by Mandi Nyambi and Lanya Olmsted of LMNTL

If you got the link to this article via the GNI newsletter your inbox, I think it’s safe to assume that you’re an advanced self-care/hygge/wine-down connoisseur. You’ve already decided that you’re important enough to give your skin real attention. We want to start by affirming your choice to make this new commitment. Don’t doubt this decision. In fact, you’ll make this decision again and again, and as you slip, get back in the groove and slip again. So long as you keep choosing you, you can’t go wrong.

Why Building a Skincare Routine Matters

I can’t understate the importance of having a routine. You could even have a few variations of your skincare routine. For example, I have a “treatyoself routine” for when I’m feeling fancy and shit, a “workingwitch routine” for when I’m running late to a morning meeting, and a “goldilocks routine” for when I want to keep things just right and tight.

The three routines we created for you below are crafted with different skincare goals in mind. You can determine your goals using this handy visual guide, or identify them on your own if you already know what you’re looking to achieve.

Routine A: If you want to tackle uneven skintone

Dealing with an uneven skin tone can be tricky. You shouldn’t be afraid of your scars (acne or otherwise), but you shouldn’t let them consume you either. This regimen focuses on toning and peeling—two tools aimed at speeding up cell turnover. Many toners are alcohol based(not good for dry skin) and remove impurities, balance pH and prevent breakouts. An enzyme peel uses just that, enzymes, to resurface your skin, and should only be used once a week. Using a physical exfoliating tool like an exfoliating brush will also help a lot. The brush will carry away dead cells and debris that build up on the surface of your skin.

Routine A.png

asterisk= essential*

Cleanser*

$: Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser
$$: Fresh Beauty Soy Face Cleanser
Splurge: Biologique Recherche Lait U

Toner*

$: Estee Lauder Multi-Action Toning Lotion
$$: Fresh Beauty Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner
Splurge: Biologique Recherche p50

Moisturizer*

$: Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream
$$: Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion
Splurge: Aurelia Cell Revitalize Day Moisturizer
Super splurge: La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Cream

Sunscreen*

$: La Roche-Posay Double Repair Moisturizer SPF 30
$$: Elta MD UV Clear
Splurge: Shiseido Urban environment oil free UV Protector


If you have time …

Enzyme Peel

$: Mario Badescu Enzyme Revitalizing Mask
$$: Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask
Splurge: Amorepacific Treatment Enzyme Peel

Serum

$: The Ordinary 2% Hyaluronic Acid
$$: Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate
Splurge: Aurelia Glow Serum

Mask

$: Mario Badescu Enzyme Revitalizing Mask
$$: Kiehl’s Turmeric and Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Mask
Splurge: Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask

If you have dry skin …

Oil Cleanser

$: Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil
$$: Caudalie Make-up Removing Cleansing Oil
Splurge: Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing Oil

Routine B: If you’d like to age gracefully

Anti-aging is not an uplifting term. Look forward and look upwards. This routine is about aging at your skin’s pace. We highlight creams that will make your skin love you for years to come. Aging isn’t just in the eyes, so we actually think retinoids (think vitamin A) are more essential than eye creams. Retinols boost collagen production, reduce fine lines and encourage cell turnover– all the qualities of relatively younger looking skin. Sunscreen is also important for reducing aging signs caused by sun exposure, so give yourself a generous dollop. Your entire being is moving into the future, so bring your skincare with you.

