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How to Build a Custom Skin Care Routine for Your Skin Type

Say it with us: skincare is self care. Taking care of your skin is being kind to your body and soul! And it all begins with building a custom routine for your skin type.

Whether you’re a budding skincare lover or an experienced beauty guru, it’s important to have a skincare routine that’s customized for your needs. You can build out your routine as much as you want—taking just five minutes or upwards of thirty minutes—but what’s most important is that your skin is being cared for every day.

Let’s get to know your skin and build a routine that’s right for you! Click your skin type to jump to your custom routine.

  • Oily Skin: Your skin is shiny from excess oil production. Oil blotting tissues and matte foundation are your best friends.
  • Dry Skin: You might have flaky or tight skin. Your heavy-duty moisturizing cream and dewy foundations are with you always.
  • Combination Skin: Certain areas of your skin, like your T-zone, are oily. Other parts, like your cheeks, are dry. Your light cleansers and moisturizers keep you sane.

oily skin

Oily Skin

In The Morning

Cleanse

For those with oily skin, cleansing in the morning removes excess oil at the start of your day. Use a gentle cleanser that wakes up your skin and removes excess oil but doesn’t over-dry your skin.

Tone

Toner tightens up your pores and removes excess oil, which is a great addition after your gentle cleanser. Look for a toner with salicylic acid, which will really fight that oil. But be careful—it can also dry out your skin! Just squirt a little bit onto a cotton pad and run all over your skin. If you prefer an alcohol-free version, try witch hazel or another alcohol-free toner.

Hydrate

It might seem counterintuitive to moisturize oily skin, but you absolutely must hydrate and replenish your skin, especially after cleansing and toning! In the morning, use a light moisturizer that won’t contribute more oil to your skin—just make sure it has SPF!

In The Evening

Cleanse

Feel free to use a little bit of a tougher cleanser in the evening to really remove all the dirt, grime, and oil your skin collected throughout the day. Choose a cleanser with salicylic acid for a gentler removal of oil, or benzoyl peroxide for a stronger formula.

Rinse your face with warm water to open your pores, and then gently scrub your face with your cleanser.

Tone

Toning your face in the evening removes all the oil and dirt from deep in your skin, giving your skin time to recharge overnight without those pesky clogged pores. Use the same toner from your morning routine using the same technique.

Treat

Because your skin is going to be resting and recharging during your beauty sleep, you want to make sure you’re replenishing your skin with the nutrients that will help your skin be happy and healthy.

Choose a serum that is water-based (not oil-based), contains Vitamins A and C, and has tea tree oil for an antibacterial effect. Drop a little bit into the palm of your hands, and pat it gently onto your entire face.

Hydrate

Evening is the time to ultra-hydrate your skin! Pile on a thick cream to replenish your skin after you strip it of oils while washing and toning. Plus, your moisturizer will seal in your serums to make sure they do their best work!

Also apply a nourishing eye cream under your eyes. You’ll be protecting the most sensitive area on your skin and preventing fine lines and wrinkles!

Additions

Masque

Masks are not only a great form of self-care (grab a glass of wine and hop in the bath while you’re at it!), but they’re also great for your skin. Do a mask once a week or a couple times a month to give your skin an extra boost.

Clay masks are great for oily skin because they pull out lots of oil and won’t clog your pores. In general, opt for masks that dry on your face to really pull out excess oil.

Facials

Get regular facials—once a month is a great routine to get on—to really replenish your skin. At-home routines are great to use consistently, but getting treatments customized for your skin type by an aesthetician will ensure you’re getting a well-rounded experience.


dry skin

Dry Skin

In The Morning

Cleanse

Those with dry skin are often hesitant to wash their face twice a day, but if you use a gentle, moisturizing cleanser that doesn’t strip your face of its natural oils, you shouldn’t experience drier skin. Opt for a cleanser that will gently remove impurities without removing moisture.

Tone

Not all toners are drying! It’s possible to remove those extra-deep impurities without drying your skin—some toners are moisturizing! Opt for a toner that is alcohol-free and has moisturizing additions like aloe or rose water.

