A personalized skincare routine with proven ingredients and steps is the only thing you need to get flawless skin!

This guide contains everything you need to know to archive healthy and beautiful skin. Learn which routine steps are actually working, and what clinically proven ingredients you should use (or avoid) for your skin type…
the most effective skincare ingredients, scientifically proven skincare

//The most effective skincare ingredients

A good skincare routine is like the ecological network – when one thing is missing, everything collapses.

Luckily skincare isn’t as critical and important as the ecosystems, but it’s a good way to explain. For instance, if you ditch the deep cleanse, the rest of the steps would be pointless, because your skin wouldn’t be able to absorb any product since dead skin and other stuff would be in the way.

If you follow the steps and use the most effective skincare ingredients listed below, you will get fewer fine lines, less congestion (fewer blackheads/whiteheads and blemishes), less sebum production, and more hydrated and glowy skin. Over time your skin tone should become more even and plumped, and scars more faded. 

When doing the steps, it’s crucial to use good, clean, and transparent products that contain proven ingredients. A routine is only as good as its worst product, and a product is only as good as its worst ingredient! We shouldn’t use “magical seaweed” and similar on our skin, instead, we should use the very few ingredients out there that are scientifically proven to work.

We’ve spent a lot of time researching, trying, and failing to find the perfect skincare routine (steps and ingredients) for the different skin types. All skincare ingredients that we recommend are REALLY good and effective, and they have tons of published science supporting their effectiveness. We will of course link to the studies.

We’ll let you know what ingredients look for – depending on your skin type and struggles.

Psst, don’t know your skin type? Take our skin type quiz here!

Keep scrolling for the perfect skincare routine steps and ingredients for your skin problems!

Let’s start with the skincare regimen for the night routine, which has the most steps!

skin care routine steps

As an amazon affiliate Filippa Approves may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. This doesn’t cost you anything.
We never collaborate with beauty/fashion brands, and we do not accept sponsorships. All recommendations are always 100% genuine. We only redirect you to safe and well-known sites like amazon. Anything we may earn, goes back into purchasing and testing new products. Thank you for helping us stay ethical and real!

The most effective skincare ingredients and steps for the NIGHT ROUTINE:

Step 1:

Oil cleanse (pre-cleansing) – everyday

(If you have acne, skip this step, and start at step 2)

It’s important to do a double cleanse, first with a non-clogging squalane oil, then with a clinical cleanser containing AHAs/BHAs, we’ll get back to that. 

Why you should oil cleanse

(And yes, you should oil cleanse even if you have oily skin!)

It’s important to have a big focus on good cleansing and exfoliating because it’s so freaking important. 

Not only does it remove sebum, helps regulate sebum production, and works against congestion, it also removes dead skin cells and other funky stuff that’s in the way for your skin to absorb the products you apply. Applying serums and creams on poorly cleansed and exfoliated skin is like throwing the product out of the window. Dry skin? This might be the cause. 

Most cleansers are very rough and strip your skin from everything, leaving it damaged and dry. As a result of that, your skin desperately starts producing even more sebum, which results in clogged pores = whiteheads, blackheads, and blemishes. 

You’ve probably heard the saying “like dissolves like”, that’s the idea behind the pre-cleanse with oil. 

How to choose an oil for your skin type

What most people don’t know is that traditional oils (olive, hemp seed, rosehip, argan, etc.) are unsaturated and highly unstable so they’ll oxidize on your skin, which is extremely skin damaging. Natural isn’t always good. Please do NOT use these oils and stay away from products containing them. The only exception is coconut oil, which can be used by people with normal/dry skin that doesn’t get clogged easily. 

Instead, use squalane oil, which is stable and saturated. Make sure the squalane oil is 100% pure.

Here is an entire article about what squalane oil is, why you should choose it over regular oils, and how to cleanse the skin properly!

When doing this step, pre-cleansing, massage your face gently with squalane oil and some water. Focus on problematic areas. Ideally do this for 5-10 minutes, maybe while you watch TV or listen to a podcast. 

Pure squalane oils

We have only found three squalane oils that we love that are 100% pure, free from unsaturated oils, perfume, and other unnecessary add-ons. This one from Indie Lee is popular, it’s the most luxurious one without being very expensive. This one from The Ordinary (100% plant-derived squalane) is definitely the cheapest we have found, yet it’s 100% pure and clean and made from plant extracts. And at last, this squalane oil from Amara beauty is the most economical choice, because it’s twice as much product as the others. It’s of course 100% pure as well, and it’s very popular.

