With endless products to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to begin when building a skincare regime. The idea of embarking on a whole ‘skincare routine’ may initially seem daunting – but here’s the thing: you can start very simply.

To work out what you should be using on your skin, think about what you’d like to achieve from your skincare. Are you starting to notice the first signs of ageing and want to achieve a fresher, smoother complexion? Or perhaps you’d like to fade brown spots and hyperpigmentation. Then ask yourself how much time you can dedicate to your skincare regime every day. I would rather a patient use a few key products that move them towards their skin goals than have a ten-step regime that they find overwhelming and regularly skip due to not having enough time to complete it.

You don’t have to do a considerable amount to make your skin happier and healthier, but if you want to make a change to your skin, you do need to be doing something different to whatever it is that you’re doing currently.

If you do just one thing, make it this

You may not have the time, money, or interest to invest in a proper skincare regime at this point. Whatever your reason is, there is one thing that everyone should be doing.

When people come to see me for a consultation – usually about treatments, though we always cover skincare too – and I find out that they’re not using effective skincare, I always urge them to do this one thing: use a broad-spectrum sunscreen during the day.

Up to 90% of what we think of as ‘signs of skin ageing’ – all the wrinkles, lines, age spots, and crepey texture – are all due to exposure to UV light. Exposure to the sun causes direct cell injury and DNA damage, destroying collagen within the skin and damaging its support structure, causing it to sag and wrinkles to form.

Over time, exposure to the sun will also cause skin issues such as pigmentation and age spots, making a person look a lot older than they really are. So, applying sunscreen in the morning and keeping it regularly topped up during the day is one of the biggest investments you can make for your skin, as it will keep it healthy and youthful for many years to come.

The minimalist approach 

And suppose you want to take it just that one step further, alongside sun protection. In that case, you will see a big improvement in your skin by cleansing every morning and evening to remove oil, debris and pollution, applying an antioxidant to help your skin defend itself against the environment and produce new, skin-strengthening collagen, and using a retinoid at night to speed up cell regeneration. If finding time for skincare is your only setback to maintaining a good regime, stick with these steps as your basics and then add in additional, targeted products as and when they’re needed.

Taking a targeted approach

You might have one specific issue on which you want to focus, such as pigmentation, acne, or crepey skin. In this case, I recommend having a skin health assessment or consultation with an expert practitioner to help you understand what’s going on in the dermis and start using the right products that will move the needle in terms of results.

For softening wrinkles or smoothing crepey skin, we will likely want to nourish your skin with an antioxidant serum such as vitamin C, keep it hydrated with a hyaluronic acid-based serum, include a peptide serum for collagen boosting and use a retinoid at night to regenerate your skin.

However, if your concern is pigmentation, we need to understand what type of pigmentation you have before recommending the best treatment protocol. Pigmentation-busting ingredients include Hydroquinone, retinol, vitamin C, Cyspera and tranexamic acid, but the best one for you should be determined between you and your practitioner.

If you’d like to discuss your concerns and create a treatment plan tailored to you, click here to book a consultation.