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    33 Skincare Basics You'll Probably Wish You Had Learned Sooner

    Skincare 101 brought to you by helpful tips, holy grail products, and "whoa-worthy" before and after's.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. First up: We're talking sunscreen and REAPPLYING sunscreen. When spending the day inside, you only need to apply once in the a.m. and right before leaving for an errand. But if you're feeling daring and spending time in the sun, you should reapply every two to three hours. We recco La Roche Posay oil-free sunscreen since it's great for both oily *and* sensitive skin, it's got SPF 60, and it won't cause maskne breakouts.

    Graphic of sunscreen by the numbers: 30+ wear 30 SPF or higher, 15 apply sunscreen mins before you're exposed to sun, 2-3 apply hours when you're outside for the day, 5 ¢ use a nickel-sized amount on your face, 9-5 apply before leaving the house

    Promising review: "I have very sensitive skin and I have tried every SPF out there, it ALWAYS resulted in breakouts. So I gave this a try and figured what the heck! I’ve already tried every other SPF out there. First, the texture is wonderful and you can’t even feel it once it’s on your skin. No white residue, but mostly NO BREAKOUTS! It’s a small tube which I was a little upset about at first because of the price, but I realized it’s because you need so little product to cover your face. I’m talking half the size of a pea! Give yourself a chance! Try it! It saved my skin." —Stacy

    Get it from Target for $19.99.

    To learn more important skincare basics, check out "Take BuzzFeed's 7-Day Better Skin Challenge."

    And for a great base layer for makeup application, Tatcha SPF 35 sunscreen is your splurge-worthy option. It works as both a primer to blur pores and uneven skin tones, plus leaves your skin feeling baby bum soft thanks to Japanese wild rose and loquat leaf extract. Just peep the difference below to see how well this must-have works:

    Maitland showing the use of the sunscreen on face with no sunburn and no sunscreen on body = sunburn city
    Maitland Quitmeyer / BuzzFeed

    Its SPF 35 protection works for both UVA and UVB rays.

    Promising review: "I almost wish I hadn’t loved this just based on the price point, but it truly is so great. It has a fresh kind of minty smell and goes on very silky and matte. It leaves a look similar to regular primer, rather than an oily sunscreen. I use roughly a dime-sized amount over my regular moisturizer and it works perfectly. I've had no skin irritation that I’ve experienced thus far and I will definitely be purchasing another when this runs out." —callanbjornn

    Get it from Sephora for $65.

    To learn more about why a BuzzFeed editor loves this, check out "If You're Looking For An Everyday Sunscreen, Here Are 11 Glowing Recommendations."

    2. Combat blemishes powerfully and discreetly with clear acne patches. Less temptation to pick pimples means less scarring, so you can get on with your day knowing that a lil' sticker is doing all the work and you don't have to lift a finger. (Except for when you have to remove it and ~satisfyingly~ see all the gunk that gets sucked out!)

    Reviewer showing pus on patches

    Promising review: "I’ve tried so many brands of pimple spots, and these are hands-down the best on the market. Last night, I put these on a few acne problems (a small cyst, a whitehead, and a pimple). I just woke up and am writing this review in disbelief. THEY'RE FLAT! Gone! All of them! I could cry I’m so happy. The packaging is also ideal because it allows you to conveniently and easily peel the stickers off without stretching them out or folding them back onto themselves. Do yourself, and your complexion a huge favor! Have these on hand for a stubborn zit when you really need help. Make sure you apply them to completely clean and dry skin." —Caitlyn

    Get 40 patches from Amazon for $8.49 (or get eight larger, square patches, also $8.50).

    3. Dot a small amount of eye cream with your ring finger from the inner corner of your under-eyes to your brow bone instead of rubbing with your index finger, that way you avoid putting too much pressure on delicate skin. If you're new to eye creams, look for something that has a combo of properties that moisturize and hydrate.

    Glow Recipe

    Looking for a recommendation? Emma McAnaw suggests Glow Recipe's eye mask ($46): "It's my all-time favorite. Its formula includes retinol to brighten and smooth, avocado to moisturize, *and* coffeeberry to brighten. It's a lil' pricey, but I've had my current jar for a month and have barely made a dent (you only need a little)."

