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By: Hannah Hartz

Hannah Hartz is a Chicago-based esthetician with 7 years experience. She currently works at CaTara Med Spa. Here, Hartz shares her ultimate skin care hacks a.k.a. beauty rules she lives by.

Skin care hack: Double cleanse every night!

Why it works: Some situations, such as getting stuck behind a truck emitting all kinds of thick smoke, can heighten our awareness. But it’s easy to forget that our poor skin is actually getting accosted by that kind of thing all the time. Cars, trucks, and machinery spewing out exhaust across the city, construction kicking up dirt and debris. And all the unclean surfaces we touch daily then inadvertently touch our faces – our skin goes through a lot. So, why double cleanse if you make sure you wash really well the first time around?

When a client is wearing makeup, I often still find myself spending a long time removing traces of foundation – even after using hot towels, professional products, and an easy-access vantage point – before I can start the treatment. I can guarantee you that if I can’t remove all of it that easily, you are definitelynot getting it all off at home every night. And that’s only the stuff we can see – not the tiny particles and pollutants clinging to our skin by the end of the day. So, even if it’s something as simple as supporting your regular cleanser with a few swipes of micellar water, take the extra minute and give yourself that second cleanse and fully rid your face of all the excess grime.  

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Skin care hack: Keep your face out of the shower.

Why it works: Even though it’s super tempting to completely douse yourself in a nice, steamy shower, try as best you can not to get your face wet. There are a couple of reasons for this. First of all, unless you keep your shower temperature pretty mild, that water is way too hot for your face! Excessive steam and hot water can strip the good oils from your skin, leaving it too depleted of its natural barrier function which serves to keep in hydration and keep out pollutants and bacteria. While this still holds true for the skin on your body being exposed to a steaming hot shower, the rest of your body is much tougher (though you should still make sure to moisturize right after you finish showering!). The second reason you want to keep your face up and out of the water while showering is because this is a prime opportunity for all the oils and gunk from your hair and scalp to mosey on down to your face.

The steam from the hot water opens up your pores and your face – especially around the forehead and along the hairline – becomes susceptible to absorbing and reacting to all that nastiness. If you absolutely must immerse yourself fully in the shower, try this: Do your full, fabulous shower routine, finishing with flipping your hair back all the way out of your face. Turn the heat down in the shower a little bit so it’s not quite so harsh, and then proceed to wash your face, trying to avoid getting your hair strands in the way. This will help to ensure that you keep your skin extra clean and avoid unnecessary subjection to future breakouts.

RELATED: 10 Beauty Habits Women with Glowing Skin Live By

Skin care hack: Use wipes or cotton rounds to apply toner after washing.

Why it works: I love a good toner. One of the big reasons to use a toner is because it helps to balance the pH levels of your skin post-cleanse. This is totally true and awesome, but a lot of cleansers now are coming out touting that they are “pH balanced.” Does this mean you still need to use a toner? Totally, and apply it using a wipe. Here’s why: Frequently after cleansing, some residue may be left on the skin, as well as some areas that were not perfectly cleaned from the cleanse. Applying the toner with a nice swiping motion across the face can help to pick up any extras left behind! I am all for a spritz toner, but immediately after washing, spritz it onto a cotton round or wipe. Throughout the day, however, go ahead and spritz to your heart’s content!

Skin care hack: Find your glow with Vital Proteins.

Why it works: Our body's natural collagen production begins to decline around the age of 25. This is why taking a supplement like Vital Proteins collagen products is recommended. Whether you're searching for your coffee's new BFF (try our Collagen Creamer!) or need something quick to feed your glow (say hello to our Glow Collagen Shot!), your journey to stronger hair, skin, nails, and joints is only a scoop or sip away.

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Skin care hack: Find an SPF you love and never let it go.

Why it works: Many people shy away from using SPF on the daily. This is so wild to me, seeing as there are countless studies proving the harmful effects of UVA/UVB rays. The main reasons people don’t wear sunscreen are as follows: They are inside at work all day, and they don’t like the way it smells/feels/reacts with their skin.

Despite working in an office, you are more than likely still getting sun exposure, unless you work in a cave. Windows at work (and at home, if you spend the day indoors), commuting to and from work, popping outside to get a quick lunch, and so on – all of these opportunities make you susceptible to UV rays. And even minimal exposure adds up.

Regarding the second reason, it’s not 1995 anymore and there are infinitely more options for sun protection than the thick, opaque, white, tropical-smelling beach sunscreen. I promise you, there is a sunscreen out there for you. I have a special love for the brand, SuperGoop, for this very reason. They make SPF in such a wide variety of different formulations, from oil-based and mattifying to deeply hydrating mousse texture and lightweight gel primer texture. With such a variety of options out there (and not just from this particular brand!), there is an SPF out there with your name on it; you just have to find it. 

Samples are easy to come by (hello, Sephora!) and I strongly recommend trying any and all until you find one that works for you. The best method of using samples is to try only one for a full week or two to see if you have any reaction before moving on to the next sample. This way, you can see which product causes a reaction or breakout on the skin, leading you to find your ideal match. And once you find that perfect SPF for your skin and lifestyle, get it, love it, hold on to it, and never let it go. Throw it on in the morning and reapply it as needed. Put it on your neck and chest and even on your hands. Do not let excuses get in the way of aging gracefully.