Skincare 101: Skincare Products & Uses

Hey! I’ve fixed my skincare routine and finally have the healthy skin I craved. People keep asking me about skincare so I decided to start from scratch. In this post, you’ll be learning about what skincare products you need to get started for face care and what they actually do.

1. Cleanser/ Face wash

I’m beginning with daily face care so you need to wash your face first. Of course, you can buy a soap but the pH has to be close to natural acidic skin pH. which is 4-5.5. Any soap/ cleanser/ face wash contains alkali to break down oil and wash away dirt. The problem is the presence of free alkali, which is higher in cheaper brands (also laundry detergents and dish washing liquids). Alkali is the opposite of acid, right? There’s not enough acid on your dirty face to neutralize all this free alkali leading to leftover alkali increasing pH of your skin. This leads to drying, breakouts, etc.

2. Exfoliating agent

Next, you need to remove dead skin cells, which you can sometimes see in dry patches. Our skin regenerates fast and the layer of dead skin cells just sits on top making your face look dull and clogging pores causing acne. Scrubs are not recommended since they might tear your skin and microbeads are bad for the environment. Chemical exfoliation is easy since agents like salicylic acid are present in face washes and toners. I suggest choosing an exfoliating toner because you only need to do this twice a day (morning and night). It’s not meant to be overdone like during washing your face.

3. Toner/ First Essence

Even if you’re using a cleanser/ face wash/ soap with neutral pH, you still need to make sure that your skin pH remains acidic so that’s why you need toner. There are hundreds of toners available in the market and they are often infused with natural ingredients which are beneficial for your skin. First essences are also part of this category. Not every first essence may be a toner so you’ll have to check the product description.

4. Hyaluronic acid Product

Our skin naturally contains hyaluronic acid (HA) which absorbs water due to its hydrophilic nature. You can use a cream, lotion, serum or solution containing hyaluronic acid for this step. You might not need this in extreme humidity every single day but it makes a huge difference. As long as this product remains on your skin, it will never dry out.

5. Facial Mist

This is not a fixing spray! Facial mist is water-based because now, we need to feed the skin water so that the hyaluronic acid we applied may capture all the water in the facial mist. There are many awesome facial mist with skin benefits. You may pick one with an ingredient that suits your skin. You may also use good old rose water in a spray bottle.

6. Moisturizer

Since we removed our natural oil during the face washing phase, we need to bring back some moisturizers. These come after the hydration step because you need a layer of non-aqueous product to seal in the captured water. You may use any cream or lotion you like.

7. Serum (optional)

A serum contains the concentrated form of powerful active ingredients for specific purposes. Which serum you choose is totally up to you depending on what your skin needs. For instance, I use The Face Shop Green Tea serum for my sensitive skin because I am allergic to dust which leads to inflammation and acne.

8. Deep Cleaning Face Mask/ Clay Mask (Weekly)

You may use any clay mask you like from the market, ubtan or make one at home. Tese kind of face masks usually target pores which cannot be cleaned by simple cleansers on a daily basis. If that gunk stays in you’re more likely to break out. I like the Skinfood Egg White Pore mask.

9. Sheet Mask

These are pretty popular these days for good reason. They are similar to serums but the variety is greater and you can only use it one time. They are usually cheap but the more expensive the ingredients, the higher the price. I don’t recommend using them daily because your skin can only absorb so much at a time and consistency with products that work for you is better than excess random experimentation. Once or twice a week is fine. They normally contain about 15-20 ml of concentrated product. They give you instant results. I will do a separate post on how to use them. Always follow the instructions on the back. Wash your face, apply toner and put the mask on for 15-20 minutes. Take it off an pat remaining product into your skin. DON’T WASH YOUR FACE AFTER APPLYING A SHEET MASK. That’s why it’s best done right before you sleep.

10. Cleansing oils/ balms

These are great for removing dust and pollutants from your face before doing your makeup or just to freshen up. Depending on how they are marketed, you may also use them to remove makeup. Cleansing oils/ balms have oil in them so they are able to dissolve oil-based makeup easily.


Don’t consider cleansing oils and makeup cleansers as replacements for daily cleansers/ face washes. You need alkali to break down excess oil and water to wash away remnants of makeup.

11. Other essences

Sometimes it can be hard to understand which step a product should fit it. The general rule after cleansing is to go from thinner consistency to the thicker consistency products. That’s a good rule to follow if you’re confused. Also, read the marketing phrases for instance, “hydrating” indicates inclusion of hyaluronic acid. Check the ingredients to decide what step that product is best suited for.

Sequence of Skincare products

  1. Face mask/ Clay mask
  2. Cleanser/ Face wash
  3. Exfoliating product
  4. Toner
  5. Sheet mask
  6. Hyaluronic acid product
  7. Facial mist
  8. Moisturizer
  9. Serum

Hope that answered any basic questions you had about skincare. Till next time, stay beautiful and don’t forget to smile <3

  • Reply
    Huda Sheikh
    August 28, 2018 at 8:34 am

    Good suggestions, I wonder if all available in Pakistan?

    • Reply
      October 16, 2018 at 2:29 pm

      There are a couple of places you can get Asian beauty here. I am going to review stores both online and offline while giving tips on how to get maximum benefits <3

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