The Best Skin Care Basics You Will Ever Need

Last Updated on October 29, 2021 by ELLEASH

This post is all about the best skin care basics and asking yourself the right questions to ensure your best skin ever! It will give you great tips to help you choose the right products for you and not blow your skin-care budget!



This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I earn a small commission with every purchase you make through my links, and of course, at no additional cost to you. I do greatly appreciate it, as it helps me run my blog and post content that will help you in your daily life. Please read the full disclosure here. Oh, and just in case — I am NOT a mental health professional, nor a skincare expert or even a financial advisor! What I write are my experiences, tips & personal advice. If you are in need of help, please don’t hesitate to contact a professional! Please read the full disclosure here concerning that point. Okay, that’s out of the way – READ ON!!

Last Updated on October 29, 2021 by ELLEASH

Hey hey my lovely entrepreneurs,

Imagine yourself sitting in front of your computer (current global pandemic obliges!) and you are you looking for some awesome products to spruce up your skin care routine. 

The feat implies joy and simplicity, right? Err… think again! Lol!

Did you know that by 2022, the global cosmetics market is expected to garner $429.8 billion? And that it is predicted to, (not quite, but close), double that amount by 2025?

It should come to no surprise that with the Covid-19 pandemic, e-commerce sales have never been so high, and the beauty industry increased its online sales by 30 percent. 

So, despite being in a global pandemic, we are still definitely buying! 

Nevertheless, just because there is a substantial amount of products we can buy, this shouldn’t be synonymous to spending all our hard-earned mula!



So you’re (still) sitting there, and you have absolutely NFI what you really need, and more importantly, what is really going to work for your skin!

Personally, I find mixing high-end and drugstore products is really the way to go.

Not only can you discover new brands and new products, but you can also save some money by choosing a few more products, than you normally would – as you don’t have to pay so much! And really, being able to mix your products is a good way to see what works for your skin.

Yet, don’t go all crazy and try out a ton of products because they were cheap, eh! Your skin will make you pay for it, and in the least esthetic way too!

Let’s not forget basic common sense too! 

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE, and am fully for pampering my skin, but if you’re like me, you may not have time to do so everyday, and two, your budget might probably not be able to sustain it!

If you are looking at building upon your current skin care routine, or starting out completely fresh, you need to ask yourself the right questions. And I’ve got your covered!



Asking yourself the right questions


  1. What is my skin-type?
  2. What products work for me?
  3. How long should I spend on my routine?
  4. How much money should I (really) spend on my routine?
  5. How do I know if I’m doing it right?

I remember when I was first starting to become interested in my skin care routine, I honestly had no idea that there could be so many factors to take into account.

So, if you are still figuring out what to buy, I’ve got you covered! 

Read on my lovely entrepreneurs, I’m going to try and lay out the basic steps to your best skin care routine yet!



What is my skin-type?

We are all super different (and that is SO cool!), however when it comes to skin-types, most people fall into the following 4 categories and 1 sub-category: 

Normal: Your skin is often blemish-free, you don’t feel, nor do you observe, any particular tightness, irritation, oiliness, redness or sensitivity. Your pores are bomb and you don’t have many signs of pre-mature aging, such as wrinkles or lines. You’ve pretty much been dealt the super skin-cards! 

Dry: Your skin is often characterized by a feeling of tightness, flakiness and can be dull in complexion. You try and compensate by using lots of creams and you are more prone to having fine lines or wrinkles. Not super fun!

Oily: If you have an oily skin-type, you will observe shiny patches on your face, have enlarged pores and may unfortunately be prone to having acne.

Sensitive: This sub-category can really be associated with the main 4 categories above. You can have sensitivity regardless the skin-type you have. The outer signs are mainly redness, dryness and itching.



What products work for me?

Ah, if I had a dollar or euro for every time I asked myself that question, I might be a little better off, than I am currently 😂

Bad joke aside, to know what products work for you, I am giving you 4 awesome tips!

Firstlyyou really need to be aware of the key active ingredients that are good for you

In simple words, know what ingredients are good for your skin type. Just like when you’re comparing 2 food items, you will more often than not, choose the healthier one.

Same goes for your skin care products. You want to be using the key ingredients that are going to be beneficial for your concern.

Secondly, another manner in which you can know that a product will work for you, is by aiming to find the products that contain that key active ingredient.

