No matter what your skin type is, a daily skin care routine can help you maintain overall skin health and improve specific concerns like acne, scarring, and dark spots. A daily skin care routine has four basic steps you can do once in the morning and once before you sleep.

1. Cleansing: Choose a cleanser that doesn’t leave your skin tight after washing. Clean your face no more than twice a day, or just once, if you have dry skin and don’t wear makeup. Avoid washing for that squeaky-clean feeling because that means your skin’s natural oils are gone.

2. Serums: A serum with vitamin C or growth factors or peptides would be better in the morning, under sunscreen. At night, retinol or prescription retinoids work best.

3. Moisturizer: Even oily skin needs moisturizer, but use one that is lightweight, gel-based, and non-comedogenic, or doesn’t block your pores.

4. Sunscreen: Apply sunscreen with at least 30 SPF 15 minutes before heading outdoors, as it takes a while for sunscreen to activate. Darker skin tones actually need more sun protection because hyperpigmentation is harder to correct.

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