If you’re constantly looking for ways to get that coveted “glow,” you may be overcomplicating things.
It’s not your fault. Beauty companies have spent decades selling women skincare routines consisting of numerous bottles filled with multiple potions. The result: You have a maxed-out morning that leaves you stressed and running late, and may not even improve your look.
It’s time to simplify.
Your skin’s glow depends on two overarching factors: What you put in your body and what you put on it, but it doesn’t have to be difficult, time consuming or expensive. As part of our #AMinuteForMe series with youtheory®, we asked top experts for the quick and easy complexion boosting tricks they swear by.
1. Swap your face wash for a cold-water splash
Summer Sanders, author of Raw and Radiant, says to boot cleanser out of your morning line-up. “I don’t wash my face with anything in the morning; I just splash with really cold water,” she explains. “Overwashing skin can strip it of the natural oils that help keep it clear and balanced.” Plus, a cold splash will help get you going before your coffee kicks in.
2. Use your fingertips
Top New York City dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe, author of The Beauty of Dirty Skin, agrees that overcleansing is one of the biggest skincare mistakes women make. She takes it a step further and says you can also nix harsh tools and applicators. “Toss the instruments that take extra time to use, clean, and maintain,” she says. “Your fingertips are gentle and effective and will keep your skin barrier healthy.”
3. Add a pinch of cinnamon
Cinnamon is not just a delicious, warming flavor enhancer, it’s also a defender of collagen, that magical protein that gives your skin elasticity. “Cinnamon has been shown to boost circulation in the skin and regulate blood sugar levels,” Dr. Bowe explains. That’s important because excess sugar in the blood triggers a process called glycation, “whereby sugar binds to your collagen and targets it for destruction.” Degraded collagen = wrinkles and sag.
4. Supplement with collagen
“Collagen is hands-down my favorite nutrient for overall skin health,” says youtheory® chief scientific officer Dr. Nick Bitz. “Your skin is made up of 80% collagen. And the science behind it suggests that you lose about 1% per year after the age of 30. So it’s essential to replenish your collagen stores through diet and supplementation to ensure that this structural protein is plentiful throughout the aging process.”
You can find collagen in tablet, powder or liquid form and it stands up to heat or cold, so you can blend it into your morning coffee, smoothie or oatmeal, or even add it to your favorite snacks and baked goods. However you use it, though, make sure it’s high quality. “Collagen has a very high molecular weight and size, which limits its absorption into the body,” Dr. Bitz notes. “Therefore, it must be enzymatically digested or ‘hydrolyzed’ into smaller subunits before it can be fully absorbed into the bloodstream. If you’re using a lower quality collagen material there’s a high likelihood that it hasn’t been fully hydrolyzed, which means you’re probably not getting the nutritional benefits that you’re hoping for.”
5. Mix things up
“Derms are always recommending serums as the workhorse of any skincare routine, but layering a serum under your daily moisturizer can take time. It’s a pain to wait for one product to absorb before applying the next,” Dr. Bowe says. “My favorite time-saving tip that protects your skin like a professional: Just add a few drops of an antioxidant serum, ideally one with vitamin C, into a quarter-sized amount of your daily moisturizing sunscreen or primer, and apply to clean skin. This step should go after cleansing but before applying your makeup.”
Another way to combine applications for a glowy finish: Abby Jean, in-house aesthetician for herbal wildcrafted beauty line Annemarie Skin Care, suggests mixing your face powder with a few drops of a facial oil to create a customized liquid foundation. “This effortlessly combines two steps, moisturizing and foundation application,” she says.
6. Keep your eye cream in the fridge
This one is so brilliantly simple. “Store your eye cream in there so that when you apply each morning and night, you ease the look of puffiness while also just cooling the eye area,” Jean advises. “There really isn’t anything more refreshing.”
7. Reduce your retinol use
“I am a believer in using more active ingredients in moderation, but not every day,” Jean says. Too much can stress your skin out instead of nourishing it. Instead, save yourself time and pop retinols or AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) into your routine just a few days a week.
8. Use multitasking makeup
You may already be using a time-saving CC cream that turns face lotion, sunscreen, and foundation into one product, but you can make similar magic happen with certain makeup, if you get creative. “A trick my mom taught me that I swear by is to use lipstick (my favorite is RMS) for both lips and a cream blush,” Sanders says. “I like it simple, clean, and quick.”