We all have skincare routines, whether we know it or not. Even if you just splash some water on your face in the morning or occasionally use some moisturizer in the winter, it’s better than nothing. 

Soap and water are fine, but with the huge variety of great skincare products available today, why wouldn’t you aim a bit higher with your routine?

Building a skincare routine isn’t a copy-and-paste affair, and you likely won’t land on the perfect lineup of products and practices your first time around. But give it some time and consideration, and you’ll have a life-changing skincare routine that you can rely on for years to come.

Let’s walk through the steps you should follow to build a great skincare routine from scratch, and recommend a few difference-making products to try.

The Framework

A skincare routine, like a written sentence, a line of code, or a piece of music, needs to have a structure that makes sense. This is how you balance the various active ingredients in your chosen products and attain the results you want.

A framework also helps you remember and track the products that actually make a difference to your skin. After all, there are plenty of creams and serums that have pretty labels but don’t really improve our skin quality.

That’s why we recommend starting simple and building from there. It’s better to lay a strong foundation with trusted products, then add or subtract more steps as you see fit. 

Besides, the most important ingredient in a skincare routine is consistency. A minimal, repeatable routine is always going to yield the best results.

With all that said, let’s get into our essential morning and evening routines that will lay down a framework for you to build upon to your liking.

5-Step Starter Skincare Routine: Morning

The following five steps can be completed in less than 10 minutes in the morning, giving your skin the fuel it needs for the whole day! Use this starting point to discover the basics of skincare and expand from there.

1. Gentle Wash with Cleanser

No matter your skin type or history with skincare, every morning routine should start with a gentle, warm-water wash with the help of a cleanser.

We’re not talking about a harsh exfoliator here – just something to clear away the dirt and oils that have accumulated on your skin overnight.

Find a cleanser that suits your skin type (dry, oily, etc) and stick with it each morning. This is going to make a huge difference in your skin health in a short timeframe if you’re consistent.

2. Light and Bright Toner

Way too many first-timers skip the face toner, and pay the price down the road. Toners are so easy to use, super affordable, and the improvements are nearly instantaneous. What are you waiting for?

By following up your morning cleanse with a toner, you will minimize pores, restore pH balance, kill bad bacteria, and make the most of your serums, moisturizers, and makeup products. 

3. Vitamin C Serum

The benefits of a balanced face serum can’t be overstated. With high concentrations of ingredients like hyaluronic acid and vitamin C, you will notice brighter, healthier-looking skin within minutes of application – no joke.

These are lightweight moisturizers loaded with antioxidants and topical retinol that absorb easily into the skin and nourish your cells directly with the stuff they need. Plus, you get a huge collagen boost that keeps you looking young.

Once you discover the serum that works best for you, there’s no going back!

4. Sanitizing Moisturizer

There are about a million moisturizers to choose from, so how do you make the right pick? We recommend a moisturizer that does it all, including natural ingredients that have a sanitizing and protective effect on your skin.

Leave the heavier moisturizers for the evening. In the morning, you need a light, non-greasy moisturizer that will protect your skin all day long.

5. Customized Color Corrector

Redness and spots are the enemies in the morning, so a powerful color correcting product can help achieve that even skin tone you long for.

Journ’s color correctors & skincare products get the job done with pure, natural ingredients that put the finishing touches on the perfect morning routine.

3-Step Starter Skincare Routine: Evening

When the day is done, you only need a few evening skincare steps to ready your skin for bedtime. Here are the three steps to follow.

1. Cleanse to Perfection

Another cleanse is in order after a long day’s work and play. You can use a slightly more powerful cleanser if need be, and occasionally use an exfoliator for some extra effect.

2. Extra-Light Serum

Keep the serum flowing in the evening to get all those benefits we’ve described. Make sure the ingredients are natural so that you can’t go overboard.

3. Evening Eye Cream or Rich Moisturizer

Your eyes are under assault all day from the sun, artificial light from computer screens, and other environmental factors that can cause wrinkles and dark circles. 

Before you hit the hay make sure to apply a rich moisturizer or designated eye cream to rejuvenate this sensitive area of your skin. This way, you’ll really get the restorative beauty sleep your body needs.

Extras and Add-Ons to Try

This daily routine is easy to follow and will make a huge difference. Still, there’s a lot more to discover that can take your skin to the next level.

Face Masks

Once or twice a week is more than enough for a face mask, which can clean out pores and refresh your skin on a deep level. Plus, it’s an opportunity to chill out and de-stress from everything going on.


Microdermabrasion, red-light therapy, and other treatments are growing in popularity and more accessible than ever. If you have the time and budget, consider adding them throughout your week.

Your Ultimate Skincare Routine Unlocked

The science of skincare is definitely complex, but this guide keeps it simple for beginners and intermediates alike. Stick to the routine and watch the results appear before your eyes!