Squalane oils can be used for many other things, we’ll get back to that. 

If you’re not acne-prone and want to use coconut oil, make sure it’s new, clean, and raw, like this bestseller from Nutiva.

the most effective skincare ingredients, scientifically proven skincare ingredients

Step 2:

Cleanse – everyday

Even though squalane oil can be left on the skin, we want to get rid of the oil used in the pre-cleanse together with the dirt. 

Use a simple, good, clean, and mild cleanser without perfume, color, and other irritating ingredients. It should contain some type of AHAs or BHAs, we’ll explain these ingredients in the next skincare step about exfoliation.

A year ago, when we were looking for products to purchase and use together with these skincare steps, we found that it’s surprisingly HARD to find clean products containing good and proven ingredients, but not the bad ingredients. Usually, they sneak in some perfume, silicone, paraffin, traditional oils, artificial color, and similar. Sometimes with different and more confusing names. That sucks!

“A Product is only as good as its worst ingredient”  

How to choose a cleanser for your skin type

If you have a “normal” to a slightly dry skin type without having any special issues:

  • This cleanser from The Ordinary will do just good for your skin. And, it’s very cheap. It’s clean, vegan, and cruelty-free. It does the job without stripping your skin. It contains some squalane oil, AHAs, and other moisturizing factors. 

If you have a very dry, mix, or maybe a sensitive skin type:

  • Our favorite is this hydrating cleanser from Murad which contains both AHAs and BHAs, which means that it’s extra cleansing, and a good match for both very dry and oily skin (/combination skin). It does its job and it’s a very popular choice by consumers all over the world.
  • This “cloud” cleanser from Peter Thomas Roth is gentle and contains hyaluronic acid which is very moisturizing. It’s highly rated, and not too expensive. A little product goes a long way, it feels really good on the skin, and it’s great at removing stubborn make-up. If you want an even cheaper option, this creamy ultra-gentle cleanser from Neutrogena is pretty clean, and it’s oil-free and soap-free, and hypoallergenic. However, it doesn’t contain any AHAs/BHAs or well-documented moisturizing acids. But it will cleanse your face.

If you have oily, acne-prone, and sensitive skin:

  • Unfortunately, it’s a cynical world, and people with skin problems, especially acne, usually have to pay more. But in this case, the product with the ingredients we liked the most wasn’t expensive. You can try this CLEAR cleanser from Paula’s choice. It contains salicylic acid (BHAs) which gives you an extra good pore cleanse without stripping your skin. It’s a popular product. The cleanser from Murad mentioned above, is a good choice if you have combined skin.  Another wonderful cleanser is this cleanser from SkinMedica, it contains both AHA and BHA, which makes it a good match for dry and oily skin. It’s a cleanser with very happy customers!

Just a little reminder of why makeup wipes and other fast cleansing routines isn’t good enough:

Picture by @drtijionesho

Step 3:

Exfoliate your skin, 2-3 times a week

By doing the cleansing steps above, you’ll get a good, daily deep cleanse. However, 2-3 times a week you need an even stronger cleanse, an exfoliator!

There are different ways to exfoliate, most common are scrubs, “masks”, and leave-in exfoliating serums.

There are different types of acids to choose from:

You might have heard about AHAs and BHAs before, they are different types of hydroxy acids. They are both super effective cleansers/exfoliators, with benefits like decreasing large pores, inflammation, and wrinkles, improving skin tone and texture, and of course, removing dead skin and clogged pores.

The difference between them is that BHAs dissolve in oil, so it’s able to penetrate deeper into pores, while AHAs are more of a surface exfoliator and more suited for dry skin. 

Which acid should you choose for exfoliating? 

If you have combination skin, oily skin, acne, or irritated and red skin, choose BHAs.

If you have dry skin or “normal” skin with few issues, choose AHAs

You can also use both AHAs and BHAs, but it’s important to use them on different days unless they come in the same product. 

