We all know at least one person in our lives who somehow manages to have absolutely flawless skin. All. The. Time. And while we may hate her, juuuuust a little bit, we can also learn the secrets of her ways and apply them to our own, not-so-spotless faces.
To crack the code for perfect skin, we turned to the experts to get their insight on the things people with great skin always—and never—do. With these tips, you’re sure to end up with an envy-inducing complexion!
1. They always apply sunblock.
According to Dr. Hadley King, MD, board certified dermatologist at NYC’s SKINNEY Medspa, this means always—even when it’s cold and cloudy outside. “Studies from Australia show us that this makes a significant difference in how the skin ages,” she says. “People who applied sunblock everyday, no matter the weather, aged better than people who only applied sunblock when it was sunny.”
2. They never pick at their skin.
“Pimples will last much longer and the discoloration left afterwards will be much worse if you pick,” Hadley says. “As tempting as it can be, don’t do it—instead see your dermatologist for a cortisone injection and other treatments.”
3. They exfoliate gently and regularly.
Exfoliation is one of the best steps you can take to to keep skin smooth, clear and balanced, says Dr. Roshini Raj, co-founder of TULA skin care line. “Gentle exfoliation once a week speeds up the shedding of dead skin cells to make way for new, healthy skin,” she explains. “Plus, regular exfoliation encourages better product penetration and absorption, thus increasing the efficacy of any skincare product you use.”
MORE: The Best Gentle Exfoliators.
4. They use topical retinoinds.
Other than sun protection, this is the single most effective topical anti-aging family of products, King says, because they increase cell turnover and stimulate collagen production.
5. They never smoke.
“Second only to tanning, smoking is the worst thing you can do for your skin,” King says. ‘Nuff said.
6. They get enough sleep.
Ami Shvartzman, director of education for Osmosis Skincare says that getting enough good sleep can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your skin. “Missing out on a full eight hours of sleep in a night can cause an increase in the inflammation in the skin and can actually worsen existing skin conditions like acne, Rosacea, and can even encourage faster aging,” she explains. “Laying down also allows the muscles in the face to rest, and so wrinkles will often appear more shallow in the morning.”
7. They always drink enough water.
“Drinking enough water is essential for overall health but in particular is also great for your skin,” Shvartzman, says. “Treating the largest organ in your body to the recommended eight glasses a day will ensure hydrated, dewy, and extra plump skin!”
8. They always take their makeup off before they go to sleep.
Shvartzman remembers a friend who made taking her makeup off before sleeping a top priority. “No matter what was going on in her life—and this was in college so there were many times of drinks and dancing the night away—she always always always washed her face to remove her makeup at the end of the night. And she always had beautiful skin.” Sleeping in your makeup can contribute to breakouts, free radical damage, larger pores and all kinds of things you’d rather avoid, she adds, so doing this is crucial to maintaining a great complexion.
9. They always take their makeup off before they work out.
Board certified dermatologist Dr. Neal Schultz says that while most people wash their face after they work out, it’s much more important to wash your face before you exercise. “When you wipe off your sweat mid-workout, you can unintentionally grind any makeup, oil, dirt, excess dead cells, debris, and so on into the pores on your face, which can cause breakouts.”
10. They use the right products for their skin type—and get help when needed.
Finally, people with great skin create—and stick to—a skin care routine that suits them, rather than jumping on whatever product fad is happening at the given moment. “People with amazing skin are picky when it comes to their skincare products. They know their active ingredients. They understand that retinol is not the same thing as a retinoid. They don’t use dozens of products—just the right ones,” says Nada Manley of Beautymommy.com. “People with amazing skin also enlist the help of a trusted dermatologist and an esthetician, and they don’t confuse the two.” After all, there’s no point in suffering silently with skin issues that a simple prescription or facial could cure.