Too often, my clients tell me that they either don’t understand the importance of, or are too tired at night to be bothered with, a proper skin care routine. After all, “routine” sounds like work and maybe even sounds a little boring. As for skin care products and all those “steps” you are supposed to undertake – phew – it starts to sound like a degree in rocket science is required. Well guess what, I am here to tell you that taking a few, easy steps before you hit the pillow each night is both necessary and…….EASY!

Just think of it this way. Most experts agree that it takes about 10 days to establish a new routine. You’ve made a commitment to healthy eating and perhaps you are even on an exercise program. These are steps you have committed to, in order to start getting healthy and feeling great both physically and mentally. Now that you are into that routine you wouldn’t dream of skipping it. The same goes for skin care. While exercise and healthy eating both help with creating an environment for healthy, radiant skin, a great bedtime routine is also critical for nourishing that hard working and single biggest organ of the body. Give yourself 10 minutes, for 10 days, devoted solely to creating beautiful skin and I know you will start to see results that will motivate you to continue. Without further ado, here is what to do:

1. Never underestimate the power or a good cleanser!

A mild, non-greasy cleanser must be the first step in your routine. It sets the stage for everything else, providing a clean, clear canvas for all other skin care to take place on. Use only water-soluble cleansers that will rinse off well, leaving your skin feeling clean and neither too dry nor too greasy.

2. You are toning your body – tone your skin too! What exactly does toner tone anyway?

In reality, the term “toner ” is just a fancy word invented by cosmetic companies. Toner doesn’t actually tone anything like we would expect from an exercise routine but it is an important, if misunderstood product. What toner does is it helps to reduce inflammation, adds antioxidants into the skin and helps to soothe your skin after the cleansing process. It also acts as an additional moisturizing step.

3. Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate

By now my regular readers will know that this is my all-time favourite. Without proper exfoliation we cannot expect any of the many other beneficial ingredients from our skin care products to absorb effectively. If you are looking for that even, healthy glow, plus beautiful firmer feeling skin, then exfoliation is a must!

4. Moisturize. Nourish your skin like you nourish your body!

Yes, you must nourish your skin just like any other part of your body whether internal or external. Your moisturizer not only moisturizes but also helps to maintain your skin structure by reducing free radical damage. It should contain all the beneficial ingredients we have talked about in previous blogs, ingredients specifically designed to help your skin’s cells to function in a healthy manner. We’ve talked about these before and I encourage you to review some of my earlier blogs on the topic.

5. Protect yourself! From nighttime to daytime make sun protection a part of your routine.

Up till now we have been talking about nighttime routine. However, just as important is what you do when you wake up each day and no matter what else you do, it’s imperative you make sun protection a part of your routine during the day to help maximize the benefits achieved from your nighttime routine. SPF is very important when you head outdoors in order to protect against things like premature aging, skin discoloration and the loss of elasticity, all potentially caused by the sun’s harmful rays. Think “wrinkle avoidance” as your primary goal here if that’s what you need to do in terms of motivation!

At the outset of this blog I said “take ten minutes” but the reality is, you probably only need about five (just 5!) minutes each night to follow these few simple steps to achieve healthy skin. You’ve come this far and you’ve invested this much time already in terms of healthy eating and working out – why not go the extra step and “step up your game” before bedtime. I know that beautiful, healthy, younger looking skin is waiting for you when you wake up!

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