skip to Main Content
woman applies oil dropper to hand

Establishing a Simple and Effective Skincare Routine

We’ve touched on it before, but establishing a skincare regimen is your first line of defense against acne, unwanted wrinkles, sunspots and other skin conditions. However, with the multitude of skincare products on the market all with their own specific benefit(s), it can be difficult to get started.

Don’t worry. We’ll walk you through it.

Starting your skincare regimen

No matter what products you choose (or how complicated you allow your regimen to become), there are four fundamental pillars of an effective skincare routine.

These are:

  • Cleansers, or products to wash the face.
  • Toners, or products to balance your skin.
  • Moisturizers, or products that promote skin’s hydration.
  • Sunscreens, to protect the skin from harmful rays. We recommend the Elta MD sun care line and Colorscience for exceptional skin care protection.


Don’t over-complicate the system! Having a 12-step skincare routine does you no more benefit than choosing a high-quality cleanser, toner and moisturizer. Start with the basics; once you’re ready, then you can add-on.

Cleanser first

We’ve discussed the importance of washing your skin, but as a reminder, it’s important to choose the cleanser that makes sense for your skin type.

Below is a handy infographic on the recommended cleanser for your skin type from the New York Times. 

cleanser optionsCredit: New York Times (

The right formula, as the New York Times points out, will cleanse your skin without stripping essential, healthy oils. Limit scrubs and other abrasives, like walnut shell. 

Tone (if necessary)

Although incorporating a toner into your regimen is hotly contested, consider them a supplement to your skincare diet. Considered optional, a toner adds specific benefits to your routine that you may lack, such as anti-aging ingredients or an added boost of hydration.

A good starting point for toners include:

  • Hyaluronic acid. Boosts hydration and plumps skin.
  • Vitamin E (or C). These vitamins fight free radicals which are known to age skin.
  • Rose water. Reduces redness and calms irritation.


 Applying a toner

Apply your toner by pouring a few drops in your palm and then swiping over face. This method is more efficient as the product is not absorbed by a cotton pad before it’s applied to the skin.

Make sure that you follow the directions for your chosen toner, as some vitamin C toners should only be used once a day.

Moisturize, morning and night

The purpose of a moisturizer is to hydrate and soften skin. Therefore, the moisturizer you choose should directly relate to your skin type. We’ve included a cheat sheet from New York City-based aesthetician Jordana Mattioli below.

moisturizer optionsCredit: The New York Times (

Day and night creams

As Mattioli points out, day and night creams are differentiated by their benefits; a day cream protects your skin against environmental aggressors, while a night cream repairs damage from your day. 

Sunscreen, to finish it off

Considered the holy grail for anti-aging, sunscreen is the most important tool in your skincare arsenal. With consistent, daily use, sunscreen protects against:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Textural imperfections
  • Changes in pore appearance
  • Formation of skin cancer


Incorporating sunscreen into your regimen is simple: look for moisturizers with a built-in broad spectrum SPF of at least 30, says the New York Times. 

Decoding your skincare routine

Of course, if you need any help (or product recommendations), Cumberland Skin can help. We offer cutting-edge, dermatologist-recommended products known to produce results over time. All of our recommendations are vetted by experts in our industry, so no matter what you choose, you can rest assured you’re receiving top-of-the-line skincare.

Cumberland Skin Surgery and Dermatology provides effective, compassionate general dermatology, skin cancer surgery and cosmetic dermatology solutions for our patients throughout the Southeast. With offices in Hermitage, Lebanon, Brentwood and Hendersonville, Tennessee, we’re your destination for high-caliber skincare. Visit our website at or give us a call today at 615-257-7128.

Back To Top