    Promising review: "I love this eye mask! It's super moisturizing, but lightweight and very lightly scented. I have seen a visable improvement in my fine lines and circles in just 2 weeks! I will be purchasing this for the rest of my life! You wont regret this purchase, its worth every penny!" —Bethany LaFlash

    Get it from Amazon for $46.

    4. Familiarize yourself with your acne — connecting ~the dots~ is easier than ya think. Think: pesky whiteheads need salicylic acid and hormonal (under-the-skin) cysts can be treated with sulfur-based products. Before you can take any action, you need to know what you're dealing with!

    Graphic showing different types of acne: comedonal acne, inflammatory acne, nodulocystic acne

    Need suggestions? We've got you ~covered~:

    Salicylic-acid-based products are best for inflammatory and comedonal acne (aka whiteheads, blackheads, and red bumps). Murad Clarifying Cleanser ($32 on Birchbox) makes fighting breakouts its number one mission. It removes dirt and oil, then *continues* to treat acne for hours after you've rinsed it off.

    Zinc-and-sulfur-based products work well for treating cystic or nodule acne (aka deep infections that don't come to a head). Kate Somerville Acne Treatment ($26 on Birchbox) works overnight to help minimize pimples and calm oily skin — both factors that those of us with hormonal acne are all too familiar with.

    To learn more, check out Birchbox for "Your Guide To Different Types Of Acne."

    5. Drench a cotton pad with an exfoliator that contains basic acid groups: alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), beta hydroxy acid (BHA), and polyhydroxy acid (PHA). Glossier Solution receives cult status since it uses all three to target impurities and sweep away dead skin. Plus, reviewers swear by its acne-fighting ingredients that work with every skin type to deliver a smooth, blemish-free canvas.


    Promising review: "I have SUPER sensitive skin and it gets super dry and clogged in the winter, and I also tend to get hormonal acne. I was worried about irritating my skin so I started using this every other day at first and after three uses I have NO breakouts at all even on my period, my skin is super smooth and my acne scars are fading. I love this so much and I've tried a lot of products for my skin and never seen such good results before." —Mia

    Get it from Glossier for $24.

    Read about why BuzzFeeders rave about this exfoliator in Here's Why Glossier Solution Is Totally Worth Your Money.

    Acids at a glance? Study up on them here:

    Chart of different types of acid and what they do and which skin types they work for
    American Academy of Dermatology

    To get more helpful charts and tips, check out "16 Skincare Cheat Sheets That Are Actually Useful."

    6. Unite natural remedies like apple cider vinegar and Aztec Secret clay mask if you have regular cystic blemishes, aka the bullies of the underground acne scene. Tons of users have integrated this superpower duo into their routine, which does a deep dive into clogged pores.

    Before and after of BuzzFeed employee with less severe acne after using the mask

    Promising review: "This is by far the best face mask I have EVER used (and I’ve tried a lot) I recommend it to everyone I know! I go through periods of breakouts and cystic acne, and within about 3 uses of this mask it was gone! If this mask is used consistently about 2-3 times a week it works wonders. I recommend giving yourself a day or two in between applications bc it does dry out your skin, and make sure you are using a good moisturizer after! I highly recommend mixing the clay with raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar, I have tried using water but it just gets clumpy and hard to apply. This tub will last you FOREVER too, my last one I had for over a year. 10/10 recommend to anyone that struggles with different forms of acne, enlarged pores, or oily skin!" —Amazon Customer

    Get them from Amazon: the Aztec clay mask for $14.95 and apple cider vinegar for $13.99.

    To learn more, check out "This Clay Mask Basically Vacuums Out Your Pores, And BRB I'm Going To Bathe In It."

    7. Learn to practice patience when it comes to skincare — some prod's are going to take their time to show results (like salicylic acne face washes), and we're OK with that! But there could be times when it's just not doing what it's supposed to, and it's important to decipher between the two. For instance, something like Dr. Jart's ceramide cream works miracles in minutes.

