The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Skin Care

I have a rather shameful admission to make. It is a confession that would likely shock my beauty-obsessed coworkers and bring shame upon my household … perhaps that last bit’s a tad dramatic, but I just want to really impart upon you how disreputable I believe this admittance to be. Here it is:
My skin care regimen consists of: washing my face. Once a day. That’s it.
Luckily, my complexion isn’t awful these days, but it is by no means perfect like some women’s (see the 7 Habits of Perfect-Skinned People here). And the problem is, I know better, heck it’s not even that I know better, it’s that I gab away about the importance of an anti-aging skin care regimen for healthy skin and I don’t even follow one myself. My head is officially hung. 
So why am I admitting this dirty little secret? Two reasons: one, I believe I am not alone in this — I can’t be the only woman feeling too busy or lazy to deal with a 12-step skin routine every day, right? And two, I need to learn how to lead a busy life and still take care of my skin. 
So, how am I dealing with this “problem”? I went to the experts: medical aesthetician Susan Perry and Beverly Hills board certified dermatologist Doctor Harold A. Lancer for what I call “The Busy Gal’s Guide to Skin Care.” Here are some of the tips they gave me, hopefully they help you too: 
Tip 1: Clean out your skin care closet
When you have a ton of different skin care products staring at you from your medicine cabinet, it can all start to feel too overwhelming. Instead of feeling bogged down or suffocated by so many options, pare down your routine. Because despite what QVC or commercials might be telling you, you only need a few key items to keep your skin healthy. You don’t need any sort of twelve-step program. So grab your trash bin and get to work.
First, throw out any expired products. Then, toss any eye cream or moisturizer where the water has separated from the product and is resting on top — this is a sign of a spoiled product. Lastly, trash product you don’t use on a daily basis or haven’t touched in over a month. Then, if it’s still crowded in there, read the next few slides to determine the exact products to keep and then the rest can go.

Tip 2: Have a simple A.M. skin care routine you can actually stick to
Here’s the simple, anti-aging skin care regimen Lancer and Perry recommend. It requires four products and takes about three minutes:
a.m. routine:
1) Cleanse with a non-soap cleanser (try Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser, $8.95) 
2) Gently exfoliate (try Lancer Dermatology Polish, $50)
3) Prevent/correct with vitamin C and antioxidants (try SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, $142) 
4) UVA/UVB protection (try Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 70, $10.99) 

Tip 3: Ditto for a basic p.m. skin care routine
Your nighttime routine can be extremely simple, says Perry, and should include the following:
p.m. routine:
1) Cleanse
2) Correct/Repair with a retinoid (try Retin A from your dermatologist or RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream, $19.99)

Tip 4: Use multi-tasking skin care products
Sometimes it’s easier to have one product for each skin care need, like the five separates mentioned in the previous a.m. routine slide, to keep things simple, yet comprehensive. Other times we multi-taskers of the world want skin care products that kill two birds with one stone. If that sounds like you, try these great multi-taskers:
• For a cleanser and exfoliant in one, try Kiss My Face Start Up Exfoliating Face Wash, $13.99. 
• For anti-aging prevention (with vitamin c and antioxidants) and sunscreen try Lancer Dermatology Vitamin C Antioxidant Sunscreen, $34.

Tip 5: Get healthy skin without products

If you want to spend less time fussing over your skin, your goal should be to have the healthiest skin possible. The easiest way to keep your skin healthy if you’re on-the-go is to eat right and stay hydrated.
“I always tell my clients to watch what they eat when they are traveling or working a lot,” says Lancer, as “salt reduction is critically important for healthy skin.” Why? Salt decreases the water intake of your internal organs and when your organs are dehydrated, they suck the water out of your skin and leave you with sallow, dry, cracked skin, he says. So, if you’re grabbing quick food while on the run, pay extra attention to nutritional labels.

Protein intake is also essential for healthy, youthful skin says Lancer. He recommends protein be 40 percent of your dietary intake. Why? If your protein intake isn’t high enough, the “amino acids in the blood stream are insufficient to stimulate collagen and elastin production,” he advises.
See the rest of the tips in “The Busy Gal’s Guide to Skin Care.” 

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