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    36 Super Simple Ways To Improve Your Skin Long-Term

    No, we're not going to tell you to just drink water and sleep more. We get it.

    1. First thing first: apply sun protection every 👏darn 👏 day 👏. And remember to *re*apply throughout the day, even when indoors! In case you didn't know, regularly wearing sunscreen helps you prevent discoloration, dark spots from sun damage, and an uneven skin tone. Luckily, La Roche Posay oil-free sunscreen is great for both oily *and* sensitive skin, a whopping SPF 60, and designed to prevent breakouts.

    If you're *extra* worried about sunscreen disagreeing with your skin (or makeup), Tatcha SPF 35 sunscreen is your splurge-worthy pick. It doubles as a primer to blur pores and uneven skin tones and leaves your skin super soft thanks to Japanese wild rose and loquat leaf extract. Need proof for how well this bb works? Just see the difference below:

    2. Heal breakouts *without* picking and causing scarring by simply slapping on pimple patches. They're gentler than acne cream (aka no drying or flaking) and speed up recovery to practically overnight. Basically, using these helps you maintain ~skin best practices~ by keeping your fingers AWAY from pimples to ensure a clearer complexion without long-lasting scars.

    3. Determine your skin type before creating a routine for yourself so you can successfully target each skincare goal. Even if your face gets shiny midday, you might not have oily skin. Do you also get dry patches? You could actually have combo skin (good thing there's a facial cream just for you).

    4. Look for an eye cream that'll brighten *and* reduce puffiness around your under-eyes so you can consistently minimize dark circles overtime. Origins' GinZing eye cream uses coffee beans and magnolia extract to always leave even tired under-eyes feeling firmer and refreshed.

    5. Combine apple cider vinegar with this wildly popular Aztec Secret clay mask if you have consistent cystic acne, aka the toughest of underground pimples. So. Many. People. swear by this for keeping cystic acne at bay so you can put an end to picking at them, which only causes long-term damage.

    6. Study up on beauty ingredient definitions so you can have a better time building a routine that you want to stick with (and see overall results) once you can fully understand ingredient lists — and when you recognize formulas that *won't* work for you.

    7. Try retinol, a fancy name for vitamin A, to balance your complexion, stimulate collagen, and fade hyper-pigmentation. There's a reason so many derms recommend this — incorporating a topical retinol into your routine has a lot of long-lasting benefits, including fewer breakouts and brighter skin.

    8. Keep in mind it'll take some time to see results from retinol, which is why it's so important to *keep* using it (the above is gentle enough for daily use). The stronger the formula, the more likely you'll see some initial redness and flaking so be sure to use a gentle moisturizer after using it. The overall payoff: clearer and smoother skin.

    9. Incorporate glycolic resurfacing pads into your routine two to three times per week to keep dead skin cells from building up (aka what can cause dull complexions). If you're familiar with professional peels, these are a gentler, much more affordable version you can maintain at home. Plus! They're great for reducing active breakouts *and* preventing future breakouts.

    10. Plan out your routine by product — there's a proper order for everything (your face can tell, even if you can't). For example, applying toner *after* your face wash but *before* moisturizing is the only way your complexion can benefit from that step. It doesn't matter HOW long you use it — if it's in the wrong order, you'll never see proper results.

    11. Brighten your complexion on a regular basis, even if you're too lazy for extra steps (understandable). Using this Acure brightening facial scrub alone helps with your skin's ~turnover cycle~, aka what'll clear away dead skin cells and treat clogged pores so your skin is consistently clear and glowing.

    12. Discover the benefits of your three basic acid groups: alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), beta hydroxy acid (BHA), and polyhydroxy acid (PHA). Glossier Solution uses all three to clear dead skin cells and leave your complexion soft and glowing. Reviewers with acne-prone skin l-o-v-e this for fading scars and successfully maintaining clearer skin.

    Want to study up more on acids? Here's a full breakdown:

    13. Treat blackheads consistently without picking and scarring your nose by leaving it all to some Bioré cleansing pore strips. They'll basically act as a magnet to efficiently draw out dirt, oil, and blackheads both from your nose and your forehead (or really anywhere). This regular routine > picking and prodding.

    14. Be patient when it comes to skincare products — some are going to take time to work (like salicylic acne face washes), and that's OK! But there are other times when it's just not doing the trick, and it's important to know the difference. For example, Dr. Jart's ceramide cream only needs a few minutes to ~sink in~.

    15. Swap out your spot treatment for some gentler tea tree oil if traditional acne creams feel too harsh (aka your skin is always left red and flaking). It's just as effective at reducing pimples, but won't leave any irritation for you to deal with. And! You can use it on your entire face to calm redness, minimize excess oil, and gently hydrate. Basically you'll want to keep this on hand all the time if you have sensitive skin.

    16. Don't get mad at me — but you can't pop your zits. I KNOW. So satisfying. But it leaves scars that last for weeks! Instead, gently bring out the whitehead by holding down a warm washcloth while bingeing Netflix. In a few minutes you'll be able to slide the whitehead off with the cloth. Say a final farewell to scabbing.

    17. Hydrate your skin with some Shea Moisture coconut oil to counteract shiny complexions. It may seem weird to treat excess oil with *more* oil, but your skin actually just needs the RIGHT kind of moisturizer. This'll help restore the balance your skin is missing.

