You may be doing it all wrong: The Simple Skincare Routine.

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Shopping around, you might come across products for your skin that look too enticing not to buy. “Works in just 5 minutes!” is what pulls you in, but not a lot of people realize that in just those five minutes, you’re making your skin worse.

That glass bottle of passion-fruit-scented face scrub isn’t really necessary for your skin. In reality, all you need is four steps for a morning routine, and your night routine should be five. 

“Skin care is simpler than the beauty industry is trying to make it. The reality is the industry needs to keep creating a need to get consumers to buy more products,” says Caren Campbell, founder of Caren Campbell MD.

Instead of buying elaborate products, go simple. For a morning routine, all you need is a cleanser, exfoliator, sunscreen and a moisturizer. For night-time, use a cleanser, exfoliator, toner, facial serum, and a moisturizer. If you wear makeup, use an oil-based cleanser to melt off your makeup prior to the final cleanse.

Preparing the skin is another pivotal process that should never be neglected. In the morning, wash your face with cold water. This will help make your skin firm. Hot water can be too harsh for your face’s skin. When applying your skincare products, do it from thinnest consistency to thickest. Doing this will help the thin products sink into your skin as they won’t take a long time to do so. The thicker products will take longer, so applying them last will give the time it needs without caking another layer on top. 

When it comes to face masks – whether it be a peel-off mask, sheet mask, clay mask or a bubble mask – only use them two times every one to two weeks. Peel-off masks should be used the least because, while they do brighten your skin and remove dead skin, they also can be harmful and damage your skin barrier. It is recommended to use sheet masks or a clay mask. But when you use a sheet mask, make sure to rub in the excess essence from the mask.

 If you really want to buy the best skin care products, get them from a Korean skincare website or store. “The Korean philosophy of skin care is, and has always been, based around pure hydration and respecting the skin barrier,”  says Liah Yoo, founder of KraveBeauty, in an interview with Allure. 

If you are worried about the price of your skincare products, shopping on a Korean website or store will have your wallet singing. Korean skincare is affordable, but fast-acting and hardworking at the same time.

“They also know what they want, like innovation, gentle ingredients, pleasing packaging and they definitely don’t want to pay a fortune for it,” said Charlotte Cho, co-founder of Soko Glam .

Getting clear, hydrated, and bright skin isn’t as tangerine-scented and 24-karat gold as it seems. But, the results can be radiant nonetheless.