For most of us, our to-do list looks more like a three-ring binder. Between work, home and family, you may feel as if you don't have one free minute to devote to a skin care regimen. Making time for yourself is important, though — you'll be better able to handle what the day throws at you when you've taken a little time to care for yourself. We know how tough it can be, so we've put together eight skin care shortcuts — they'll help you cut a few steps from your beauty routine so that you can look and feel great while saving valuable time. Now you'll just have to figure out what task to squeeze into those extra minutes!
1. Apply an antioxidant serum in the morning so you get both your sun protection and anti-aging bases covered. A serum with antioxidants such as vitamin C, ferulic acid, grape seed, black tea and resveratrol will help prevent and repair environmental damage from sun and pollution. Potent serums to try include E'shee Clinical Esthetic Vitalizing C Serum ($119), which has a high tech form of vitamin C along with copper PCA, mulberry and ginkgo biloba; Snowberry Bright Defence Face Serum ($69), which contains vitamin C, grape seed extract and kombuchka; and Your Best Face Antioxidants Concentrate ($65 in the shop), which has ferulic acid, spin trap, lipochroman-6, resveratrol and glutathione.
2. If you're really short on time, try a spray mist instead of applying a moisturizer. With just a few quick sprays, you'll not only hydrate your skin but also deliver anti-aging benefits with ingredients such as aloe vera hydrosols, raw grapefruit seeds, camu camu berries, vitamin C, sodium hyaluronate, rose damascena, pomegranate and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). Some great mists to try include Kat Burki Beauty Elixir ($42), Hyalogic Episilk Facial Mist ($19.95) and Sevani Rose Hyaluronic Age Defying Tonique ($39 in the shop).
3. Use a tinted moisturizer instead of moisturizer + foundation — it will give you a lighter look as well as save some time. suki tinted active moisturizer provides a sheer foundation while giving your skin a nourishing dose of antioxidants and oils. Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream ($39) evens out skin tone and protects skin with SPF 30.
4. Forego hunting through your makeup bag for the right shade of lipstick and insted, add a pop of color with a tinted lip balm. W3LL People Nudist ColorBalm smoothes and protects your lips with organic omega oils and aloe while adding a subtle boost of color and shine. RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek delivers a hint of color to both lips and cheeks, for those who like the look of a little blush.
5. Rather than adding in the extra step of exfoliation every other day, use a facial cleansing brush daily to keep flakiness at bay and to renew dull, uneven skin. Read Marta's reviews of the Clarisonic Plus and the Nutra Sonic Face Brush. Power facial brushes can enhance the efficacy of facial cleansers by increasing the absorption of skin care ingredients. (Get some suggestions on finding the right facial cleanser for your skin type.)
6. Beauty tools can be expensive, not to mention time-consuming. Why not save and money by finding one that can do it all? Our exclusive, FDA-approved Truth Vitality Lux Renew ($279 in the shop), with both ultrasonic and LED modes, combines ultrasound, red LED and blue LED therapy to firm sagging skin, reduce lines and wrinkles, diminish redness and clear breakouts. Just a 15-minute session, three times a week, will deliver results you can see.
7. Facial oils are the ultimate skin care shortcut. Just a couple of drops can tame frizzy hair or flyaways, restore moisture to overworked hands and give skin a dewy, youthful glow. Osmotics Skin Rescue Nourishing Oil ($58) does quadruple duty as a facial oil, facial cleanser, body oil and hand oil — talk about a multitasker! Versatile Red Flower Kinmoxei Wild Lime Silk Oil ($48) works on both skin and hair, delivering moisture with ingredients like vitamin E, fatty acids, and natural silk protein.
8. Speed up your morning routine by using a facial mask in the evening so you'll already have fresh, radiant skin when you wake up. La Vie Celeste Restorative Exfoliating Gel ($60 in the shop) and Royal Nectar Face Mask with Bee Venom ($68) are great options, since they disappear into your skin and can be washed off in just 10 to 15 minutes. That should give you plenty of time to catch up on email before logging off for the night.
Note: This article was last updated on January 13, 2015.