How to create a good skincare routine and actually stick to it.

Posted by Scott Hamish on

Ready to invest in a proper skincare routine but unsure where to start? Or perhaps you already have some products that you like but struggle to use them consistently. That’s why we’ve broken down the essential information you need to know about starting a skincare routine and combined it with some simple tips to help you turn self-care into a long-lasting habit.


Tailor it to you

Getting skincare right starts before you apply any product to your face. Just as a good workout should be tailored to meet your individual needs and goals, so should your skincare routine. But in order to do that, you have to know what it is you need.


The first step to this is working out your skin type. There are five common skin types: dry, oily, normal, combination, and sensitive.

 



Dry Skin is characterised by a dull or rough complexion that may be red in places, have visible lines and wrinkles, and in severe cases even appear flaky. Dry skin can also be sensitive, becoming easily irritated and inflamed. A number of factors, such as genetics, age, hormones, climate and weather, and exposure to UV radiation, can lead to dry skin. Additionally, dryness can be exacerbated by exposure to dry heat and certain ingredients in skincare products such as alcohols and fragrances. It’s therefore recommended that those with dry skin should select mild skincare products and ensure they use sufficient moisturiser. 


Oily Skin often appears shiny and pores may appear enlarged. Those with oily skin may also experience an increase in pimples, blackheads, and other blemishes. The severity of oily skin can change depending on the time of year and weather and is often worsened by stress, heat, and excess humidity. If you experience oily skin it is recommended that you wash your face no more than twice a day (excessive washing can promote oil production), that you use a gentle cleanser, and avoid scrubbing too much while cleansing. 


Normal Skin is neither too dry nor too oily. It often has few imperfections, is not overly sensitive, and pores are less visible. Therefore, normal skin does not require much in the way of special care—just stick to the essentials and use gentle products. 


Combination Skin features a mixture of dry and oily skin characteristics. It may be dry in certain areas (such as the cheeks) and oily in others (often in the T-Zone). As with oily skin, combination skin may appear shiny and have more noticeable pores and blackheads than dry or normal skin. Due to the different characteristics, those with combination skin may require different types of care for different areas of the face. As a rule of thumb, select gentle, hydrating products that don’t increase skin's oiliness and when using additional products to address specific issues, use them only on the area in question rather than across the whole face.


Sensitive Skin is prone to dryness, itchiness, irritation, and redness. If you experience sensitive skin it is recommended to choose gentle products formulated specifically for your skin type. If you experience sensitivity when cleansing twice per day, you may also want to consider only washing your skin at night and avoid using more products than necessary. Always remember to consult a dermatologist if you experience any unusual sensitivity or irritation.


Your skin type can change over time due to a number of factors including age, changes in weather or climate, or hormonal changes. Therefore, it is recommended to monitor your skin on a regular basis. If you live somewhere with drastically different summer and winter climates you may find that you need to change your routine based on the time of year, opting for thicker, more hydrating products during the cold, dry winter months, and lighter products during the heat and humidity of summer. Conversely, you may find that you experience very little change in your skin condition over the course of the year and need only one set of products year-round. 


Whilst skin type is the most important factor when working out what type of products you need, there are also a few other factors that may come into play. If you live somewhere particularly hot and humid then you should opt for lighter, water-based products. Conversely, if you live somewhere particularly cold and dry, oil-based products may better protect your skin from the elements. Other environmental factors such as air pollution can also aggravate and irritate the skin, so if this is a concern you should focus on gentle but effective cleansing and look for products formulated to address your specific concerns.


Keep it simple

As with any new endeavour, the most important factor when creating a skincare routine is to keep it manageable—start with the essentials and build from there. 


Skincare can be broken down into three basic steps: cleansing, moisturising, and sun protection. That’s it! These three steps form the basis for every skincare routine. Anything more is extra and can be simply added to your routine as needed. 


Step 1. Cleansing: This is the first and arguably the most important step in any skincare routine. You should cleanse your skin morning and night, to remove dirt, grime, and dead skin cells that accumulate on your skin over time. Remember, without first cleansing properly, you won't reap the full benefits of your skincare routine, no matter how high-quality the products you use. If you’re looking for a new cleanser, try the Scott Hamish Blue Freedom Capsule Cleansing Foam. Suitable for all skin types, it acts as a gentle exfoliant to remove dead skin cells without stripping your skin of moisture.



