Think the more prod­ucts you use, the bet­ter your skin will be? Guess again. Here’s how to do more, with less…

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Stream­lin­ing your skin­care rou­tine doesn’t have to mean sac­ri­fic­ing that In­sta-wor­thy glow. In fact, as Dr Sarah Shah ex­plains: ‘The skin is a self-reg­u­lat­ing or­gan and ac­tu­ally needs less help than we think it does.’ So, with that in mind, we talked to some of the in­dus­try’s big­gest skin­care ex­perts, and it may sur­prise you to learn that there are mul­ti­ple steps in our beauty regimes that we just don’t need (here’s look­ing at you, Korean beauty, with your mind-bog­gling 17-prod­uct line-up). In fact, some rit­u­als do more harm than good. On our per­pet­ual quest to save you time – and your hard-earned cash – here’s the es­sen­tial things you should do to scale back your rou­tine…

Mas­ter the non-ne­go­tiables

First things first: de­ter­mine what you re­ally need. While skin­care isn’t a one-size-fits-all sit­u­a­tion, there is one prod­uct every skin­care ex­pert will tell you is a must... a cleanser. ‘The best way to clean your skin is with con­sis­tency – use a soft and calm­ing cleanser, like (1) NIVEA Daily Essen­tials Mi­cel­lair Skin Breathe Mi­cel­lar

Wa­ter Sen­si­tive,’ ad­vises El­iz­a­beth Rita, NIVEA’S celebrity make-up artist work­ing back­stage at The Voice UK. This all-in-one won­der prod­uct is gen­tle, yet hard­work­ing, re­mov­ing make-up while cleans­ing and re­fresh­ing skin. Best of all, it leaves zero residue. For com­bi­na­tion skin types, try (2) NUXE aqua­bella Mi­cro-ex­fo­li­at­ing Pu­ri­fy­ing Gel, £12, which is for­mu­lated to cater for those with oily, dry and de­hy­drated patches. Your other must-have is an SPF. Pro­tect­ing skin means less money and time will be spent on cur­ing sun dam­age in the fu­ture. We are fans of (3) NIVEA Sun Uv Face Shine Con­trol SPF50 – a non-sticky for­mula which ab­sorbs ex­cess oil, leav­ing skin with a matte fin­ish.

Go easy on acids and oils

‘My clinic is full of women with blocked pores be­cause of the trend for mois­tur­is­ing and cleans­ing with fa­cial oils,’ re­veals Dr An­jali Mahto, con­sul­tant der­ma­tol­o­gist. While the oils them­selves won’t cause spots, per say, it’s best not to overuse them. ‘They tend to sit on the sur­face, which slows down our skin’s nat­u­ral mois­tur­is­ing pro­cesses and also pre­vents the nat­u­ral oils from flow­ing,’ says fa­cial­ist Kate Kerr. Never use oil in place of mois­turiser. The rea­son be­ing is be­cause our skin re­quires both oil and wa­ter. All mois­turis­ers de­liver these two in­gre­di­ents to skin, whereas oils only pro­vide oil. Mix a few drops in with your mois­turiser once a week. We rec­om­mend (4) Elemis Su­per­food Fa­cial Oil, £38.

Dr Bar­bara Sturm has ob­served sim­i­lar acidic re­sults: ‘I see too many women go­ing over­board with at-home acids and peels. This al­lows pol­lu­tion par­ti­cles to pen­e­trate through your skin bar­rier, be­cause its lipids are com­pro­mised and healthy skin cells are re­moved. Re­mem­ber that acids speed up cell turnover, but you don’t have an un­lim­ited sup­ply, so they won’t keep re­plac­ing them­selves end­lessly. Try to use phys­i­cal ex­fo­lia­tors [scrubs] in­stead if you want to coun­ter­act dull­ness. They only re­move dead skin cells, leav­ing healthy cells in­tact, so that you’re bet­ter pro­tected against pol­lu­tion. Try (5) BYBI Beauty Prime Time Fa­cial Pol­ish, £24 – but only once a week, as over-ex­fo­li­at­ing will up­set your skin’s nat­u­ral bal­ance and send oil pro­duc­tion into over­drive.’

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