Hydrate

Hydration is the most important part of any dry-skin routine! Choose a moisturizer that will keep you hydrated all day but won’t clog your pores. Whether you opt for a lighter but still moisturizing lotion or a thick cream, make sure it has SPF!

In The Evening

Cleanse

Choose a cleanser that will deep-clean your skin but not strip it of its natural moisture. Gently and thoroughly wash your face, patting it dry with a clean towel.

Tone

Use the same toner you did in the morning to really extract the last bit of dirt from your skin before you lock in moisture for the entire night.

Treat

Serums are going to be your best friend! They’ll deeply hydrate your skin, provide necessary nutrients, and lock in moisture long-term. Use an oil-based serum if you can, and make sure it has hyaluronic acid, which is touted by dermatologists to hydrate skin.

Hydrate

Most people with dry skin know this step by heart—moisturizing is your holy grail! Find a deep moisturizer in a thick cream you can generously apply to your face to lock in all that serum moisture and protect your skin.

Additions

Masque

Extra-moisturizing masks are a great addition to your weekly routine. Once a week, apply a hydrating mask to really replenish your skin and supplement your already-stellar skincare routine. Hydrating sheet masks will work wonders.

Facials

Head to your local aesthetician or spa to get monthly facials. Your skincare expert will rehydrate your skin and balance the oil production in your skin for moisture that will last after your treatment!

combination skin

Combination Skin

In The Morning

Cleanse

Combination skin requires a cleanser that won’t strip dry skin of its moisture but also not leave tons of excess oil behind. Find a good middle-ground cleanser that deep cleans but also moisturizes. Gently wash your face every morning to remove impurities from while you slept.

Tone

As with cleanser, you need a toner that balances your skin and isn’t extremely moisturizing or extremely drying. Toners with witch hazel will help remove oil without drying out your skin like salicylic acid would. Choose a formula with soothing and moisturizing additions, like aloe or cucumber. Squirt a dab onto a cotton pad and gently rub over your skin.

Hydrate

To keep the dry parts of your skin hydrated all day, choose a moisturizer that feels light but locks in moisture all day. Make sure it has SPF!

In The Evening

Cleanse

When you cleanse in the evening, make sure you’re using a cleanser that deep cleans but also doesn’t dry your skin. A formula with salicylic acid might have just enough oil-zapping power to not dry out the rest of your skin along the way. Otherwise, you can opt for an alcohol-free face wash that still removes oil. Gently scrub your face, rinse thoroughly, and pat dry.

Tone

Use the same toner you did in the morning, applying it all over your skin to really draw out all the impurities that collected during the day and can’t be removed with a regular face wash.

Treat

Serums are great for combination skin! You just need to find a formula that works best for your skin. It can be tough to find a serum that works with both your dry and oily skin, so give yourself some time to test out formulas. In general, water-based serums are great for oily skin, and serums with hyaluronic acid are great for dry skin. Vitamin C is great for both skin types. Apply a few drops to the palm of your hand, rub your hands together, and gently pat the serum into your face. Let it sink in for a minute or so.

Hydrate

Hydration is key to locking in the amazing nutrients you’re getting from your serum! Choose a formula that won’t clog your pores or make them more oily but still gives deep hydration to your skin. A light cream would be a great option—gently apply to your face after your serum has had time to sink in.

Additions

Masque

Doing weekly or semi-monthly masks will help regulate some of the issues your skin is facing. Sheet masks provide lots of moisture, and clay masks draw out excess oil and dirt from deep within your skin. Consider using a moisturizing mask on the dry areas of your skin and a drying formula on your T-zone.

Facials

Getting regular facials from a licensed aesthetician at a spa can help target the different areas of your skin and potentially regulate some of the excessive dryness and oiliness. Your skin expert will be able to provide a formula that is right for you.



The most important part of any skincare routine no matter your skin type is to do it every single day.

Even when you’re running late for work. Even when you’re out until 3am and just want to sleep. Even when you’re not wearing any makeup.

If you’re in New York or Boston, swing by one of our locations to let us help you reach your skin goals. And if you’re not in the area, shop Thom Elzner Skincare Technology online!

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