    A chart outlining how long the properties of different skincare products and how long it takes to work

    Promising review (for Dr. Jart+ cream): "This is exactly what my skin needed for the ultra-dry Wisconsin winter. My face was so dry, and my regular moisturizer wasn’t cutting it. I tried this and bam — no more cracking, dry skin. It plumped back up." —Bethann

    Get the Murad salicylic acid face wash from Birchbox for $32 and the Dr. Jart+ ceramide cream from Birchbox for $48.

    Check out more from Birchbox for "How Long Skincare Really Takes To Work."

    8. Introduce a few drops of retinol, vitamin A's formal moniker, to improve your skin's texture, elasticity, and hyperpigmentation. And if you've only overheard of this at a dermatologist's office, don't let that intimidate you since there's a ton of over-the-counter options to choose from to get you going.


    Promising review: "I'm using this to help clear out my pores and treat acne. It was my first time using a retinol so I found out quickly that I needed to ease it in slowly to my routine. after a few weeks of using it twice a week, I started using it daily my mixing it with my moisturizer. I've definitely noticed a rapid turnover with acne. Now it is much easier to manage my acne! I'm glad I found this product!" —Brittanyml

    Get it from Sephora for $9.99.

    9. Get your geek on when it comes to beauty ingredient definitions. You're going to want to ensure you can target your skin concerns accurately, so the sooner you do this, the sooner you can be on your way to achieving your #goals.

    A skincare graphic with text: Amino Acids short definition — the building blocks of protein that play many critical roles in your body

    Luckily for us, we can turn to "Dermstore’s Guide to Beauty Ingredients" for a full glossary on all the terms we need to know from dioic acid to resveratrol!

    10. Tackle unexpected zits with the wave of a blemish-fighting wand, like this e.l.f. spot gel stick. It contains powerhouse ingredients like salicylic acid, witch hazel, camphor, tea tree, green tea, and aloe to reduce swelling and inflammation as well as gently treating the affected area.

    the gel stick
    E.l.f. Cosmetics

    Promising review: "I have tried every single product prescribed by a dermatologist, even Accutane, and my acne never went away. I finally was able to get it under control with vitamins and face washes, but I still had annoying LARGE pimples that never went away. I bought this after hearing about it and applied it generously in the morning to my pimples, and the swelling of them was down by nighttime! I applied again that night and woke up to them almost completely gone!" —mikaylamadison

    Get it from E.l.f. Cosmetics for $3.

    11. Don't be afraid to indulge in your picky side when it comes to selecting the right toner for you — it's def not a one-size-fits-all deal! Take Kiehls calendula herbal extract toner, for instance, which balances out pH levels for oily complexions while ensuring the skin's barrier doesn't dry out like the Sahara. And then there's Mario Badescu's aloe vera toner that is great for irritation and nourishes the skin with its mild formula.

    @kiehls / Via, @kiehls / Via

    Promising review (for the Mario Badescu toner): "This is the best toner for all skin types. Some people like toners that make you cotton ball turn black because they want to see that extra clean effect, but I find those to be too harsh and cause me to break out more. This toner does the job best because it not only makes my face feel fresh after face wash but I feel it nourishes my face at the same time. People have noticed a difference in my skin and I have as well. I've bee using this for over a year now. During that year, I ran out and switched to another toner, my face started breaking out more and didn't feel as glow-y. I switched back to the Aloe Vera Toner and my soft skin came back. I think this has to do with the fact that it's aloe vera based and has less harsh ingredients." —Talia

    Get them from Amazon: the Kiehls calendula toner (left) for $37.95 and the Mario Badescu aloe vera (right) for $15.

    12. Or! Diminish redness and irritation with the ever-popular Thayer's Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel Toner, which takes dry and inflamed skin under its wing. You can expect to see a more even-toned complexion and overall brighter reflection after just a couple of weeks.

    AnaMaria Glavan/BuzzFeed

    Here's what BuzzFeed Editor AnaMaria Glavan had to say about it: "I have combination skin that's prone to redness (especially around my cheeks and nose, with the latter being really annoying), plus the occasional pimple. After two weeks of regularly using this toner in my evening routine, I barely need concealer to cover the Crayola redness under my nostrils. PLUS! It's super effective as spot treatment. This stuff attacks your pimples with the same vendetta that Buffy used to destroy vampires: It works that well."

