The most effective skin care routine is the one you actually follow—day in, day out. Think of it like a workout: you wouldn’t expect to get results from lifting, running and doing planks if you only did these things randomly, once or a twice a month, right? It’s the same with your face: consistency really matters.

The good news is that you don’t need a complicated regimen to keep your skin in peak shape. In fact, adding too many products into the mix can actually create more problems than it solves. New York City dermatologist Michele J. Farber, M.D., gives us a rundown of what she considers the essentials: 

    1. Wash with a hydrating cleanser and use an exfoliating option weekly to avoid drying out your skin.
    2. Apply a serum with antioxidants: this can protect against environmental damage and brighten your skin tone.
    3. Slather on a daytime moisturizer, loaded with premium ingredients and sunscreen, to keep your skin hydrated and to protect against damage from UV light.
    4. At the end of the day, apply a nighttime moisturizer to reduce fine lines.

    the 5 Tiege Hanley products used for a healthy skin on a daily basis

     

    If you need more motivation to stick with a routine, Dr. Farber points out that men’s skin starts to weaken over time. “With natural aging, skin does not make the same natural moisturizing factors and requires more outside intervention to keep it hydrated,” she explains. Levels of collagen—a protein in skin tissues that helps your face stay firm and taunt—begin to decline and your skin becomes thinner. Around this time, “you may also notice the effects of cumulative sun exposure in the form of brown spots,” she points out. Her advice to deal with all this: “Stick with your routine.”

    How Long to Have Great Skin?

    Ok, so how long will it take to see the benefits of a stellar routine? Dr. Farber says that topical products “can eventually make a big change” but the results are “often on the order of weeks,” not instantly or in a few. Patience really counts here. “After around a month to six weeks, you should start to see improvements in hydration, texture or evenness of pigment.” Consider taking a picture now and in a month or so, she says, as a way to track real changes.

    A bald man demonstrating the proper skin care routine in the bathroom mirror.

    As for the biggest hurdles in sticking to any system: Dr. Farber finds it often comes down to “busy schedules, getting overwhelmed, and not seeing someone who can help educate you on proper skin care.” In this case, the smartest solution is to simply take the guesswork out of everything. With Tiege Hanley, you have a daily routine tailored to your needs that automatically replenishes, so you can power through cleansing and moisturizing without having to think too much about it.

    Last tip: clear some space on your bathroom counter. When your kit arrives, “Keep everything in one place,” recommends Dr. Farber. That way, “you’ll use it.”