Back to basics: How to create the right skincare routine for your skin

February 14, 2024

Cleanser. Toner. Moisturizer. Eye cream. SPF. When trying to figure out the right skincare regimen, the choices can seem overwhelming and infinite. Not to mention what seems to be a great divide between the skincare camp you’re in: some are skincare fanatics with never-ending bottles, tubs and jars crowding their vanity; others are less-is-more and looking for that miracle working do-it-all product. No more hiding under the covers—it’s time to face the challenge of finding your skincare regimen head on. We’re here to help you determine what products are necessary, and put together the skincare regimen that works best for you.

Skin care is not one-size-fits-all. The best skincare routine starts with knowing your skin type. There are five different skin types:

  • Dry skin: Flaky, scaly or rough, and feels tight
  • Oily skin: Shiny, greasy and may have enlarged pores
  • Combination skin: Dry in some spots (like the cheeks and forehead), oily in others (like the nose and chin)
  • Sensitive skin: May sting, burn or itch after you use some makeup or skincare products and be red or irritated
  • Normal skin: Balanced, clear and not sensitive. Not too oily, not too dry

The descriptions above are just parameters, but can give a little bit of insight into your skin type. The good news is, regardless of your skin type, the perfect skincare regimen is defined by a few, essential steps that keep it feeling healthy and looking radiant. And, we’ve even listed our suggestions in skincare regimen order.

Every skin care routine consists of the same essential products no matter the skin concern or type. There are optional products you can add to also target any specific skin concern. Nonetheless, to create a skincare regimen, follow these steps.

Step 1: Cleanse
A key skincare product in every regimen is the cleanser. We think all skincare steps are equally important, but we can’t help but give a special nod to washing your face. Why? Cleansing helps remove buildup, dirt and grime in the form of pollution, makeup, and oils that collect on your skin throughout the day and after you’ve slept. Cleansing is the first step to lifting away debris that can clog pores and could lead to annoying breakouts and blemishes. It also helps prepare your skin for the rest of your routine.

Step 2: Tone and Treat
Toners and skincare serums help deliver extra nutrients to your skin. From hyaluronic acid to vitamins and peptides, these products are jam-packed with the essential ingredients your skin needs to happily get through each and every day. They should be applied right after you cleanse.

Toners and serums serve many purposes including controlling excess oil and impurities, like a clarifying toner, and targeting signs of aging skin and fine lines, like a retinol serum. Other toners and serums can also help treat acne, exfoliate and remove dead skin cells, and brighten dark spots for brighter glowing skin, such as our dark spot correcting serum and our acne serum

Step 3: Moisturize
The right moisturizer can be your skin’s superhero. And, keeping skin hydrated is one of Dr. Murad’s essential tips for youthful-looking skin. Moisturizers help prevent dehydration and water loss as they replenish moisture levels. And when moisture levels are in check, things like excess oiliness and dryness are one less stress. From oil-free gel moisturizers that are ideal for oily skin types to ultra-rich creams ideal for drier skin types, there are a host of moisturizer textures available to choose from at

Step 4: Eye Cream
Quite possibly the biggest skincare question to date: do you really need an under eye cream? The way we see it: yes. The skin on our face and eyes might be close in proximity but are by no means siblings.

Skin around the eyes is thinner so you can blink, scan, scroll, read, and move them freely. But, repetitive motion combined with their thinness equates to signs of aging like fine lines and hyperpigmentation showing up sooner. The right eye cream will have highly concentrated ingredients that pack a powerful punch for how little you have to use (no more than the size of a rice grain per eye). You may even want to consider a retinol eye serum to help renew your delicate eye area.

Step 5: SPF
Any skincare regimen knows a face moisturizer with SPF is a game changer. Murad’s formulas combine moisturizer with SPF to effectively protect against harmful UV rays and deliver skin-specific benefits that will keep you looking radiant all day long.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Murad, and are for informational purposes only, even if the advice of physicians and medical practitioners are included. This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and should not be considered specific medical advice.  

About the Author

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Jacki Marzano is SoCal-based storyteller and head copywriter at Murad Skincare. She's shaped the voice of some of the most recognized beauty brands in the business, has a penchant for sharing homemade cookies, and believes SPF is the secret to getting carded well into your 40s.