We get it; skin care can be daunting. Between exfoliating scrubs, brightening creams, retinols, plant-based masques, stem-cell serums, topical Vitamin C, etc. there are endless options and combinations out there to treat hyperpigmentation, acne, acne scars, and fine lines. On top of the never-ending list of products, there are also rules on how and when you can use them. It’s really no wonder so many of us can’t get on board with an effective routine!

Not to fret; we’ve done all of the skin care streamlining for you. A plan that won’t break the bank, won’t feel like a chore, and certainly won’t crowd your vanity with products that you’ll never use. Here are 4 foolproof, tried-and-true steps to achieving that youthful glow we all desire.  

STEP ONE: Cleanse Morning & Night

No matter what your skincare regimen entails, never forget to cleanse your skin. Even if you run dry and/or you’re not acne prone, it’s crucial to squeeze in a good scrub when you wake up each morning and before you go to bed at night. But there are some tips to note when it comes to cleansing…

  • If you’re on the drier side or it’s the dead of winter, make sure your cleanser is ultra- hydrating such as Refinement Coconut cleanser, which is perfect for all skin types and removes makeup.
  • Any esthetician or skin care expert will swear by this rule: at night, wash twice. The first wash removes your makeup and the second cleanses your skin.
  • Washing in the morning is equally as important as washing at night. Think about how often you wash your pillow case…even if it’s once a week, it’s still getting oil and grime on it from your hair and any mild perspiration you have through the night.
  • If you go to the gym, keep a cleanser in your gym bag and wash your face as soon as you’re finished with your work out
STEP TWO: Use an Acid

Whether you struggle with acne scars, fine lines, and/or hyperpigmentation, using a good acid will be a godsend to your skin. Our favorite of all the acids? Retinoic, hands down. You may have heard of Retin-A as a teen or even now, as an adult. There’s a reason it has stood the test of time. It works…like really, really well. But there’s no need to get Retinoic Acid in Rx form if you’re not struggling with acne. Skin Medica’s Retinol Complex, which is sold by many aesthetic practices and medical spas, is pretty amazing with transforming your skin.

Rules to live by: only use Retinoids at night and never forget the medical-grade sunscreen during the day – even if it’s raining. Also, listen to your skin. Gradually ease into using Retinol every other night (or nightly if your skin tolerates it). If you’re using it too frequently, your skin will let you know with irritation and flaking.

There are tons of other effective acids out there too. Many come in face washes (Alpha and Beta Hydroxy are commonly seen) as well as pore cleansing pads. When in doubt, you can always ask a skin care professional which acid-based product is best to treat your concerns.

STEP THREE: Hydrate, Every Morning and Every Night

We’re getting to the easy stuff now. Simply put, hydrated skin is happy skin. Using a good moisturizer is key if you want to avoid getting any more wrinkles or making those existing ones worse. It’s especially important during winter months when the air is its driest. And if you live in a desert climate, you should be cognisant with applying some sort of moisturizing cream or serum year-round.

Moisturizing will help you today, tomorrow, and in the years to come. The immediate effects are softer and smoother skin while the long-term benefits are fewer wrinkles and weathering of the skin. This is because any good moisturizer (or night cream) attracts water to the skin cells and locks it in. When skin is hydrated, cells can more easily turnover, creating a fresher and more youthful looking appearance.

During the day, we suggest using a pure Hyaluronic Acid serum and a moisturizing cream, like Skin Medica’s Ultra Sheer Moisturizer. You’d layer these on after washing your face and before using sunscreen and/or makeup. At night, use a heavier cream if your skin is dry. Otherwise, you’re fine to apply the same Hyaluronic Acid and a moisturizer used during the day.

STEP FOUR: Wear Sunscreen – No Matter What!

We cannot stress this enough. Wearing sunscreen is absolutely vital to your skin’s health. In addition to the risks of skin cancer, your skin needs sunscreen as protection against hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and more. And regardless of skin tone…we all need it.

But don’t just grab any ole sunscreen from the drugstore shelf. In fact, we suggest steering clear of the drugstore brands all together if you can. A medical-grade sunscreen that’s free of parabens is definitely ideal. We love Elta MD Clear & Elta UV Restore And if you spend a lot of time outside or you’re going on a tropical vacation, invest in a zinc-based physical block that’s water-proof such as Elta MD Physical.

Even if it’s raining and even if you don’t step foot outside, wear it. Those harsh florescent lights at work can affect your skin too. But when should you apply it? Well, at the very least, every morning after you’ve applied all other skin care and before you apply makeup. If you’re going to sweat even a little bit or you’re going to be outside for a portion of the day, reapply every 2 hours to be safe.

Okay, so in summary…
  1. Wash your face morning and night and immediately after every gym session.
  2. Use an acid of some sort to promote cell turnover and an overall smoother, clearer complexion. We love Retinol but there are lots of other effective acids out there too. Ask your Skin care professional which is best for you.
  3. Keep your skin hydrated. Wear a light moisturizer every day and if needed, a heavier cream at night.
  4. Wear sunscreen no matter your skin tone or the weather. Be selective in what kind of sunscreen you choose too!

Have more questions about our minimalist skin care guide? Reach out to us here. We’re happy to help.

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