Does the "perfect" morning skincare routine actually exist? Apparently, it does, at least according to board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Anthony Youn. But of course, by "perfect," he probably just means that your regimen has all the essentials for maintaining healthy skin. Ahead, we run down the doctor's recommended five-step skincare routine, in case you need a guide:
Step 1: Cleanser
"Not all cleansers are made equal," says the doctor. For one, he suggests avoiding bar soap because it's too drying for the face and can leave a film on your skin. Instead, use a foaming cleanser if you have oily skin, or opt for hydrating milky formulas if you have dry or sensitive skin.
Step 2: Toner
Toner is a product that Dr. Anthony says you can skip, but it will help re-establish the pH level of your skin after cleansing. Use a hydrating formula if you want to use a toner, and steer clear of alcohol-based ones that will strip your face of its natural oils and kill the bacteria essential for skin health.
Step 3: Antioxidant
This step is arguably the most important one, according to the surgeon. "An antioxidant will protect your skin against free radicals, [which are] damaging molecules that damage your skin and damage you from the inside as well," he explains. One of the most common antioxidants you can get is vitamin C, and these often come in the form of a serum. That said, the derm also recommends looking for serums with a combination of vitamin C and E since it can offer better protection.
Step 4: Eye Cream
To keep peepers looking fresh, the doctor says that you shouldn't skip eye cream even in the day. "Ideally, I recommend one with a minor amount of retinol to help with tightening the skin, and one that will be good to moisturize your skin as well," he adds.
Step 5: Sunscreen
In the day time, sunscreen is always a must. According to Dr. Anthony, your everyday sunscreen should have least SPF 30. "An SPF of broad spectrum sunscreen greater than 30 will block 97% of the sun's rays," he explains.
If you have sensitive skin or are heading to the beach, choose a physical sunscreen formulated with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. If you want an SPF without a white cast and looks good under makeup, go for a chemical sunscreen with avonbezone. The doctor says to avoid sunscreens with oxybenzone and octinoxate since these are potential hormone disruptors and damages coral reefs.
Watch the video below for more tips!