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How to Create the Perfect Skincare Routine: A Guide for Cosmetologists

Building a skincare routine is something that is specific to the individual. As a cosmetologist you need to understand your clients skincare needs

How to Create the Perfect Skincare Routine: A Guide for Cosmetologists

According to a CeraVe survey, 60% of people reported feeling uninformed about proper skincare methods, and 65% admitted not knowing what to look for in their skincare products.

When consumers don’t know how to take care of their skin, they’ll reach out to professionals for help. So, as a cosmetologist, how will you guide your clients toward healthy skin?

Keep reading for an extensive guide to constructing the best skincare routine for every skin type.


Sebum is an oily substance that is naturally produced by sebaceous glands, primarily on the face and scalp.

It’s meant to protect the skin and act as a barrier against infection. Additionally, it keeps the skin hydrated by reducing water loss.

Sebum production is controlled by hormones. An imbalance in hormones can result in over or underproduction of sebum. For example, during puberty and before menstruation, women’s hormone levels increase and can cause greater sebum production, leading to acne.

Sebum is critical to understanding skin type. The four primary skin types are normal, dry, oily, and combination. Before discussing skincare routines, we’ll provide an overview of each type.


Normal skin indicates balanced hormones and an appropriate level of sebum production. However, as the skin ages it is likely to experience dryness.


Dry skin is described as the underproduction of sebum. Without an appropriate amount of natural oil, the skin has trouble protecting itself and retaining moisture. The lack of moisture can cause tightness in the face.

If your client has dry skin, they might experience irritation or flaking of the skin.


If your client struggles with constant greasiness or never-ending acne, they might have oily skin.

As the name indicates, an oily skin type means higher levels of sebum production. Signs of oily skin can be large pores, a shiny appearance, and an accumulation of blackheads and pimples on the oilier parts of the face.


The last skin type is combination skin, which means having dry and oily skin simultaneously. Combination skin types may experience more oil in the T-Zone (forehead, nose, chin), and dryness on the cheeks and jaw.

Before building a skincare routine, it’s important that you understand skin type and pick products that cater to that category. If you can’t identify your client’s skin type based on the above descriptions, consider reaching out to a dermatologist for a skin test.

Building a Skincare Routine: Daytime

If you’ve identified your client’s skin type, you’re ready to move onto the next step. Everyone should have two skincare routines, a daytime routine, and a nighttime routine. Let’s start with the daytime routine.

When you wake up in the morning, the first step is to wash your face. Believe it or not, oil, dirt, dead skin cells, and other particles can build-up on the face overnight. It’s important to remove any debris before applying other skincare products.

Most cleansers will work for normal skin types. Prioritize finding a gentle wash that doesn’t leave the skin feeling dry.

Those with dry skin should use cleansers that protect oil and minimize further dryness. Oily skin should search for oil-free cleansers that help prevent acne. Combination skin can use a mild cleanser but should stray away from heavy exfoliants that can cause tightness in dry spots.

Wash the face with warm, but not hot, water and apply cleanser with the fingers. Then pat dry with a washcloth or towel.

After washing, you should focus on treating, which include toners, serums, and any other skincare product. Toners will work to hydrate and balance the skin. Serums, on the other hand, are full of vitamins and nutrients that address specific skincare concerns, such as wrinkles, pigmentation, and acne.

Toners are recommended in every skincare routine while serums can be used as needed.

After treatment, you need to apply a moisturizer. Moisturizers should cater to skin type and focus on hydration. Be sure to let the moisturizer dry before applying makeup of any kind.

The last necessary step of any daytime routine is sunscreen application. Aim for a sunscreen with a minimum of 30 SPF. Sunscreen will protect against UV rays, wrinkles, other aging symptoms, and reduces the risk of skin disease.

Incorporating sunscreen is easier than it seems, as many cosmetic brands now offer them in their creams, moisturizers, concealers, and foundations.


The nighttime routine starts the same as the daytime routine: with a proper wash.

Nighttime is the opportunity to treat the skin, but you need to have a clean slate in order to do that. Throughout the day sweat, dirt, and debris builds upon the skin. Pick a gentle face wash that gets rid of all the muck.

If your client wears heavy makeup, it might be a good idea to incorporate a wipe or an alternative remover before their wash to ensure total removal of foundation or mascara.

After washing, incorporating toners and serums can repair the skin and offer a second opportunity to address skin concerns. Then, finish it up with a moisturizer. Thicker moisturizers that prioritize hydration and are absorbed over a period of hours are recommended in contrast to a lighter moisturizer used during the day.

If they’re looking for an opportunity to pamper themselves, feel free to try out different exfoliating or cream masks, which can be added to a nighttime routine 1-2 times a week.

As recommended with the daytime routine, search for products that match the appropriate skin type.

Skincare Application

Regardless of the time of day, the skincare routine should accomplish three main goals: cleansing, treating, and moisturizing. Adding in serums, creams, and oils should depend on the skincare needs of your client. Most importantly, individualize the routine.

There is no need to complicate skincare. Create a plan that matches the budget, time constraints, and concerns of each user.

Take the time to test out a couple of different products and don’t be discouraged if improvements aren’t seen right away. Some routines can take weeks, or months, to show results.

If you have any other questions regarding skincare or are looking to enhance your cosmetology knowledge and skills, contact us today.

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