The AHA and BHA acids come in different types. These types are what you would be looking for when buying an exfoliator or a regular cleanser:

BHAs vs AHAs


  • Salicylic acid – most people tolerate this acid. Usually comes in 0,5-5 percent concentration. It’s especially popular for mild acne treatment or maintenance after a strong, prescription acne treatment. It also calms down redness and has a bunch of benefits we just mentioned above. You can also use salicylic acid as a spot treatment. Can also be used on very dry skin, and skin conditions like Rosacea. Clean and exfoliating products with salicylic acid that we love are this bestseller called Skin perfecting liquid exfoliant from Paula’s Choice, people call it “miracle in a tube”, and we totally agree. It’s in a medium price range. It’s a very good and effective exfoliator, containing 2% salicylic acid and other great stuff. No fragrance and parabens etc., which we love.  This salicylic acid mask from the ordinary is also a good choice. We like the ordinary because they’re transparent, clean, cruelty-free, and clinical compared to many other budget brands. If you want to read studies on BHAs, this is a good one.


  • Glycolic acid – you’ve probably seen this name before. It’s a very common choice of AHAs. However, we don’t really want to recommend glycolic acid over the other options, because it’s often irritating, inflammatory, and sensitizing. But if you still want glycolic acid, here is a good and clean formula from The Ordinary, it’s also cheap. 
  • Lactic acid – This is an acid we want to recommend instead! It’s much friendlier and gentler to your skin, yet highly effective. It’s also anti-aging. Here’s a very good and cheap choice of lactic acid from The Ordinary, it’s also clean, vegan, and cruelty-free, it comes in two strengths, 5% and 10%, it’s ideal to start with 5% and upgrade once your skin gets used to it. You can also buy 10% and mix it out with other products to weaken the strength until you get used to it. It’s a leave-in product, so it’s not time-consuming. Use at night. Another great product with lactic acid is this one called ‘Good genes’ from Sunday Riley, the only downside is that it’s a little expensive – but totally worth it if you can afford it… If you want to read studies on AHAs, this is a good one.
  • Mandelic acid – we want to mention this because it’s often used as a side ingredient together with other AHAs and BHAs, it increases the exfoliation, and it’s anti-age. There are also other AHAs and BHAs, but they are used as a side ingredient. 

If you want the benefits from both AHAs and BHAs

If you want to use a product containing both AHAs and BHAs, this leave-in cream exfoliator from SkinMedica is a great choice. It’s a very effective product, and it’s gentle so you can apply it every day. It’s suitable for everyone.   

Exfoliation, especially with AHAs, makes your skin sun-sensitive, make sure to use sunscreen to avoid damage. Also, whenever trying new products, make sure to patch test! 

Step 4:

Use a facial mask, 0-2 times a week

the perfect skin care routine steps and ingredients, skin care products, bacne, acne, benzoyl peroxide acne treatment

//The most effective skincare ingredients for your skin type

Whenever you want to treat your skin (and soul) good and give it some extra love and pampering.

However, did you know most facial masks aren’t doing too much to your skin? They’re simply not able to penetrate deep enough. But, there are a few masks out there that will do you good. 

Also, always steer away from products containing artificial scent and color, traditional oils, vitamin c (unstable as a mask and will most likely oxidize), and other bad stuff. You should also avoid those black charcoal masks that literally rip your face off, and as a result, your skin starts producing even more sebum = clogged pores = more black/whiteheads. 

Note that some of the ingredients mentioned below will be explained even further down. 

Masks for hydration and glow:  

  • This Dermalogica hydrating clay mask with Hyaluronic acid gives your skin a good boost of hydration and minimizes signs of aging, it’s also gluten-free, vegan, cruelty-free, and of course no parabens and that awful stuff. This product is especially good for dull, dry, and sensitive winter-skin. It can also be used around the eyes. Downside; it’s a little expensive, but on the other side it’s definitely worth it and the product lasts for a long time. 
  • Another good option is the Glow recipe sleeping mask. It’s a Korean overnight mask containing both AHAs and hyaluronic acid that exfoliates and leaves skin hydrated and luminous. It’s highly rated and popular among consumers. If you have normal to slightly dry skin, and just want some extra love&glow this is a good choice. It smells SO nice, and it looks cute.

Masks for Anti-ageing: 

  • When it comes to steps and ingredients in the perfect skincare routine, we don’t want to recommend masks in this category, simply because frequent use of a good serum with retinol will do you much better. We’ll get back to that in the next skincare step. If you want a mask, use one of those for hydration instead since they’ll help reduce signs of aging, also, retinol products tend to be a little drying, so it’s a good idea with some extra hydration. 

