Ask a Beauty Editor: How to Simplify Your Quarantine Skin-Care Routine to 4 Steps

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

Have a burning beauty question? You've come to the right place. Every Monday, one of our beauty editors will answer readers' biggest skin-care, hair, and makeup questions in our new series, Ask a Beauty Editor.

Reader Question: What's a good nighttime skin-care routine to do when in quarantine?

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According to dermatologist Rita Linker, your skin-care routine doesn't require a whole lot of bells and whistles to get the job done. "Cleanser first, retinol, eye cream, then moisturizer... that's my go-to nighttime routine," she says. So you can rest assured that a long and complex skin-care routine isn't always a necessity.

If you're looking for a pared-down night routine to get the job done quickly, here are the essentials I've been sticking to.

A gentle cleanser containing squalene, hyaluronic acid, and/or glycerine is always a must in my skin-care routine because I want to get rid of excess makeup and dirt without drying myself out. My current favorite, It Cosmetics's Confidence In a Cleanser, adds extra plumpness with collagen and ceramides.

Using a toner with exfoliating alpha-hydroxy acids is the no. 1 way I keep my skin free of excess oil that can pimples acne and dead skin cells that cause dullness — my two biggest quarantine-related skin issues. There's a permanent spot on my bathroom shelf for my all-time favorite, Ole Henriksen's Glow 2OH Dark Spot Toner, which contains glycolic and lactic acid for a consistent glow.

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Products with retinol are a huge help when you're trying to prevent fine lines, so it's remained a key step in my nighttime skin-care routine. Perricone MD's High Potency Growth Factor Firming & Lifting Serum contains a hefty dose of retinol plus niacinamide for brightness.

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//REPAIR SKIN BARRIER //HUMECTANT

Moisturize

//TERMINATE ACNE //PREVENT ACNE //CLEANSE SEBUM //REDNESS //ACNE SCARS //BLACKHEADS //PORES

Acne Control

//PREVENT ELASTICITY DAMAGE //REPAIR ELASTICITY DAMAGE //FINE LINES & WRINKLES

Anti-Aging

//Extract Dead Cells //Purge Impurities //Generate New Cells

Exfoliate

//PIGMENTATION & BLEMISHES //SCARS //STRETCH MARKS

Spots

//UNEVEN SKIN TONE

Texture

//PRE-SUN EXPOSURE //POST-SUN EXPOSURE

Sun-Care

//DARK CIRCLES

Under Eye

//FIZZY HAIR

Hair Care