Have a morning quickie
STEP 1 Wash your face
Use a gentle noncomedogenic cleanser, which is skin-speak for one that doesn’t clog pores.
WHY? According to Karen Asquith, the National Director of Education for G.M. Collin, a spa-grade skincare line, “Most people apply a night cream and throughout the night bacteria from bedding, the environment, and the skin’s natural elimination of toxins will accumulate on the epidermis. Therefore the residual cream, bacteria, and toxins need to be removed before applying the day protective creams, serums, eye products, sunscreen and makeup.” Men have thicker skin and don’t use as much products as women, so they can generally skin this step unless they have excessively oily skin.
STEP 2 Apply an antioxidant serum
Skin that’s nourished with potent antioxidants tends to look less lined and saggy. Some skin care experts consider serums to be an extra protective step – much like multivitamins in a diet – while others believe they’re absolutely essential.
WHY? Serums boast about 10 times the amount of active substances than cream moisturizers, so this makes a serum a more effective vehicle to drive all those beneficial antioxidants into your skin. Unfortunately, a moisturizer (or sunscreen) with antioxidants is not enough, says Dr. Nadiam A. Shaath, Ph.D., SkinCeuticals’ Consulting Scientist: “In order for an antioxidant to penetrate it must be in an acidic pH formula (below 3.5) and be at a meaningful concentrations (above 10%). Creams have a much higher pH and cannot hold high concentrations of 10% or more vitamin C. Therefore any antioxidant in a cream formula will not penetrate into the skin,” says Shatth. Using a serum underneath moisturizer/sunscreen is your best defence against photo aging. We like the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic ($152 at skin clinics; find locations here).
Apply a few drops of serum after cleansing to lock moisture into the skin. Wait one minute before the next step.
STEP 3 Moisturize
Use a daytime moisturizer with sunscreen SPF 30, or separately if you prefer. Women, apply this before makeup. Hydrated skin looks plumper and downright dewier, and is better at snapping back into place when you smile or squint. SPF wards off UVA (the aging rays) from causing spots, wrinkles, and skin cancer. We like our go-to derm’s oil-free sunscreen lotion from her anti-aging line. Kellett Skincare Reflect SPF 30 ($35 online here). Gents, don’t go the quick-and-dirty route by using the same moisturizer you use on your hands for your face.
WHY? According to Perry Romanowski, a cosmetic scientist behind the popular site The Beauty Brains, ”The skin on your face tends to be thin and prone to breakouts and wrinkles, while the skin on your hands is thicker and tends to get overly dry or cracked (primarily due to washing them with soap several times a day). So your facial moisturizer should be lightweight and noncomedogenic, and perhaps contain film-forming agenda that tighten the skin to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Your hand lotion should be a heavier barrier cream that protects your digits from harsh conditions and boosts their moisture.”
Now you’re ready to face the world! Go get ‘em fresh-faced tiger.