Every day when you look in the mirror to wash your face is another chance to help your skin function at its best. Think of skincare as a daily tune-up rather than aiming for the perfect complexion. Take the time to notice any changes and adjust your plan as your skin ages. Washing your face with cleanser, balancing skin with toner and hydrating the complexion with moisturizers are the basics of any routine. You can make a big difference with your choices in selecting products and seeking a doctor’s advice.

When you break down skin-care into three or four main steps, the options won’t seem overwhelming. Apply products from thinnest to thickest. First use cleanser, then apply toner, follow up with optional serum and finish with moisturizer.

Start with the basics. Wash in the morning and at night each day to counter the dullness, acne and clogged pores that come from contact with dirt and environmental pollutants. Look for a facial cleanser that gently removes grime without taking off the skin’s healthy oils. Limit exfoliating to once a week.  Don’t even think about using a scrub that contains abrasive ingredients such as crushed walnut shells.

If you have bad memories of toning and astringents, take comfort in knowing that formulas have evolved from those stinging, alcohol-based products of the ‘80s. Today’s toners are extras to replenish skin. The modern versions are supplements that can help skin better absorb other products and balance your complexion.

Add optional serums to your basic necessities of cleansers, toners and moisturizers. You can pick a serum to help heal flaws from wrinkles to dark spots, or you can get protection with a general antioxidant serum.

Follow up with a moisturizer to hydrate and soften the skin. All skin types need moisturize all year round to prevent the outer layer of skin from losing water. Washing can strip natural oils from the skin’s surface, and moisturizer complements those protective oils. Hydrating the complexion is especially important because aging skin naturally lose its ability to hold moisture.

The texture of your moisturizer will depend on your skin type. Creams you apply in the morning are usually lightweight, and many contain antioxidants and sunscreens. They’re formulated to fight environmental pollution-based free radicals and the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. Night creams are loaded with rich, thick emollients to replenish moisture. They also help repair damage you encountered during the day.

Even with today’s scientific breakthroughs, there is no overnight remedy to fix your complexion and fortify your skin. Treat yourself to a product morning and night for at least six weeks before expecting to see difference.

Read More: How to Build a Skin Care Routine