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Think achieving beautiful, flawless skin means spending hundreds of dollars on expensive skincare products? Think again.

Most of the things that lead to a flawless complexion are habits that we can incorporate into our daily routine. Bonus – they’re easy and simple to do too!

1. Always remove make-up before going to bed

We’ve all been guilty of sleeping in a full face of make-up, but ”removing make-up can make the difference between beautiful, glowing skin and a complexion that looks dull and has clogged pores,” says Debra B. Luftman, M.D, a dermatologist in Los Angeles for Simple skincare.

Plus, some skin cells are meant to shed every day. When you leave your makeup on, you increase the chance of these cells sticking and causing clogged pores. This can even cause breakouts, fine lines and wrinkles to appear prematurely.

To remove make-up effectively, use a simple micellar water cleanser (no rinsing required).

These cleansers remove dirt, oil and make-up whilst being gentle on your skin. We recommend Garnier Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water For All Skin Types. It’s effective, affordable and gentle on the skin.

Have waterproof make-up? Try this Garnier Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water For Waterproof Make-up.

2. Apply the ‘right’ face mask for your skin weekly

Whilst we know face masks can be beneficial for our skin, we often forget that not all face masks are made equal.

If you have dry skin, try a moisturizing face mask mixed with glycerin or hyaluronic acid. Glycerin and Hyaluronic acid helps to tone, smooth and increase clarity of the skin. We recommend checking out this pure hyaluronic acid serum or these korean beauty face masks containing hyaluronic acid.

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, try hydra gel. Hydra gel can be worn as a sleep mask, and is perfect for calming dry, sensitive skin.

If you have oily, break-out prone skin, try a soothing clay/mud mask. This dead sea mud mask is designed to reduce acne, blackheads and oily skin.

For combo skin, NYC dermatologist, Francesca Fusco recommends alternating between a clay mask and a moisturizing one, and only applying it to areas that need it e.g. apply the clay mask to the oil prone sections only.

3. Resist picking at your skin

As tempting as it is to pick at blackheads, acne, spots and other blemishes and marks, doing so will drive bacteria and dirt further into the skin, leading to increased inflammation, redness and pain.

If your skin is inflamed and red, place an ice cube over the area for 20 seconds. You can then apply a small dot of salicylic acid treatment to it, and cover with concealer if you wish.

4. Gently exfoliate

Despite what most of us think, our skin only needs gentle exfoliation to clear away dead skin cells. Scrubbing at our skin will only make it red and inflamed.

Depending on your skin type, you can use a soft sugar scrub, a chemical peel (not advised for sensitive skin), or a simple extra gentle face scrub.

Exfoliating once to twice a week is ample for most skin types.

5. Add an antioxidant serum to your daily routine

Consider adding an antioxidant serum to your skin care routine. ”Antioxidants such as Vitamin E and A help to repair your skin from UV damage” says NYC dermatologist Julie Karen.

UV rays are still able to damage your skin even if you are wearing sunscreen. Adding a layer of antioxidant serum underneath your sunscreen helps to prevent skin damage, brown spots and premature fine lines.

Try adding this super affordable Eva Naturals Peptide Complex Serum loaded with vitamin E, essential amino acids and hyaluronic acid to your daily routine.

6. Combine face cream and sunscreen everyday

We often only think to apply sunscreen when we’re out in the sun for extended periods of time, but even the 5-10 minutes in the sun dashing to and from our car can cause fine lines, wrinkles and premature ageing.

Even during the colder months, it is best to apply SPF 15 or higher to your skin, along with your normal face cream/moisturiser.

Why not try an SPF moisturizer to save money? We recommend Aveeno’s Positively Radiant SPF 15 Daily Face Moisturizer for most skin types.

Have super sensitive or acne prone skin? Try EltaMD’s Dermatologist Recommended Sunscreen Moisturizer for sensitive or acne-prone skin instead.

7. Change your pillowcase often

Skin can pick up residues or dirt, bacteria, oil and saliva from our pillow cases, which can cause blemishes and breakouts.

Either change your pillowcase every week or flip the pillow over once a week, and change the cover once every two weeks.

8. Drink plenty of water morning and night

Drinking water isn’t a new skincare secret, but we often forget to drink adequate amounts throughout the day. Hydration is key to beautiful, glowing, radiant skin, as water helps to flush out toxins, and keep skin supple and smooth.

The Mayo Clinic recommends drinking 2 litres of water per day (this is equivalent to eight 8-ounce glasses).

Important Side Note About Collagen

The level of collagen in our skin (what makes our skin stay firm, toned and smooth) rapidly decreases after mid 20s- early 30s.

Fortunately, you can supplement collagen by adding it to your diet i.e. through your drinks.

We LOVE this Bulletproof Unflavored Collagen Powder – not only is it great for your skin, for your joints, and your hair, but it’s packed with protein and has no taste!

9. Use the proper make-up removal technique

When removing make-up, it’s important to use tons of TLC, especially when removing eye make-up.

For example, the skin under our eyes is extremely thin, and tugging on it can cause skin to sag and stretch, causing fine lines and wrinkles to appear.

Instead, use light, downward circular motions to gently remove make-up.

When using wet wipes, be even more careful – due to their dryness, we often press harder on the skin. Try to use a liquid cleanser where possible to avoid this.

10. Never lay in a tanning bed

“Tanning beds accelerate the aging of skin through the breakdown of collagen and are proven to increase the risk of skin cancer,” says Dr. Fusco, a leading dermatologist.

Hitting the tanning booth (even just a few times) can lead to irreversible skin damage, not to mention it increases the risk of developing melanoma, a serious skin cancer, by 59% according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

“Women who are trying to achieve great skin should never tan,” Fusco adds.

If you want to achieve a tan, try fake tanning to prevent UV skin damage.

11. Wear UV protecting sunglasses year round

Just because it’s shady, it doesn’t mean the sun can’t damage your skin. UV rays can pass through clouds (even if you can’t spot any sunlight).

Wearing sunglasses year round not only helps to protect the delicate skin around your eyes from UV damage, but it also helps to prevent fine lines, wrinkles and crow’s feet.

If you’re squinting, you’re more likely to develop crow’s feet so wearing sunglasses prevents this from happening.

12. Reduce refined, sugary carbs in your diet

It’s no surprise leading dermatologists recommend reducing or even better eliminating refined, sugary carbohydrates from our diets.

Whilst the occasional bag of chips or bar of chocolate isn’t going to hurt you, if your diet consists of snack machine foods, your skin is going to reflect that.

According to Dr. Fusco, ”sugar, white bread, pasta, cake, candy etc may speed up glycation in the skin”. Glycation is when sugar molecules latch onto skin cells and cause the collagen to malform and break down.

The result? Less radiant, less clear and blemished skin.

Instead, it is recommended to load your diet with fresh foods such as fruit, vegetables, yogurt, and lean proteins.

13. Splash cold water on skin after cleansing

This is a simple, but effective hack for closing the pores after cleansing.

If you wash your face with warm water or even just a simple cleanser, it’s best to splash a bit of cold water on your skin afterwards to prevent any dirt, bacteria and oil getting into the open pores.

14. Clean your phone daily

It’s no surprise our phone screen harbours lots of bacteria from our day-to-day routines. When we place the phone to our ear, we are then transferring this bacteria and dirt onto our skin, which can result in acne and breakouts.

15. Get ample sleep

Ideally, you’ll want at least 8 hours of beauty sleep. Ample sleep allows your mind, body and skin to repair, and is vital to achieving glowing, radiant skin!