So, if you are looking for a great product, turn the packaging and look at the ingredients list 😊

Obviously, we are not all skin care formulators, so where can we go to find the right ingredient for our skin care routine products? 

Awesome sites, such as FeelUniqueSkinStoreLookFantastic, will let you search for the key ingredient and pop out numerous products for you to choose from. 

Thirdly, you need to be very careful about the famous key active ingredient(s). Like in a recipe, sometimes individually a product is awesome, but mixed with other things, or even if there is too much of it, it may actually be gag-worthy.

To really ensure that whatever you are slapping on your face, isn’t going to ensue an allergic reaction, you need to check the famous key active ingredient(s) isn’t going to worsen whatever concern you wish to zap!

This fantastic search tool Cosdna, is super simple to use, and by popping in your actives in the search tool, you can either look up your product, or your ingredient, and know if it’s okay to mix’n’match or better to find another product, etc… I have used it numerous times, and it has rarely deceived me!

And lastly, why not go directly to some great review sites such as Beautypedia or MakeupAlley.

Like the other sites, they have a search option and you can find the products that will help you with your skin concern, as well as an in-depth review of the actual product itself 😊.

A true win-win situation.



How long Should i spend on my skin-care routine?

When it comes to any moment involving self-care, I am all for some mega-pampering. 

That said, I am also a realist and am very aware that most days, just getting the kids and ourselves, out the door on-time is an achievement!

Depending on what type of routine you are completing, you may want to give yourself a “limit” on how long you can actually spend on your skin-care routine.

For example, if you’re a morning person, then why not indulge a little and take your time in applying those products?

Same goes for your evening skin-care routine – if you know that it’s going to be tight, just stick to your basics: Cleanse, Tone, Treatment, Moisturize.

Whatever time you have, make sure you are actually enjoying the process and not just rushing because you have to do it!

A skin-care routine needn’t be a burden, au contraire, it should be that moment of the day you really look forward to.

Whatever time you have, lavish some love on your skin!



how much money Should I (really) spend on my skin-care routine?

Like mentioned above, there is no need for you to be spending all your hard-earned cash, because so-and-so tells you to, or such-and-such uses this fancy-shmancy product!

Don’t get swept up in a trend!

how can I avoid going on a spending frenzy?

When you are about to click buy, you need to have 4 questions in mind:

  1. Will your skin truly benefit from the product?
  2. Is the price tag really worth it compared to the ingredients in its formula? 
  3. Will you be able to afford re-stocking that product to reap its benefits?
  4. Does the brand actually fit-in with my lifestyle choices?

It can be so easy to get swept up in the whirlwind of marketing strategies. Just because you see the product advertised everywhere and by everyone (and anyone!), may not mean that it is actually for you.

Think of the 4 points talked-about in the sub-topic ” What products work for me?“. 

Look closely at the ingredients in the formula. Is the hefty price-tag really worth you spending that much money, on a product that doesn’t really contain an exclusive or rare ingredient in its formula?

Don’t be fooled by sexy slogans and do your homework beforehand, so your bank account doesn’t take a nosedive!

Did you know that when you are trying out a (new) product with active ingredients, like Retinol, Vitamin C, etc … , it takes quite a substantial amount of time, before you notice any changes. 

For Retinol and any peptides, you need to wait a good 3 months, and for Vitamin C around 3-8 weeks. So, if you are changing and go down the route of an impulse buy, be sure you’ll be able to repurchase the product, once you have that pretty empty tub or bottle on your shelf 😉.

If you have a particular lifestyle and you only want to purchase certain products that are in-line with your choices, (vegan, natural, only organic ingredients, etc …, then by all means, go for gold and stick to what makes you comfortable and happy – even if the price-tag is a little more expensive. Be mindful that you have the choice and you don’t have to stick to any particular kind of product, no matter the lifestyle you have.

These 4 little questions, when wanting to buy new skin-care products, should always be in the forefront of your decision-making, thus avoiding to make unnecessary expenses.



(Bonus for ya!) how can i actually save money on my skin-care products?

If you are able to spend $50-$100 per item (FYI: that’s an average of $250-$500 per routine!) for your skin-care routine, then by all means don’t be influenced to change your products. I know how hard it can be to find those amazing products, that don’t irritate or damage your skin!

However, if you’re a little cash-strapped, or just want to reduce your skin-care budget, there are really cool sites that can help you out, such as Skinschool and Skincare Dupes.

These websites offer you the coolest search option to find the (cheaper) dupes, to a more expensive product.

