Everyone wants gorgeous, glowy, perfect skin. Sure, you can spend hours upon hours (and dollars upon dollars) on a complicated routine that requires multiple steps and products to achieve said flawless look — but who has the time, money, or patience for all that? We certainly don’t.
That’s why we’re always looking for new ways to incorporate simple, time-saving tricks into our daily beauty routine. Ahead, top Chicago beauty experts share quick and easy tips for attaining complexion perfection, minimal effort required. Follow these 10 golden rules, and you’ll see clearer, more radiant skin — without any lasers or expensive treatments.
- Ditch The Washcloth
It’s your skin’s worst enemy — not only can the scratchy texture lead to unsightly irritation and redness, it’s also a breeding ground for bacteria. A better bet? A Konjac cleansing sponge, according to Leah Chavie, founder and owner of Leah Chavie Skincare Boutique. “The sponge softens when wet, and the all-natural fibers gently exfoliate clogged pores with minimal effort.” It works well with virtually any cleanser and is disposable, so be sure to replace it every 30 days.
The Konjac Sponge Company My Konjac Sponge, $16, available at Leah Chavie Skincare.
- Use Wipes The Right Way
If your preferred face-washing method is a cleansing wipe, consider this the official thumbs-up to go ahead and keep using them — with one caveat. “Many of these wipes contain high levels of preservatives that can cause irritation and dryness if left on the skin,” explains Chicago dermatologist Peter Lio, MD. But, don’t stress, there’s no need to wash your face post-wiping. Just a quick rinse will do the trick.
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths, $7.49, available at Cetaphil.
- Change Your Pillowcase
Swap your standard cotton option for silk — the smooth fabric glides easily against your skin, so you won’t wake up with those lines and creases that sleeping on traditional fabrics may cause. For an even greater beauty boost, look for pillowcases made with copper threads. “The copper-oxide ions deliver anti-aging benefits and can actually smooth out fine lines over time,” explains Jenny Patinkin, Chicago-based makeup artist and founder of Lazy Perfection. Talk about beauty sleep.
Iluminage Skin Rejuvenating Pillowcases with Copper Oxide, $60, available at Iluminage Beauty.
- Maximize Moisturizer
On days when your regular face cream just isn’t cutting it (you know, like in the dead of a Chicago winter), there’s no need to pile on layers of extra products. “Dampen your skin [to help it absorb product better], then apply a lotion that contains hyaluronic acid immediately afterward,” says Dr. Bethanee J. Schlosser, Director of the Women’s Skin Health Program at the Department of Dermatology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “The water-retaining molecule seals in the added moisture.”
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream Extra Dry, $19.99, available at Walgreens.
- Slough In The Shower
Regular exfoliation is a must for a radiant, glowing complexion. The easiest way to do it? Exfoliate in the shower when skin is more supple, advises Fred Goudy, lead aesthetician at Bliss Spa Chicago. The steam also helps soften gunk in your pores, making any kind of sloughing more effective. To make it even easier, skip the mechanical scrubs and just apply a leave-on serum with chemical exfoliants.
Bliss Peeling Groovy Facial Serum, $65, available at Sephora.
- Make Your Own Mist
A skin spray is a great way to score a quick boost of moisture, but store-bought options can be pricey. Try making your own, which takes less than five minutes, says Leah Chavie. “Fill a clean spray bottle with distilled water, and add 10 drops of your favorite essential oil,” she advises, noting that if you’re blemish-prone, consider peppermint, which contains salicylic acid that helps fight pimples. Another benefit: A spritz of your new DIY mist is a great way to refresh your makeup mid-day, without reapplication.
The Vitamin Shoppe Peppermint Essential Oil, $8.49, available at The Vitamin Shoppe.
- Keep Your Head Up
Instead of wasting precious minutes trying to depuff swollen eyes with lotions and potions every morning, prevent the problem by altering your sleeping position. “Keep your head elevated on at least one or more pillows,” says Dr. Schlosser. It’s a simple and easy way to prevent blood and fluids from pooling around the eyes.
- Pick Pre-Cut Masks
“Skin care products that require precision, measuring, timing, or rinsing are the enemy of the lazy,” says Patinkin — and we couldn’t agree more. Her suggestion? Pre-cut face and eye masks. They take seconds to apply, can be left on for as long as you like, and require no rinsing once you take them off. Plus, since they don’t drip, you can multitask while you treat your skin.
SK-II Facial Treatment Mask, $135, available atSephora.
- Sunscreen Up, STAT
Even for the laziest among us, there’s no excuse for skimping on daily sun protection. While it’s okay to use a moisturizer with SPF first thing in the morning (to save you the extra step of applying a second product, of course), Dr. Schlosser reminds us that for maximum protection, you should still reapply every two hours. Keep a powder sunscreen on hand; you can quickly dust it on anytime, anywhere, and it works just as well on other exposed areas like your hands and chest.
Colorescience Sunforgettable Mineral Sunscreen Brush SPF 50, $62, available at Colorescience.
- Fake It With Foundation
When all else fails, a little makeup magic is the best way to fake a flawless finish. But, applying foundation with your fingers can leave streaks, and using a brush takes time and precision. Try using a BeautyBlender instead, says Marguerite Preston, a makeup artist at Goldplaited salon in Lakeview. “Dampen it slightly so that it doesn’t absorb too much of the product, then dip it into the foundation and buff across your skin.” Not only will the coverage look super-natural, but because the sponge has more surface area than a brush, it will take just seconds to cover your whole face.
BeautyBlender Blending Sponge, $19.95, available at Sephora.