Before you see a dermatologist, you could still implement a basic skincare routine to get used to doing one and build the habit.
You say you think your skin is kind of oily, but it is important to determine your skin type to know what kind of products to use. Skin type refers to the amount of sebum (oil) you skin produces. There are 3 main types; oily, combination and dry.
There are also sub categories such as sensitive, acne-prone, and mature.
This video may be helpful:
Morning skincare and evening skincare routines ususally differ.
Morning routines should focus on preparing your skin for the day, so protecting it from grime, UV rays and free radicals.
Evening routines should focus on repair and restoration. You should always cleanse your face to remove dirt, makeup and sunscreen in the evening, or bacteria can build up and cause acne.
A very basic routine would look like this:
- Rinse face with lukewarm water
- Apply a moisturiser suited to your skin type. Moisturiser should be used, even if your skin is oily. It helps to maintain your moisture barrier and keep your skin hydrated, which helps to control oil production in oily skin, and helps to compensate for a lack of oil in dry skin.
- Apply a facial sunscreen. This protects your skin from UV rays, which can damage your skin, cause hyperpigmentation, advance aging and increase your risk of skin cancer. You should use sunscreen every day.
- Use an oil based cleanser such as a cleansing balm to melt makeup, dirt and sunscreen
- Use a gel based cleanser to remove any residue and fully clean your face
- Use a moisturiser suitable for your skin type.
You can encorporate differnt active ingredients in your skincare routine, but it will take some research to find out what your skin needs.
A year ago I did not do much skincare other than washing my face and applying a prescription retinoid prescribed by my GP. I have now been doing skincare consistantly for 9 months, and no longer have cystic acne. I still get the occasional blemish, but I can manage it now. I have combination acne prone skin. I get oily on my cheeks and chin, but am normal to dry everywhere else.
My skincare routine is as follows:
- Rinse face with lukewarm water
- Apply vitamin c serum (I use either The Ordinary’s Ascorbic acid 8%, or their Ascorbic acid powder mixed with their “Buffet" serum. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, and helps to reduce hyperpigmentation and acne scarring.)
- Apply moisturiser (Currently using Eucerin’s Oil control moisturiser. It is ok, but I am looking for something different.)
- Apply Sunscreen (Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Finish spf 50+. I cannot use chemical sunscreen as it causes me to break out, so this is a mineral only sunscreen).
- Cleanse with oil based cleanser (The Ordinary’s Squalane cleanser)
- Cleanse with a gel based cleanser (Simple’s Micellar Gel cleanser)
- Toner (The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid 7% toner. This a chemical exfoliant.)
- Niacinamide (Either The Ordinary’s, or Superdrug’s 10% niacinamide serums. This helps to heal your skin’s barrier, regulates oil production, and aids skin healing)
- Retinol (either The Ordinary’s 1% Retinol in Squalane, or my prescription Epiduo [0.1% Adapalene and 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide. Retinols increase cell turnover, and encourage collagen production. This gives benefits both for acne reduction, and anti-aging.)
- Moisturiser (Eucerin oil control.)
Non-daily treatments –
- 1 x weekly – The Ordinary’s AHA 30% & BHA 2% peel.
- As a spot treatment only – Paula’s Choice 2% Salicylic acid gel
In skincare, you should avoid overly stripping products, such as harsh cleansers (particularly sulphates) and acids, as your moisture barrier can get damaged, which can increase acne and other skin issues. Oilier skin tends to be more tolerant, but this is not true for those with sensitive oily skin.
You should also avoid fragrence, such as parfum, essential oils, and certain plant extracts, as these can cause allergic reactions and skin sensitivity with repeated use.
ETA: some youtube channels I find helpful are Dr Sam Bunting, Hyram, The Beauty Maverick, Mixed Makeup (specifically, Susan Yara’s series’ with dermatologists, and reacting to various skincare routines) and Gothmista.