It’s not always super on-point, but it can definitely steer you in the right direction. 

Like I have stated previously, there comes a point where you really need to use your common sense.

Rule of thumb, if you really want to reduce how much you are spending on your skin-care regimen, is to not spend a hefty amount on whatever is going to be washed away from your face.

You are literally pouring money down the drain otherwise! 

You want to spend a little more on whatever products will be staying longer on your face, such as serums, moisturizers and sunscreens.



How do I know if What I’m doing is right?

When it comes to my skincare regime, I have learned to rely on what my skin is telling me. Your skin-care BFF is your skin. Shocking right? LOL!

Trust me, it will really let you know when the product you are using is too harsh, stripping your skin of its natural skin barrier, etc … 

Usually, your skin will either feel super tight, bouncy, look glowy, or change in appearance (spots!), if what you are doing is wrong or right!

To get the most benefit out of regular skincare regimen, Dr. Ashley Magovern, board-certified dermatologist and owner and founder of Manhattan Dermatology, says to follow three simple steps: cleanse, treat, and moisturize.

I tend to include a 4th step, as I always use a super light toner, to ensure my skin barrier is a-ok, after being cleansed. That is just my preference though ☺️

If your skin is not showing any sign of distress and it doesn’t “feel” odd, then my guess is that, you’re doing exactly what it needs, and to continue with your regimen, because your skin will tell you if what you’re doing is right or wrong.



Some Awesome products Recommendations

Here are some great products that I love to use. I have a normal to combination skin, sometimes it can be dehydrated as well, so maybe these products may not work for you, BUT if you check out these websites I have given you before, you should be able to find what you want according to your skin concerns.

These products are seriously my go-tos! I have been using them for years and they are truly the staples in my routine. I’m super excited to share them with you. 

Let me know if you have used them before and if you enjoy them too!


Effortless make-up removal. My all-time favorite. It gets EVERYTHING off and is super gentle and my skin absolutely loves it! I love double cleansing, so this is my go-to product, when I feel like pampering my skin. It’s a little pricey, but it’s seriously worth the money, as you aren’t using that much to get all your gunk off ya face!!

This Caudalie cleanser is very gentle and perfect for dry to normal skin-types. I like this one during the summer, when I feel like I don’t need a super strong cleanser, as I’m not wearing as much make-up yet still want my face cleansed! I first bought this in a pharmacy, whilst I was on vacation and had forgotten my own cleanser, and used it all summer long!

Avene’s cleanser is gentle & milky. Perfect for sensitive skin, prone to redness. I prefer to rinse it off with tepid water, but you don’t really have to. Personally, I prefer to double cleanse, as I hate that feeling of still having ‘dirt’ and ‘muck’ on my face! So, I would use this as a first cleanse, then gently rinse off with tepid water and go in with another cleanser, such as the Cervave Foaming Cleanser.

With essential ceramides, this cleanser is another great one if you have normal to oily skin. I love that it does really deeply cleanse, but my skin is never tight, nor does it have that ‘squeaky’ clean feel after using it. I love that it is fragrance free. I tend to alternate between this, the YTTP Superfood cleanser and the COSRX Good Morning cleanser.

I love this product. I use it when I am feeling SUPER SUPER lazy and just don’t feel like going through the double cleanse, and all that awesome jazz! BUT, I always wash my face no matter how I am feeling, and this micellar water is a great compromise, when I don’t want to literally get my hands wet! Lol …


Pyunkang Yul

By far my all time fave essence toner! I use it whenever I feel my skin a little tight. I pour about the size of a €1 coin in my palm and slap it on my face. I do this 3 times – sometimes I do 5, depending on how my skin feels. 

secret key starting treatment essence

I’ve bought this twice now, and I absolutely swear by it. Every time I use it again, after having not used it for a while, I really feel the difference in the texture of my skin. It also looks a lot more plump and youthful.

neogen essence

With ferment water, this first essence just seeps deep into your skin. Get ready for super plump and bouncy cheeks with this other favorite of mine.

This gently exfoliates and brightens your complexion. I have been using it for ages and I am always super happy with the results! Don’t forget to use SPF if you are using it in the morning!

I used this toner when my skin was super sensitive just after having given birth. My skin was going through a I’m-gonna-rule-the-world phase, and it was just absolutely hormonal and I hated it! This helped keep the flare-ups down and kept it very hydrated.


