Your Nearest Location:

Decoding the Skincare Routine

Whether you’re someone who’s just beginning to incorporate a skincare routine, or are already following a carefully selected skincare regimen, it can be daunting to try something new. There are so many products in the market, each with a different function, and new products coming out every day!

To get you started, we’ve broken down the skincare routine. By separating the main product categories and will explain what the function and importance of each product is; we hope that you’ll be able to make an informed choice when tailoring your own routine. Let’s get started:


The first step to any skincare routine is cleansing so that you can remove any sebum buildup overnight, or during the day, and can remove any makeup that you have applied. This step is important as it keeps everything from being a breeding ground for bacteria (and acne!) and prepares a clean canvas for the rest of your routine.

There are many types of cleansers, and knowing which type to use for your  type is important, as the wrong product could be overly drying or too oily. Here are the main types:

        Oil Cleaners: A gentle way to remove pore-clogging debris like makeup and won’t strip skin’s moisture (most types)

        Cream Cleaners: Usually thick with moisturizing properties and gently cleanses without being drying (dry and sensitive)

        Gel Cleansers: Has a clear, gel-like consistency and is for deep cleansing and unclogging pores (oily/combination)

        Foam Cleansers: A lightweight cleanser that transforms into a rich lather and effectively removes excess oil (oily/combination)

        Micellar Cleansers: Water-like consistency, and can easily remove oil, dirt, and makeup without having to rinse off (dry and sensitive)


Toning your face is a very understated second step, but we can assure you it is the unsung hero of every skincare routine. Your pH is usually thrown off balance after being cleansed, which can trigger sebum secretion and disturb the microflora that keeps everything healthy. Using a toner helps to restore the skin the optimal pH of 4–4.5.

Toners also help to remove any residual debris left from cleansing and preps it to absorb moisturizers more effectively.


Contrary to what the name suggests, moisturizers don’t add moisture to your skin, but actually pulls moisture from the air and helps it retain its hydration. Moisturizers also come in different textures, and there are many moisturizers on the market that help target different concerns (acne, rosacea, sensitivities, dullness, etc.).

Here are the basic types of moisturizers:

        Lotion: This has the lightest texture and can spread easily as water is the main ingredient. It is perfect for those who dislike products that feel heavy on the face, and those who have oily skin

        Cream: This has a slightly thicker texture than lotion and has more hydrating properties. Creams are suitable for those who have normal to combination skin

        Ointment: This is the thickest moisturizer type and locks in moisture the most effectively. This greatly helps those with itchy or extremely dry skin.

        Anti-aging: This targets aging skin to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and helps lifts it. However, if you’re looking to address any signs of aging more drastically, you can speak with your local Pleasanton dermatologists to discuss your concerns and possible treatments.

After you decide on which texture best suits you, you can start looking for ones that are formulated to address your top concerns.

Eye Creams

A lot of people tend to lump eye creams into the moisturizer category, but they are actually completely different. The area around the eye area is more delicate and has much smaller pores compared to the surrounding areas. As a result, eye creams are formulated with ingredients that have smaller molecules so that the benefits can penetrate properly, and not cause and clogs.

The most popular reason people use eye cream is to prevent early signs of aging, such as smile lines and loss of elasticity, which causes the eyes to sag. While eye creams are a good preventative measure, if the signs of aging have already started, you can also supplement with extra anti-aging treatments, which can be performed by your local Placerville dermatologist.


There are also supplementary products that you may consider incorporating into your routine, depending on your needs. Here are some examples:

        Exfoliators: Exfoliators are a gentle way to slough off the dead skin on your face to help even out and brighten up a dull complexion. This step should be added into the routine once or twice a week (depending on sensitivity) and is done right after cleansing.

        Serums: Serums are made with smaller molecules so that the ingredients can penetrate faster and deliver the benefits at a higher concentration. This step is applied after cleansing and before moisturizing.

        Face Masks: Face masks are a great compliment to any skincare routine, as the main purpose is to give extra nourishment. It can also be a great way to relax and pamper your skin after a stressful day. There are many types of masks on the market—you can choose between sheet masks, cream masks, etc. depending on what concerns you want to target.

Having so spent so much time researching and picking out the perfect products, you may want to also want to consider additional services to elevate the effectiveness of your home routine. You may want to contact dermatologists in Cameron Park, or even around San Francisco to discuss what types of skin treatment they can provide to compliment your skincare!

Scroll to Top