Consider the perfect complexion:From Ava Gardner’s famously radiant glow to modern-day porcelain goddesses like Scarlett Johansson , naturally flawless skin can inspire envy in any woman.It’s our most visible feature and, for many, the most problematic. But a simplified skincare routine, covering everything from cleansing to anti-aging, can help banish blemishes and fine lines and make dream skin a reality.

Step 1: Cleansing

Cleansing should be done twice daily, using a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser. Always use your hands instead of a washcloth. Washcloths can harbor bacteria and they’re too rough for sensitive skin. Skin shouldn’t be “squeaky clean” but should have some natural oils left behind.

Step 2: Toning

A good toner will remove any excess dirt or makeup left behind by your cleanser—the proof is in the cotton pad. It’s also a step too many women skip in their skincare routine. Regular use will refine and minimize pores and make skin feel fresh.

Step 3: Moisturizing

Next to staying out of the sun, moisturizing is the best step towards keeping skin looking young. If you don’t have problem skin use a lightweight moisturizer. In fall or winter, you might want to switch over to something a little more substantial, but for the summer something light is best. Moisturizer should be applied twice a day.

Step 4: Scrub/Exfoliate

Exfoliating is a step that can be done about once a week. Sloughing off dead skin cells will reveal younger, smoother skin beneath the surface. Use a skincare brush. You can use it with whatever cleanser is your favorite.The oscillating brush buffs skin to a healthy glow—but a good scrubbing cleanser or pad will also do the trick.

Step 5: Anti-aging

Every dermatologist recommends never going in the sun if you want to look young. In reality, a strong defense is the best most women can do. Start with a minimum of SPF 30 every day, and use SPF 50 or higher if you’re spending an extended period of time outdoors. As for those fine lines that have already crept up, there are plenty of ways to combat them. If you can, get a topical retinoid from your dermatologist. They’re great for wrinkles and smoothing skin as well as breakouts.

Even with a careful skincare regimen, most women will require regular maintenance to keep their skin glowing. Try not to do your own extractions at home! Throw out that magnifying mirror! You’re just wreaking havoc on your face and doing more harm than good. Instead, trust the experts with a professional facial about once every four to eight weeks.