Of course, don’t forget to determine your skin type. This will help guide your product selection so you can fill out each step tailored to your skin’s specific needs. Figuring out which skin type you have isn’t a complicated process, even if the idea seems daunting—it’s all about listening and observing.
Start by asking yourself the following questions: As you go throughout your day, does your skin tend to feel dry, oily, or stay the same? What are your skin concerns? This could include wrinkles, acne, dry patches, etc. Does your skin tend to react to topical products (i.e. turn red, itch, burn, etc.)? If you’re starting from scratch, Zeichner recommends this test:
“After washing your face, wait a half hour and look at your reflection in the mirror of the bathroom. If you are shiny, then you likely have oily skin. If you are flaky or dull, then you are likely dry,” he says. If you tend to get oily in the T-zone but dry on the cheeks, you may have combination skin.
The core skin types include dry, oily, combination, acne-prone, and sensitive. (You can take this helpful quiz to know which category you fall under.) You don’t necessarily have to be in one category or the other—for example, dry and acne-prone skin aren’t mutually exclusive.
In fact, focusing too much on skin type can actually take a turn for the worst. For example, if you tend to have oily skin but become drier in the winter months, you may opt for a moisturizer that’s traditionally made for combination skin—and that’s great. “Often times the idea of a skin type becomes overwhelming, so I recommend thinking more about what your skin is craving,” Love tells mbg.