By Corinne Griffith Cole
By now you’ve probably heard all about those crazy-long skincare routines (10-step, 15-step?!) that promise to make your skin look like a model’s and feel like a baby’s. If you’re anything like us, though, you thought, wait…what? We’re all for a gorgeous glow but who’s got time for all that?
So we asked cosmetic dermatologist, Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank (pfrankmd.com), for his tips on how to look fresh and sexy with the least amount of effort. The good news: It only takes a few key products and a few minutes a day to do it. So, ladies, it you do nothing else, we know you can follow this super easy three-step routine. Just do it in the a.m. and before you hit the sack, and you’ll be good to go.
Step 1: Cleanser
If you think makeup wipes are enough to wipe away that contour, we’re sorry to say, they’re not. They’re okay to use in a pinch (read: you pulled an all-nighter and just can’t handle standing at the sink), but in general you really need a deeper clean. “Cleansers that contain an alpha hydroxy acid such as glycolic acid or salicylic acid prevent breakouts and encourage cell turnover to leave skin smooth and exfoliated,” says Dr. Frank. Milly loves: Neostrata Foaming Glycolic Wash $40
Step 2: Serum
According to Dr. Frank, the key to healthy looking skin is to correct sun damage and hyper pigmentation — and these are the most common complaints he hears from patients. Since serums pack super concentrated amounts of good-for-your-skin ingredients, they’re worth the investment. The doc recommends SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, $163 (Skinceuticals.com), saying, “It’s multifunctional in one step: It treats pigmentation, brightens, gently exfoliates, and protects from free radicals and UV damage.” Dab on a bit after cleansing, and allow it to absorb for a few minutes before moving on to the next step.
Step 3: Moisturizer with SPF
“Sun damage is very common, so it is best to prevent the problem before it occurs,” says Dr. Frank. You need to wear sunscreen every single day of the year (yes, even if it’s cloudy or monsooning), and if you want to cut down on products, you can find that coverage in a moisturizer for a one-two punch of hydration and protection. “Look for one that says broad spectrum, which means UVB and UVA coverage and SPF 30 or above,” says Dr. Frank. Let this absorb for a few minutes too before you move on to makeup. Milly loves First Aid Beauty 5-in-1 Face Cream $40.
Extra Credit: These lifestyle tweaks (okay, and one additional skincare step) will take your results to the next level. A warning: they’re def not time consuming but at least one requires some serious willpower. Or, maybe that’s just us??
-Limit your alcohol intake. “Alcohol affects your skin in many ways, like highlighting fine lines and wrinkles, and can make your face look deflated due to a lack of moisture,” says Dr. Frank.
-Exfoliate at least once a week. This will shed all those dead skin cells that are dulling you out. Milly loves: Fresh Sugar Face Polish, $62
-Skip sugar and carbs. “Carbs affect cellulite growth and change fluid levels in the body. Try avoiding them (and sugar) for a month and watch how healthy and vibrant your skin will look,” says Dr. Frank. Up your protein intake and add in veggies that are rich in color (think spinach and beets).
Corinne Griffith Cole is the current Deputy Editor at Latina magazine. She has worked in the magazine industry for over 15 years including publications like Cosmo For Latinas, Instyle, and Good Housekeeping. A born and raised New Yorker, Corinne recently decided to move to Dallas, Texas, with her family and is loving it. You can follow Corinne and her adventures here.