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What’s your skin care routine? A Kenvue skin scientist tells us her non-negotiables

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The morning alarm rings, your feet hit the floor and just like that, your everyday rituals begin. But does your day include a skin care routine?

The truth is, the earlier you start with an effective skin care routine, the greater likelihood of keeping your skin strong and protected. But where to begin?

We spoke with Dara Miller, Kenvue associate director of Claims and Clinical Research for Skin Health to break down the ideal morning-to-night routine for optimal skin health.

Morning: protect

Morning: Cleanse

Morning rituals are created with the intention of setting up your day for success — and skin care is no exception. No matter your skin type, there are a few core steps that Miller calls “non-negotiables” in the optimal morning routine.

“Everyone should be starting their day with a gentle daily cleanser to remove buildup and debris from the night,” Miller says.

For a morning cleanser, try Neutrogena® Hydro Boost Hydrating Gel Cleanser, Fragrance Free. Featuring dermatologist-recognized hyaluronic acid, this lightweight cleanser increases skin’s hydration level and locks in moisture.

Morning: Moisturize and apply sunscreen

Following cleansing, she recommends moisturizing, followed by sunscreen — or a combo moisturizer with SPF, like Aveeno Positively Radiant® Daily Face Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30.

“Daily moisturization is your skin’s first line of defense against environmental aggressors,” she adds.

And while there are days it may not look sunny, sunscreen is considered an everyday necessity. Damaging UV rays not only penetrate through the clouds but also through things like your home’s windowpanes.

Afternoon: maintain

Afternoon: Reapply sunscreen every two hours

Planning a day at the beach? Heading to the gym? Depending on your schedule, you may be in need of an afternoon skin care ritual, which can sometimes be as simple as one step.

If you are active, playing sports or headed to the gym, an on-the-go option like a Neutrogena® Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipe may do the trick.

“Our skin is bombarded by free radicals also generated by the sun and these things are going to take a toll on our skin,” Miller says.

If you are at the beach or lying by the pool, you’ll want to reapply recreational sunscreen to your full body as well as your face every two hours.

Evening: renew

Evening: Cleanse and treat

As the day begins to wind down, evening rituals can help us recover from the day’s stressors. “In the evening, you’re going to want to remove everything and cleanse again,” Miller says.

Following a cleanse and depending on your skin issues or type, Miller suggests weaving in what she refers to as a “treatment step.” This can include products like NeoStrata® Tri-Therapy Lifting Serum for anti-aging purposes, or a serum with salicylic acid like Clean & Clear Advantage® Spot Treatment for acne treatment.

Evening: Moisturize

Differing from the morning ritual, the goal in the evening is to hydrate, nourish and renew. You will want to follow your cleanse or optional treatment step with a moisturizer to help complement the natural renewal process that happens overnight.

For a nighttime facial moisturizer, try Aveeno Calm + Restore® Oat Gel Moisturizer, For Sensitive Skin. For a body lotion that works while you sleep, try Aveeno® Tone + Texture Gentle Renewing Night Cream, which contains 6% natural PHA, pro-vitamin B3 and prebiotic oat to deeply nourish skin.