    Get it from Amazon for $10.50.

    And check out our full review of Thayer's alcohol-free original witch hazel toner here. Also, if you've got peeling or flaking skin that you can't rid of, check out these underrated products for dry skin that actually work.

    13. Differentiate between the terms *dry* and *dehydrated* skin. I.e. If your skin is red and shedding flakes reminiscent of a White Walker, you have dry skin (which you can treat with skin-soothing creams). If its looking a little lackluster, it's most likely dehydrated (which you can tackle with moisturizing products).

    Glow Recipe

    Need a recommendation for dry skin? Glow Recipe's banana soufflé cream ($39 on Glow Recipe) is rich in magnesium and potassium, which helps to restore water depletion. Plus, its formula contains centella asiatica (aka cica), which can treat dry, irritated, and sensitive skin, AND tumeric to soothe and calm uneven skin tones.

    Want layering options? Start with Glow Recipe's watermelon moisturizer ($39 on Glow Recipe) that can double as a serum. Its combo of watermelon extract, hyaluronic acid, and jasmine and peony extract works together to both hydrate and brighten. Then! Apply their banana soufflé cream ($39 on Glow Recipe) for a thick layer of soothing moisture to fully calm irritated skin.

    To learn more, check out The Glow Edit for "What’s the Difference Between Dryness and Dehydration?"

    An easy way to settle this common question is to gently pull at the back of your hand. If it bounces right back, your skin is hydrated. If it takes a few seconds to lay back in place, your skin is probably dehydrated!

    Glow Recipe

    14. Incorporate a nonabrasive face wash, like Bliss peel exfoliator, which features papaya and pineapple enzymes, two to three times a week. This is an important step to resurface your skin cells — the manager of this new operation (you) deserves a promotion because glowing skin is finally achievable thanks to plant fibers that vacuum up impurities.

    @bliss / Via

    Promising review: "One of my favorite Youtubers recommended this face wash so I got it to try...and it’s AMAZING! I wasn’t sure what to expect because it looks like gel but when you rub it on your face — your gross, old dead skin peels away and makes your skin feel like butter. I was shocked!! I did it 3 times in a row and my face feels brand new. It’s shockingly effective with no rough abrasive feel (super sensitive skin here). Highly recommend this face wash!" —Brittany Johnston

    Get it from Amazon for $9.97.

    To learn why a BuzzFeeder recommends this Bliss face wash, check out "7 Amazing Beauty Products I Basically Can't Live Without".

    15. Reduce the appearance of the oil slick that appears on your T-zone every afternoon with a budget-friendly exfoliant from The Ordinary. With a trio of glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acid, it only needs ten minutes to rejuvenate, resurface, and decrease congestion caused by the overproduction of sebum.


    Heads up, this is pretty strong, so it's not recommended for sensitive skin.

    Promising review: "I have red bumps on my face that would not go away. I went to the dermatologist, tried high-end products, and nothing worked. I did this once and the bumps are already almost gone and my complexion is so much better. I’m amazed by this product" —tbailey1

    Get it from Sephora for $7.20.

    To learn more about why a BuzzFeeder recommends this, check out "I Tested A $7 Chemical Peel On My Sensitive Skin, And I'm High-Key Obsessed."

    16. Level up your routine by introducing a jade roller at the end of each day. When coupled up with a nourishing serum, it essentially hits the accelerate button on your product's usual qualities. It's also just a soothing way to ensure all the formula is fully absorbed and leaves a lasting glow.

    Gyan Yankovich / BuzzFeed

    Essentially you'll be giving yourself a spa-like treatment in the comfort of your own home. It's a great way to relax and unwind — instead of just poking yourself with your fingers!

    Promising review (for the jade roller): "I absolutely love this! I did research on which jade roller to buy and glad I went with this one. Came packaged great with details and instructions. Also came with sample size serum. It seems like great quality to me and feels so great on my face. I don’t know if it’s in my head or not, but seriously think it’s made a difference with my skin! It also really helps with puffy eyes. I swear mine haven't been as bad in the mornings. Feels great and would recommend." —Karyn

    Get the jade roller for $23.99 from Amazon and serum for $24 from Anthropologie.

