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Expert Advice

How To Curate a Face Care Routine

Your face care routine is more important than ever. Ahead, learn how to keep your skin looking its healthy best with the right skincare face products and steps.

In the age of frequent Zoom calls and FaceTime dates, we’re all spending more time staring at our faces than ever before. And it’s not just your own eyes lingering on your face. This unprecedented level of attention is likely to have you more in tune with every fine line and patch of dry skin. That’s why there’s never been a better time to curate a face care routine. Not only do you want glowing, healthy-looking skin to show off on camera, but our increasingly indoor-centric lifestyle just might have left you with more time to dedicate to your skin. Here, we’re teaching you the ropes when it comes to face care products and introducing you to a simple four-step Kiehl’s routine.

What Is Face Care?

We aren’t attempting to introduce you to a whole new concept or dramatically change how you think about your skin (unless that’s what you need). While you may not think of it as face care, specifically, chances are you already have a face care routine. Face care simply refers to skincare for the skin on your (big surprise) face. It’s another way to talk about skincare products and routines while making sure the emphasis is on your face—an area where your skin is really in the spotlight.

Why Is Face Care Important?

Not only is your face on display in the sense that people can see it all the time, but it’s also exposed to the elements and environmental stressors. It tends to receive the brunt of pollution, wind, and sun exposure. And unless you wear a ski mask when you venture out and about, it’s also the area of skin that’s most likely to be impacted by harsh temperatures. Because your face is vulnerable to these stresses, it’s key to show it plenty of care.

How Can You Care For The Skin On Your Face?

Caring for your skin means curating a face care routine that leaves it looking healthy. Here, we’re breaking down the simple steps (and the best Kiehl’s face care products to go with them) you need to build your own routine.

Step 1: Cleanse and Tone

Ultra Facial Cleanser

What makes a good face care routine is aligned with what you know about effective skincare routines. Case in point, regardless of what you call it, your routine should start with cleansing. We recommend a mild foaming cleanser that suits all skin types, like Ultra Facial Cleanser. It’s formulated with olive-derived squalane (a Kiehl’s signature ingredient), apricot kernels, and avocado oil and is pH-balanced. Our customer-favorite cleanser gently cleans skin without over-drying or stripping it of essential oils. Take a small amount of the cleanser on clean fingertips and massage it onto damp skin using upward circular motions. Rinse thoroughly or remove any excess cleanser with a washcloth.

After rinsing off your cleanser, reach for a toner to help remove lingering impurities and prep your skin for the rest of your routine. Depending on the formula you choose, there are a host of other benefits as well. Ultra Facial Toner, for example, also helps refine skin texture, and hydrate, comfort, and tone your skin. The alcohol-free formula features squalane and vitamin E, among other effective emollient ingredients, and is a match for all skin types. To give it a try, saturate a cotton pad with the toner and apply it to your face. It’s that simple.

Step 2: Correct and Replenish

Face care isn’t about doing the bare minimum; you want to include steps that show you truly care about your skin and want it to look and feel its best. That includes taking the time to layer the right face care products. Rather than jumping straight to slapping on moisturizer, start with Powerful-Strength Vitamin C Serum. This lightweight, water-free serum, which contains hyaluronic acid and antioxidant vitamin C, instantly boosts radiance and helps improve its texture. When used regularly, it also helps address some of the early signs of skin aging, like fine lines and wrinkles.

After your serum, use a lightweight, non-comedogenic oil to take your routine a step further. In the evening, Midnight Recovery Concentrate gets our vote. This hydrating face oil with squalane and lavender essential oil helps replenish skin overnight when it’s most receptive to repairing itself. It also helps smooth and firm skin’s appearance for more radiant, younger-looking skin. While this is a face care routine, you don’t need to apply your products strictly from the chin up. In fact, we recommend carrying them down to your neck, so it can look youthful and healthy, too. Just a few drops will do the trick—lightly pat three to four drops over your face and neck, moving your fingers in upward circular motions as you do so.

Kiehl’s Expert Tip: Though it’s called Midnight Recovery Concentrate, our Kiehl’s Customer Representatives recommend it for a daytime face oil as well. Apply a few drops to your face and neck before your moisturizer for soft, supple-looking skin any time of day.

We’ve covered replenishment, but when it comes to correcting skincare concerns, there’s another product you may need: a spot treatment. If you don’t have acne-prone skin, a treatment may not be part of your daily face care plan. But we all get the occasional pimple (if not more than that), and that’s why we always recommend having a face care product like Blue Herbal Spot Treatment on hand. On days it is needed, you’ll be all too glad to be prepared. Dot a thin layer of the treatment (which contains 1.5% salicylic acid) onto any spots to help clear blemishes, blackheads, and whiteheads.

Step 3: Hydrate

Your eyes are often the first part of your face that anyone really sees, and the right eye cream can help bolster that first impression. Try Avocado Eye Cream, which de-puffs, brightens, improves under-eye texture, and defends the entire eye area against digital fatigue caused by blue light. It’s made with avocado oil and shea butter and has a formula that hydrates all day. Apply a pea-sized amount to your ring finger and rub it between your fingers. This will trigger a transformation from a creamy texture into a refreshing burst of hydration. Use your ring finger to gently tap (this is essential—don’t pull or tug at the skin) the eye cream around your eye and along the orbital bone until it’s absorbed.

Ultra Facial Cream

Everyone’s skin needs moisture—yours is no exception. Make sure your face care line-up includes a hydrating formula that helps foster healthy-looking skin. Our best-selling Ultra Facial Cream fits the bill. It offers lasting, 24-hour hydration and balances even the driest areas of skin with 2.3 times more moisture. The formula has an ultra-lightweight texture that absorbs into your skin easily, and it’s another Kiehl’s-favorite that contains squalane. Apply a dime-sized amount to your skin to witness the fast absorption for yourself.

Step 4: Protect

You can wear hats and sunglasses to protect your face, but there’s no way around it: Sunscreen is one of the most important face care products—and that’s non-negotiable. Wear it every day, making sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Our recommendation goes to Super Fluid Daily UV Defense SPF 50+. Not only does it provide sun protection (with a matte finish!), but it also protects against pollution. Apply it in the morning as the last step of your face care routine, using a nickel-sized dollop per expert guidelines.

Bonus Step: Pamper

It’s important to nail down the essentials, but once you’ve mastered your core steps, you should also make it a point to pamper your skin. You deserve it. For your well-earned self-care moment, reach for Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask. This award-winning mask, made with mineral-rich Amazonian white clay, helps detoxify congested pores and minimizes your skin’s surface oil production for a purified, refined appearance. Apply a thin layer of the face mask to damp skin and allow it to dry for about 10 minutes before washing it off with a warm, wet towel.

Next: Your Skincare Routine Order: A Step-by-Step Guide

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