If you’ve spent any time on the skincare side of TikTok, you’ve probably watched people sharing their multi-step, expensive skincare routine. People use cleansers, toners, serums, lotions and all kinds of products they swear make their complexion so much better. But just because a skincare routine is complex doesn’t mean it’s better, in fact, one dermatologist recommends scaling back the number of products you use.
Dr. Heather Kornmehl explains on TikTok that skincare doesn’t have to be so complicated. “There’s nothing that drives me crazier than seeing all these people here on TikTok overcomplicating skincare,” she says. This skin doctor advises keeping things simple and these are the steps she says your skincare routine actually needs.
- You only need sunscreen and cleanser - Kornmehl says the only things you need to do is apply sunscreen in the morning and cleansing at night to remove the sunscreen and makeup, as well as clear your pores to prevent breakouts.
- If you have acne, use an active ingredient - She recommends using a benzoyl peroxide wash of less than 5% strength to prevent irritation and adapalene gel over that to reduce the number of pimples and help them heal faster.
- Moisturizing is optional - According to this expert, this step isn’t necessary, but it can help if your skin feels dry or if you live somewhere cold. Moisturizing is also recommended if you use a retinoid or other acne medications that can be drying.
- Include retinoids to slow aging - Using a retinoid at night has anti-aging benefits, but you want to start slowly. Kornmehl recommends using it once every three nights at first to build up your skin’s tolerance.
- One of the biggest mistakes she sees people make is trying too many different active ingredients at the same time. "You need consistency with one routine, rather than trying 20 different things for short periods of time," the dermatologist says. She advises using a product for at least eight weeks to see results and introducing one new product at a time.