We all dream of flawless, glowing skin, but with new products constantly hitting the shelves and the seemingly endless skincare advice out there on the Internet, it's not always easy to figure out the skincare routine that's going to work best for you. You know the basics — drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, and wash your face, but what about everything in between? Luckily, there’s no need to shell out tons of cash on any magical procedures or expensive creams to achieve flawless skin.
We spoke with dermatologists and top beauty experts to put together a list of some of the best skincare tips. From choosing the right cleanser for your skin type to the importance of cleaning your makeup brushes, these easy tricks — plus some top-tested product picks from the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab — will help guide you to glowing skin ASAP.
1. USE THE CORRECT CLEANSER FOR YOUR SKIN TYPE.
"For oily or acne-prone skin, a salicylic gel or benzoyl peroxide wash works great," says Dr. Ava Shamban, a dermatologist in Santa Monica. "For dry mature skin, use either a moisturizing glycolic or milky cleanser. For skin with brown spots or melasma, use a brightening wash, such as an alpha hydroxy acid cleanser."
2. DON’T USE TOO MANY PRODUCTS.
Layering on multiple skincare products all at once is a big no-no, says Dr. Julia Tzu, an NYC-based dermatologist. It can be harsh on the skin, resulting in more breakouts and clogged pores.
3. MOISTURIZE BOTH DAY AND NIGHT.
"The best times to moisturize are right after you get out of the shower and right before you go to bed," explained Dr. Janet Prystowsky M.D., an NYC-based dermatologist. Avoid lotions with heavy fragrances and make sure you find a moisturizer gentle enough for every day use with zero irritation.
4. DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE.
Dr. Tzu says figuring out how to avoid touching your face is very important. It doesn't just spread bacteria and cause breakouts — it can lead to scarring, an increase in wrinkles, and even the flu or other viruses.
5. HYDRATE INSIDE AND OUT.
Every skin expert we spoke to emphasized the importance of hydration. "A lack of water means less radiance and more sag," says Dr. Mona Gohara, a dermatologist in Connecticut. She suggests choosing products (cleansing, moisturizing, and anti-aging) that have hydrating formulas. And, of course, drink around eight glasses of water a day.
6. AVOID DIRECT HEAT EXPOSURE.
Don't just watch out for the sun — getting too close to heaters and fireplaces can also wreak havoc on your skin. "It causes inflammation and collagen breakdown. I recommend staying at least ten feet away," explains Dr. Debbie Palmer, a New York dermatologist. So next time you're roasting chestnuts or s'mores over an open fire, take a step back.
7. EXFOLIATE A COUPLE TIMES PER WEEK.
"We lose 50 million skin cells a day, and without a little extra nudge, they may hang around leaving the skin looking sullen," says Dr. Gohara. To fight this, you should "choose a product that is pH neutral so it doesn't dry as it exfoliates." And don't just stop with your face — the skin on your body needs exfoliation, too.