skincare routine Source: Jeffrey Mayer/Getty Images

Navigating the world of skincare can often seem like a difficult task. However, once you’ve got your basic routine on lockdown, there are tons of simple rituals that’ll take your routine to the next level. Whether that’s investing in a derm-approved tech tool or a new formula that’s able to boost the efficacy of your other products. These simple steps may only add two minutes to your daily routine but can make a significant impact on your skin. Here are five skincare additions that’ll instantly elevate your skincare routine.

1. Multi-Masking

face maskSource: wayhome Studio/Shutterstock

While living in isolation the world has become obsessed with face masks, but there’s a basic way and a better way. The better way is multi-masking, and that means using more than one mask to meet the different skin concerns you’re experiencing in different areas of your face.

For example, if you have oily skin, use a detoxifying or pore-tightening mask on your T-zone and cheeks, then use a hydrating mask on your jawline, temples, and forehead where skin tends to be drier. If you’re experiencing the joys of breakouts on your jawline, use a detoxing clay or sulfur mask on your jawline and apply your other favorite mask on the rest of your face. The other day we wore cooling eye patches to depuff our under eyes, a charcoal mask on our T-zone and cheeks, and a soothing clay mask on our forehead, chin, and jawline – it was a strong look and our skin felt amazing after.

Don’t be afraid to play around with multiple sheet masks too – our fave combo RN is the ultra-hydrating WISHFUL Thirst Trap Cocoon Mask, $9, and the WISHFUL Chin Lift Mask, $9, to snatch and tighten our jawline.

Sidenote: The concept of multi-masking can also be applied to your hair care routine, in fact, it’s been a total gamechanger to our damaged locks during quarantine. Check out our guide to hair care multi-masking here.

2. A Powerful Skincare Tool

Skincare tools have risen in popularity over the past five years, and for good reason. With regular use, a targeted skincare tool can provide the same results as an in-office treatment but of course, from the comfort of your couch. And while they may come with a price tag, often it’s the equivalent of one or two in-office treatments, plus, many tools come with a lifetime guarantee. Here’s a breakdown of our fave skincare tools that deliver insane results.

Source: Baby Quasar

Light therapy tools: Light therapy can help address a myriad of skincare issues from hyperpigmentation and scarring to uneven skin tone, fine lines, and wrinkles. Different colored lights have different benefits: Red light can boost collagen production and blue is antibacterial and therefore is great for acne-prone skin. Green light therapy will work to reduce redness and sensitivity and yellow can be used for draining.

Our fave light therapy tool is the Quasar MD Plus, $399, it’s based on technology developed by NASA to heal wounds, and it works miracles on our skin. Read our full review here. For getting rid of pimples more speedily, check out the Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Spot Treatment, $19, which uses blue light to kill acne bacteria.

Microcurrent tools: If you’re looking to tighten, tone, and lift your skin, a microcurrent device will help encourage collagen and elastin production. Our go-to tool is The Ziip Beauty Tool, $495; it delivers that “I’ve just had a facial” effect. Find out how to use it here.

Derma rolling: A derma roller is one of the most effective skincare tools for reducing fine lines and improving the appearance of post-inflammatory pigmentation. The tiny needles create micro-punctures in the skin that cause your skin to produce more collagen. Check out our at-home guide for all the deets.

sarah chapman pro pore refiner review

Pore-refining tools: If oversized-pores or blackheads are the bain of your life, then a powerful suction device is what you need to really de-gunk your pores. However, you need to be careful as if the suction is too severe for your skin, it can lead to bruising. Our go-to pore device is the Sarah Chapman Skinesis Pro Pore Refiner Pore Extraction Device, $205, read our full review here.

Gua Sha: Gua Sha (both a type of tool and a technique) boosts lymphatic drainage, helping to speed up the removal of harmful toxins from your skin while toning and tightening your facial muscles. It’s literally amazing for all your skin concerns, plus you can find Gua Sha tools from $10, depending on the type of material you choose. Check out our guide to Gua Sha here.

3. A Hydrating Essence

EssenceSource: Kiko

An essence is a lightweight formula – thicker than a toner and more fluid than a serum – and helps to hydrate deeply and prep your skin so that it can drink up your following skincare products more effectively. It often contains hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, and nutrient-rich fermented ingredients like yeast, rice, or ginger to speed skin renewal.

Our go-to essence is the 111SKIN Antioxidant Energising Essence, $100, as it leaves our skin feeling super fresh and hydrated. We also love the Peach & Lily Wild Dew Treatment Essence, $39, which feels incredible on the skin and is super hydrating and balancing. The Kiko Pure Clean Essence, $8.40, is another more affordable essence that will also hydrate and soothe your skin.

How to apply: Apply an essence after you’ve cleansed and toned and before you’ve applied a serum, as it works to prime your skin, increasing absorption of other hydrating formulas. Then pat the formula into your skin, instead of applying it with a cotton pad. Again, this will allow for better absorption, boost blood circulation, and awaken the skin.

4. A Sleeping Mask

sleeping masksSource: Kotin/Shutterstock

If you’re looking for an easy way to wake up with better, brighter skin, a sleeping mask should be at the top of your list. Sleeping masks help to create the perfect environment for the skin’s regeneration process, which occurs while you sleep, thereby helping to increase skin cell renewal. They also act as a protective barrier against dirt and bacteria, all the while delivering hydrating active ingredients to replenish the skin – think of them as a supercharged moisturizer. Sleeping masks are particularly beneficial during the winter months, as colder outdoor temperatures combined with increased heating can dry out your skin and increase the likelihood of moisture loss.

We’re currently using the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, $45, it’s a cult classic! The gel-like formula is perfect for all skin types and uses gentle AHAs to soften the skin while you sleep. For more deets and our fave sleeping masks, check out our guide.

How to apply: Simply apply the mask as the last step of your nighttime routine instead of your moisturizer, and by morning your skin will be hydrated and plump – and dw, it won’t smear onto your pillow!

5. Wearing SPF Daily

LaRochePosay sunscreenSource: La Roche Posay

The most impactful thing you can do for your skin is to wear SPF daily. It may sound simple but every dermatologist we’ve spoken to ever (we’re not exaggerating) has mentioned the importance of wearing sunscreen. Dermatologist Shereene Idriss said, “If you’re going to do anything for your skin, wear sunscreen daily!” Before adding, “The sun is NOT your friend! If I could go back in time it would be to tell my younger self to embrace the ghost-like qualities of my skin and to skip trying to tan.”

According to Dr. Howard Sobel, a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of NYC’s Sobel Skin, you need to apply a skincare SPF, rather than relying on SPF in your makeup products. He explains, “Unless you’re really caking on the coverage, the sunscreen in your makeup isn’t enough to protect your skin from the sun. It would require seven times the normal amount of foundation to provide enough coverage, so it’s important to wear a separate moisturizer that offers SPF protection.”

Therefore, Dr. Sobel suggests to layer a lightweight liquid sunscreen under your makeup and then double up on protection with an SPF foundation or BB cream. His fave for this layering approach is the La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios, $30, and another awesome option is Supergoop’s Superscreen Daily Moisturizer, $38. Our general rule is never go for anything less than SPF 30, and always look out for a four or five star UVA rating. Find out why we’re making the switch to mineral sunscreens here.

For more skincare tips, check out 21 skincare tips you need to know.