Healthy Skin Habits To Start Now

It’s never too late to establish healthy skin habits, and we’re here to help you get started. We’ve curated routines that are designed to address complexion concerns related to common skincare mistakes and bad habits. Upgrade your skincare with these curated routines, and follow the easy healthy skin tips below to jumpstart better habits and help work your way toward better-looking, better-feeling, visibly healthier skin.

First things first, the basics of a healthy skin barrier is understanding your skin. As the largest organ of the body, your skin is the first line of defense between you and the outside world. Its primary role is to protect you from germs, harmful UV rays, and environmental toxins; healthy skin is constantly working to keep you safe. One of the main protective components is the skin barrier. This barrier, which consists of skin cells, lipids, and proteins, helps to retain essential moisture and nutrients and repel damaging environmental aggressors like pollution and bacteria. Over time, bad skincare habits like not washing your face properly, forgetting to moisturize, and skipping out on sunscreen can take a toll on skin health, impacting the barrier.

Tip #1

Keep Your Skin Hydrated

Hydrating Favorites

Hydration is essential to a healthy skin barrier. Using an effective hydrating facial moisturizer twice a day, regardless of your skin type, will help lock in the moisture your skin craves. Moisturizers can help strengthen your skin barrier and improve skin texture, leaving skin soft and healthy-looking. A good moisturizer can even help minimize the chance of breakouts since dry skin may overproduce oil in an attempt to compensate when there’s a lack of moisture.

Lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizers—such as the one featured in our Hydrating Favorites skincare set—are ideal for most skin types. Featuring the award-winning Ultra Facial Cream, plus the richly-hydrating Avocado Eye Cream and the lightweight Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate, this gentle routine contains everything you need to keep your complexion looking and feeling its best.

KCR tip: While our hydration essentials are suitable for all complexions, there are many skincare products formulated with specific skin types in mind. If you’re not sure what your skin type is, our article on How to Determine Your Skin Type can help.

Tip #2

Diminish Visible Damage

Age Fighting Favorites

Glowing, even, firm—these are all characteristics of healthy-looking skin. As you age, your skin tends to lose youthful elasticity and needs more help infusing antioxidants, vitamins, and a concentrated dose of topical ingredients, especially if it has been exposed to environmental stressors such as pollution or sun damage. While you can’t avoid aging—it happens to everyone—incorporating anti-aging skincare treatments and powerful serums into your daily routine can help to slow the rate at which your skin shows signs of aging. Our Age-Fighting Favorites set is the perfect routine containing a trio of powerful skincare treatments designed to target the most common visible effects of aging, such as age spots and wrinkles, for a younger-looking, more radiant complexion.

Tip #3

Sensitive Skin Requires Extra Care

Redness Relief Favorites

If you have sensitive skin, keeping it looking healthy presents its own set of challenges. Skin that reacts poorly to strong ingredients may exhibit redness or itchiness and can be downright uncomfortable to deal with. Managing sensitive skin starts with what you put on it. Avoid harsh formulas, and instead look for products that contain gentle, soothing ingredients to calm irritation and protect your skin. Lucky for you, Kiehl’s formulas are created with all skin types in mind, even the most sensitive skin. If you’re not sure where to start, our Redness Relief Favorites set helps to gently calm skin and visibly reduce redness for a healthier-looking and better-feeling complexion.

KCR tip: Beyond using the right products, understanding what causes sensitive skin is one of the best things you can do for your complexion. Take an educational deep dive into the topic with our Ultimate Guide to Sensitive Skin.

Tip #4

Don’t Forget Your Vitamins

Vitamin C Favorites

When it comes to skincare, you should always remember your vitamins (and no, we’re not talking about upping your orange juice intake). Using vitamin C topically can help keep your skin bright and your complexion even, making it easier to spot signs of sun damage or aging when they appear.

Our Vitamin C Favorites set features our best-selling serum Powerful Strength Line Reducing Concentrate and our newest dark circle innovation, Powerful Strength Dark Circle Reducing Eye Serum. These two formulas work in harmony to boost skin radiance, reduce fine lines, and minimize dark circles. If you’re not sure how to start incorporating vitamin C into your skincare routine, these powerful, antioxidant-packed formulas are a great place to start.

KCR tip: Vitamin C isn’t the only antioxidant that’s beneficial for a healthy-looking complexion. Check out our article, What Are Antioxidants?, to learn more about the benefits of antioxidants for skin.

Tip #5

Protect Skin With Sunscreen

Brightening Favorites

We cannot overstate the importance of sunscreen in relation to maintaining healthy skin! The sun constantly emits radiation in the form of ultraviolet rays, and these rays—both UVA and UVB rays—can be incredibly harmful to your skin’s health. Using a quality, broad-spectrum sunscreen protects your skin from these harmful rays to help prevent visible signs of aging and other consequences of sun damage.*

For the best defense against sun spots, wrinkles, and other effects of aging, we recommend a daily facial sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or more, such as the broad-spectrum variety in our Brightening Favorites set. This curated routine is suitable for all skin types and helps to protect your skin from sun damage while brightening your complexion for a healthy-looking, youthful glow.

KCR tip: Signs of skin damage and aging aren’t limited to your face: They can appear on any skin that is frequently exposed to the sun, which is why you should apply SPF to all areas of skin that see daylight. Similarly, when applying your anti-aging skincare products, make sure to extend application down to your neck, chest, and hands to care for often-overlooked spots.

Tip #6

Start With a Clean Slate

It may seem obvious, but thoroughly cleansing your face to remove dead skin and excess oil should always be the first step in your skincare routine. While the type of cleanser you reach for depends on your unique needs, we generally recommend pH-neutral, soap-free facial cleansers that gently remove dirt and oil without over-drying the skin. Someone with dry skin may benefit from a creamy, hydrating cleanser that adds moisture to the skin, while those with acne-prone skin should stick to oil-free foaming cleansers or gel formulas. Whichever cleanser you choose, we recommend washing your face thoroughly twice per day to remove buildup and prep your skin for the treatments that follow.

KCR tip: If you wear makeup, you may need to wash your face more than once to get a deep clean. Even if it’s non-comedogenic (meaning it is formulated to not clog pores), leaving makeup on overnight can cause breakouts or irritation. We’re big fans of double cleansing, which involves washing your face first with an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup and then cleansing again with a foaming cleanser to wash away any remaining impurities.

Tip #7

Exfoliate With a Gentle Face Scrub

Your skin is shedding dead cells constantly, but the natural oils in your skin combined with a decrease in cellular turnover—which happens naturally with age—can sometimes make it difficult for those dead cells to actually be sloughed away. When dead skin cells remain on the skin’s surface, they can build up and clog pores, ultimately leading to blackheads, whiteheads, or a dull complexion. Incorporating an exfoliating facial cleanser exfoliating facial cleanser into your skincare routine once or twice a week helps to clear away dead cells and debris that are stuck to the surface of your skin, so your complexion looks and feels its best. Using a scrub with a mild abrasive also helps improve the effectiveness of topical treatments, such as moisturizers and serums, as products are able to be more readily absorbed.

KCR tip: As with anything, there is such a thing as too much exfoliation. Minimize damage to the skin by scrubbing gently and avoiding delicate areas, such as around the eyes, and reduce the frequency of use if irritation occurs.


Next: Each of these healthy skin habits deserves a place in your routine, but applying them in the correct order is just as important as following the tips. Here’s The Correct Order to Apply Skincare.

*“Skin Cancer Facts and Statistics.” Skin Cancer Foundation. 2020.

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