A good skincare routine is what keeps your complexion as clear, bright, and even as possible. It also helps stave off long-term skin problems like fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage. Maintaining a consistent, effective skincare routine is a vital part of preserving your skin’s short and long-term health and appearance.
However, you might be surprised to learn that your skincare routine does not have to eat up an hour of your day or include fifteen different products to be effective. Along with saving you time, effort, and money, simplifying your skincare routine can also improve the quality of your skin. Overcomplicated, excessive skincare habits interfere with the natural oils in your skin and causes irritation and more breakout. Sometimes, doing less actually yields better. Learn how to simplify your skincare routine to spend less money and less time on your skin with better results than you’ve ever had before.
1. Give Your Skin a Break
If you’ve been overloading your skin with too much exfoliation, excessive moisturizer, or too many harsh products, chances are your skin is irritated and stripped of its natural oils. You need to give it a break to restore itself before you start a more simplified routine.
Go one to two weeks without any deep exfoliation, face masks, or other non-essentials. Use only gentle skincare products you can’t go without–like moisturizer and facial cleanser–and use them sparingly. If you don’t have extremely dry skin, substitute a lightweight toner for moisturizer to give your skin a chance to replenish its natural oils.
2. Pick and Choose Your Investments
Stop spending half your paycheck on indulgent skincare products from high-end brands. These exorbitantly priced products are probably not as vital to the success of your skincare routine as you think they are. Always try more affordable versions of uber-expensive skincare products before you splurge for the real thing. More often than not, these dupes include exactly the same active ingredients as their more expensive counterparts. You’ll get almost exactly the same results for a fraction of the cost.
That being said, some high-end skincare products do have a transformative effect on your skin that more affordable versions just can’t match. Which high-end products are actually worth your money depend on your unique skin type and common skin problems. Choose your most indulgent products through trial and error. Always get samples of more expensive products before you buy them, and opt for a cheaper alternatives whenever possible.
3. Find a Role Model
The skincare market is gigantic. There are so many products and so much conflicting advice floating around that creating a simple but effective skincare routine that works for you can seem next to impossible. If you’re overcomplicating your skincare because you’re overwhelmed by your options, just borrow a simpler routine from someone else who knows what they’re doing.
Social media platforms like Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram are rich with clear-skinned beauty gurus who are eager to share their skincare routines with the world. Explore the profiles of various popular gurus to find one–preferably with a skin type and complexion similar to yours–who documents her skincare journey and publishes her full routine. Start following her skincare routine with the products she uses. After a few weeks, assess your results–or lack thereof–and adjust your routine accordingly to better fit your unique skin.
4. Use Fewer Products
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Many women get so frustrated with frequent breakouts or visible signs of aging that they resort to piling on any and every skincare product that promises to solve their skin woes.
Chances are, half the skincare products in your medicine cabinet aren’t actually helping your skin as much as you think they are. Using skincare products that don’t actually improve your skin does nothing but waste your time and money. Try paring your skincare routine down to only the essential products (moisturizer, one facial cleanser, a single toner or serum, etc.). Pay attention to whether or not you notice a change in your skin without the non-essential products you cut out.
5. Stop Doubling Up
Not only is using multiple products with the same active ingredient pointless, it can also be harmful to your skin. The active ingredient(s) in skincare tend to irritate your skin when used in excess.
Pay attention to the labels of the skincare products you use on a regular basis. If you discover multiple products based around the same active ingredient, save yourself time and irritation by taking all but one of them out of your regular skincare rotation.
6. Do the Work in Your Sleep
Using overnight skincare products save you a ton of time and active effort in your daily routine. When you apply them right before you go to bed, these products are designed to work their magic while you sleep to leave you with fresh, clear, rejuvenated skin in the morning.
Another benefit of overnight skincare products is that you don’t have to worry about how they make you look. It doesn’t matter if your heavy moisturizer gives your skin an oily finish if you’re going to wash it off before you leave the house in the morning. Plus, applying skincare products at night prevents them from interfering with your makeup and losing some of their functionality.
7. Pamper Once a Week
You shouldn’t be spending more than ten minutes on your skincare routine on an everyday basis. Dedicating thirty minutes to an hour of time to really pampering your skin helps you save time in your daily routine.
Common habits you should really only practice once a week include treated face masks and deep exfoliation. Multiple weekly applications of your favorite face mask won’t benefit your skin any more than one application per week. Exfoliating deeply more than once a week strips your skin of its natural oils and causes irritation, dryness, and breakouts.
In addition to shaving minutes off your daily skincare routine, restricting your intensive skincare habits to just once a week prevents you from overusing harsh products and irritating your skin.
A simple, quick, and effective skincare routine is the ultimate dream. Take a minimalist approach to your skincare to free yourself from the prison of your current expensive, time-consuming routine without damaging your skin.