    To learn more, check out "Curious About Jade Rolling? Here's Everything You Need To Know."

    17. Put an end to the slew of nights going to bed with a full face of makeup with this, a lazy-person approved makeup-removing cloth. Seriously, it couldn't be simpler to swipe off foundation and lippy — all you need is this magic wipe and *water*. Ding ding, bonus here! You'll even notice a reduction in the amount of breakouts you get once you remove your all-day look.

    BuzzFeed employee showing how well the towel removes a full face of makeup
    BuzzFeed Reviews

    Promising review: "I'm a drag queen with pretty sensitive skin. I CAKE on the cosmetics to create my illusions, and the cold cream and terrycloth removal method was just not working. My skin would be raw, and I'd have to go through 3 cloths just to get 90% of my face off, and still have to go to bed with some eyeliner on. Cue MakeupEraser. This little puppy made me go from woman back to man in less than two minutes with JUST WATER. I have on full coverage stage foundation, enough powder to choke a horse, 24-hour-wear lipstick, and tons of black eyeshadow with glitter. Buy it! It's awesome." —Luke

    Get it from Amazon for $20.

    See why this won best mid-priced makeup remover.

    18. Organize your skincare ritual by item — there's a proper order for application for everything (your face can tell, even if you can't). For example, dollops of serum come *before* moisturizer and after toner.

    Graphic illustrating eight steps of how to layer skincare

    19. Nourish scaly, painful lips with a soothing formula from Lanolips. This ointment uses lanolin, aka the ingredient that would take the lead in a high school play to swoop in and save the damsels in distress (your dried-out lips and cuticles). Throw in some supporting actors in the form of coconut oil and vitamin E and you've got a well-rounded production — and a soft, plump, hydrated pout.

    Natalie showing before and after of chapped lips before using the treatment and after with smooth lips
    Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

    Promising review: "The texture, the gloss, and the ingredients are all fantastic. My lips stay smooth. I will be buying more." —Michie2019

    Get it from Amazon for $13.50.

    To learn more about why a BuzzFeed editor recommends this, check out "Y'all, Lanolips Is Basically A Miracle Balm And The Only Thing That Actually Healed My Chapped Lips."

    20. Recognize whether your skin is breaking out or "purging" when introducing new products. Purging = skin cell turnover, but hit the fast forward button x2. So when we initially use retinoids, BHAs and AHAs, for instance, they can create more dead cells on your skin's surface, which can lead to clogged pores and cause dormant pimples that were underneath to come to ~a head~. Rest assured, these only last a few weeks and it's usually in the form of small, red, tender bumps with whiteheads. So if you notice cystic bumps, that's more than likely a regular breakout.

    Image of a smiling woman
    Glow Recipe

    If your skin is purging, stick to using the product for a few weeks to let your skin adjust (unless your skin is irritated, like rashes and hives). Keep the rest of your routine as normal — you only want to introduce *one* new product at a time, otherwise your skin will be overwhelmed and truly breakout.

    To learn more, check out The Glow Edit for "How To Tell The Difference Between Skin Purging and A Breakout."

    21. Spritz your face with a toning mist anytime it starts to feel dull and dry. This'll hydrate and hit the refresh button on skin that looks like it's ready to take a nap. Plus! It will control excess oil and any redness that might pop up throughout the day.

    Mal holding the mist beside her face
    Mal Mower / BuzzFeed

    Reviewers mention that this smells amazing, too! Aveda mist's combines rose, organic German chamomile, eucalyptus, and more plant/flower essences to produce an all-around soothing fragrance.

    Promising review: "I love Aveda products, and this is no exception. I have normal to oily skin, and I spray this on each morning after washing before my moisturizer. Its light, smells amazing, and helps keep oil at bay throughout the day." —ChrisNYCESQ

    Get it from Nordstrom for $24.

    To learn more about why a BuzzFeeder recommends this, check out "8 Game-Changing Beauty Products You Need To Try ASAP."

