While so-called “perfect” skin care doesn’t exist, it’s likely still possible to dramatically improve the health and appearance of your skin.
Many of us dream of achieving flawless skin.
Realistically, most of us have at least one or two skin concerns. Whether we’re working with hormonal breakouts, excessive oil, or fine lines, we’ve all got goals when it comes to our skin.
These expert tips below can demystify your skin care so you can give your skin exactly what it needs.
Whether it’s a tried-and-true skin care regimen, how often you wash your hair, or the cosmetics you’re curious about, beauty is personal.
That’s why we rely on a diverse group of writers, educators, and other experts to share their tips on everything from how product application varies to the best sheet mask for your individual needs.
Skin care musts for all skin
The world of skin care gets complicated pretty quickly. If you feel dizzy thinking about serums, lotions, cleansers, toners, and oils, you’ve come to the right place.
While everyone has unique needs when it comes to skin care, there are a few basic products and practices that everyone can try to improve their skin.
According to Khatra Paterson, the owner of KP Aesthetics, it’s best to stick with the basics:
- drinking water
- balanced diet
Simple skin care also means using just enough product.
“There are no benefits in using liberal amounts of products apart from sunscreen,” Paterson says.
Lunba Khan-Salim, MD, of Time to Bloom agrees. “Using too many products can, in fact, cause skin problems,” she says.
Skin care 101
Aside from keeping your routine simple, experts offer a few more tips for acing your skin care routine.
- Get the order right.
- Exfoliate once per week.
- Always wear an SPF.
- Drink water, and lots of it.
- Don’t forget your neck and décolletage.
Hit all the steps
What’s the right order for your skin regimen?
Use this simple rule: Products should be applied from lightest to heaviest.
“Think of your daily skin care regimen a little like a sandwich: The bread on either side of your filling is your cleanser and your moisturizer, and the great bit in the center is your serum,” says Diane Ackers, an aesthetician at Doctors Formula.
Exfoliation helps slough off dead skin cells, but overexfoliation can cause your skin to react with excess oil production or breakouts.
Best to keep it to a minimum with once-per-week sessions.
Next: Always, always, always wear an SPF.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA), sun damage is one of the leading causes of:
- age spots, or hyperpigmentation
- loose or saggy skin
- spider veins
- uneven complexion
Hydration is a must for healthy, glowing skin. Dehydrated skin can feel dry, itchy, and dull.
Drink liquids throughout the day, including electrolytes, to keep your hydration levels high.
Not just for your face
Your neck and décolletage, or the skin on your chest, also need some love. These oft-neglected areas are also prone to sun damage and signs of aging.
Taking your skin care to the next level
OK, so now you’ve got the essentials down. If you want up your game, try the tips below.
Skin care 102
- Double cleanse.
- Use toner.
- Boost your vitamin C.
- Try retinol.
- Hone your moisturizing technique.
- Avoid hot water.
- Eat your skin care (but not the products!).
- Give your face a massage.
Using two cleansers helps to remove debris, makeup, and oil from the day.
“The first cleanse can move the dirt around your face, so doing it twice means you get deeper into your pores,” explains Deborah Mitchell, the owner of Skincare Heaven.
Adding toner to your routine means that you’re getting another opportunity to cleanse and balance your complexion. They restore nutrients to the skin that cleansers might remove.
Once you’re cleansed and toned, vitamin C serum is next.
According to a 2017 review of researchTrusted Source, vitamin C can help collagen production and fade hyperpigmentation, or dark spots. As an antioxidant, it can also help reduce oxidative stress caused by sun damage.
It’s best to apply vitamin C during your morning routine.
Then, use retinol at night. This can prevent acne and help slow the aging process.