Masks for Oil-control, pores, and acne: 

  • This original clearing clay mask from Indie Lee is an all-time favorite. Contains AHAs BHAs which exfoliates, clay that draws out impurities, and hyaluronic acid which hydrates. Exfoliating masks are a great and very effective way to reduce congestion and maintain the reduction. But give it some time, no mask will fix these skin problems overnight, unfortunately.
  • This BHA exfoliating mask from Dermalogica is also a great choice. It feels good on the skin, exfoliates, and helps control sebum production. 
  • This benzoyl peroxide acne treatment from Dr. Song isn’t really a mask, but since it’s a treatment we wanted to include it here. This is a very appreciated, clean/pure, and effective product, and it’s also affordable, unlike many acne products. It fights acne, gets rid of sebum, and helps control oil production. 1-2-3 times a week, apply this to your face at night after cleansing, allow to dry, then apply a good moisturizer. You can also use it on your body. If you’re interested, here’s a good study done on benzoyl peroxide as an acne treatment. This is a really powerful product and it’s also perfect for “bacne”.

Soothing products for sensitive, irritated and red skin, rosacea:

  • This Mario Badescu azulene calming mask is a soothing mask that comforts, feels good on the skin, and leaves it in a calmer condition. It’s been a bestseller for quite some time, and a lot of people with rosacea and other skin conditions swear by it. After use, apply a good hydrating serum + cream. 
  • These sheet masks from Klairs are also very soothing, but they also focus on moisturizing your skin. The masks contain more clinically proven ingredients, like hyaluronic acid. If you have dry and slightly irritated skin, try these! If you struggle with red and irritated skin, try the one above from Mario Badescu instead. 
  • Our FAVORITE is this calm cream from Dr. Schrammek, it’s made especially for people with rosacea. It’s a little expensive, $65, but if you can afford it it’s worth it. Dr. Schrammek products were originally made decades ago for people with severe skin issues going through medical treatments, in need of some safe and nourishing products to use after. And let’s just say; the rumor of these great products got viral. And this was at a time when there were no social media! 
(Extra skincare tips for troubled skin)

A little off-topic, but if you struggle with irritated and red skin, you will LOVE Dr. Schrammek. This tinted moisturizer/blemish balm is calming, nourishing, and removes redness. You could literally go to sleep with it. It’s regulating and lightweight. Downside; not many shades to choose from.

If you struggle with bad acne or very oily skin, you should stay away from cream make-up, and try this mineral foundation powder from Jane Iredale instead, it’s a fantastic product and as a BIG PLUS, it contains 20-25 SPF which is great for people with oily/acne-prone skin who usually struggles with sunscreens. It’s probably the best (and only?) makeup product out there that won’t break out your acne-prone face.      

the most effective skincare ingredients, girl with facial mask, skincare steps

//The most effective skincare ingredients

Step 5:

Apply serums of your choice, everyday

Serums are a thin formula that penetrates deep into your skin. This is a must-have. For instance, if you want to use an anti-age product, you should always choose an anti-age serum over an anti-age cream

Creams aren’t able to penetrate your skin in the same way as serums. Creams are more like a temporary thing. They just sit on your surface. However, creams are still important since they protect your skin against pollination, free radicals, and sun rays. And, they make your skin look healthy.

What are serums?

Creams vs. Serums

A lot of people don’t use serums, they just use a cream or gel moisturizer, which is not going to fix their skin problems. For instance, if you suffer from dry skin, you’ve probably noticed when you take off your day/night cream, your skin is as dry as always. What you need is a deep-penetrating serum with well-proven and documented ingredients that are able to fix your problem on a cellular level. When the problem is fixed, your skin feels good even without products on, and you’ll get all the benefits of moisturized skin, like fewer fine lines and more glowing skin.

This goes for any skin problem. Want to regulate oil production? Serum. Want to get a more even skin tone? Serum. Want to reduce signs of aging? Serum. 

Remember that each step is dependent on each other. If you want your serums to work fully, this relies on you to do the deep cleanse, sometimes exfoliate, and always use good and clean products.

Everyone needs a serum for hydration (this also goes for oily skin). In addition to that, you should use a few more serums with other benefits depending on your needs.

So, let’s look at what kind of ingredients to look for! Make sure the product is clean and transparent, without harmful ingredients, and has a high enough % of the beneficial ingredient/s. Try to avoid products with silicone, since this can prevent your skin from absorbing the product. 

