Everyone from dermatologists to brand founders and aestheticians has made a TikTok account to dispel skincare myths (homemade face masks are a no-no), decipher complicated ingredients (retinoids are your friend) and recommend under-the-radar skincare brands such as Paula's Choice. The app is also exceptionally helpful for those struggling with skin gripes, for example acne and eczema, or people looking for simple skincare guidance.
In fact, it's difficult not to stumble across someone sharing their "game-changing" skincare routine while scrolling through the app. But while a handful of methods are to be avoided (lemon juice should go nowhere near your skin), there are some real gems, including genius techniques and easily affordable skincare brands. If your current skincare routine isn't cutting it, or you just fancy a change, we've rounded up the smartest skincare routines TikTokers have shared recently. Plus, where you can shop all the brilliant products featured.
The best skincare routine for oily and combination skin
Posted by certified dermatology physician assistant Nicolle Finn, this morning skincare routine for oily skin can be easily adapted for the evening, too. It all starts with a foaming cleanser. Nicolle recommends La Roche-Posay's Effaclar Purifying Cleansing Gel, $25.00, which lathers up on contact with water and dissolves oil fast.
Next, Nicolle suggests following with The Ordinary's Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Serum $5.90, Niacinamide minimizes oil production (preventing breakouts), reduces the appearance of large pores and brings down inflammation or redness. Following with a high factor, moisturizing sunscreen is the final step. Nicolle loves Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen, $42.00 USD, which is super sheer and hydrates the skin.
The best skincare routine for dry skin
TikToker Mahbuba shared the nighttime skincare routine they swear by for dry skin and it includes lots of affordable favourites. It can be tweaked for the morning, too. A great cleanser is CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, $17.99, followed by The Ordinary's Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, $6.80, applied when skin is wet to maximize hydration.
If you want to add an exfoliating step into your routine, lactic acid is one of the most gentle acid exfoliators and Mahbuba recommends The Ordinary's Lactic Acid 5% + HA, $6.50. Follow with CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion, $17.99 which is packed with skin-repairing ceramides, known to soften and moisturize dry skin.
If you want to adjust this routine for the morning, simply remove the lactic acid step and follow your moisturizer with a high factor sunscreen, such as Vichy Idéal Soleil Anti-Ageing Sun Lotion, $27.95.
The best skincare routine for 'normal' skin
Dermatologist Dr. Jenny Liu has the perfect skincare routine for 'normal' skin, which is skin that is neither too oily nor too dry. Cleansing twice a day (in the morning and evening) is your first step. Choose a gentle cleanser that won't strip the skin, making it feel tight or uncomfortable, such as Honest Beauty Gentle Gel Cleanser, $12.99 USD. In the morning, Dr. Liu suggests following your cleanse with a vitamin C serum to boost brightness and to protect against environmental aggressors like pollution. R29 loves Lumene Nordic C [Valo] Glow Boost Essence, $33.70. Then apply a light moisturizer followed by high factor sunscreen, or simply a moisturizing sunscreen. Take these products up to your eye area for added moisture.
In the evening, switch out the vitamin C serum and sunscreen for a retinol serum, followed by your moisturizer. R29 rates Olay Retinol 24 Fragrance Free Night Serum, $61.30.
The best skincare routine for acne-prone skin
Next up, a salicylic acid toner in the form of Paula's Choice's Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, $29.50 USD, which unclogs pores and smooths skin texture. You can apply this with a cotton pad or your fingers if you're trying to be more eco-friendly. Follow with a lightweight moisturizer. Dr. Howard recommends SkinCeuticals. Try their Face Cream, $145, which makes skin feel soft and appear glowy; a cheaper alternative would be SVR SEBIACLEAR Hydra Moisturizer, $25.06. Dermatologists also advise alternating between salicylic acid and a gentle retinoid serum each evening to unplug pores but that's down to personal preference, and it's all about what your skin can tolerate.
In the morning, one cleanse will do. Paula's Choice's salicylic acid toner can be used in the AM, too, but if you're applying skincare acids be sure to follow with a high factor sunscreen, like La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Invisible Fluid SPF50+ Sun Cream, $29.00, as acids can make skin sensitive to sunlight.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.