4 Steps to a Beginner’s Skincare Routine

Due to my unhealthy obsession with skincare, I often get asked for advice on how to start a skincare routine both from my friends and followers/readers. I always hear, “It’s just too much to keep up with,” or “All of the products I’d need are expensive,” but the truth is a beginner’s skincare routine doesn’t have to be difficult or pricey. In today’s post, I’m outlining the four products and steps you should include in your quest for a skincare routine. One that won’t overwhelm you, something that’s fairly easy to commit to and doesn’t break the bank (though I’ll provide both affordable and investment product recs).

Continue reading below to check out more! Bear in mind I’m 100% not a dermatologist (though Austin likes to tease me that I think I am), but my advice is based on my personal experiences and knowledge.


Cleansing is important. If your skin isn’t clean or you continually wear your makeup to sleep, your skin will certainly feel and see the effects. Make sure you start and end your day with a cleanse. For a beginner, I’d recommend using a gentle and simple cleanser like Glossier’s Milky Jelly. It’s creamy and jelly like, as the name suggests, and is light enough to even use on eyes to take off mascara. The brand philosophy also makes a great cleanser with similar attributes called Purity Made Simple. Looking for something cheaper? Go with Acure’s Sensitive Facial one. Even if you don’t have sensitive skin, this is a great starter cleanser. If you simply need to remove makeup, use micellar water, not makeup wipes which pull and tug at the skin and create wrinkles over time.


The whole point of exfoliating is to slough off your dead skin cells. When you don’t, your skin will start to appear dull and perhaps even dry. Depending on how sensitive your skin is or not, I’d recommend exfoliating anywhere from 2-5 times a week. However, don’t use anything that is going to be harsh on your skin, even if it isn’t sensitive. The point is to get a good, gentle exfoliation a few times a week. Kiehl’s makes this exfoliant that also brightens skin, meaning if you have any sun spots or acne scars, they’ll fade over time with use. A great drugstore exfoliant is this St. Ives one (no, not the notorious apricot variety). This one is better!


This step is really up to you! There are a ton of serums out there that target various concerns. If you’re worried about wrinkles, I’d recommend this L’Oreal one which works to repair damaged skin and prevent fine lines. Want to brighten sun spots or acne scars like I previously mentioned? Use a vitamin C serum. Advanced Clinicals makes a very affordable and effective one. If you’re worried about acne, The Ordinary has a serum with niacinamide and zinc which both help to fight blemishes. It’s very cheap too! Whatever you choose, be sure to stay consistent in using your serum twice a day (morning and night) and you’ll see results more quickly.


The last step in your routine, morning and night. A good moisturizer is key. If you wear makeup on a daily basis, it’s pretty important for you to have a good base to set it on. Some of the best moisturizers contain an ingredient called hyaluronic acid, which basically means your skin stays super, super hydrated. I’ve heard incredible things about this Neutrogena one. If you can spend a bit more money and have particularly dry skin, this one is a fan favorite. On the other hand, if you’re oily, you’ll probably want a gel based moisturizer. Clinique’s is a classic pick and was actually my first moisturizer ever. Great for combo skin too! You get bonus points if your moisturizer has SPF 30 or higher!

To give you a better understanding, this is what my skincare routine looks like morning and night. At night, I also tend to double cleanse if I have makeup on (meaning I use a facial oil to first remove makeup then a typical cleanser to remove leftover dirt) and use an eye cream. I like to call products like eye cream, face masks, toners, and more “routine freebies.” They’re perhaps not the best for a beginner routine but they’re super helpful if you don’t mind the additional step(s).

What’s your current skincare routine like? Did you find it hard to establish and do you struggle to stay consistent in application? Let me know in the comments below! I may write a post with tips on how to make it a habit soon 🙂 Have a great weekend everyone!

Filed In: Beauty

11 thoughts on “4 Steps to a Beginner’s Skincare Routine

  1. jessica

    Grill there is nothing wrong with a good facial routine! I should probably up my game 🙂 && have to agree with you 110% on the serum they are a little secret weapon.
    xo, Jessica || The Petite Diaries

  2. Shannon Gilkey

    Love that you included drug store & high end in this post! I feel like every skincare post I read is all $100 products & I’m living the broke college life!! Awesome post though, I adore the glossier cleanser. It’s my RIDE OR DIE! 💖

  3. Molly

    This is really helpful! I’ve always wanted to add serums into my daily routine but wasn’t sure where to start. Thanks for including some affordable options 🙂

  4. Jillian

    I love all the items necessary for a natural glowing fresh face. Happy that I’m doing exactly whats important for my skincare routine to stay youthful. xxoo

  5. Daria

    I should follow your posts, it seems I’m a total beginner with these things! 😉 I prefer travels, books and food, but perhaps will get inspired by you soon. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Lydia Jane

    I have a super simple routine that pretty much just involves cleanser, sunscreen, and a bit of primer now and then, but when I can tell my skin needs some extra love, I love to use masks from Origins. One bottle lasts a long time and their rose clay one is great for smoothing everything out!

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