To me, finding a routine and sticking to it has been a difficult task. The sheer number of products on the market is staggering and you have to ask yourself questions like: “Why does my face need a mini rolling pin?” and “Do I really have to use a cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer, and eye cream?”

It can be easier to just skip it all, in truth.

This is what I did for 27 years. After a friend of mine reacted in horror when I admitted that I didn’t even use daily face lotions regularly, it was clear that it was time to change.

I was completely new to skin care so I asked my friends, family, professional derms, and beauty bloggers for a #GlowUp routine. It was simple enough to stick to and it worked. Here’s what I learned from the pros and tried out various products.

woman in white bathrobe holding smartphone

Every morning

Since I am usually running to get to work in the morning, I prefer to make it as simple as possible. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Purvisha Patel summarized it well: “If your skin has never been cared for before, it is essential to get started quickly and effectively. To get the best results, use the smallest amount of products.”

Get water

This is something I knew I needed to do, but it was difficult for me to actually do. I’ve been chronically dehydrated for over 20 years. When I woke up, I began drinking two glasses of water each morning. To remind me to refill my water bottles, I set up alarms at work. It became a routine. Although it may seem extreme, it was effective for me and significantly reduced my dry skin.

Protect your skin with sunscreen

As celebrity dermatologist Dr. Tabasum Mir told me that if you don’t use sunscreen on your skin, it doesn’t matter how many anti aging creams or lotions you have. Sunblock is the best thing to do every day.

Molly Nover Baker, a colleague and beauty expert, suggested that I consult her because I was concerned about switching from using no products to my skin to using several products per day. Nover-Baker, a beauty expert and founder The Edit Collective suggested that I use La Roche-Posay sunscreen for sensitive skin. So that I could have light coverage and a high level of SPF, I chose their Tinted Mineral Sunscreen For Face.

Every night

Mir says that while daytime is all about protecting damage, night is when you can use stronger anti-aging ingredients to restore your skin.

Get rid of makeup wipes

white ceramic mug with coffee

One tip I received from beauty blogger Lindsay Silberman, who shares skin tips on her Instagram .series #InsomniaBeauty, was to get rid of my makeup wipes ASAP, especially if alcohol was listed as an ingredient.

Silberman says, “Those wipes contain chemicals!” Silberman says that while they can remove makeup, most wipes leave a residue on the skin. Use micellar water or an oil-based cleanser instead.” She recommends Bioderma as her favorite alternative.

Use a serum

Patel says that actives that can change the skin’s appearance while you sleep are important in the PM. “Night use of vitamin A, Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid is important. They are exfoliants that can increase collagen production over time.” I chose the Visha Skincare Advanced Correction Serum. It contains retinol and vitamin E as well as ferulic and salicylic acids. As soon as I applied this product, I was glowing (in a good manner).

And a moisturizer

You do indeed need both a moisturizer and a serum. After you have used the serum, apply a good moisturizer. After a friend who has sensitive skin recommended it to me, I decided to try First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Recovery Hydra-Firm Nighting Cream. It is rich and creamy, but it absorbs quickly so that I don’t feel like I am sleeping with gunk on my face.

Remember to take care of your lips

Because I was never adequately hydrated, my lips were always chapped. That all changed when I discovered Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask thanks to the helpful ladies at Sephora.

One associate said to me that this is a top seller because of its reason. It’s a miracle in the smallest tub,” she said. It’s a miracle in a little tub. I wake up every morning with soft, smooth lips. They stay moisturized throughout the day, so I have even dropped my regular balm. My boyfriend used to call me “the most chapped lady of America” and he has seen a big difference.

Add a chemical exfoliant once a week

Silberman said to me that if there was one thing you should add to your routine, it would be the Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel from Dr. Dennis Gross. She explains that they remove dead skin cells and buildup, which can prevent you from glowing your best.

She recommends that you use them at least twice a week. I tried them once per week and noticed immediate results. They were so good that I made my sister use them when she visited. She loved them after just one use.

Use a sheet mask to refresh your skin

My work trips often involve long flights and I find that my skin is dry from all the travel. A sheet mask can be a great option if you are going out on the weekend and don’t want to do your normal skin care routine or need a quick fix for your skin.

Nover-Baker recommends the “Go-To Skincare Tranformazing sheet mask.” These serum-drenched sheets masks can revive your skin in 10 minutes.

Do not forget that there is no universal solution

This was what worked for me. It took some trial and error, but it worked. If you don’t see immediate results or start to break out, don’t lose heart. Every person’s skin is unique. Knowing your skin type will help you start a routine.

Oily skin can be treated with higher concentrations of acid. You can also use retinols at night. Patel suggests that you only add one active to your skincare routine if your skin is sensitive or dry. Try out new products one by one and see if you like them. In no time, you’ll be sharing glowing #IWokeUpLikeThis photos.

Conclusion Beginner’s basics:

  • SPF
  • Oil-based cleaner or micellar water
  • Serum
  • Moisturizer
  • Lip mask
  • Chemical exfoliant
  • Sheet mask

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