And, if you're not consistent with the rest of your post-washing skin care regimen, whatever it involves -- applying a prescription retinol, patting a rich nighttime moisturizer around your face, using an eye cream -- you'll never see the results they promise or get your money's worth out of those products.
The fix: According to Dr. Peredo, at a bare minimum, your daily and weekly cleansing routine should look like this, no excuses: cleanse twice a day, exfoliate twice a week and wear moisturizer with sunscreen during the day, year-round. If you have acne-prone skin, skip grainy physical exfoliants in favor of chemical exfoliants like salicylic acid. To treat uneven skin tone or aging skin issues, exfoliate with a glycolic acid.
Your routine should also include regular facials -- ideally every four to six weeks. Because your skin cells turn over approximately once a month, periodic facials can remove the dead cells and reveal the healthy layer of skin underneath, says Dickman. If a regular professional facial isn't in your budget, getting one even twice per year can help. Think of it as one of your regular health checkups, like getting a pap smear or teeth cleaning (only much more pleasant).
And don't expect immediate, miraculous results -- Dr. Bellman says it takes about a month to see changes in your skin after sticking to a good routine.
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