    18. Pick your toner based on your skin type — it's not a one-fits-all situation! For example, Kiehl's calendula herbal extract toner treats oily complexions ~head on~ by balancing your pH levels and providing the level of hydration your skin needs. But! Mario Badescu's glycolic acid toner works wonders for dry skin by soothing irritated complexions with its mild formula.

    19. Or! Incorporate the ever so popular Thayers witch hazel into your routine to brighten and even your skin tone by regularly removing dead skin cells. It's alcohol-free so it's gentle enough for all skin types to use every night, as long as you moisturize, and is an easy way to maintain clear and ~glowing~ skin.

    20. Know how to identify types of acne — different kinds each need their own treatment. Whether yours is more of a whitehead (which needs salicylic acid) or the hormonal type (usually a cyst which needs sulfur-based products), the first step to treating acne — and keeping them away — is knowing what the heck they are.

    21. Let an overnight mask do all the work for you if you don't always want to do multiple skincare steps. This one's formula of avocado butter and hyaluronic acid keeps your skin soft and hydrated for ~72~ hours. Tl;dr: you can still have lazy nights and keep your skin happy.

    22. Adjust your routine to the season — your skin needs it! When summer and spring approaches, regularly cleanse with an exfoliating face wash (there's more sweat in your life, sorry). As colder weather hits, moisturize, moisturize, and moisturize by using a hydrating serum *before* your face cream.

    23. Know the difference between if your skin is *dry* or *dehydrated* so you always know what kind of treatment your skin actually needs. If your skin is flaky, red, and sensitive, you have dry skin (which you can treat with skin-soothing creams). If your skin is more on the dull side, it's most likely dehydrated (which you can help by layering moisturizing products).

    An easy dry vs. dehydrated test: pull at the back of your hand. If it bounces back right away, your skin is hydrated. If it takes a few seconds to settle back, your skin is probably dehydrated!

    24. Research how certain ingredients can help with specific skin goals before building a new routine. For example, this Dr. Jart+ color-correcting cream is a holy grail moisturizer for people with redness and dryness. Why? Its main ingredient, Centella Asiatica, is especially great at reducing redness and healing sensitive skin.

    25. Stop going to bed with makeup on! It's a *super* avoidable cause for breakouts. Use a makeup-removing cloth as a lazy solution for getting every last drop of foundation and mascara off before hitting the sheets. All you need is this and water to remove a ~full face~!

    26. Take little (and very manageable, I promise) steps to improve your overall skincare routine. It doesn't have to take over your life obviously, but even small changes will make a big difference for your overall clarity. An easy start: keeping pre-moistened wipes around to clean your phone screen — you'd be surprised how much bacteria is touching your face 🙃.

    27. Treat breakouts ALLLL over (hello, surprise butt pimple) whenever they pop up with a bar of Shea Moisture African black soap. Its combo of shea butter, vitamin E, and coconut oil work together to quickly wash those unwelcome zits down the drain so you never have to dread their visits.

    28. Learn the ever-popular Korean skincare routine to address e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g from healing tough breakouts (hello, clarifying toner) to brightening skin (and bonjour, illuminating sheet mask). It may seem like a lot of steps, but each one brings longterm *results* that just face wash + moisturizer simply do not.

    29. Find a moisturizer that balances hydration *and* gentleness if you have dry skin and struggle to find something that doesn't break you out. This Belif moisturizer is loved by many with dry but sensitive skin for delivering long-lasting hydration without feeling heavy or greasy.

    30. Understand that not every mask is for you. In fact, most are designed with a very specific skin type in mind (i.e. dry, acne-prone, etc.). Take our quiz to match your concerns and complexion with the best mask for you so you always know what kind of ingredients will have the best effects.

    31. Protect your skin from everyday irritants that always find their way into your pores (ESPECIALLY if you live in a city). This Dr. Roebuck's anti-pollution serum will act like a shield for your face — it's loaded with blueberry extract, amino acids, ginseng, and vitamins A, C, and E to prevent environmental aggressors from dulling your complexion.

    32. Research how you can benefit from facial oils — each one helps you achieve different goals, like brightening, clearing, or hydrating. They're a super easy step (before moisturizing) to target things that more general skincare products cannot — and chances are, if common things like benzoyl peroxide don't work for you, there's an oil that'll do the trick.

    33. Use an overnight lip mask regularly so even usually chapped lips can *stay* flake-free and nourished. This one uses natural ceramides to soothe, restore your lips' natural moisture barrier, and ensure long-lasting hydration.

    34. Understand whether your skin is breaking out or "purging" when trying new products. It's important to know if you should stop using something, or if you should wait it out so that your skin actually improves long-term (this is especially true with acne solutions). Purging is usually in the form of small, red, tender bumps on the skin, so if you have cystic bumps, it's probably a regular breakout.

    35. Opt for a fragrance-free cleanser if you have sensitive skin as an easy way to avoid irritation and keep your complexion calm and clear. This one is specifically designed to avoid stripping your skin and reduce flare-ups — it uses aloe to soothe finicky skin, as well as glycerin to hydrate and smooth your complexion.

    36. Stick to a skincare routine for both morning *and* night — your skin l o v e s consistency so you should try to use the same products, with a couple exceptions. The biggest difference for morning and night routines: you need sunscreen in the morning, while your skin could probably use a replenishing mask come evening.

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