    22. Know that not every face mask is going to be a match. In fact, most are infused with ingredients that target very specific skin types (i.e. dry, acne-prone, etc.). Take our quiz to connect your concerns and complexion with the best mask for you!


    23. Oh! And there's also a skin-identity quiz where you can learn what works best for your complexion and avoid any ~risky~ trial-and-error. It'll take things like your age, typical routine, stress levels, and even diet into account to see what your skin needs most.

    Soko Glam

    Because there's so much more to your skin type than just "oily" or "dry"!

    Take Soko Glam's "What's My Skin Type?" quiz to discover what your complexion is looking for!

    24. Adapt your routine based on the time of year. You do it for your wardrobe — so your precious skin deserves the same, if not better, treatment! When summer and spring roll around, cleanse with a light exfoliating face wash (sweat has entered the chat, sorry). As colder weather hits, hy-👏-drate by using a moisturizing serum *pre* face cream application.


    Promising review (for the face wash): "I love this cleanser! It has made my skin more even, my breakouts less severe and less often, and makes my skin feel so clean! The lather is perfect. The only thing I would recommend is using every other day for the first couple weeks for your skin to get used to it, because it can be a bit drying. But, I can’t recommend this cleanser enough!" —Hayley S.

    Get them from Tarte: the exfoliating face wash for $24 and the maracuja oil for $48.

    25. Make cleaning your makeup brushes a less dreadful task with a handy finger scrubber board. Try to do this once a week, because your trusty tools are a breeding ground for yucky, zit-causing bacteria.


    Promising review: "This is great! It’s like a washboard for your makeup brushes. I just washed mine and they are almost like new again. I used to just wet them, soak them in a small cup with water and dish soap, and then I’d have to rub rub rub forever on a cloth or paper towel. This was so fast. As soon as you start rubbing the brush on the pad you see all the makeup coming off. And then after just a few strokes it’s all clean! I will definitely keep my brushes cleaner now since it’s so quick and easy. I just used water and dish soap." —Amazon Customer

    Get a similar finger scrubber board from Amazon for $4.69.

    Read more from Glossy Box for "Clean Your Makeup Brushes Like A Pro."

    26. Read up on how your complexion can take full advantage of facial oils — each one aids you on your journey to either brighter, firmer, clearer, or more hydrated skin. There's even something for oily complexions — yep, it might sound weird to douse your face in *more* oil, but with the right formula, you *can* reach an equilibrium.

    Chart illustrating the different oils for different skin types
    Loryn Brantz / BuzzFeed

    Glossier has three popular serums that you can buy either as a group or separately. Learn what each one does below!

    Super Bounce ($28 on Glossier) is what you might consider dry skin's savior. Think: the plumping properties of hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5, which soak into your complexion to help you *bounce back* with elasticity and softness.

    Super Glow ($28 on Glossier) brightens your skin from within and gives your face energy even when you might be ready to down your third coffee. Loaded with vitamin C and magnesium, seek this out when you've spent too many late nights scrolling through Insta. This evens your skin tone and is super fast-absorbing, thanks to its super light, water-like texture.

    Super Pure ($28 on Glossier) nourishes flaky bumpy skin with a blend of vitamins and minerals. Packed with Niacinamide and Zinc PCA to decongest clogged pores and even out skin tones in around four weeks. It's oil-free and won't leave any sticky residue, just a perky, happy complexion.

    Get the three-pack from Glossier for $65 (originally $84).

    To learn more about essential oils, check out "Here’s How I Got Rid Of My Acne Once And For All."

    27. Master the highly celebrated Korean skincare routine to address any and every skin concern, from healing annoying breakouts (enter: clarifying toner) to brightening skin (oh hello, illuminating sheet mask). It may look daunting, but each step brings *whoa-worthy* results — that a bog standard face wash and moisturizer simply cannot.

    Graphic of the 10 step Korean skin care routine
    Zoë Burnett / BuzzFeed

    Looking like a lot of steps? You can simplify it to just a few products and still benefit from this! Let's break it down to an easier routine:

    1. SkinFood Rice Brightening Cleansing Tissue ($12 on Soko Glam): streamlines makeup-removal to a few quick swipes. Each sheet is infused with nourishing rice bran water, vitamins, and minerals to not only leave your face free from makeup, but also brighter and refreshed.

