Asian woman doing skincare in front of a mirror

Balancing family, career, side hustles, and personal time can be a challenge. It’s no wonder many women are ditching several skincare steps in favor of a more streamlined routine. While having an extensive regimen can have additional benefits, a more practical version can be just as effective as long as you don’t skip the essential ones. Here are six that you should always do, even when in a hurry.

Working Your Cleanser

Washing off your cleanser a few seconds after it starts to lather is just a waste of product and time. The skin contains millions of pores and, contrary to what filters may want you to think, it’s never actually . Your cleanser needs your help in getting into those pores to dissolve oil and grime and get rid of bacteria. 

Double cleansing is an effective way to ensure that your skin is cleansed well without over-drying it. Start with an oil-based product to melt sebum, makeup, and sunscreen. Follow with a hydrating cleanser like Eskinol Naturals Micellar Facial Wash Hydrate with Natural Aloe Extracts to soothe the skin while removing product residue.

TIME: 30 to 60 seconds

Patting Skin Dry

Patting your skin feels like it takes more time, but it helps support elasticity and prevent sagging. According to a 2020 study in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics, rubbing the skin degrades the barrier function, which is essential to keeping moisture in. Without this ability, the skin is compromised, weaker, and at risk of irritation and premature aging. 

TIME: 5 seconds

Pressing on Your Serum

Another step worth the time investment is practicing proper skincare steps in order. Serum should follow cleansing and toning. Pressing your serum into your skin instead of rubbing it in is based on the same logic as patting your face dry: it prevents unnecessary irritation.

Moreover, it allows your pores to absorb the product better. Unlike thick creams and moisturizers that are slathered and massaged onto the face to lock moisture in, serums are meant to sink into your skin’s layers. Using gentle pressing motions improves its chances of absorption.

TIME: 20 seconds

Allowing Products to Fully Absorb

Resist the urge to pile on the next layer immediately. Allow your serum to absorb for a bit before applying the following product. On the other hand, keep in mind that your skin should still feel damp when you because its whole purpose is to retain water in the skin. You know your face is ready when the serum starts feeling sticky instead of slippery. It doesn’t take much time, so don’t go off folding laundry while waiting. 

TIME: 30 to 60 seconds

Moisturizing Your Neck

While you’re at it, don’t forget your neck! As the inimitable Nora Ephron once wrote, “Our faces are lies and our necks are the truth. You have to cut open a redwood tree to see how old it is, but you wouldn’t if it had a neck.” The skin on the neck is thin, delicate, and has fewer pores. This means it’s not constantly moisturized by sebum, making it prone to dryness, sagging, and wrinkles. Regular moisturizing is one of the most important skincare steps that can help give your neck the help it needs to .

TIME: 10 seconds

Applying Sunscreen Properly

So, you’ve been dutiful about skincare and applying sunscreen regularly — but are you doing it right? The improper application of sunscreen can make it less effective at protecting your skin from UV rays. The key is to apply it as the last step in your routine, using enough product to cover your face, ears, nape, and neck. You should apply the most crucial of skincare steps 20 minutes before sun exposure to give the product enough time to absorb. 

TIME: 20 seconds

Skipping the skincare steps above can lead not just to waste of product, but time and effort, too! You’re already investing so much into your skin you can afford to add two minutes of your time to the skincare process.