You don’t need to have a complex skincare routine to take care of your skin. Instead, a four or five-step simple skincare regimen can help alleviate skin problems and provide the best solutions.[1]  


    1. Cleansing
Cleansing is an important part of any skincare routine. Throughout the day the skin on your face is exposed to pollutants, dirt, bacteria and builds up dead skin cells. Likewise, cleansing in the morning helps remove night-time creams and serums that have been applied to the face the night before, priming your skin for your morning skincare routine. Cleansing facilitates the removal of dirt, oil, and other unwanted debris, helping to keep pores clear and prevent skin conditions such as acne. Cleansing not only clears skin from impurities, but it also boosts hydration and can help with managing pH levels of the skin’s surface, thus increases the effectiveness of the subsequent products that are applied.[2]  
    2. Toner
After cleansing, the next step is to use a toner (can be used both in the morning and evening). Toners help remove any last traces of impurities, grime, and other dust that stubbornly stay attached to the pores and skin cells. Toners also exhibit mild exfoliating properties, giving the appearance of tighter pores and clearer skin. Moreover, toners also help restore the natural pH level of the skin, which enhances the efficiency in which subsequent products are absorbed by the skin.  
    3. Serums
Serums are game-changing products in skincare. The principle goal of serums is to deliver a concentrated shot of active ingredients directly onto the skin. Due to the potency of the formulations, serums can help treat many skin conditions. There are many different types of serums, each with a unique purpose and ingredients:
  • Anti-acne serums: Salicylic acid, niacinamide
  • Antioxidant serums: Vitamin C, vitamin E, and polyphenols
  • Antiaging serums: Retinol
  • Hydrating serums: Hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5
  • Brightening serums: Vitamin C, niacinamide, zinc
Some serums help to brighten your skin, reduce blemishes and improve skin texture, while others focus on boosting hydration, fighting the signs of ageing, or controlling breakouts. Serums are also lightweight and quick-absorbing, making them an excellent step after cleansing and toning. Some serums work better in the morning, while others work best when applied in the evening.  
    4. Moisturizers
Moisturisers are important in maintaining the appearance of young, healthy skin. Moisturisers can prevent and treat dry skin. They can also protect sensitive skin, improve skin texture and mask blemishes and imperfections.[3] There is a common myth that people with oily skin should not use moisturizers, but it holds no significance. Moisturisation is equally significant for all skin types (either dry, combination, or oily). Oily skin types over-produce sebum to compensate for the lack of moisture in their skin. So oily skin types require moisturisers, particularly those that contain oil-controlling ingredients such as linoleic acid because this not only helps enhance moisture but also curbs the production of sebum.[4]  
    5. SPF
SPF (sun protection factor) is the single most important element of a skincare regimen. SPF is a powerful protectant of the skin against harmful UVA and UVB radiation. Global warming is causing the ozone layer to deplete and become thinner, thus humans are more prone to develop skin cancer and visibly age faster due to more sun exposure. Therefore, it is ever more important to wear SPF no matter the weather. SPF is a must whether it is sunny, cloudy, raining, or whether you are indoors. And don’t forget to reapply SPF every two hours, or more frequently if you are sweating or swimming outdoors.[5]  
A good skincare routine will keep your skin looking youthful and healthy. And the sooner you start, the better! You do not need to have many products and a complex routine to achieve your skin goals. Rather, fewer but more effective products will give you the desired results.   DISCLAIMER As a service to our readers, Eliksir aims to provide an objective standpoint in all its articles. Please note the date of the article, as future research may discredit past research. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct advice from your dermatologist, doctor or another qualified clinician.   References:
  1. Rodan, Katie, et al. “Skincare Bootcamp: The Evolving Role of Skincare.” Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Open 4.12 Suppl (2016).
  2. H. Nix, “Factors to consider when selecting skin cleansing products.”Journal of WOCN 27.5 (2000): 260-268.
  3. H. Nicol et al; “Daily Moisturization for Atopic Dermatitis: Importance, Recommendations, and Moisturizer Choices”, The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, (2021),
  4. Q. Del Rosso, “The Role of Skin Care as an Integral Component in the Management of Acne Vulgaris: Part 1: The Importance of Cleanser and Moisturizer Ingredients, Design, and Product Selection.” The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology vol. 6,12 (2013): 19-27.
  5. Schalka et al; “Sun protection factor: meaning and controversies”, Brazilian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 86, 3 (2011): 507-15.