    2. Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner ($22 on Soko Glam): acts as step two — your toner. Its vegan formula removes excess dirt and sebum, restores your pH balance, *and* deeply moisturizes thanks to amino acids. Basically this'll make sure your skin is super clean and hydrated.

    3. NeoGen Real Ferment Micro Serum ($38 on Soko Glam): gives your skin a major boost in nutrients and antioxidants. Its powerful, gel-like formula of betula alba juice and other fermented ingredients is designed to melt into your skin for major elasticity and brightness.

    4. Sheet Masks ($2.50+ on Soko Glam): a relaxing yet effective fourth step (that you can do as frequently/infrequently as you want). Every sheet mask from Soko Glam's collection serves a specific purpose. Looking to clear clogged pores and breakouts? This snail mucin and tea tree leaf oil mask is specifically designed to treat acne-prone complexions. Want to brighten your complexion? This bio-cellulose sheet mask made out of coconut gel will help ~illuminate~ your skin. Thirsty for hydrated skin? This Klairs ceramides sheet mask helps to strengthen your skin barrier while aloe vera and centella asiatica extract soothe dry, irritated skin.

    5. Benton Fermentation Eye Cream ($27 on Soko Glam): is a quick fifth step (you're almost done!). It comes ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and aloe to deeply hydrate your under-eye area, as well as plump and smooth. Do this step as part of your nightly routine!

    6. A'Pieu Glycolic Acid Cream ($17 on Soko Glam): combines AHAs and BHAs (acids that naturally moisturize and speed up dead skin cell–turnover) to kick dullness and breakouts to the curb — then *keeps* it that way. And! It uses birch juice to deeply hydrate and create a moisture barrier for your complexion.

    7. Suntique I'm Safe For Sensitive Skin ($24 on Soko Glam): is an IMPORTANT last step for your daytime routine! Not only does it act as a physical blocker to harmful UV rays, but is designed with super sensitive skin in mind to prevent breakouts. Its soothing ingredients, centella asiatica and aloe leaf extracts help moisturize and calm irritated complexions — all without leaving behind a white cast.

    To learn more about the full routine, check out "I Tried A Korean Skin Care Routine For A Month And This Is What Happened."

    28. Rid your skin of sweat immediately post-workout (or if it's just unbearably hot outside) to stop body acne in its tracks. A once over with ShowerPill hygiene wipes packed with aloe vera, vitamin E, and witch hazel, and you'll kick sweat-causing bacteria to the curb.

    hand placing the body wipe in a gym bag

    Promising review: "I have used many different products and this one is the best. The sheets are larger than most and damp enough to feel like you have really wiped away the dirt, sweat and grime. It smells clean and fresh, dries quickly and does not leave you sticky." —sacramento

    Get a pack of 10 wipes from Target for $9.99.

    29. Up 👏 your 👏 water 👏 intake. We know you know, but if you can, aim for eight glasses a day. H2O is your skin's *best* friend for more elasticity, energy, and an overall brighter complexion. Flush those toxins, baby!


    Need proof? Check out some before-and-afters in "We Tried The 30-Day Water Challenge."

    And don't fret, my parched friend, because this extra-large water bottle is here to help. It's designed to keep you on track by noting your progress morning 'til night with little markers, so staying hydrated is a less arduous task.

    hand holding the 32
    @nalgene / Via

    Promising review: "It's the one and only reusable water bottle company and style. Wide mouth is easy to clean and for ice. Design is easy to carry and simple. My third bottle of the exact same size and shape because why would I try something else when this works perfectly? Dropped it many times on concrete and such, nothing more than little scratches and nothing to make it leak. I always wash it in the top rack, no melting, cleans perfectly. Freezes well too, just make sure you leave enough room for the ice to expand or else you will crack the bottle." —Mia

    Get it from Amazon for $9.95 (available in 31 colors).

    30. Elevate the benefits of your usual face wash by deep-cleansing AND exfoliating your entire face with the pulsating marvel that is the Foreo Luna Mini 2. If flaky skin is a massively annoying problem you've been dealing with or you just decided to wear a full face of makeup for the first time in months — in just one minute, you can buff away dead cells and impurities to reveal brighter, just-stepped-out-from-a-facial looking skin.

