How to Create a Basic Skincare Routine

How to Create a Basic Skincare Routine

When the seasons change, I always take a second look at my skincare routine. With years of practice, I’ve gotten pretty good at adjusting my line-up depending on the climate and what’s been up in my life. But when I need a little extra help, I call up the experts. I recently checked in with my go-to facialist here in Zurich (Beauty Care for those of you who are interested), as well as my dermatologist. They helped set me back on track for the fall season ahead.

While embarking on this little reset, I figured I would share the details with all of you – both what I’ve learned over the years and how the pros have guided me. Finding a routine is actually pretty easy once you master the fundamentals. In 5 steps, you can create a stellar skin-changing routine. Seriously. Here’s what you need to know…

Step 1: Cleanser

In a nutshell – get all the gross stuff off your face

Cleansing isn’t optional, especially at the end of the day. Clean skin = clear skin. I’d say that out of the whole routine, the washing part is probably my least favorite, which is why I look for cleansers that quickly get the job done and leave my skin feeling sparkling and plump. You’ve got to find one that feels the best to you. Here are a few all-stars by texture:

Lotion – Even thought I’m personally not a lotion girl, I do really like Pai’s Gentle 2-in-1 Cleanser and Eye Makeup Remover. It’s great if you have red or sensitive skin and the packaging makes it perfect for travel.

Oil ­– My favorite oil cleanser is by One Love Organics. It’s a really like oil and it smells like pineapples and it dissolves everything. Tatcha’s one step Camellia Cleansing Oil is the runner up in the oil-cleansing department.

Sudsy – I love Indie Lee’s Brightening Cleanser because it creates a rich lather to wash away the day. It’s packed with antioxidants and rose hip (one of my favorite ingredients), so it leaves your face super tight after.

Double Cleanse – If you feel like you still have a bit of makeup from the day, I HIGHLY suggest Erno Laszlo’s tried and true Light Controlling Lotion. It gently exfoliates and tightens pores. I am obsessed with the smell. It reminds me of my childhood. It was the first skincare line I ever used, as introduced by my mom.

Step 2: Serum

In a nutshell – a concentrated potion aimed at treating your specific problem areas.

Serums are the key to retaining that youthful glow as long as possible. There are all different kinds of serums geared towards a host of issues: anti-aging, acne, dullness, fine lines, age-spots…You get the point, right? Here are my favorites by type:

For Hydration – You will love Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyluronic Acid Serum. This plumps skin and gives you a dewy finish.

For Targeting Redness & Acne – Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Calming Serum is also amazing. It’s good for just about anyone dealing with redness, uneven skin tone, acne. It does what it says and calms the skin right down. It’s a miracle product.

For Plumping – Tata Harper’s Concentrated Brightening Serum is still one of my favorites, because it makes my skin feel really tight and leaves a flowing finish. Also, you can’t not mention serum these days without mentioning Vintner’s Daughter. It’s won dozens of awards and is coveted by just about every beauty editor.

For Glowing – Odacite makes amazing serums. My favorites are the Wild Carrot Seed and the Rosehip Ylang Ylang.

Step 3: Moisturizer/ Cream

In a nutshell – lock-in hydration to keep your skin plump

Right now I am using Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Face Cream. It’s pretty no nonsense. It sinks right into the skin and leaves my skin looking hydrated and gets rid of the general redness. I’d say the holy grail of moisturizers is Blue Cocoon by May Lindstrom. It’s one of my all time favorites and it ails almost any kind of skin issue. Some claim it’s a miracle product and the smell and texture is so luxurious. From the French pharmacy comes Avene and it’s Skin Recovery Cream. I really love their creams, and this one in particular, for hypersensitive skin. And last but not least, Pai’s Chamomile & Rosehip Calming Day Cream is ideal for redness-prone skin. The gentle formula calms flair-ups of redness and irritation while hydrating delicate skin.

Step 4: Eye Cream

In a nutshell – keep your eyes bright and youthful

Yes, you need one morning and evening. Use your ring fingers to dab it into the delicate area around the eyes. I love Dr. Sturm’s Eye Cream the best. Followed by One Love Organics Eye Balm, which is so light. Royal Fern I actually just started using and it’s meant to reduce the effects of genetic aging. I feel like after only a few days, I can totally see a difference!

Stop 5: SPF

In a nutshell – protect your skin against harmful UV rays

I don’t like to use lotions that are made with SPF, I like to mix it in my day cream. It stays longer and doesn’t leave a weird residue. Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Sun Drops are intended for this exact purpose and make using sunscreen really easy. Avene’s SPF  is also very clean and mixes into my lotions really nicely. Goldfaden MD Sun Visor SPF30 is also super cool. It’s hypoallergenic and dries with a clear, matte finish. It’s made from organic, natural ingredients, free from mineral oil, alcohol, parabens and gluten and blends so easily into the skin. Also – make sure to use SPF that is oxybenzone-free. This is just the worst ingredient. Seriously, it’s pure poison. Oh, Susanne Kaufmann relaunched her SPF and it’s incredible. All the ingredients are harvested and cultivated organically from Austria’s Bregenzer Forest – I’ve been there and you can read my interview with Susanne here.