Around 2017, the 10-step Korean skincare routine became wildly popular, with many beauty magazines and blogs promoting it as a way to get clear, glowing skin. Though an extensive skincare routine may have its merits, it can get quite expensive, not to mention time-consuming. If like most busy moms, you don’t have time to go through an elaborate skincare routine daily, here’s how to simplify your skincare routine.

Invest in the Basics

The three most important products you should have in your skincare routine are a cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen. These are the three core products anyone should have, regardless of their skin type, to get and maintain healthy skin. Anything more is supplementary. The key is to find the best cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen for your skin type. It’s important to invest in these essentials and choose products with high quality ingredients and formulations, like the natural beauty products by Well Within Beauty.

When buying a cleanser, choose one that is gentle yet effective, and pH-balanced so as not to disrupt your skin’s natural protective barrier. A good cleanser will leave your skin feeling clean, but not squeaky clean or stripped dry. Watch out for cleansers with scrubby bits or potent ingredients like sulfates; these may be too harsh or drying on your skin. After cleansing, apply an antioxidant moisturizer while your skin is still slightly damp, to better hydrate your skin and prevent water loss.

Choosing a good moisturizer can be a bit trickier than choosing a cleanser. When buying a moisturizer, take into consideration your skin type, your lifestyle, and your environment. If you have oily skin or live in a warm, humid climate, thick cream moisturizers can feel too heavy and greasy on your skin. You might prefer a lightweight lotion or gel-type moisturizer. If you have very dry skin or live in a cold climate, thicker, richer moisturizers can help soothe and calm your skin, and help prevent flakiness or chapping.

Never Skip Sunscreen

Sunscreen is the single most effective anti-aging product you can buy, and it can also help prevent a host of other skin problems, including sunburn, dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and even skin cancer. Make sure to wear sunscreen every day, even on cloudy or overcast days. The sun’s rays are very powerful and can easily cut through clouds and glass.

Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and broad spectrum protection, so it can shield you from both UVA and UVB rays. The problem that most people have with sunscreen is that it can feel heavy and suffocating, or leave an unflattering white cast on your skin. Fortunately, there are now plenty of more cosmetically elegant sunscreen formulations available on the market today. Choose a sunscreen you won’t mind applying every day, and one that feels comfortable on your skin.

Add Products Only if Needed

If you have normal, problem-free skin, you can get away with just three products in your skincare routine. If, however, you have skin issues you would like to address, such as breakouts or blemishes, fine lines and wrinkles, or rough skin texture, you can add supplementary products as needed. A good chemical exfoliator like a glycolic acid toner or a lactic acid serum can help combat breakouts, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and improve your skin tone and texture.

Be careful when using chemical exfoliators. Start off slowly, applying only once or twice a week, and eventually working your way up to daily use. It’s important to practice restraint when using treatments and exfoliators; it’s natural to want instant results, but patience and consistency is key.

If you find yourself frequently skipping your skincare routine because you feel overwhelmed by the amount of steps you have to go through, or if you simply don’t have the time, try stripping it down to just these three or four products. You might soon notice that your skin is in its best condition yet with just a minimalist skincare routine.