    Maitland Quitmeyer/BuzzFeed

    By the way, this pulsing miracle worker is made up of nonporous silicone and bendable touchpoints to deter bacteria buildup and thoroughly exfoliate without irritating your skin. It even lights up and buzzes so you know when to move it to the next part of your face! AND it's totally waterproof.

    Promising review: "I bought this on a whim, not totally convinced that it would be as great as everyone claimed it was. I’m in my late twenties and have struggled on and off with adult acne for years. I have combination skin that can get v oily on humid days, so that doesn’t do me any favors. I’ve been using this with the Glossier Milk Jelly face wash for the last three months, and my skin has never looked better. I haven’t had any breakouts in weeks, the texture of my skin is the smoothest it’s been in years. I’m completely sold on this. I use it twice a day on my face, and even use it with the La Roche-Posay Effaclar cleanser on my arms and shoulders when I’m having any small breakouts or KP flair ups. Overall great buy. I had sticker shock at first and considered going with the $30 alternative I saw floating around, but so happy I went with the real deal. Could not be happier." —Neen

    Get it from Amazon for $119 (available in six colors).

    Read our in-depth review of the Foreo Luna Mini 2 for the low down.

    31. Defeat the scars of backne's past with an exfoliating towel. This basically helps your skin shed the layers keeping your scars present, but it's also just a great solve for anyone who wants touchably softer skin.

    Via, @emcanaw / Via

    "All ya do is hop in the shower (or bath), make sure your skin is soaked (IMPORTANT) and scrub dub a dub. I find the easiest (and recommended) method is to wrap both ends around your hands and scrub. It should be noted that I have EXTREMELY sensitive skin and a similar routine worked wonders for me!" —Emma McAnaw

    Promising review: "Seriously this cloth is worth every penny. I have been looking for this for years. My skin feels super smooth after one use. I also bought the large 8" mitts and I could not be happier. Removes dead skin cells to leave your skin feeling rejuvenated. This will become part of my natural skin care regime. Your skin will thank you for this simple but very effective cloth. Do not hesitate to purchase." —Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $12.99.

    To learn more about the benefits of exfoliating towels, check out my review for a similar product in "Your Skin Will Thank You For Using This Amazing Korean Exfoliating Towel."

    32. Instead of using your grubby fingers (yes, yours) to pop pimples, gently bring whiteheads up and out with a warm washcloth. Ok, hear me out, you can do this while you're watching your weeknight movie — just apply pressure to the area and in a few mins you'll be able to slide the whitehead off with the cloth. Zero energy. Zero scarring.

    Graphic of woman using the washcloth as a blemish and anti-scarring trick
    The Beauty Department

    If it doesn't work the first time, just repeat holding down the warm washcloth a few more times. As long as it's not a cystic pimple, this will work! Pro tip: use an extra-gentle washcloth to prevent further irritating the inflamed pimple, like these 100% cotton washcloths ($4.99 for a set of eight on Target).

    Check out even more from The Beauty Department for "The Only Way To Pop: Blemish Magic Trick".

    33. Try taking baby steps to improve your overall skincare regimen. These won't take much of your precious time, we promise, just some things to keep in mind. A simple start: using a lavender spray on your bed pillows to kill acne-causing germs. And! As an added benefit, this'll help you nod off so you might actually be able to get those eight hours, and *in turn* lead you to better skin health. Full circle, folks!

    Graphic of cleaning everything that comes in contact with your face

    Get lavender spray from Amazon for $12.99.

    To get your new routine down pat, check out "Take BuzzFeed's 7-Day Better Skin Challenge" for easy changes that are all under 10 minutes!

    Your pimples when you finally learn how to fight back:


    The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

    illustrated gift guide graphic

    The reviews in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

    Need more for your skin? Check out Korean skincare products you need to know, cheap skincare products that are even better than luxury brands, products for an even skin tone or to deal with acne scars, or check out all of our beauty content for even more great stuff for your hair, skin, and more.