Method 1 of 3: Building a Routine:1. Wash your face at night.. Over the course of the day, makeup, dirt, and oil build up on your face. Make cleansing your skin part of your bedtime routine.
- Use makeup remover. Not only does this prevent it from clogging up your pores and causing breakouts while you sleep, it also stops you from smearing bacteria on your pillow — where it can get into your skin night after night.
- Use a gentle soap. Remember that you want to clean your skin, not completely strip it of all oils — if it feels tight and dry after washing, you’re using something too strong.
- Avoid the eye area; the skin around the eye can be too delicate for most cleansers.
- Rinse off by splashing water on your face. Using a washcloth or rag to roughly wipe your skin clean can irritate it more. Instead, bend your face over the sink, cup your hands together, and bring up small amounts of water to splash over your face. About 10 splashes should do it.
- Pat dry. Don’t roughly rub your skin dry with a towel. Instead, dry it with small, gentle pats or let it air dry.
2. Apply toner. A toner removes excess oil and dirt from your skin that the soap missed, in addition to closing your pores. Not everyone needs to use a toner, but some people find it helpful.
- Put a few drops onto a cotton ball or pad. Swipe it lightly over your skin.
- Only use astringent if your skin is exceptionally oily. Astringent is a stronger type of toner that can be up to 60% alcohol. If your skin tends to be dry, using astringent could actually cause acne by driving your oil glands to overcompensate.
- Witch hazel is a natural alternative to buying synthetic toner/astringent.
- Consider applying toner to only the areas of your skin that tend to break out. For instance, you might only use it on your nose or forehead.
3. Smooth on some moisturizer. Using lotion in the morning acts as a primer for your makeup, helping it “stick” to your face throughout the day. Moisturizing at night helps your skin repair itself and stave off wrinkles. Bottom line, it’s one of the best things you can do for glowing skin over the long term.
- Consider using a lighter moisturizer during the day. If you’re prone to breakouts, save the heavy cream moisturizer for nighttime and use a light or gel moisturizer during the day.
- Don’t forget your neck and décolletage. These areas can get super dry and irritated if you never moisturize them.
4. Exfoliate once a week. If your skin tends to be dry and flaky, a weekly exfoliation can clear out dead skin cells. Find an exfoliant that has a super fine grain, and don’t rub it roughly into your skin — use light pressure and gentle motions.
- A simple scrub of sugar mixed with honey makes a great exfoliator. Rinse it off with warm water.
- You could also exfoliate with a dry brush made for the face. Brush your face using small, circular motions.
5. Protect your skin from the sun. Avoid leathery, tough skin by applying a light sunscreen every time you plan to be outside. The lack of sun damage will keep your skin dewy and supple for years to come. Remember, it only takes 15 minutes to get a sunburn, so be prepared.
- Stick to SPF 30 — anything higher doesn’t have much more benefit.
- Search the makeup aisle for spray-on sunscreens that are light and dry.
- Use a foundation or tinted moisturizer with sunscreen, so your face is already covered.
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