You know you need a balanced skin care routine, but time is in limited supply. Here’s how you can streamline your morning routine to put your best face forward without spending hours in the bathroom.

If you’re like most of us, you’ll choose the snooze button over a lengthy skin-care regimen—but smooth, glowing skin helps you put your best face forward all day long. The good news: you can do both, with four simple steps that will leave you looking radiant while the coffee’s brewing. Slash minutes from your morning with this streamlined routine.

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1. Cleanse 

Cleansing is important for removing dead skin cells and impurities, and improving skin’s ability to absorb serums and moisturizers. Skip the shower soap and use a facial cleanser specifically formulated for your skin type. Dry or mature skin needs emollient, healing ingredients like shea butter, CoQ10, hyaluronic acid or fruit stem cells. For oily or breakout-prone skin, look for products with tea tree oil, witch hazel and aloe vera to deep-clean without drying. For sensitive skin, choose a fragrance-free formula, and try a cleansing oil instead of soap to gently remove impurities without irritating skin. And if you’re really rushed, sweep your face with a cleansing wipe or pad, or use a micellar cleansing water: it lifts away dirt and oil, and there’s no need to rinse.

How to: Gently massage cleanser or cleansing oil into damp skin with circular
motions, all the way to hairline and including neck and décolletage; rinse off with tepid (not hot) water. Pat dry with a soft towel.

Try these: Organic Doctor Tea Tree Face Wash, Desert Essence Tea Tree Facial Cleansing Pads, Derma-E Hydrating Cleanser, Andalou Naturals Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk, Shea Moisture Sensitive Skin Facial Cleansing Oil, BioMiracle Micellar Cleansing Water, Spascriptions Anti-Aging Makeup Cleansing Wipes

Organic-Doctor-Organic-Rose-Otto-Skin-Toner

2. Tone 

After cleansing, use a toner to remove any traces of cleanser, balance pH and improve skin texture. Start with an alcohol-free version to avoid dryness or irritation; witch hazel is a better choice. For oily skin, choose a toner with tea tree to purify and combat blemishes. For normal or dry skin, look for those that combine witch hazel and botanicals like rose, green tea, or calendula to refresh, nourish, and hydrate skin. For sensitive skin, choose a calming toner with soothing botanicals like aloe vera, lavender or marine extracts. And if you have age spots or sun damage, a toner with vitamin C helps brighten and even out skin tone.

How to: Saturate a cotton ball or pad with toner. Gently press—don’t rub—into face, neck and décolletage. Or use a spray-on formula for even faster skin care.

Try these: Derma E Purifying Toner Mist, Humphreys Witch Hazel Facial Toner, Andalou Naturals Clementine + C Illuminating Toner, Organic Doctor Rose Otto Toner

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3. Treat

Next up, apply serums or other concentrated treatments to target special skin needs. For oily or blemished skin, dab on an acne spot treatment that contains salicylic acid or willow bark extract to fight blemishes, and anti-inflammatory botanicals or homeopathics to minimize redness. An exfoliating serum with glycolic acid and lactic acid helps clear and refresh oily complexions. For dry or mature skin, a hydrating serum is a must, to minimize signs of aging and make moisturizers work even better. Look for one with hyaluronic acid, fruit stem cells, and antioxidants to hydrate and boost collagen, or calming botanicals like lavender and rosemary if your skin is sensitive. For age spots, scars, and uneven skin tone, pat on a brightening cream or serum with lemon peel or vitamin C. And to banish bags and minimize dark circles while nourishing delicate undereye skin, use a double-duty eye serum with hydrating ingredients and toning DMAE.

How to: Gently pat your specialized treatment over skin with fingertips, then brush your teeth while it works its magic.

Try these: Peaceful Mountain Acne Rescue, Mad Hippie Exfoliating Serum With 16 Actives, Jeffrey James The Serum—Deeply Hydrating, Reviva Under Eye Dark Circle Serum, Suki Even Tone Brightening Serum, Andalou Naturals Fruit Stem Cell Revitalize Serum, Acure Organics Acne Spot Treatment

Reviva-Alpha-Lipoic-Acid-Vitamin-C-Ester-and-DMAE-Creme

4. Moisturize 

After applying serums or other treatments, use a cream or lotion to protect
and soften. Even oily skin needs a moisturizer; use a light, oil-free formula with aloe vera, charcoal or marine extracts to soften skin and prevent blemishes. For dry or mature skin, look for super-emollient jojoba oil, almond oil or shea butter, with DMAE, collagen, peptides and antioxidants to firm, hydrate, and minimize lines and wrinkles; choose a fragrance-free lotion or cream for sensitive skin. Or use a tinted moisturizer or BB cream—a beauty balm with built-in color and sunscreen, to save a few steps (and precious minutes) in your morning routine.

How to: Smooth cream, lotion, or beauty balm into skin, using fingertips to gently massage face and stimulate circulation.

Try these: DermaE Purifying Oil Free Moisturizer, Raw Shea Butter Anti-Aging Moisturizer, Weleda Almond Soothing Facial Cream, Andalou Naturals All In One Beauty Balm SPF 30, Mineral Fusions Luminous Finish Beauty Balm SPF 9, Reviva Alpha Lipoic Acid Vitamin C Ester and DMAE Crème

These products can be found in The Vitamin Shoppe Stores or on Vitaminshoppe.com

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