A Derm’s 4-Step Morning & Nighttime Skin Care Routine

First up, Barr uses a gentle cleanser in the morning. Now, the morning cleanse is certainly contested (some find it way too drying), so if your skin feels especially parched, feel free to just use water. “The important time to wash your face is actually in the evening, as you’ve been exposed to air pollution and other things that can gunk up hair follicles,” Barr notes. You’ll still want to have some rinse, though, to help any treatments and moisturizers effectively penetrate those pores. 

Next, the serum: “I use an antioxidant serum with vitamin C, E, and ferulic acid,” notes Barr. All those antioxidants are great on their own (managing photodamage, promoting collagen production—you know, all good things), but combining them increases their chemical power. One study even found that vitamin E and ferulic acid increase vitamin C’s effectiveness eightfold

Finally, she seals it all in with moisturizer. She’s partial to products that double as sunscreen (hers has SPF 30), just to keep the routine super simple. Of course, if you’d rather apply sunscreen after massaging in a moisturizer, by all means. Some sort of sun protection is nonnegotiable though: “In the morning if I had to choose one product, it would be SPF,” says Barr. 

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