How To Maintain Good Skin: The Golden Rules

Beauty Hacks

How To Maintain Good Skin: The Golden Rules

If you’re looking for tips for healthy skin, I want to present one word to you that I think really underpins the whole of my philosophy on skincare. The secret of how to maintain good skin long-term.


It’s the cornerstone of how I constructed my Routine Finder for The Dr Sam System. This is based on the fundamentals of how I practise in my clinic, allowing you to access the exact same tactics I use when putting together a personalised skincare routine for my patients in the clinic.

A lack of consistency is probably the most common reason why I see a skincare routine failing, where it’s not delivering on the promises that a well-constructed actives-based routine should. It’s when, despite putting in effort and investing hard-earned money, you’ve ended up with dry, irritable, burning skin… the opposite of results.

So, if you’re looking for tips on how to maintain good skin, read my five golden rules of consistency for long-term results.

The golden rules of consistency

1. Product

Do your research, clarify your goals, and decide on one or two products featuring your chosen active ingredients.

Use one product until you’ve built up to daily use, and for long enough to determine whether it's making a significant difference to your skin concern. Only then do you bring in product number two, and start to build on the routine.

2. Dosing

Every product has a specific dose. Using the correct amount enables the formula to work effectively. Use too much and you could overload the skin barrier or cause the product to pill on your skin. Use too little and you may be missing out on the full benefits.

With actives, you need to be particularly careful. You should dose these formulas just like you would a medicine, because that's the way to be sure that you're using the right amount over a period of time.

Here’s how to correctly dose your skincare products - one of my key tips for healthy skin.

🧴Sunscreen = 2 finger lengths

🧪 Actives (including retinoid and azelaic acid) = a fingertip

☁️ Moisturiser = a fingertip

💧Cleanser = £2 coin for AM, double for PM

👀 Eye Serum = a pea-sized amount

3. Usage

I want you to get into the habit of having a really considered approach to the way you apply your skincare.

So often, I see someone who's using all the right products, but not using them in the most effective way. Perhaps they're using an acne treatment and just applying it on spots only, when, with actives like retinoid or azelaic acid, it’s more beneficial to apply all over the skin because of their glow-giving properties.

After seeing this so often in my patients, I developed The 13 Dot Technique™: a method to successfully treat the full face, without allowing excess to accumulate in the wrong place. I’ve also created an alternative for blemish-prone skin, The Modified Dot Technique™, where skin concerns are more localised. For example: the U shape seen in female adult acne.

How to apply using the 13 Dot Technique™

Three dots on the forehead

Two dots on each cheek

Two dots on the nose

Two dots on the chin

The result: even distribution, no missed bits and no “hot spots” of too much product. The ultimate skincare method to try when learning how to maintain good skin.

4. Duration

Using products for long enough is key to determining their efficacy.

In the clinic, there’s a reason why most of my patients are on a three month schedule for their follow-up appointments. Three months is two skin cycles. I talk about this a lot because it's so important. You will not know where you are with a product until three months have passed. You will have a sense at four to six weeks, but you won't really see the full benefits until around the three month mark.

And that's when using prescription skincare, so over-the-counter products might even take a little longer to have an impact.

My advice: be patient. Use your phone to set up regular reminders, so you know when you started the routine. Take pictures to help you track the course of your skin as you go. Above all else, be consistent for a sensible period of time before making judgements on the product's performance.

5. Keep it simple

Using too many active ingredients and different formulas overloads the skin barrier, causing everything from irritation to dryness to breakouts. Remember the recipe: Basics + Actives = Results. Stick to a simple routine and add in one active formula at a time for best results.

The Dr Sam System is based on four pillars:

1. Cleanse

2. Activate

3. Hydrate

4. Protect

Perfected Basics is a great place to start: a simple, effective routine everyone can benefit from. It showcases our best-selling trio of pH-balanced Flawless Cleanser, barrier-building Flawless Moisturiser and protective Flawless Daily Sunscreen. Use daily alongside your chosen actives to support your skin concerns. Opt for Flawless Brightly Serum to target dullness and hyperpigmentation, Flawless Nightly Serum to smooth fine lines, or Flawless Neutralising Gel to combat blemishes and their aftermath. If you’d like to learn more about some of my favourite actives, read Azelaic Acid 101 or Retinol Vs Retinaldehyde Explained. You’ll be a skintellectual in no time.

To build your own personalised regimen, take our Routine Finder quiz to find the products to suit your skin’s needs.

When you think about it, achieving a good skincare routine is really not that different to working out and getting into great shape with the help of a personal trainer. It's all about single-minded focus, determining your goals and not getting distracted! This is how to maintain good skin in the long run, for a healthy grown-up glow.

For more tips for healthy skin and how to maintain good skin, follow me on Instagram @DrSamBunting


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