The most effective serums for hydration

We got two highly documented ingredients. Hyaluronic acid and Amino Acids. 

  • Hyaluronic acid: This is probably the most well-known ingredient, which is funny because A LOT of you shouldn’t put this on your skin. Easily explained this is because this acid gives you hydration by attracting the moisture it can find in the air surrounding you, and in that way give it to your skin. However, if you don’t live in a humid climate, there’s no moisture in the air for the acid to take, so instead the hyaluronic acid takes the moisture from your skin, and you end up drier than ever… You can find Hyaluronic Acid products in stores all over the world, which is very sad since it’s going to dry out the skin of so many of you. However, if you do live in a humid climate, this is a very good product. And, anyone can use cleansers containing hyaluronic acids. Here‘s a good study on Hyaluronic acid. When we were researching for products to try, we found a k-beauty brand called Cos De BAHA which we REALLY loved, their hyaluronic acid serum which you can find here is the purest product ever, containing just three ingredients. It’s also water-based, which is great for acne-prone people. We were curious before trying it, because it’s so highly rated (literally 5/5), and it didn’t disappoint. It’s a very powerful product, and it melts easily into the skin. And, it’s very cheap and it comes in a bigger bottle than most serums (60ml / 1 oz).
  • Amino Acids: This ingredient is basically the same as hyaluronic acids, but it works in a different way so it can be used in any climate. It also repairs skin and makes fine lines less visible as a result of good hydration. If you live in a drier climate you’ll love this peptide booster with amino acids from Paula’s Choice, it’s highly appreciated all over the world. It’s water-based, so it’s very lightweight, non-greasy, and absorbs easily. 
  • 100% Squalane: We also want to mention this saturated and stable oil, because it’s such a lifehack adding it to other products (or use alone) for some extra moisture and glow. Squalane absorbs quickly, so your skin will look more glowy than oily. Add 1-2 drops to your day/night cream, foundation, alone, or whatever you want. Great to use around the eyes and on lips as well. In theory, this is safe for acne-prone people, but you might want to stick to using it as an oil cleanser, just to be safe. Also, if you’re acne-prone you probably want something matt rather than glowy. Make sure the squalane is 100% pure, it’s a little difficult to find, but we mentioned this one from Amara above, it’s cheap but amazing.  Learn more about squalane and oil cleansing in this article, it will change your skin forever!

The best serums for aging and damaged skin:

  •  A bunch of good ingredients is somewhat anti-aging since they make your skin look overall better, but according to science only one ingredient is really proven to be able to turn back time. We are talking about ‘retinol’. This well-proven ingredient treats fine lines, stimulates collagen production, and repairs all kinds of damage, it’s also a great ingredient for acne. In fact, a lot of prescription treatments for severe acne (like isotretinoin pills) are basically a very high dosage of retinol. The non-prescription retinol serums aren’t as strong, but they can definitely be used to treat mild acne, or maybe for maintenance after a prescription treatment. Retinol can be a little irritating and drying, at least until your skin gets used to it. None of us experienced irritation though. Use it at night. Use sunscreen and ideally avoid the sun in periods you use retinol since it makes you more sun-sensitive. Retinol comes in different strengths, you need 1% to get results, however, it’s a good idea to start with a weaker strength and work your way up, or more economical: buy 1% and mix it with a cream or some squalane oil until you get used to it, use the serum 1-2 times a week and then more frequently after some time. Here and here are good studies on retinoids. There are a bunch of retinol products on the market, but when we remove everyone containing ingredients we don’t want, there’s not too many left. We want it to be clean, with a high enough concentration of retinol (but not too high), and ideally with squalane oil because this makes it more stable and less irritating. If you’re a luxury animal, this retinol serum from Sunday Riley is a good choice, it’s an award-winning and clean product, loved by so many people. BUT it contains a high dosage of retinol, so if you haven’t tried retinol before, make sure to “water it out” in the palm of your hand before applying for a few weeks until you get used to it. Since the concentration is so high, it’s more suited for people with already aged skin or other skin problems. This serum from The Ordinary contains 1% retinol in Squalane, it’s weaker, yet strong enough to repair. It’s a very good retinol serum, in fact much better than most serums from the more expensive shelf. Use it at night, “water it out” until you get used to it. It contains squalane which is very good for most people, but if you are very prone to acne you can try this retinol serum from Murad instead, which is water-based without mineral oils = less likely to clog. It also contains hydrating acids, which is great! It’s a fact that retinol is a powerful ingredient that does repair your skin, there’s no question. However, it relies on a good product, and you have to be patient, it’s not going to happen overnight. 

