More often than not the face is going to be the first thing someone notices about you. Whether you’re meeting a new client, going out with friends, or just heading to the coffee shop for a relaxing afternoon, everyone knows the importance of making sure you’re right for the world.

When it comes to facial beauty, there are many options that we can help with, but one of the most important pieces of caring for your face is to ensure that you’re employing the right regimen for proper skin maintenance. Whereas facials, PRP therapy, and other procedures might do the heavy lifting, they really need to be part of a larger practice. Practice is what will make perfect, so let’s dive into the basics.

1. Get some sleep.

Not only is the lack of shut eye killing you at work and in your personal life, it’s also doing lasting damage to your skin. Like any other organ system in your body, sleep is an essential part for regeneration and rejuvenation.

During the night, your body has many processes that act to reset and repair damage from throughout the day. We’ve seen the results of sleepless nights — sagging skin, heavy bags under the eyes, and all sorts of other issues. Whereas there are some emergency remedies you can put to use for fixing these, they don’t work all the time, and often will be noticed. So do your best to get a full 8 hours of sleep each night.

Oh, and before getting your restful night’s sleep, make sure that you moisturize and exfoliate before you go to bed. Avoid hot water and products with alcohol, as they will dry out your skin and can lead to bad cracking and scarring.

2. Reduce stress and anxiety.

This can sometimes be the most difficult piece of the puzzle. We’ve all been there to some degree, so don’t let this step make your anxiety worse, but sometimes it can be helpful to drill into the root causes of your stress and anxiety. Reducing the sources can be a great way to live better and be happier. But for some, this isn’t possible.

We don’t really have power over many of the external circumstances in our lives. But what we do have power over to some degree is how we process and deal with the stressors in our day-to-day lives. There are many great techniques that can really make the difference between bearing the full brunt of a stressful situation and bearing a less intense version of the same events.

Reframing is a great technique for dealing with anxiety of all sorts, but especially with anticipatory anxiety. Furthermore, it can help you reduce stress in many of life’s most commonly trying situations.

If stress and anxiety start to feel a bit much and they start impacting your daily life without your ability to cope, it’s also important to start thinking about seeing a medical professional about it. Stress and anxiety are very common, so don’t let it compound. One of the best things you can do for your life as a whole, not to mention your skin, is to take care of your mental health.

3. Massage your moisturizer.

As mentioned before, you always want to moisturize before you fall asleep. Additionally, though, you can get even more out of this process by massaging your facial tissue while you do it.

This isn’t very complicated and it’s a regular technique than can not only get rid of wrinkles, but also help you reduce your stress. All you need to do is add gentle pressure as you apply your moisturizer, and you can get the nice, relaxing touch of the spa right in the comfort of home.

4. Wear protection like armor.

The sun is amazing. It provides light, energy, warmth, great weather, awesome days at the beach, and all sorts of other great aspects of life. But, we all remember the saying about “too much of a good thing.” This applies to sunshine as well.

You really should be wearing a skin product that has a minimum of SPF 15 in order to protect your skin from long-term damage. Obviously, the degree of protection you need is probably best determined by your dermatologist, but just make sure you’re covered.

5. Remove ALL makeup before bed.

This is the most important rule of all to ensure the best out of your skincare regimen. There are always those rare occasions when you’re just too tired, or the night’s gone on too long, but you need to make sure that, for the overwhelming majority of the time, that you remove it all before shuteye.

The problem comes from makeup blocking your pores, causing buildups of skin oils and clogs that cause blackheads and worse. And here’s a great tip if you’re out of makeup remover — just dab a cotton ball in some olive oil from your pantry. It’s a great, natural solution that will help get all of it off your face so you can sleep in peace.

When you’ve got your regimen down and you’re wondering where to go from there, it might be a great opportunity to schedule a free consultation to find out what something like a PRP facial treatment might do for your skin. Until then, remember that it takes practice to maintain your face, but the effort is worth it!