How Do You Start A Skincare Routine?

Once I turned thirty, I set a few goals for myself — one being to start taking care of my skin. Before then I did NOTHING to my skin except wash it with hand soap every morning and night (oops).

starting a skincare routine from scratch

I had big goals to clean up my act (pun fully intended), but when I set out to start working towards this new goal, I quickly asked myself “How do you start a skincare routine?!”. I honestly had no clue!

Help Me Figure Out My Skincare RoutineMoisturizers to help you start a skincare routine

For those of you who are experienced in the world of all things skincare, today’s post is way too elementary for you. BUT before you click away for the day (I don’t blame you btw), I’d love to hear your advice because I obviously have SO much to learn from you. I’m asking for your advice at the bottom of this post and would love for you to weigh in! For everyone else interested in following my journey, here’s the “progress” I’ve made so far.

How Do You Start A Skincare Routine?

Step 1: Research

This is pretty embarrassing, but I honestly had no clue about anything outside of soap when it came to skincare. When I started digging a bit, initially just to figure out what type of soap I should be using, I started seeing things like lotions, cleansers, toners, and serums. Saaayyy whaaaatt?!  Obviously, I’ve been living under a rock for the past 30 years.

How to figure out your skincare routine

I instantly felt overwhelmed by everything I didn’t know and I had no clue where to start. What goes on when? What should I buy? Why are these items so darn expensive?! What do I really need and what’s just extra? I was so lost and really didn’t know where to start.

wearing a fask mask from Beauty Counter

I slowly started researching to figure out the basics. I started looking at some of the bloggers I follow and reading their take on their own skincare routines. It was great to hear what products they used and loved, but I still wasn’t sure on when to use each of these products. When do I need serum? Do I put that on before or after the moisturizer? What should I do in the morning versus at night? I found this post to be super helpful in answering these beginner level questions and actually found all of the simple blog posts on this site to be helpful (even without buying the products).

the do's and don't's of starting a skincare routineWhile I continued to poke around the internet and absorb as much information as I could about what the heck I should do next, I stumbled upon my next step in the process.

Step 2: Take a Class

I was on Sephora’s website checking out the products that some of my favorite bloggers recommended and saw that my local Sephora offered FREE classes, one being all about skincare. I immediately signed up!

beginner's guide to starting a skincare routineI attended the one-hour skincare class and learned SO much! It was great because they didn’t pressure you into buying anything, it literally was 100% free. And they didn’t just lecture. It was actually a hands-on class. As you applied the products (cleanser, a mask, moisturizer, serums, etc.) they talked you through topics like:

  • The importance of skincare
  • The order in which you should apply each product
  • How you figure out what products are a good fit for your skin
  • How you physically use the products
  • And lots of other fun facts about the ingredients in skincare products (like retinol & how you should only put that on at night because it makes you extremely sensitive to the sun… who knew?!) #notme

how do you start a skincare routine from the beginning?I don’t know if I’d recommend this class to a veteran in the world of skincare, but for a rookie like me, it was so perfect! I left feeling far more confident to move forward and actually a lot more excited to actually take care of my skin.

*I didn’t include the information I learned in the class because this post would quickly become a novel. BUT, if you guys are interested I’d be happy to share. I just don’t want to bore you guys with the basics if you’re far more advanced on this topic.

Step 3: Test Out Products

Now that I was armed with a lot more information, I was eager to get started but still wasn’t sure what products to use. The blog reviews shared so many different products, how did I know which ones would work for me? Plus, most skincare products come with a hefty price tag (holy sticker shock!) so I didn’t want to invest in these pricey products without knowing if I’d love them.

starting a skincare routine with beautycounter

And on top of already feeling overwhelmed with the world of skincare products, I also wanted to try and keep my skincare routine as “clean” as possible. I didn’t want to use (or promote on the blog) products that were chock full of toxins. Like I shared in this post, I’m so much more aware of trying to avoid toxins since Ben was born. I’m faaaarrrrr from perfect, but every little bit helps and I wanted to prioritize using safe(r) products if at all possible.

beautycounter skincare products So long story short, I started trying samples of products instead of investing in large products. A friend of mine reached out and invited me to try some samples of products from Beautycounter. I did come across this brand throughout my research and was intrigued by their commitment to creating safer skincare products.

juicebeauty products for skincare routineI agreed to take the samples and give them a try! I have nothing to lose, right?!

The Juice Beauty Company also reached out for us to try their products. Usually, we don’t accept free products, but in honor of this series, I thought… why not?! I also learned that you can buy or sometimes even get free samples from big-box retailers. And since you use such a tiny bit of these in each application, samples can actually go further than you may think.

beautycounter charcoal maskThe bottom line is that I recommend trying samples of anything you can get your hands on before investing in any type of skincare. From my understanding, brands like Beautycounter are always encouraging their sales team to share samples. So between the retailers and your friend network, don’t be afraid to ask!

Step 4: Ask Your Friends!

The last step I took in trying to figure out my new skincare routine was asking anyone I could to share their routine with me. I asked my sisters, my mom, my friends and any woman I was around over the course of the past few months. And honestly, this was one of my favorite parts!

starting a skincare routine -- where to start?I loved hearing everyone explain their philosophy on skincare and their individual routine because I learned so much from them. Each of their answers was different, but it was fascinating to hear everyone’s unique perspective. I would definitely encourage others who are navigating this road with me to ask all of the family and friends that you can. Like I was, you may be surprised at the wealth of knowledge that surrounds you.

I’d Love Your Help

And speaking of which, this is where I would LOVE to ask you guys, my online community of girlfriends, for YOUR help. I put together a short skincare survey below in hopes you will share your expertise. My plan is to gather all of your insight and share it with the rest of our readership in a few weeks. And as a token of our appreciation for taking time out of your busy day to weigh in, we are partnering with a friend to give away some natural beauty products! We are not affiliated with Beautycounter but she graciously offered to provide one of our readers the chance to try out a variety of safer skincare products of YOUR choice. (More details below)

Skincare Survey

Thank You!

Thank you for taking time to weigh in on this topic! I’m so grateful for your insight and can’t wait to learn from you. And if you want to be included in the Beautycounter giveaway, be sure to read the details in the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

your home playbook sidebar