The most effective serums for oily or acne-prone skin

(But also any other skin type seeking glow and healthy-looking skin) 

  • You should own a retinol product, equally important is a serum containing the powerful molecule ingredient ‘niacinamide’. We LOVE this powerful super ingredient. Niacinamide (vitamin B3) regulates and balances sebum production, reduces the appearance of blemishes and congestion, minimizes pores, brightens skin tone, reduces redness and pigmentation, hydrates, protects your skin from free radicals, and improves fine lines. It’s a good deal for anyone. It’s extra beneficial if the product contains zinc. Make sure the product has a high concentration of niacinamide. This is a great summary/study that confirms the benefits. We love this niacinamide serum from Naturium, it contains as much as 12% niacinamide and 2% zinc, which is terrific. It also has other beneficial ingredients like hyaluronic acid and AHAs. It’s a popular and highly appreciated product. We should also mention this niacinamide product from The Ordinary containing 10% niacinamide and 1% zinc. The price is similar. It’s smart to choose the one from Naturium with the highest strength if you have oily skin, acne, and big pores. Pick the one from The Ordinary if you have dry skin or just moderate issues. But it doesn’t really matter, both are extremely good and clean products with a high content of niacinamide. ( Note: when first starting with niacinamide it’s normal for some people to slightly break out, but your skin gets used to it quickly)

The best serums for glowing and healthy skin: 

  • Last but not least, we want to mention VITAMIN C, which works against uneven skin tone, gives your skin a natural glow, and fights and protects against daily damage like free radicals. The issue with most vitamin c products is that they’re usually very unstable which means they may oxidize and damage your skin on a cellular level. Not great. That’s why we want to recommend L-Ascorbic Acid Powder, which is a type of vitamin c, served as a powder instead of liquids. This makes it stable because it remains fresh since you mix it yourself before application. The powder box should come with a little spoon, mix some powder with another serum or cream (we prefer to mix it with cream), and apply. Don’t use it at the same time as niacinamide, since they don’t like each other. We love this powder, it makes your skin feel like a baby butt! Find it here on amazon. One jar lasts forever.   

The best serum for the eye area: 

  • To be honest, we don’t find products exclusive for the eyes too necessary unless you suffer from swollen or colored under eyes that aren’t genetic. If this is the case, try this eye cream from YON-KA. Try leaving it in the refrigerator, and apply it every morning and night, wait a few minutes before applying make-up. Otherwise, just treat your eye area carefully, and avoid applying strong products, stick to gentle products like the moisturizing serums and the squalane oil mentioned above. 

the best serum ingredients, the most effective serums

//The most effective skincare ingredients

Step 6:

Use a Moisturizer/cream, everyday 

This is the last bedtime step. Just use a clean and simple cream or gel moisturizer that gives surface hydration and protects the outer layer of the skin against pillow creatures! We like the saying “less is more” when it comes to moisturizers (and in general all skincare). Ideally choose one containing amino acids, hyaluronic acids, niacinamide, or AHAs/BHAs. As always, stay away from products with perfume, color, and all that unnecessary stuff. Find one without silicone, and even though it’s a little hard to find your skin will thank you.

Psst, if you struggle with dry skin, read this article about 5 proven ways to cure dry skin forever!

Good moisturizers for your skin type:

  • Very dry skin: If you suffer from very sensitive skin as well, allergies, rosacea, and similar give this hydrating and soothing creme from Paulas Choice a try. It calms down redness, and contains good ingredients like hyaluronic acids! If you just suffer from regular and irritated dry skin, try This moisturizing bomb from belif It’s very hydrating and calming but not greasy, so it’s great for both day and night, winter and summer. It’s without synthetic fragrances. The product lasts for a long time, and if you suffer from dry skin this is the kind of stuff you end up re-purchasing for the rest of your life. Remember to use serums underneath. If you have oily/combination skin, they also have a water-based and just as popular version of the moisturizing bomb here
  • Acne-prone & oily skin:  You would probably prefer to use gel instead of a cream formula, and it has to be as clean, oil-free, non-irritating, and containing one or several of the well-documented ingredients we have talked about in this article. If you have oily skin that’s dry, try this water-based moisture bomb from belif here, remember to use serums with niacinamide and hydrating acids underneath. If you’re on a very strict budget you can also check out this hydro boost gel moisturizer from Neutrogena, it’s not perfect but it’s pretty clean, it’s oil-free and non-comedogenic. It comes in two similar versions, water-gel and gel-creams, make sure to purchase the water-gel (the one we have linked to). It contains moisturizing acids and looks good under makeup. 


the most effective skincare ingredients, the most effective brands, the best serum ingredients

The most effective skincare ingredients and steps for THE DAY ROUTINE:

We want to keep this routine as quick and easy as possible to maintain since you’re probably tired and in a hurry.

