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Six Secrets for Your Best Complexion

Beauty trends, like fashion trends, tend to be cyclic, waning in and out, then resurging every few years.

For the past several years, beauty trended toward the multi-step, multi-product, maximalist approach. You may have heard of the 10-step Korean Skincare Systems or having a variety of single-use products for specific parts of the face.

Well, as trends go, the new skincare craze is anything but. Instead, beauty routines have recently become more minimalist and toned down, both in the number of products and frequency of use. Here are six tricks for a more simplistic yet still effective approach to skincare.

First, don’t overload your skin by using active ingredients that work together as opposed to against each other. You may have to experiment a bit to find the correct cocktail of ingredients that best suits you. In general, some safe mixes include Vitamin C and a protective SPF, or retinol and a hydrating hyaluronic acid, or peptides with niacinamide. Better yet, look for products that combine these types of ingredients for one-stop skincare shopping. Beyond finding the right combination, it’s important to know what to avoid. Retinol with Vitamin C will cause inflammation while layering retinol and niacinamide will cancel each other out.

The key is to not overstress your skin and only use products that deliver what you need.

Another way to simplify skin care is to skip washing your face in the morning. When you wash your face after you wake up, you are stripping away the flora your skin barrier worked overnight building to protect itself. Instead, double cleanse in the evening and rinse with thermal water or spritz with a hydrating spray in the morning. If you wake up with oily skin or have acne-prone skin, go ahead and keep washing your face as part of your morning routine. Just be gentle and avoid harsh or exfoliating cleansers.

Next, apply everything, including your foundation, with your fingers. The key here is not to merely rub in your products but instead use them to give yourself a nice facial massage. Put the product on the tips of your finger and massage in, starting from your neck and working up with upward circular motions. If you really want to get the fullest advantage, Google some DIY facial exercises to get the blood flowing. For makeup, go with a much lighter touch and, instead of rubbing into skin, dab, and blot. For eye makeup, blush, etc., by all means, no one is stopping you from using just fingers, but I personally prefer brushes.

Don’t forget the sunscreen! Mineral sunscreen is preferred as chemical formulas can cause acne, burning, itching, and stinging. However, sun protection doesn’t only come in a bottle. Consider sporting sunglasses with UV lenses, donning a hat or visor, and wearing comfortable layers in breathable fabrics as part of your skincare routine for fuller sun protection. I was recently turned on to UV protection fingerless gloves for manicures. These gloves are designed to protect the backs of your hands from the lamps used at nail salons. They can also work as sun protection while you’re out walking, hiking, or biking. Another great and more discreet use is to wear them while driving. Your hands on the steering wheel in the hot sun will thank you.

From external to internal, what we put (or forget to put) in our bodies affects our skin health. So, be sure to drink plenty of water, especially in summer. Also, consider supplements, but not just for your skin, hair, and nails. Pills, powders, and gummies that promote joint health or ensure you’re getting your daily recommended fiber and vitamins will indirectly benefit your skin. Try to limit sugar, which is easier said than done. However, too much sugar, especially sugar derived from alcohol, can dehydrate your skin, which is not a great look.

Lastly, remember, less is more. Your beauty routine shouldn’t contain too many cosmetics from too many different brands. Look for multi-use products, like a tint for both lips and cheeks or a mineral-based finishing powder with SPF. Doubling or tripling up on products with multi-ingredients for maximum impact and usage is the simpler and smarter way to approach beauty for a better complexion that gives you more time to enjoy things in life than spending hours in front of the mirror.