How to take care of your skin with a simple skincare routine

Finding the right skincare products and routine can be an overwhelming and intimidating experience.
With the likes of the 10-step Korean skincare routine, $200 serums and thousands of cleansers available, it's difficult to know what we really need (and what we can ignore).
Especially for the minimalists, beauty apprentices and frugal ones among us, the mere idea of a complicated, expensive skincare routine is enough to make us skip that morning cleanse altogether (which, as it turns out, may not be that bad).
What we need is a minimalist, no-fuss skincare routine suited to our different skin types. Let's take out the guess work, fancy serums and overnight masks, and get back to basics.
This guide will give you essential skincare information and suggestions so you feel comfortable heading into any chemist and finding the right products for your skin type.

What are the different skin types?

Most people fall into five skin types — oily, combination, dry skin, sensitive and normal — explains Melanie Grant, a skin expert with more than 20 years' experience whose clients include Lara Worthingon, Jessica Mauboy and Zoe Foster Blake.
  • Oily skin type is often shiny, has large pores and is prone to blackheads, milia and breakouts. The upside: oily skin usually ages better as the sebum helps to keep the skin supple and lubricated.
  • Combination skin type is oily on the T-zone (forehead, nose and chin) and dry or normal across the cheeks. Combination skin can also change from oily to dry or normal depending on the season and climate.
  • Dry skin can feel tight, rough or flaky, with visible fine lines around the eyes and forehead, even after applying moisturiser.
  • Sensitive skin flushes easily and can often react to skincare with a stinging or burning sensation, bumps, pustules and erythema.
  • Normal skin is not oily, dry and rarely breaks out. It usually tolerates most skincare products and has a smooth, even texture.
Many of us fall into a couple of skin types. It can keep things interesting.

A simple, effective skincare routine

Although ads and beauty gurus suggest otherwise, you don't need to fork out hundreds of dollars (or much time) to have an effective skincare routine. In fact, "less is more".
"Simple routines are the most successful routines," Ms Grant says. "Skincare really doesn't need to be complicated."
Both Ms Grant and Saxon Smith, a dermatologist and clinical associate professor, say skincare is all about protecting your skin.
"Australia has one of the harshest climates in the world, so I'm a firm believer that everyone can benefit from protecting their skin — from the harsh effects of our sun, as well as pollution and other environmental aggressors," Ms Grant says.