Beauty myth number one: You need to empty your wallet on flashy products and treatments to get results. While, yes, there are plenty that are worth the money, there are also plenty of affordable tricks that may work wonders for your skin.
We asked esthetician Sarah Akram to share a few of her favorites, which we turned into a handy quiz to help you decide which one to try first.
To get your own affordable, personalized recommendation, just answer a few Q’s below, and you’ll be matched with an esthetician-approved skin-care hack that’s easy to add into your routine almost immediately. Plus, each one uses a cotton product, which means each tip is natural and plant-based, too. Ready to get yours?
Keep scrolling to take the quiz, and find your esthetician-approved skin-care hack.
If you got… Protect
So you’ve pretty much perfected your skin-care routine and rarely experience dry skin, but you still want to make sure you’re going above and beyond for summer. It all comes down to protecting your skin, says Akram. “I highly encourage wearing large sunglasses, wide brimmed hats, and long sleeve shirts and pants to limit exposure to harmful free radicals,” she says.
A few to start with? These Lou & Grey Poplin Pants and this Cotton-Linen Packable Sunhat, which are both made with cotton, so they’re super breathable for summer.
Once you’ve gotten your summer wardrobe under control, go the extra mile by DIYing a reusable cotton sheet mask that’s packed with antioxidants. Simply take a muslin washcloth (a type of 100 percent cotton that’s super thin, so the product ends up on your skin, not soaked into the fabric), cut holes for your eyes, nose, and mouth, soak it in your most reliable serum, and voila! A sustainable face mask you can use again and again.
If you got… Hydrate
Just because it’s humid outside doesn’t mean you should skimp on hydrating your skin when you’re inside. Translation: Keep your humidifier running year-round.
“The practice of using a humidifier at home helps to keep the skin moist,” Akram says. “The humidifier adds moisture to your bedroom, which will aid your skin in retaining sufficient moisture. Another easy hack, but very important: drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated!”
On top of these two easy-to-execute solves, try adding in a moisturizing, cottonseed oil-infused product (FYI, cottonseed oil has a ton of beauty benefits) like Burt’s Bees Sensitive Daily Moisturizing Cream to give your skin a big gulp of hydration.
If you got… Exfoliate
Yes, cleansing and moisturizing are the stalwarts of any skin-care routine, but one key step that’s often overlooked? Exfoliating, which can help make skin extra glowy. And while there are plenty of great exfoliating products out there, you can actually start immediately with something you’re bound to have on hand: a cotton washcloth.
“An easy yet affordable hack to exfoliate skin is using a cotton washcloth to cleanse,” Akram says. “The texture of your washcloth will mildly exfoliate your skin which helps to brighten your skin.” Use it gently when washing your face, and apply a bit more pressure when washing the rest of your bod.
If you got… Calm
If redness is something you’re trying to combat, Akram suggests adding in products containing aloe vera, like innisfree Vitalizing Sleeping Mask with Aloe. “Aloe vera is a hydrating ingredient that when applied will help to soothe your skin and stimulate circulation,” she says.
Apply it with a cotton round to avoid wasting product on your hands (PSA: Akram settled the debate between cotton rounds versus cotton balls here), and just like that, you’ve got an esthetician-approved skin-care hack to add to your routine just in time for summer.
Photo: Getty Images/Westend61