The AM: PM Routine for a Newbie

Written by: Dr Shambhavi Vashist MBBS

Refreshing our biology classes, we know that the skin is the largest organ of the body. So, taking care of this organ is an extremely significant part of maintaining health and well-being and to be brutally honest, scrolling through the skin care reels on Instagram is not going to heal our skin! But the impact social media is creating by raising awareness for healthy skin is commendable. Prompt engagement and proper dermatology consultation help people achieve an effective routine.

Texture and sensitivity of the skin, ability to stick to a routine, genetics, diet and exercise are a few of the extensive list of factors that can make or break your skin.

AM Routine: 

A good morning skincare routine includes a few basic steps, so let’s break it down!

  1. Cleanser: Start with a cleanser, you don’t want unwanted dirt, debris and impurities that can clog pores and make your skin look dull. A gentle cleanser that can prepare your skin like a plain white canvas for products to set in is advised.
  • Toner: My personal favourite! Toners shield the open pores, tighten skin fibres and wipe off the remaining excess impurities on the face. Toning can soothe and hydrate and dabbing your face is recommended by dermatologists to let the product sink in. Avoid using toners with excess alcohol and instead opt for toners with green tea, hyaluronic acid or rose water.
  • Serum: Choosing the right one at the right time is the dictum for serum application! Vitamin C serum, a boost of antioxidants, is essential for forming a skin barrier for environmental damage. It helps heal the skin, build more collagen and when combined with other essential skin serums, can lighten the dark spots on the skin. Vitamin E serum can be added optionally which provides thorough nourishment for the skin.
  • Undereye care: Darkening around the eyes can be cured using undereye creams with easy applicators like roll-ons or thin nozzles. The active ingredients include hyaluronic acid, glycerin and ceramides which provide hydration and can help lighten the pigmentation around the eyes. A specific add-on to these can be caffeine which is a vasoconstrictor that can aid in minimising puffiness and tightening the skin.
  •  Moisturizing: A creamy or water-based gel moisturizer, the type that suits you, is the key to locking in the nourishment that you serve for your skin. While creams work for some, skin oils can fit those with extremely dry skin. Aloe vera, activating peptides, mineral oils and types of emollients are the things to look for in a moisturizer.
  • Sunscreen: The most talk-of-the-town step and undoubtedly the part of your routine that is of utmost importance! Protection from the effects of UV-A and UV-B with an SPF that is a minimum of 30 and is water-resistant is the most basic sunscreen that must be applied on your face, neck, ears and the rest of the uncovered body, in a real generous amount. When outdoors, reapply sunscreen approximately every 2 hours, or after swimming or sweating when there is the highest risk of UV- rays penetrating deeply into your skin.

An easy and quick AM routine that doesn’t take more than 10 minutes of your morning, is it not?

Let’s move over to the PM routine!

PM Routine: After a whole day’s work when you crave your bed, your skin seeks an extra pinch of care. In addition to the steps above, what you need is:

  1. Double cleanser: Removing your makeup and SPF with micellar water followed by a gentle foaming cleanser is the right initial step for the night.
  2. Vitamin A/ Retinol: Just a pea-size amount for your face 3-5 nights a week that works best on dry skin, say 20 minutes after cleansing is recommended.
  3. Hydrating mask/ Night cream: Extra hydration can pack a real moisture punch before you doze off. Try refrigerating a sheet mask before using it and enjoy some additional anti-inflammatory benefits.

I hope after reading this you get a hunch that your skin needs to be treated like a baby and you make an appointment with your dermatologist ASAP!

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