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The Correct Way To Follow A Multi-Step Skincare Routine Without Overwhelming Your Skin

The Correct Way To Follow A Multi-Step Skincare Routine Without Overwhelming Your Skin

Are you ready to begin a multi-step skincare routine but are too scared about things going south? It’s okay to feel that way considering that it is easy to mess up with a multi-step skincare routine if you don’t exactly know what you’re putting on your skin and in what order. Although the dermats agree that slathering on too many products can overwhelm your skin, they also suggest that cleansers, exfoliators, toners, serums, moisturisers, masks, and sunscreen are essential products that should be used regularly. Since the basic CTM routine only includes three products, adding serums and masks along with sunscreen does make it a multi-step routine after all. It may not be as extensive as a K-Beauty routine, but it still involves more than 3 products which are enough to overwhelm your skin should you apply them incorrectly. 

So whether your skin is prone to oiliness, breakouts, or sensitivity when it comes to layering on too many products, we found a way to avoid the trouble and allow your skin to thrive. With these essential tips, you can hope to reap the benefits of serums, exfoliators, moisturisers, and even sunscreens without making your skin look greasy or causing any sort of irritation. Here’s how.

Tips To Begin A Multi-Step Skincare Routine

Don’t Use Too Many Acids Together 

Begin with gentle formulas. You do not want to go overboard with skin care products that might work well individually but can be damaging when paired with other similar products. For example, if you are using a salicylic acid face wash, avoid using a salicylic acid toner, and a salicylic acid serum along with it. This skincare acid is great for acne but it has the potential to dry out the skin and that isn’t good even if you have an oily skin type. An overload of harsh skincare acids can cause more stubborn breakouts and sensitivity. Not only salicylic acid, but ingredients like retinol, glycolic acid, and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) should also be used in moderation. If you have a strong skincare acid in your cleanser, use a gentle serum like hyaluronic acid or niacinamide and vice versa.

Double Cleanse But Do Not Over Exfoliate

Exfoliate only once a week. Too much exfoliation can and will cause irritation. Double cleansing your skin is essential to remove makeup but that doesn’t mean you use a cleanser and scrub every time you need to take off makeup. Double cleansing can be done every day using a cleansing oil followed by a hydrating cleanser to remove your makeup. As for exfoliation, keep it to once a week since you may also be using serums that gently yet effectively exfoliate the skin in your multi-step routine. Serums like retinol, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and vitamin C do offer mild exfoliation and therefore you need not exfoliate with a physical scrub or a chemical peel any more than once a week.


Serum On Dry Skin Vs Damp Skin

It’s believed that applying serum to damp skin will help it absorb better and work harder. But, if you’re following a multi-step routine religiously, it isn’t necessary to follow this hack. In fact, you may not want to make your serums work harder especially since some of them are strong even when applied on dry skin. Aside from hyaluronic acid serum which is best used on damp skin, any other AHA or BHA-infused serums should be applied when your skin is dry.

Ceramide Cream To The Rescue

Invest in a good ceramide cream because it is going to come to your rescue and how. Ceramides are the building blocks of your skin and therefore they help maintain your skin barrier function which can otherwise be compromised with the use of too many skincare actives. Since skincare actives like salicylic acid or other AHAs and BHAs tend to dry out your skin irrespective of your skin type, that phenomenon can lead to a skin barrier dysfunction which isn’t good. This means that oily skin can become prone to dryness, and sensitive skin or dry skin gets even drier. A ceramide cream will instantly soothe your skin and protect this critical moisture loss from occurring. It will also strengthen your skin barrier which makes your skin resilient to using skincare actives in your multi-step routine.

Wait A Minute

Wait for each skincare product to absorb before layering on the next one. This will ensure your skin is not greasy by the end of your multi-step routine. It will also ensure that the different skincare products don’t mix on your skin haphazardly which could lead to causing sensitivity and irritation.

After cleansing and toning, wait until your skin is dry and then pat in a serum. Wait a few seconds for your serum to be completely absorbed and then apply moisturiser. Give your moisturiser more time to absorb, ideally about a minute after which you can move on to applying sunscreen. Let sunscreen get absorbed for at least 10 minutes before moving on to wearing makeup.


Follow these essential tips and you can successfully build and follow a multi-step skin routine without worrying about any downsides. Multi-step skincare routines will actually keep your skin looking youthful and clear even as you get older.

PS, begin your journey with a multi-step routine only once you’re 25 and over.

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Featured Image: Pexels

03 Nov 2022

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