How to Get Better Skin with Less Effort, According to Experts

3. Skip a step, if you can

Don’t feel like you have to slather on everything every day. Instead, focus on what your skin needs. Does it need a moisturizer to fight dryness? Or is it dehydrated? Are you using a prescription that needs to be applied daily?

Your skin’s needs may change wildly due to climate, season, weather, and age. If you wake up on a humid day and can’t bear the thought of applying your usual rich moisturizer, skip it! Don’t feel like you have to do the same thing every day — your regimen should be enjoyable and relaxing.

Tip: The best routine is a doable one. Once you’ve taken care of the basics, it’s OK to stop there, or add steps and products if you feel like it.

You can pamper your winter-dry skin with an overnight sleeping pack, soothe summer skin with a refreshing sheet mask, or simply crawl into bed with just-cleansed skin if you’re not feeling up to a full routine.

But you don’t have to do it all, every day.

What to do every week

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1. Exfoliate with restraint

Not everyone needs to exfoliate their skin, but even with regular cleansing, layers of dead skin can build up on the surface, leaving your face feeling grimy, rough, or dull.

Exfoliating once a week can help your skin look and feel smoother, brighter, and will reduce the likelihood of clogged pores.

BEWARE OF MANUAL EXFOLIANTS (AKA SCRUBS)

Scrubs featuring rough or sharp particles can cause microtears in the skin. Scrubs can also worsen acne, Lortscher explains, as the “friction from aggressive scrubbing will backfire. This causes irritation, and irritation leads to more acne.”

Instead of a scrub, consider a chemical exfoliant, such as an AHA or BHA. These dislodge excess dead skin, allowing it to be gently wiped away.

Pro-tip: Daily or weekly, not both. Some AHA/BHA chemical exfoliants are designed to be used daily. If you’re already using a daily exfoliant, you may want to avoid a more intense once-weekly exfoliation, as your skin will already be more sensitive. If not, your skin might benefit from a weekly exfoliant to slough off dead skin.

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