Routine B.png

Asterisk* = essential

Cleanser*

$: Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser
$$: Fresh Beauty Soy Face Cleanser
Splurge: Biologique Recherche Lait U

Retinol*

$: The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion
$$: Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM
Splurge: Regenerating AlphaRet® Overnight Cream FACE

Moisturizer*

$: Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream
$$: Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion
Splurge: Aurelia Cell Revitalize Day Moisturizer
Super splurge: La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Cream

Sunscreen*

$: La Roche-Posay Double Repair Moisturizer SPF 30
$$: Elta MD UV Clear
Splurge: Shiseido Urban environment oil free UV Protector

If you have time …

Eye cream

$: Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream
$$: Sanitas Essential Eye Essence
Splurge: Dior One Essential Eye Serum
Super splurge: Chanel Ultimate Regeneration Eye Cream

Mask:

$: Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask
$$: Peter Thomas Roth 24k Gold Mask
Splurge: Peter Thomas Roth Mask-a-Holic Kit

Serum

$: The Ordinary 2% Hyaluronic Acid
$$: La Mer Concentrate


If you have dry skin …

Oil Cleanser

$: Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil
$$: Caudalie Make-up Removing Cleansing Oil
Splurge: Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing Oil

Routine C: If you’ve got some blemishes to take care of

Be it stress, too much touching (though who doesn’t love touching?) or maybe you just love watching Dr. Pimple Popper, we all experience breakouts. Everyone has a blemish threshold after which point we want to just nail that sucker! Please, resist that urge. Instead, here are some solutions. Cleanse thoroughly, 2-3 times a day even (2x morning, 1x night) and spot treat like it’s your job. You want to make sure that you get rid of all the excess oils and dirt that could get lodged in your pores. A toner could also help remove impurities. There are even moisturizing toners for those with dryer skin. You also want to make sure that you aren’t stripping away all the oils, because a lack of oil could also cause breakouts. It’s all about finding a balance.

Routine C.png

Asterisk*= essential

Acne cleanser*

$: Clinique Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam
$$: Skin Laundry Acne Face Wash

Spot treatment*

$: Use your clay mask
$$: EradiKate™ Acne Treatment
Splurge: Dermalogica Special Clearing Booster Spot Treatment Lotion

Moisturizer*

$: Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream
$$: Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion
Splurge: Aurelia Cell Revitalize Day Moisturizer
Super splurge: La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Cream

Sunscreen*

$: La Roche-Posay Double Repair Moisturizer SPF 30
$$: Elta MD UV Clear
Splurge: Shiseido Urban environment oil free UV Protector

If you have time …

Cleanser

$: Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser
$$: Fresh Beauty Soy Face Cleanser
Splurge: Biologique Recherche Lait U

Mask

$: Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay
$$: BELIF First Aid Transforming Peel Off Mask
Splurge: Peter Thomas Roth Mask-a-Holic Kit

Serum

$: The Ordinary 2% Hyaluronic Acid
$$: Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate
Splurge: Drunk Elephant C-Firma

If you have dry skin …

Oil Cleanser

$: Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil
$: Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing Oil

Mask

Mario Badescu Enzyme Revitalizing Mask

If you need full body exfoliation…

Scrub

Frank Body Shimmer Scrub


Keep in mind, it takes about 50 days for your skin to turnover, meaning you’ll need about two months minimum to allow your skin to rejuvenate and adjust to your new regimen. Be patient with yourself and your skin. It’s doing the work of adjusting to your new lifestyle choice, so be gentle. Obviously, our skin is equipped to renew itself, but the aid of skincare products can help make that process easier.




This article is presented in collaboration with . The piece has been lightly edited for conciseness and clarity.

LMNTL (el-em-en-tl) is a skincare newsletter that focus on the ingredients/elements that make up the products we put on our skin. Our only loyalties are to what gives our skin a healthy glow. Each week they scour the latest research articles for insight into ingredients, or interview skincare leaders to learn more about the elements that make up a good skincare routine. They believe in democratizing the science of skincare, so they’re taking the elemental approach. Sign up to receive the weekly newsletter: https://www.golmntl.com/

Mandi and Lanya met each other at Harvard College while studying Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology (think stem cells) and Psychology. They reunited a few years later when they co-founded LMNTL. They’re two women, just trying to find that inner glow. One needed a clean slate with her skin and found it in the science of skincare. The other, well, she’s been looking for a creative outlet for her passion for beauty. Together, they’re building a skincare brand built on skintimacy, proven knowledge and the audacity of self-acceptance.

Feature image by @projectskin_