What your beauty routine should look like (in a perfect world…)

The easy, four-step skincare routine anyone can do

We all know that feeling. You’ve been rushing around all day with barely enough time to eat, but now your bed is calling, and you’re tempted to slip between the sheets without even taking off your makeup. It’s no big deal, right?

 Wrong, says beauty editor Sarah Tarca, co-founder of gloss etc. She recommends making time every night for your skin, even if it’s just a short beauty routine before bed.

 “Don’t over think it,” she says. “You don’t need 10 steps (and, really, who has time for that). A few well-selected products that are targeted to your skin concerns will help you get amazing results.” 

 But don’t worry if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of beauty products on the market, you’re not alone. In fact, the Australian beauty and personal care market is worth around $6.5 billion dollars. Yes, billion. So that’s a lot of products to have to choose from. On top of that, a 2004 study found that many of the everyday personal care products we use actually contain chemical ingredients that “lack safety data”.

 “I think everyone gets swept up in all the big marketing claims and promises,” says Tarca. “Personally, I like to invest in serums/ elixirs packed with the actives my skin needs, and to keep my moisturiser and cleanser on the simple yet effective side.” 

 When choosing your beauty staples, make sure the products in your beauty bag work with your skin (and not against it), by looking for organic, vegan-friendly skincare that can nourish your body without the chemicals.

 

 Your easy evening beauty routine

When it comes to looking after your skin at night, we think you should forget complicated beauty routines that take hours and can cost hundreds of dollars in products. Chances are you’ll just fall into bed anyway if you feel like you don’t have time or energy.

 Instead, Tarca says to condense your evening routine with this simple, four-step beauty process that’s so easy, anyone can do it. Start by lining up your products, washing your hands and spending a few minutes of your time giving back to your skin. Think of it as a mini spa treatment in your own home.

 STEP #1: CLEANSER: Begin with the simple act of cleansing to remove all the dirt and chemicals from the day. That way, you’ll keep your sheets toxin-free (aim to have cotton, bamboo or linen sheets to help with this). Double cleanse if you wear makeup. It’s surprising how much is still left on your skin when you think you’ve cleansed! 

STEP #2: SERUM/ ELIXIR: Choose the ingredient/ active based on your main skin concern. 

STEP #3: MOISTURISER: Let your serum do the heavy lifting and just choose something that’s efficacious and hydrating. 

STEP #4: EXFOLIATOR: Try to exfoliate once a week to slough off the dead skin cells so all your products can penetrate and work their magic better and more efficiently.

 If you want to treat your skin even further, consider a using a deep cleansing mask regularly while you watch Netlfix or listen to podcasts.

 Your easy morning beauty routine

Once you’ve nailed the evening, it’s time to tackle the morning ‘wake up’ routine. Again, no need for long, complicated processes with lots of products. Instead, Tarca recommends another simple, four-step routine to look after your skin and avoid the signs of aging.

 

STEP #1: CLEANSER: Choose a gentle cleanser to not aggravate your skin.

STEP #2: SERUM/ ELIXIR: You may want to try a different/ complementary one to your night-time version to prepare the skin for the day.

STEP #3: MOISTURISER:  Moisturiseing with a simple and hydrating formula should do the trick. 

STEP #4: SUNSCREEN: This is a non-negotiable. All other products are redundant if you don’t protect your skin from the sun – especially in Australia. It’s the number one factor in skin ageing and responsible for degrading collagen, hyperpigmentation and basically everything you don’t want your skin to be. No fancy ingredient will fix the damage the sun can cause.

 If you need a little more hydration or just a pick-me-up during the day, a hydrating facial mist is invaluable and a touch of luxury.

However, if these two routines even sound a little complicated for you, or you think you don’t have enough time, don’t worry. When it comes to skin care routines, there is no one-size fits all process.

 “The best skincare routine,” explains Tarca, “is the one that works for you, your lifestyle and your situation. And by that, I mean, one that you can commit to!”