The Ultimate Skincare Guide on the Go!

With the beauty aisles basically overflowing with supposed "must-haves," deciphering a skincare routine is harder than ever. Packed shelves and too-good-to-be-true claims often make beauty and skincare shopping more confusing than helpful.

Caring for your skin is necessary for both your overall health and diminishing signs of ageing, but with so many new products and wild beauty trends popping up everywhere, finding a simple skincare routine, let alone sticking to it, seems near impossible.

Even if you're committed to keeping your skincare routine simple, there are still a few rules to follow. We spoke to a few experts to figure out exactly what you need to do—at the very least—to take care of your skin.


Use a gentle daily cleanser

From the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep, your skin takes a major beating. Exposure to harmful UV rays, pollution, and grime from routine activity both damage and age the skin.

"Wash your face before your go to bed. You must get the day's grime off your face to help your skin repair itself and prep for another day while you sleep," says Heather Rogers, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Modern Dermatology and Doctor Rogers RESTORE Skin Care.


UV damage affects skin all year round, not just in the summer. Wearing an SPF is necessary when it comes to your skincare routine. Not a moisturizer with SPF or a foundation that includes SPF—apply an actual sunscreen product.

"The sun is responsible for 90 percent of skin's aging, so SPF (between SPF 30 and SPF 50) is the best anti-aging product money can buy," says Alex Serron, skin therapist at Heyday. "It must be worn every day, no matter the season or if you're going to be inside. Don't forget that UVA rays, which cause skin aging, can penetrate windows."

Shereene Idriss, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Union Square Dermatology, understands the confusing nature of the beauty world. "A plethora of skincare products can definitely appear intimidating, but just remember that the basics are the most vital when it comes to good skin, like a strong sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30. You're fooling yourself if you think the SPF 15 in your foundation is enough," Dr. Idriss says.


Moisturise twice a day

Your skin loses hydration throughout the day, hydration that keeps your skin plump and youthful. Apply moisturizer twice a day: once in the morning and once at night. "This routine makes sure you're cleaning your skin, aiding in moving along your skin cells' life cycle for healthier skin, hydrating, and, most importantly, protecting it," Serron says.


Exfoliate occasionally, not every day

After a while, leftover gunk and grime can build up on your skin. Exfoliating frees your skin from dead skin buildup that can cause irritation, dullness, and acne. While you shouldn't exfoliate every single day, make it a part of your skincare routine a few times a week.

"Once you're comfortable with your basic skin routine, I would recommend exfoliating a few times a week with a chemical exfoliant as it speeds up the removal of superficial dead skin cells, allowing active ingredients in your other skincare products to penetrate better, ultimately leading to healthier, smoother looking skin," says Dr. Idriss.


Add an anti-aging product

Adding the first three steps here is necessary for establishing and maintaining healthy skin. However, optimize even the simplest skincare routine, and include an anti-aging product to help prevent wear and tear generated by environmental aggressors.


Don't overthink it

Don't let yourself get stressed out by all the beauty noise. The basics of good skincare remain the same. Plus, once you're comfortable in your current routine, you can always add something new.

One great way to get started? "Focus on finding a face wash you like, and use it every night," Dr. Rogers says. "This simple step is the most important because it helps you to build an evening ritual of self care that will allow you to do more for your skin when you're ready."

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