Step 2. Moisturising: There are two essential products in this step: toner and a moisturising cream or lotion. Moisturising is essential to rehydrate your skin, replenishing nutrients and moisture to keep your skin's protective barrier functioning properly and keep skin feeling soft and smooth. You should be moisturising twice a day, morning and night. Use a toner (such as our Blue Blended Toner Essence for men) immediately after cleansing to replenish lost nutrients and rehydrate your skin followed by a moisturising lotion for deeper hydration and to lock everything in. Some people prefer to use a thicker moisturising cream at night and a lighter lotion during the day, however, this is a matter of personal preference—using the same product morning and night is perfectly fine. In winter, or if you live in a particularly dry, cold climate, you may wish to opt for a thicker moisturising cream, otherwise, a moisturising lotion does the trick. The Scott Hamish Blue Blended Lotion Essence is a great all-in-one lotion that restores skin vitality and moisture while helping to prevent signs of ageing.


Step 3. Sun Protection: This step needs to be performed only once per day—in the morning after moisturising. It’s important to use sunscreen every day, regardless of the weather, to protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation. Not only can UV exposure cause cosmetic skin damage, such as wrinkles, it’s also a leading cause of skin cancer. Therefore, applying sunscreen to protect your skin is a must. If you dislike the feeling of sun cream on your face or find yourself struggling to remember to perform this essential step, you can opt to combine this with step 2 by selecting a moisturiser with an SPF. However, regardless of whether you choose to perform this as a separate step or combine it with moisturisation, make sure you select a product with an SPF of 30 or higher—less than this and it won’t adequately protect your skin from the harmful effects of sun exposure. At Scott Hamish we provide two types of sunscreen—our Classic Golf Sun Cream and our Classic Golf Sun Stick. Both products are SPF 50+ so you can be confident you’re well protected, whichever you choose.


Make it a habit

Getting the right products and understanding how to use them is important, but even the best products won't be effective unless used consistently. This is where most people fail when it comes to skincare—they invest in the right products but fail to apply them on a regular basis. That’s why it’s so important to make skincare a habit—a part of your daily routine, as automatic as brushing your teeth. 


But how exactly do you create a habit? You may have heard that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Or was it 60? In fact, there’s no magic number when it comes to creating a habit, what it really takes is long term commitment to a certain behaviour. Fortunately, however, there are some things you can do to make the habit-forming process a little easier. 


One of the best ways to do this is habit stacking, that is, chaining the desired habit to an existing habit. You may already have several stacked habits in your daily routine. For example, making your bed as soon as you get up or using mouthwash after brushing your teeth. These are all examples of stacked habits, where the first habit cues the second so that you end up doing it without conscious thought or effort. And, there’s no limit on how many habits you can stack in this way. Your skincare routine itself can become a habit stack, with each step cueing the next.


So, to turn skincare into a habit, try looking for an existing habit within your daily routine that you can link your skincare routine to. For habit stacking to work, the existing habit needs to be something you do with the same frequency as the desired habit. In this instance, try looking for something you already do every morning and evening, such as brushing your teeth or taking a shower. By consistently applying your skincare routine every day after the same behaviour, it will be much easier to remember to do and will develop into a habit much more quickly than by relying on memory and willpower alone. 


Be patient

As with anything, it takes time to see the full effects of a new skincare routine. Results could take as long as a month to show so don’t give up on your routine if you don’t see immediate benefits. That being said, if you experience any irritation after using a new product, stop using it immediately and visit your dermatologist. 


You may need to adapt and adjust your routine over time. The change in seasons, climate, and age can all affect your skin and its needs. However, when adding or changing products, try to only change one thing at a time. This allows you to monitor the effects of the new product so that you know exactly what’s working for you and what isn’t.


If you’re ready to invest in your skincare routine, check out our full product range at Scott Hamish Global—with men’s cleansing foams, toners, lotions, and sunscreens, we’ve got all the essentials you’ll need to start an effective skincare routine. To deepen your skincare knowledge, delve into some of our other articles, or sign up for our monthly newsletter to get the latest from Scott Hamish direct to your inbox.


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