Ask The Experts: How Do I Start My Skincare Journey?

KISS Promotion: Skincare doesn’t have to be complicated


We know that as a teen, it can be really tricky to know exactly what to do when it comes to skincare. We get lots of questions from our lovely readers about how to start a skincare journey and what they do and don’t need to be putting on their skin.

We’ve enlisted the help of Louise O’ Brien, Education Training Manager at Dermalogica to get you started on the right track and to answer some common questions we get asked. 

Why do I have problems with my skin?

Louise says: From as early as 8 years old, puberty hormones and growth hormones that spike at pre-teen age and into our late teens have a big impact on skin. They make our oil glands go into overdrive which results in oily skin and they also drive skin cell production. Our skin is constantly shedding old skin cells but this increase in skin cell production can quickly cause congestion in the pores as they mix with the excess oil causing blockages known as blackheads.

When our pores are congested, spot-causing bacteria that lives on our skin can easily thrive, causing the development of pustular spots or white heads. This results in redness or inflammation around the breakouts as the skin fights to clear the infection. There are many things we could be doing daily that makes this worse, so getting our skin care right is essential to keeping skin as clear as possible. If oily skin and breakouts runs in your family, there is a good chance you will have inherited this skin type.

How many products should I be using? 

Louise says: Skincare doesn’t have to be complicated or a lengthy process in order to keep your skin clear and healthy. In fact, it only takes a three-step regimen of prep, treat and glow. This involves cleansing, toning and moisturising.


The first step in achieving a healthy skin is double-cleansing. Typically, younger skin experiences excess oil that can lead to large pores, blackheads and breakouts. Whether you wear make-up or not, it’s important to remove all dirt, oil, makeup and pollutants from the skin morning and evening.

Dermalogica’s Clear Start Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash is a refreshing breakout-fighting, foaming wash that clears away dirt, excess oils and old skin cells that clog pores and cause breakouts. And you can use it anywhere, your face, back, neck and chest…. wherever your skin needs deep cleaning and pore clearing for fewer breakouts. It contains Salicylic Acid, a hero ingredient for oily or breakout-prone skins that dives deep into pores, clearing dead skin cells and trapped oils to help wipe out existing and future breakouts. Botanicals including Tea Tree and Lavender soothe and calm the skin and Orange Peel Extract revives, energises, and refreshes. You can use an oil-based pre cleanser to remove makeup and Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash to 2nd cleanse. Or just wash, rinse and repeat when cleansing daily.


Step 2 is toning. While it’s totally normal to have large pores or visible pores, they can sometimes be a bugbear for many. Although it’s not possible to ‘close’ open pores, Micro Pore Mist minimises visible pores and reduce excess oil. Simply spritz on clean skin morning and evening.

Niacinamide, aka Vitamin B3, helps diminish the appearance of pores, brighten skin and even skin tone while an antioxidant-rich blend of Witch Hazel, Green Tea and Matricaria Flower Extracts provides a pore-tightening effect. You can also spritz Micro Pore Mist on your skin throughout the day, even over make-up to refresh and cool the skin.


The final but very important step is to moisturise. A common misconception about oily skin is that it doesn’t need moisturising. We understand that the thought of adding something creamy to the skin might seem counterproductive when skin is oily, however, it’s important to understand that skin has a balance of both oil and water, and both need to be in check for healthy skin function.

You need an oil-free, hydrating lotion or jelly to keep skin hydrated and protected from the elements. Hydrating your skin doesn’t mean it’ll look shinier; it will instead be healthier and look naturally glowing. There are many things in our environment that suck the moisture from the skin, so hydration is key. We also need to defend skin from damaging UV rays and irritating pollutants, a good moisturiser will cover all these bases.

Cooling Aqua Jelly is a moisturiser for oily skin that gives all the dewy glow and none of the shine. This jelly-based cooling moisturiser’s water-like texture leaves skin feeling super fresh, cool and lightly hydrated. It contains a retinol-like bioflavonoid complex that helps reduce excess oil and refine the skin’s texture. Hyaluronic Acid locks in moisture to deeply hydrate the skin. Cooling Aqua Jelly has a distinct blue colour but to support a healthy skin Dermalogica do not use any artificial colours or fragrances in their formulas. This natural colour comes from Blue Tansy Flower Oil and brightening Blueberry Extract that help calm and soothe skin while providing antioxidant benefits.

Top Tips:

Some extra top tips to help support a clear healthy skin:

Remember our skin is a living organ, the largest in the body! Look after your overall health and wellness, including a healthy diet and regular exercise to positively impact your skin health. There is evidence to show a diet high in sugar can increase acne symptoms as they drive oil and skin cell production.

Practice good hygiene such as regular hand washing as we often touch our faces. No picking or squeezing as that will cause skin damage which can lead to scarring. Clean your phone regularly and things like your makeup brushes and pillow cases.

All Clear Start products are cruelty-free, gluten-free and vegan. Sustainability is important for Dermalogica too with the newer packaging of Micro Pore Mist and Cooling Aqua Jelly using up to 50% recycled plastic.

Read more about the products in our breakdown here: Everything You Need To Know About Dermalogica’s Latest Clear Start Range