I love this product, but the baby’s-poop-looking color, is, I admit, a little off-putting! But don’t let that deter you from using it! I have been using this product for well over 6 months now, once or twice a week, and every time I use use, I am always amazed at how baby-soft my skin feels and how ‘tight’ it looks. The turmeric helps with brightening my skin and the little rosehip seeds gently exfoliates it as well. What I love about this product, is that it is a 2-in-1. You can either use it and wash it off, or you can leave it on as a mask. Not only are you exfoliating, you are making and indulging in some self-care! Bliss!

I have been using this powder for over 3 years! It really is a gem. The bottle lasts a super long time, even when I use it every other day. The product is gentle enough for you to use everyday if you wish. Even though you really shouldn’t be exfoliating your skin everyday, the fact that this one is super gentle, is perfect fo people with sensitive skin.

If you prefer chemical exfoliants, this one is a tried and tested favorite! If you are going to apply it in the morning, don’t forget your SPF! Personally, I only apply AHAs / BHAs at night, but still slap on the SPF in the morning. There is no use in treating your skin with great products, only to have all the benefits stripped away when you’re forgetting to apply SPF.

These are another great chemical exfoliant. I use these when I am going on vacation and cannot bring too many bottles with me. They make my skin texture so soft and also give me a super glow!! The only drawback is that the product isn’t super ecological. The choice is yours!


Ever since I have been using this serum, with Paula’s Choice Retinol, I feel that my skin is rejuvinated! When you are starting out, maybe try using it once a week and then increase your usage – do what your skin tells you! Let her tel you what she likes and can take.

The Ordinary’s Buffet serum is well known for its ingredients. This multi-peptides serum has been doing wonders for my skin. I use it in the morning and I feel like my skin is looking and feeling much plumper and hydrated. 

Some other products definitely worth mentioning that I have used in the past and still do, and totally LOVE:

These can all be purchased by clicking on the photo ☺️. 


I enjoy this moisturizer during the winter, when I feel my skin needs just that little extra oomph in hydration. It glides on well and sits beautifully under a touch of make-up, giving you that gorgeous glow-from-within look. It works for me, because I tend to have drier skin in the winter, so the thicker formula works great for me!

This little gem is what every gorgeous French woman has on her bathroom sink! It’s the perfect match for my skin in the winter, as it is hydrating enough, or in the summer, as it isn’t too thick. Perfect under make-up or alone. A great all-rounder!

Another favorite of mine. This is probably the cheapest hydrator I use and that totally does the job! This is one of the only moisturizors that doesn’t pill at all when I wear it under make up, and don’t press my foundation in!! I can scrub my face, whilst applying my foundation with my fingers, the product will stay on my skin and not form those horrid little globs of product! Super cheap, but not on your skin!!

Can’t go wrong with this one here. I believe this was probably one of the first moisturizers I ever bought with my own money. I got a little trio set for a basic skincare regimen, and I absolutely LOVED the moisturizer! A classic and a definite favorite.


After discovering this gem, it’s super hard for me to try out others, and actually like them! This sunscreen, is 50+, sits SO well under make-up and is super moisturizing. I wear this one every single day – without fail!

I love this one if you’re looking one that is slightly tinted. My skin tone is surprisingly more on the darker spectrum for an Asian (especially one who wears sunscreen everyday!), so this tinted sunscreen is perfect for me. It has a lovely finish for  a mineral sunscreen! Usually, mineral sunscreens tend to not sit as well as a chemical or hybrid sunscreen, so this is a lovely surprise!

A super light and serum-texture like sunscreen. It has a matte finish, so if you’re not into looking like a glowing discoball, this may be for you! It does leave a little whitecast, so maybe touch up with some bronzer or foundation. It sits beautifully under make-up!

I use this sunscreen during the summer, when I know I’m going to be out & about. It’s super hydrating, without being too greasy-looking. Sits great on the skin alone or under a touch of make-up.

There you have it my lovely entrepreneurs! As previously stated, these are really my favorite products. They have helped me keep my skin feeling and looking great. They are at different price points, to illustrate that you really don’t have to just buy expensive skin care products.

Remember to use your common sense and if you need to choose which product, have those questions stated above, in mind before pressing buy!

I truly hope this enlightens you a little more about the basics of a good skin-care routine, and one that works for you.

I love hearing from you, so don’t hesitate to drop me a comment below ☺️

Elle Ash xo



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