Stocking your beauty cabinet with skin-care products that dermatologists approve of is an A-plus way to craft a skin-care routine. But you could also incorporate some dermatologist skin-care tips and practices into your regimen—all of which cost zero dollars—for a healthier complexion without having to add anything to cart.
While pricey serums and facial treatments can work wonders on your skin, some of the best beauty practices don’t involve a product or a price tag at all. When we posed the question to dermatologists of what their top free beauty tips are, they delivered. From getting an instant glow via your sink to going on a makeup break, keep scrolling for the very best zero-dollar dermatologist skin-care tips to add into your regimen stat.
8 $0 dermatologist skin-care tips
1. Splash ice-cold water on your face
One of the quickest ways to boost your complexion? Use really, really cold water on your skin. “I always recommend washing your face with cold, even icy, water, which helps to reduce puffiness and inflammation,” says Howard Sobel, MD, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist and founder of Sobel Skin Rx. The quick rush of cold also boosts circulation, which gives you an instant evened-out skin tone.
2. Take makeup breaks
Dr. Sobel also recommends ditching makeup once in a while. “Going bare-faced even once a week will do wonders for your skin,” he says. “Makeup blocks up your pores, so going makeup-free allows your skin to breathe, making it less likely to break out.”
3. Seek the shade
Sun is not your skin’s friend, and exposure can lead to pigmentation, fine lines, and collagen degradation. This is why Jennifer Hermann, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Beverly Hills, says to always opt for the shady side of the street. “Either that or stay protected with a hat or clothing when in direct sunlight—it’s definitely your best non-dollar spent,” she says.
4. Use aspirin on breakouts
Fun fact: Aspirin can help soothe skin inflammation. “Crush an aspirin tablet in a small amount of something sticky, such as toothpaste or baking soda and water paste, and apply to a pimple,” says Ted Lain, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and chief medical officer at Sanova Dermatology. “The aspirin is both anti-inflammatory, which decreases redness, and converts to salicylic acid, which is exfoliative.”
5. Get enough ZZZs
Studies indicate that if you’re not getting proper sleep, it can show up on your face in fine lines. Because of this, Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, MD, founder of Mudgil Dermatology, says that one of the best things you can do for your skin—and your overall health, really—is to clock a sufficient amount of sleep each night.
6. De-stress as much as possible
Another simple, completely free healthy skin hack? Staying cool as a cucumber. “Stress accelerates aging and can promote breakouts,” says Dr. Hermann, who notes that even 10 minutes of breathing before bed, or at any point during your day, can help improve your skin health and your sleep.
7. Moisturize post-cleansing
To get as much hydration as possible into your skin, the trick is in your product application. “Once you cleanse, it’s super important to apply your other skin-care products immediately afterward,” says Dr. Sobel. “This helps avoid dehydration and maintains the skin’s moisture.”
8. Eat your fruits and veggies
What you put on your plate can also have an impact on your skin. Dr. Hermann recommends eating plenty of antioxidants and minerals, which can help boost collagen synthesis and skin DNA repair. Also, avoiding inflammatory foods like highly refined sugars, trans fats, and artificial ingredients can keep breakouts and redness at bay.
Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, MDA board-certified dermatologist and founder of Mudgil Dermatology.
Howard Sobel, MDBoard-certified dermatologist
Jennifer Hermann, MDDermatologist
Ted Lain, MDDermatologist