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How to Build a Skincare Wardrobe

If you’ve never heard of a Skincare Wardrobe, you’re not alone. While it’s a concept we’ve been talking about for awhile (seriously), it hasn’t yet been in the spotlight — although it should be. The Skincare Wardrobe is our approach to the skincare routine, designed to give your skin exactly what it needs on any given day and reducing waste in the process. And it’s a major part of our skincare journey mindset to Take It Day by Day, Skin by Skin™. Here, everything you need to know.

What’s a Skincare Wardrobe?

A Skincare Wardrobe is the lineup of products you can choose from to care for your skin. Here’s the inspiration for that: When you get dressed in the morning, chances are that you open your closet or drawer, factor in the weather, where you’re going, and how you’re feeling, and use that intel to make a choice about what to wear.

The Skincare Wardrobe embraces a similar type of thinking, but with your skincare routine — so, open up your bathroom cabinet, consider how your skin is feeling and looking, and choose your skincare products from there. Consider it a more informed and intuitive approach to taking care of your skin than just trying a bunch of things and hoping they work — or, conversely, sticking with a few daily staples that may not be working for your skin.

That said, a Skincare Wardrobe doesn’t mean you have an elaborate, multi-step routine. Just like you wouldn’t wear all your clothes at once, the same goes for your skincare. It’s more about having options.

Want to hit reset on your skin? Learn how to start your skincare journey.

Why do you need a Skincare Wardrobe?

A Skincare Wardrobe basically ensures you have everything on hand to cater to your skin’s needs, whether it’s looking a little drier in the morning or you’re dealing with a budding breakout. So, it goes hand-in-hand with the Take It Day by Day, Skin by Skin™ approach. Feeling, touching, and looking at your skin to determine what it may need is the first step, whereas your Skincare Wardrobe is more of a personalized toolkit for addressing those needs. It’s like a capsule collection for your face.

Conscious Consumption

The Skincare Wardrobe is also a way of being mindful about the products and waste — which brings us to the idea of conscious consumption. That’s because the skincare wardrobe is not about buying every single product out there and hoping for the best. (Shoutout to everyone with a skincare product graveyard under their sink.) 

Rather, conscious consumption is about carefully choosing what you buy and use in order to reduce waste. In a recent Beauty Consumption survey we conducted with almost 700 of our community members, customers shared that they own 36 beauty products on average — but only use about 12 on a regular basis. Doing the math, that means people are using an average of 30% of the products they own, and the rest is presumably going to waste. (The reason for this discrepancy? The most common answer was FOMO driven by sales or limited-edition products or, interestingly, FOMOOTH, which is Fear of Missing Out on the Hype, driving purchases that are then never used.)

The goal of conscious consumption is to have those two numbers — the number of skin-care products you own and the number of skin-care products you use regularly — to be the same. Because if you’re not using it regularly, why buy it?

How to build a Skincare Wardrobe

First, edit down your skincare product stash; you might find half-used products you’ll never try again. The good news? You’ve got options for reducing waste, and a lot of them. If hygiene isn’t an issue — like anything in a tube or pump bottle — you can gift it to a friend or family member. Expired products can be recycled; consider send-back programs like TerraCycle, or recycling programs, or drop-off recycling centers. You can also donate some gently used items to Project Beauty Share, which distributes them to nonprofits that help women and families in need. (Here’s what they’ll accept!)

Next, put together your capsule collection. For certain products, you can scale up or down based on what works for you; consider this a customizable guide more than a list of rules. Also, write down the date you open a new product on the back, so you can tell how long a product has been open and whether you should toss it. 

Again — we can’t stress this enough — these numbers are just recommendations, and can be tailored according to your preferences, needs, lifestyle, budget, and more. One of each is totally fine, while others may want more. With that in mind, here are your staples.

Oil-Based Cleanser (including cleansing balm, cleansing oil, or micellar water)

How Many: Up to three

Your oil cleansing step helps remove makeup, SPF, and excess sebum on your skin. You should follow with a water-based cleanser as your nightly cleansing routine. You can have a mix of three in your skincare wardrobe, but if you find yourself constantly using one product, condense your wardrobe to just that one.

Water-Based Cleanser (including gel or foam cleanser, cream cleansers, treatment cleansers)

How Many: Up to three

Your water-based cleanser helps refine pores and gives skin a deep clean (but shouldn’t leave your skin feeling stripped). It can be used as the last step of your double cleanse, or can be used on its own if you’re not wearing makeup or SPF. Have a cleanser that does it all in your skincare wardrobe, or choosing up to three cleansers that target different skin concerns that you can pick and choose from.


How Many: Up to two

If you’re in need of some brightening power or are experiencing pore buildup, reach for a toner that has exfoliating and hydrating properties. If you are a fan of using a separate exfoliating step, we recommend sticking to a toner solely focused on hydration. With both in your Skincare Wardrobe, you can easily pick and choose.

Eye Creams

How Many: Up to two

You only need one eye treatment in your routine—there’s no need to apply an eye serum and then an eye cream. That said, in your morning routine, you may want to choose an eye cream that has SPF built in (or you can use an eye cream and additionally layer SPF); in your nightly routine, you may want to choose a more rich eye treatment.


How Many: Up to six

Your serums contain the highest concentration of active ingredients in your daily routine, and should target whatever skin concerns on deck that day. They can be layered, so you can use multiple serums in the same routine. Just layer them in order from most lightweight to heaviest, or mix them together before applying to skin.


How Many: Up to four

Lock in all of the hydration and active ingredients in your routine with a moisturizer. Look for those that target your specific concerns and have textures that work for your skin — think velvety, emollient formulas when you’re feeling dry, and lightweight gel textures when your skin seems oily. You’ll likely want to change your moisturizer depending on the season as well.

Moisturizing is not created equal! Learn how to moisturize when your skin is dry, and how to hydrate when it’s oily.


How Many: Up to three

The must-have in your routine! SPF is a non-negotiable element of every daytime routine, and should be reapplied every 2 hours to help protect your skin from free radical damage. It can be in the form of a mist SPF to reapply, built into your makeup, a powder, or more — the exact number is a personal preference.

Lip Treatments

How Many: Up to three

Balms! Tints! Scrubs! There’s a lot to choose from but you only have one set of lips, so stick with what you’ll actually use. A balm that lightly exfoliates is perfect for overnight, whereas you might want a hydrating lip treatment with a tint during the day. Or, you could use a 3-in-1 scrub-balm-tint hybrid, like our Lip Pop.

Weekly Treatments (including face masks, peels, and exfoliators)

How Many: Up to six

When it comes to targeted treatments like face masks, the options are endless: You could go with hydrating, exfoliating (on various levels of intensity), detoxifying, clarifying, and calming masks, or sheet masks. We say weekly here, but our sleeping masks can be used every day, too, or as an occasional treatment.


How Many: Up to two

Lightweight and refreshing, these should have hydrating ingredients like oils or glycerin so that they don’t just evaporate from your skin. Not only do they moisturize throughout the day, but they can also prime and set makeup.

Optional: Face Oil

How Many: One

Face oils help lock in moisture and give skin a dewy finish. If your skin is more oily, opt for a dry oil; if your skin is on the drier side, choose a thicker oil. You really only need one in your Skincare Wardrobe, unless you find different oils that you love and want to continue to rotate.

With your Skincare Wardrobe in order, you’ll be that much more prepared to care for your skin — keeping it healthy and glowing in the process.

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