As much as we like to keep the steps in our skin care routine to a minimum, we’re not willing to sacrifice our skin for the sake of saving time. Most products that seems unnecessary can be eschewed, true—but there are some products that seem unnecessary but are actually critical to maintaining glowing, youthful skin. With that said, be sure not to underestimate these important skin care steps, even if they do add an extra 30 seconds to your routine.
Toner has developed a pretty bleak reputation as an unnecessary part of your daily skin care routine: By many accounts, they actually do more harm than good, given that many toner formulas are high in drying alcohol and irritating fragrance components. But when it comes to using toner, it’s just as simple as avoiding alcohol-based products and opting instead for gentle replenishing versions to condition the skin and help it retain moisture before you use your serum and moisturizer.
Instead of slathering on the same moisturizer morning and night, a separate night cream is something you may want to seriously consider adding to your regimen. Your skin is at its most receptive at night, when the regenerating process is taking place, so it’s the ideal time to use a potent cream with serious anti-aging, brightening, or moisturizing properties.
More than a fun, scary-looking novelty, sheet masks are actually kind of a force to be reckoned with. Unlike a traditional mask, which you wash off your face once it’s done, the nourishing ingredients left behind by a sheet mask are patted into your skin, which means they continue to work even after the mask is finished. Not only do they offer instant improvements, but they’re the perfect way to treat your skin in the long-term, too.
Serum may sound like a vague, catch-all term for anything you use to treat skin that isn’t moisturizer, but it’s way more than that. Because they’re in liquid form, your cleansed skin absorbs them more readily than rich, creamy formulas, and they go deep to really get the job done for major results. Layered beneath your usual moisturizer, they work together to boost overall skin benefits, but they can be used on their own on oily or acne-prone skin for lightweight nourishment.
Once avoided far and wide by anyone with even a hint of combination skin or a history of blemishes, oil is now a must-have for everyone—yes, even the historically blemish-prone. Since they mimic the feel of the sebum your skin produces naturally, their absorption factor is excellent, and they help to balance the skin so that it’s not too oily and not too dry, especially if you tend to overproduce oil.
We can’t be the only ones who occasionally neglect the thin, delicate skin on our chests and necks, instead focusing our maintenance efforts on the face. This couldn’t possibly be more misguided: That skin is incredibly, incredibly fragile, and shows age way more—and way earlier—than the face. Use your anti-aging cream of choice to slather on your neck and chest, too, or invest in a designated formula.
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