Step 1:


If your skin produces a lot of oil while you sleep, it’s necessary to do a cleanse, but not as thorough as in the nighttime routine. Wash your face with a good cleanser containing AHAs/BHAs, ideally salicylic acid and/or lactic acid. We recommended this CLEAR cleanser from Paula’s choice that contains salicylic acid (BHAs) which gives you an extra good pore cleanse. We also recommended this cleanser from SkinMedica, it contains both AHA and BHA, which is great!

If you wake up without any sebum, just add a splash of micellar water onto a cotton pad and rub it carefully around your face. Wash your face with cold water. You can use any micellar water, this one from Bioderma is cheap and great, and it’s extra gentle.

Step 2:


Apply serums of your choice that are suited for daytime use. In other words, you can use any of the serums we talked about in the nighttime routine, except retinol which is best to use at night. Use water-based serums if you prefer a matte finish.  

Step 3:


We use moisturizers and sunscreens to hydrate the surface, get healthy skin, give a good base for make-up, and protect against daily damage from pollution, sun rays, etc. 

Even though we love the sunshine, it’s the number one reason for most skin damage. That’s why it’s so freaking important to use sunscreen if you want the benefits from the perfect skincare routine steps and ingredients. No matter if you live in sunny California or cold Scandinavia. 

Sunscreen comes in many forms, and you got options. You get the most protection by using a traditional sunscreen like this healthy mineral-based one from p:rem. Use after a moisturizer, as the last step of a skincare regimen.

Breakouts from sunscreen?

However, some people struggle with traditional sunscreens because of breakouts, getting greasy, or getting a white layer(cast) on the skin.

That’s why it might be preferable to use a good daytime moisturizer WITH sunscreen instead. It’s also economical – two products in one. This is a moisturizer with SPF 30 from Murad, suitable for “normal”, sensitive, and dry skin, it’s lightweight and non-greasy and makes a good base before make-up, and it’s clean and skin safe. Otherwise, this skin-balancing daily defense SPF 30 from Paulas Choice, is a great choice if you are acne-prone, combination, or struggle with oily skin. It’s oil-free and doesn’t make your face shiny. Let it sit for a while before applying make-up. At last, an even cheaper option, this daily gel moisturizer from Neutrogena called “hydro-boost city”, is an oil-free gel that hydrates and gives protection against sun rays (SPF 25). It contains hydrating acids and is not likely to clog your pores. 

If you struggle with bad acne, we strongly want you to consider using this PurePressed mineral powder from Jane Iredale, which contains a quality SPF 20-25. We’ve mentioned it before. It’s loved by acne-prone all over the world (and others). It’s matte, vegan, clean, and cruelty-free. It lasts for a long time, and even though it’s a little expensive, it’s still cheaper than buying a budget powder + budget sunscreen (that’s likely to make you break out). It gives good and natural coverage (not cakey) and has a bunch of other benefits. Jane Iredale makes “skincare makeup”. 

Step 4:

The most nourishing LIP BALM 

To finish the perfect skincare routine steps and ingredients, it’s obviously necessary with a nourishing lip balm. If you struggle with sore lips you NEED to try nipple balm (balm made for sore nipples), which is a life-changing beauty hack!!. This is the only “lip balm” that we’ve tried that actually fixes sore and broken lips. You can buy it at your local pharmacy, or you can buy the one we use from Dr. Lipp here at amazon. They’re probably all similar, but we prefer Dr. Lipp because the smell is neutral compared to the others who smell a little like sheep. Lol, but it’s definitely worth it. No more sore and broken lips. And, it’s great under lipsticks. 

That’s it. Let the products sit for a few minutes before you apply your make-up!

Psst, check out these super practical and cute skincare bags here. Comes in different colors <3

Back to Magazine

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.