Sure, some women have good genes, but even they aren't impervious to poor lifestyle habits. To have—and keep—healthy skin takes a bit of sustained effort. Luckily, the actual steps themselves are quite simple. Here, six secrets from women with consistently smooth complexions.

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They Wash Their Faces Every Night

Between the makeup and sweat, your skin accumulates a layer of grime that needs to be removed in order for it to function properly. Cleansing thoroughly each night ensures that the epidermis, or outermost layer, stays healthy and soft. 



They Exfoliate Regularly

Once a week, use a grainy scrub in the shower and focus on drier spots like your elbows, knees and feet to keep things smooth. For your face, apply a chemical exfoliant (aka something with glycolic or lactic acid) every other day to remove dead skin cells and let the new ones shine through.


They Layer Their Products Strategically

This means in order of lightness of texture. So the sequence should go something like this: cleanser, toner (if you use one), serum or oil and moisturizer. This will ensure maximum absorption of the ingredients and help to seal in the moisture.


And They Time It Carefully

Whether you're stepping out of the bath or just finished washing your face, those few minutes directly afterward are crucial. You want to apply any products while your skin is still slightly damp to ensure proper hydration (and thus, softness). 


They Exercise Regularly

Fact: Exercise improves circulation and brings more oxygen to the skin, which gives you that post-workout glow. Prolong the benefits with a quick shower (again, to remove any grime) and follow immediately with those products. 


They Make Time for Masks

Ladies with great skin know that a little pampering goes a long way. Slap on a mask whenever your complexion is looking a bit lackluster or feels dry. Better yet, layer on a hydrating serum underneath to really plump your cells with moisture. Permission to play Enya on your iPod granted.  

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