Taking care of your skin is an important step in anyone's self-care routine. That being said, you don’t need to overcomplicate things to look your best – no matter what the targeted ads are telling you. And maintaining a healthy skincare routine for even just six to eight weeks prior to a boudoir photoshoot – or any big event – can have an immensely positive impact on the overall appearance of your skin.

In this post, I’ll cover the essential steps for an everyday skin care routine to keep you camera ready with fresh, healthy, glowing skin – it has everything you need, and nothing you don’t. If you have an upcoming photoshoot and are looking for a routine to do right before your session, check out this article on my tried-and-true pre-photoshoot skincare routine

Note that this article has affiliate links. I wouldn’t recommend anything I don’t use and love. There is nothing special or unique about these products other than affordability, and if you have similar products that you feel are just as good, you’re probably right. Use those!

Step 1: Cleanse 

The first step to any good skincare routine is to cleanse your skin. Use a gentle cleanser to remove dirt, and oil skin. (If you are wearing makeup, remove it before this step. I love using a micellar water to do this, personally.) Choose a simple cleanser that doesn’t have any extra fragrances, “fancy” ingredients, or empty promises. Cetaphil or Cerave are both really trustworthy dermatologist recommended brands that you’ll be able to find at your drug store. Do this either every morning and every evening, or just in the evening if less attention makes your skin feel better.

Step 2: Moisturize

Moisturizing is essential to keep your skin hydrated and healthy. Like with your cleanser, fancier is NOT better. Choose a simple moisturizer that suits your skin type. For the summer months, or for skin that is not too dry and not too oily, I like a light moisturizer like this one. I like this heavier moisturizer for the winter months, or for skin that’s in more need of extra moisture. Apply your moisturizer every morning and night after cleansing. (And if you’re thinking “my skin is already too oily so I will skip this step” – WRONG. Peace and love though, of course. Extra oily skin is often overcompensating for severe dryness.)

Step 3: Retinol

Most skincare products are trendy, about the experience, and solely invented to make you spend your money. That is not the case with retinol, which is one of the most effective ways to heal skin that’s been damaged in any way. If you can, get a prescription retinol from a dermatologist – just go in and ask for one, they will be happy to give it to you! Prescription retinols are way more effective than non-prescription retinols, but if you don’t have a prescription or can’t get one, this retinol from The Ordinary is both good and affordable. Only do this step in the evening, as it will makes your skin extra sensitive to sun damage. Don’t do this step every day, and gently allow your skin to build up to using it more often. 

Step 4: Moisturize again

I know I sound crazy. This is only necessary when you’re using your retinol. It will help curb any irritation you might notice otherwise. 

Step 5: Sunscreen

This is the most important step in any skin care routine; if you’re not using a daily sunscreen, throw your other skin-care products away, because they are wasting your time. Protecting your skin from the sun is crucial for preventing premature aging, dark spots, skin cancer, and other types of damage. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day on your face and neck. Yes, even if it’s the winter, even if the UV index is low, even if you're not spending much time outdoors. And don’t forget to re-apply; spays are great for this. 

These are the steps that I recommend for all skin types, but to take the best care of your skin I highly recommend visiting a dermatologist; they will be able to give you better advice than anything you will find online, and I can personally attest that if my dermatologist asked for it, I'd give her my left kidney. That's how hot she made me.

In conclusion, following a daily skincare routine can help you achieve healthy, glowing skin thats always camera-ready. With consistent care leading up to your session, your skin will look and feel its best, which will help you feel even more confident on your shoot day.