OWN

You're Overthinking Your Nighttime Skincare Routine

You really only need to follow three steps.

You -- step away from the army of beauty products. You might think that using a variety of cleansers, toners, serums and treatments can help tackle the different problem areas on your skin, but all it really does is turn your bathroom into a beauty product graveyard. According to Dr. Angela Lamb, a dermatologist at Mount Sinai, using too many skincare products as a part of a nighttime routine is one of the biggest mistake her patients make, and it can be ineffective at best.

"People come in, unfortunately, with bags full of sometimes six to ten things they're putting on at night," Lamb says of her patients. "The problem with that is that some of these ingredients can cancel each other out or they could actually be clogging your pores. You just don't need that many things."

Instead, keep it simple, she advises. All you need are three solid steps.

Step 1: Cleanse

"Start with a good, nice cleanser that actually removes makeup," Lamb says. "You don't need an extra one to remove your makeup."

Step 2: Apply product

Whether you're using a serum, prescription-strength acne medication or a specific product for anti-aging, the time to apply is once your skin is clean, Lamb says. 

Step 3: Moisturize

Lastly, use a good moisturizer. "You might want to add a little something there for some focused areas, like around the eyes for puffiness or fine lines, but besides that, that's all you need," Lamb says.

As a final tip, Lamb also has one rule of thumb that can help guide you through any skincare steps in the right order.

"What I often recommend to patients is that they really try to go from the thinnest to the thickest [product]," she says. "So your moisturizer should really go on last, because the goal of a moisturizer is to trap in moisture and to kind of hold in everything else you've put on your face. That's why I recommend the serum or medicated product first."

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