The idea that your skin-care regimen has to take up a lot of your time is a myth. As we recently learned, the 10-step Korean beauty routine isn’t *actually* supposed to have 10 steps (whoops!), and there are now so many double-duty products on the market (SPF moisturizer, ILY) that you can basically do things in half the time.
Don’t believe me? Well, I asked board-certified dermatologist Michelle Henry, MD the three things she always does to her skin, every day, and not a single one of them takes more than a minute—which means you can get the bulk of your routine out of the way by the last note of a Miley Cyrus song (highly recommend BTW). Add in a cleansing and moisturizing step, which take approximately 30 seconds each, and you’ve got your entire regimen down to five minutes flat.
Here, Dr. Henry shares the three, one-minute routine steps she swears by, proving that having great skin doesn’t mean you need to dedicate an entire day to the cause.
The quick-and-easy dermatologist-approved skin-care routine
1. Exfoliate: No matter what type of skin you’ve got, exfoliation is an important part of any routine. And though scrubbing the hell out of your face can be #oddlysatisfying, most derms agree that it’s actually not the best way to get rid of dead skin cells. Instead, many prefer chemical exfoliations by way of alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids. Dr. Henry, though, swears by her Proactiv Spin Brush ($32), which she uses twice a day. If you love the feeling of physical exfoliation, this is a much gentler option than, ahem, walnut scrub. If you’ve got dry skin, you probably don’t need to go ham, but see how your skin responds to regular exfoliation by starting a few times a week and building up to something more regular.
2. Load up on retinoids: Dr. Henry notes that she applies a prescription-strength retinoid, “every night, religiously.” These vitamin A derivatives helps with cell turnover, and bringing new cells to the surface to diminish things like wrinkles, dark spots and even acne. You can get retinol, which is a milder-yet-effective version of a retinoid over the counter. Try SkinMedica Retinol Complex ($62). For prescription-strength results without a dermatologist appointment, test Differin Gel ($13), a prescription-strength retinoid that is now available at your local drugstore OTC.
3. Apply sunscreen: Ask any derm about the one step in their skin-care routine they could not and would not live without, and every single one will give you the exact same answer. We all know how important it is to protect our skin from the sun—for aesthetic reasons, sure, but also (far more importantly) for our health—and pros agree that sunscreen should be slathered on 365 days a year. Dr. Henry calls out Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen ($32) and CeraVe Ultralight Moisturizer with SPF ($15) as two of her faves.
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