These are the must-have skincare items you need for good skin

A simple step-by-step

skincare routine
(Image credit: IMAXtree)

A simple step-by-step

Welcome back to our Marie Claire Masters series, a regular beauty franchise that celebrates and utilizes the expertise of women who are bossing it in their fields. Each month these Masters will educate, demonstrate and impart some of their industry wisdom to you the dedicated Marie Claire reader. From current trends and hot topics to how tos and how not tos, these beauty whizz kids are at our beckon call. So get reading, you never know what you tips you might pick up. KT – Digital Beauty Editor

Hello, I’m Paula Begoun, founder of the skincare line Paula’s Choice, and I’m back with my next column as the Marie Claire Skincare Master. In my columns I will de-bunk skin myths, let you in on skincare secrets and tell you exactly which ingredients the skincare industry is currently obsessed with and why.

Knowing the right products to use and putting together a brilliant skincare routine can be a daunting task. The sheer number of options, figuring out what you need for daytime versus nighttime, determining order of application, and how many products you should be using is just confusing. I've done the hard work for you. I've compiled the list for you. These are the products you need to use to achieve beautiful short and long-term results no matter your age or skin type.

Skincare routine in order of application

Step 1: Cleanser

Everyone needs to start with a gentle, water-soluble cleanser. If you wear heavy makeup and sunscreen, use a makeup remover and follow with your gentle cleanser.

Paula's Choice Resist Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser, £24 Look Fantastic

skincare routine

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Step 2: Exfoliator

Next, apply a leave-on AHA (5% to 10%) or BHA exfoliant (0.5 %to 2%) every day or every other day based on how your skin responds. This is a game-changing step to resurface and smooth skin in ways no other product can.

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid, £26 Look Fantastic

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Step 3: Moisturiser with SPF

Every morning, the last step is a daytime moisturiser with an SPF 30 or greater. Suncream is not optional. You cannot prevent aging or have even-toned, radiant skin without protecting it year-round from sun damage, which is really about daylight damage.

Murad City Skin Age Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50, £46.75 Fabled

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4. In the evening, after repeating steps one and two (cleansing and exfoliating), apply a nighttime moisturiser loaded with skin-restoring ingredients and antioxidants. It can even be use around your eyes.

Skincare routine for your skin type:

It's so important that the texture of your products suits your skin type.

Skincare routine for oily skin

If you have oily, blemish-prone skin, only use products with a liquid, gel, or light serum texture to nourish and repair skin and prevent clogged pores.

Skincare routine for dry skin

If you have dry skin use richer, softening creams.

Skincare routine for combination skin

If you have normal to combination skin use thin lotions or light creams.

You also might want to add products to the above routine depending on your skincare concerns. For example, if you have advanced signs of sun damage such as skin pigmentation, you may want to incorporate a great hyperpigmentation treatment. This is fine, as long as the basis of the skincare routine follows the above steps.

If the skin around your eyes is drier the skin on your face, add an eye cream. If you’re using liquid or light serums on your face they might not be soothing enough if your eye area is very dry. During the day don’t forget to apply suncream around your eyes and wear sunglasses when outdoors.

Skincare routine - things to avoid

Jar packaging

Well formulated products should contain lots of antioxidants, replenishing and skin-restoring ingredients. Almost all of these vitally important ingredients break down with ongoing exposure to air. Every time you use a product in a jar, you take the lid off and expose it.

Fragrances products

Whether the fragrance is from plant extracts, essential oils or it's synthetic, fragrance causes irritation, which is awful for your skin. Scary, but true. Even if you don’t see or feel the irritation on skin’s surface, the damage is silently occurring below and will lead to skin problems and signs of aging in the years ahead.

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Harsh or abrasive scrubs

These are your really rough facial scrubs. They cause micro-tears in skin and breakdown the skin’s surface protection, making skin more susceptible to environmental damage. Stick to you fruit enzymes and chemical exfoliants.

Stick to this routine and watch your skin go from strength to strength.

Katie Thomas

Katie Thomas is the Senior Beauty Editor at Marie Claire UK. With over 10 years of experience on women's luxury lifestyle titles, she covers everything from the best beauty looks from the red carpet and stand out trends from the catwalk, to colonic irrigation and to the best mascaras on the market. She started her career on fashion desks across the industry - from The Telegraph to Brides - but found her calling in the Tatler beauty department. From there she moved to Instyle, before joining the Marie Claire digital team in 2018. She’s made it her own personal mission to find the best concealer in the world to cover her tenacious dark circles. She’s obsessed with skincare that makes her skin bouncy and glowy, low-maintenance hair that doesn’t require brushing and a cracking good manicure. Oh and she wears more jewellery than the Queen.