisturize skin as it exfoliates.