With there being a constant rotation of new serums and beauty gadgets to try, our beauty routines are getting mighty long. And yet, there are still steps we’re missing out on. Exfoliating? Check. Taking that makeup off before bed? Triple check.
Only thing is, we'renot checking these off on the daily, which only hurts our skin in the long run. If you’re ready to change all that by going all in on your beauty routine, keep reading to learn what the experts deem the most overlooked beauty steps.
Exfoliation is the fastest route to smooth, radiant skin. "When you don't clear away dead skin cells to help speed new cell turnover and regeneration, your complexion can look dull and flat," explains celebrity makeup artist and brand founder,Jenny Patinkin.
She recommends an exfoliator with a gentle fruit enzyme, like pumpkin or papaya, to start. For a more intense scrub, she recommends products that contain alpha hydroxy acids, such as glycolic acid or lactic acid.
"Lipstick alone can literally brighten and lift your face," says Douglas Otero, celebrity makeup artist and Owner of Intermission Beauty. The goal is to choose a texture and finish that you're comfortable with. "If you're not afraid of color, go to town with something bold!" says Otero. But if it’s a nude, sophisticated look you're after, choose a shade that is similar to your own lip color or slightly darker.
Don't forget about those nighttime lips, either! "Giving your lips some hydrating attention before bedtime can make all the difference in the world, especially the following morning!" says Adina Mahalli, a beauty expert for Maple Holistics.
protecting and nourishing your hair after you wash it
According to NYC-based master hairstylist Marshall Linn, this is a step you shouldn’t skip, even if you plan to air-dry: "Spraying the hair with a nourishing protectant is extremely important, especially in today's climate." He likes the Something To BeLeave-In from Pai-Shau, which he follows with an oil-free serum for added shine and a shield against frizz.
washing your face day and night
This is a step that's worth getting right. "The majority of people do not cleanse facial skin properly," explains Nikki Goddard, certified hair stylist and makeup artist with an associate degree in cosmetology.
Audrey Vassell, Owner and Founder of Glam Essentials, agrees. She adds that skipping that a.m. or p.m. face wash can age your skin. "When you are sleeping, your skin goes into repair mode to eliminate toxins, dirt and sebum (oil) that sit on the top layer of your skin," she tellsLively.
But before you overcomplicate your skin-washing process, go back to basics with a good cleanser: "This is a basic step that requires very little time, but will make the rest of your routine efficient and beneficial." How you dry your face off also matters, as Mahalli points out that you undercut the efficacy of the wash by drying your face with a used towel.
taking care of the neck
Yourdécolletage – aka the skin on your neck and chest – deserves the same amount of love that you give your face. And yet, it’s one of the most neglected areas of skin on your body. "These are the first areas to show signs of aging," saysAlexandria Gilleo, a celebrity makeup artist. For care, look to add moisturizing products that are full of antioxidants. "Adding this quick step into your routine can simply transform the appearance of uneven skin tone and fine lines."
drinking enough water
Your next beauty boost is as easy as a sip of water. "Beauty, like health, starts with proper moisturizing," says Goddard. "By drinking 1.5-2 liters of water per day, you improve metabolism and contribute to proper nutrition of the entire body, including all inner organs and skin."
Reach your hydration goals withVital Proteins Collagen Water™, which boasts 10g of collagen and 3g of sugar or less per serving.
using a vitamin C serum
Vitamin C is good for protecting the skin from free radicals, brightening the skin and serving as a makeup prep. " It helps provide a smooth canvas for application and it can help maintain a youthful glow while also helping to diminish fine lines," saysDana Richards and Jamie Kovelman, Founders ofMiami Gorgeous, who recommend their vitamin C serum.
There are so many reasons to apply sunscreen – radiant skin is just one. "Adding a daily sunscreen will save you time and money later since the sun breaks down collagen and elastin," says Lindsay Malachowski, esthetician and Director of Operations atSkinney.
Dr. Christopher Zoumalan, board-certified oculoplastic surgeon and Founder/Inventor of Skinuva skincare products, agrees. "It can help prevent age-related and environmentally-induced changes in skin tone, as well as help enhance the effectiveness of the products you’re already using."
"Dry brushing is an exfoliation technique using a firm, natural bristle brush," says celebrity makeup artist, Michaeline Becker. It offers lymphatic support to help flush the body of toxins and it’s another way to exfoliate the skin. "The technique involves brushing the skin of your extremities and torso using long brush strokes towards your chest." Becker likes to do her dry brushing routine once a week right before she jumps into the shower for noticeably softer skin.
taking care of your teeth
Speaking of brushing, dental care is an important part of your beauty routine. Yet, it’s often overlooked. "Many people think simply whitening their teeth is enough to keep their smile beautiful," says Dr. Rhonda Kalasho, Double board-certified doctor of dental surgery and cosmetic dental specialist.
You can attain those pearly whites through regular dental habits, such as flossing, using an electric toothbrush and water flossing. "Do this at least twice a day and you will recognize a big difference in the overall health, brightness and youthfulness of your smile," she says.
cleansing and sanitizing your beauty tools
Your hands aren’t the only thing you should be sanitizing these days. "I'm a staunch advocate of, if the tool goes in or around your eyes, you need to clean it every time you use it," says Jankail Adams, professional makeup artist and Owner of beauty brand, Jankail Sherri. "Doing so cuts down on the transfer of bacteria from product to face and can easily halt breakouts in their tracks."
To make things easier, she recommends purchasing disposable items like cosmetic wedges and mascara wands: "They make it easy for a hygienic application and an even easier clean up."
taking off your makeup before bed
The beauty experts have a lot to say about the cardinal sin of beauty: “By leaving makeup, you put yourself under the risk of eye inflammation, acne, pimples, wrinkles, dark circles and lots of other problems,” Goddard tellsLively.
Lindsay Malachowski, esthetician and Director of Operations atSkinney, has this pro-tip: "Always double cleanse to remove makeup with micellar water and a cleanser." For those lazy nights (we’ve all been there), she recommends keeping makeup wipes by your bed.