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6 Skin-Care Shortcuts When Your Schedule Is Nuts

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    In an ideal world, we’d have unlimited time and resources to devote to our skin. We’d luxuriate in our (massive) bathroom every evening, applying the latest and greatest complexion-savers (all housed in a perfectly organized vanity), before sinking into bed. The next morning, we’d repeat the process, dabbing on lotion after lotion while sipping a freshly brewed latte. Sounds nice, right? Cut to real life. We’re lucky if we manage to wash our face and maybe slap on some serum before crashing every night. And dealing with anything besides the bare necessities during our frantic mornings? Forget it.

    But being busy doesn’t mean your skin has to suffer. That’s why we tapped top skin pros for the best ways to achieve a great complexion, pronto (we’re talking minutes, people). And since choosing the right products is a crucial part of shifting your skin-care routine into the fast lane, we also got the lowdown on speedy superstars, like the Murad Professional Eye Lift Firming Treatment that peps up sleep-deprived eyes with a potent dose of hyaluronic acid. Check out the six easy tips ahead...the clock starts now!

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    Max Out Your Moisturizer
    Skin looking a little too meh? Reboot with a dose of hydration. Moisture is the fastest way to make your complexion appear fresher, healthier, smoother, younger…you name it. Sure, you could slather on moisturizer alone, but adding a serum — which is lighter and more concentrated — will amp up the hydrating effects. And while you may have heard that you should always give serum a chance to soak into your skin before topping it with cream or lotion, there’s no need to separate these into two steps, says Dr. Christine Choi Kim, a dermatologist in Santa Monica, CA. “When you don’t have time to layer the two products, cocktail them,” she says. “Simply mix a few drops of serum into your moisturizer.” She suggests looking for a formula with hyaluronic acid: “The hyaluronic acid in the serum draws moisture to the skin while the lotion locks it in, delivering a one-two punch of hydration.”

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    Multi-Mask Like A Pro
    This major mask trend is actually an old-school spa technique. By applying different formulas to different areas of your face, you target every complexion concern and score a tailor-made treatment in one shot. The mask combos you can use are endless, but for most normal skin types, a purifying clay formula on the T-zone and a hydrating variety applied everywhere else is a good pairing, says Joanna Vargas, NYC-based celebrity facialist.

    And while it’s nice to leisurely dab on a mask while you kick up your feet and binge watch, Vargas points out that you can easily multitask while you multi-mask. “You don’t have to carve out extra time to make multi-masking a weekly ritual. Integrate it into your normal routine,” she says. “When you get home from work, wash your face and apply your chosen masks. Most work best when left on for about 15 minutes, so put them on before you make dinner, then rinse off before you sit down to eat.” Hint: Pick richer cream formulas, which, unlike more liquid-y gels, will stay put without dripping all over the place.

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    Fake Wide-Awake Eyes
    If you’re super busy, we’re willing to bet that you’re also super tired. The two just go together, like avocado and toast or Sundays and yoga pants. When you’re feeling (and looking) less than bright-eyed, reach for a product with multiple benefits, like Murad Professional Eye Lift Firming Treatment. True to its name, it lifts, firms, tightens, and reduces the look of fine lines and wrinkles…in a mere ten minutes. Credit a professional-strength concentration of hyaluronic acid, a choice ingredient when it comes to eye products, according to Dr. Kim. “It’s very hydrating but also very unlikely to cause irritation, making it a great option for the sensitive skin around your eyes,” she explains. Bonus points for the included eye pads: “Whenever you can cover the skin with any kind of patch or pad, you’re helping to drive the ingredients in a topical treatment further into the skin,” says Dr. Kim. Try using this power product in the morning (leave it on while you do your hair and get dressed), then remove the pads to look younger, fresher, and totally wide awake — no trip to the derm or full night’s sleep required.

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    Power Up Your Cleansing Routine
    While we love the ease of cleansing with a face wipe, it’s worth spending a few extra minutes to use an electric face brush. The gentle bristle action delivers a deeper clean and helps exfoliate, essentially combining two of the most crucial skin-care steps, says Vargas. Even better: “All your night creams and treatments that would otherwise take months to work will work faster and penetrate better because they’re not blocked by a layer of makeup residue, dead skin cells, and oil,” adds Dr. Kim. Most brushes are set on an automatic timer that goes off after two minutes, so fit power cleansing into your nighttime routine. In the morning, Vargas says it’s fine to go ahead and skip face washing altogether (unless you’re especially oily). Talk about a serious time-saving score.

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    Purify Pores In The Shower
    Make the most of your steamy surroundings to treat stubborn blackheads and clogged pores. Slather on an exfoliating mask before hopping in the shower, advises Vargas. (Pick one with detoxifying clay, coupled with a chemical exfoliant, like lactic or glycolic acid.) Go about your normal shampooing, conditioning, and sudsing, then rinse off the mask right before you get out. “The warmth and humidity in the shower help the ingredients penetrate and loosen up the gunk in your pores,” says Dr. Kim. Adds Vargas: “The mask works more effectively, and skin will be prepped in case you need to squeeze out any pesky blackheads afterward.”