We consider ourselves quite the skincare fanatics here at Byrdie HQ—it’s hard not to be when our desks look like they could be featured in an episode of Hoarders: Skincare Edition (currently in the process of pitching that idea to A&E). However, we are well aware that our plight is a unique one and that the average woman is more concerned about what to use on her face rather than where to store her eighth cleanser of the week.
We know, we know—everyone always says chocolate causes acne. But there’s no scientific proof on that front, so as far as we’re concerned, eat up! Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants that help protect your skin, and eating a small piece will send all sorts of satisfied, happy feelings to your brain.
“Here’s the sad news about the neck for those in their 20s: While you have the wisdom of caring for your skin better than your mother did (due to more awareness and better products available now than ever before), with technology more so embraced by younger people, you are creating what is known as ‘tech neck.’ The 45-degree angle that you hang your head to look at your cell phone causes a repeated squishing of the neck, resulting in premature folds and wrinkles. To treat neck this, most people know to apply moisturizer to the neck, and many do this, but the mistake is made in treating the neck as an afterthought. This particularly applies with sunscreen, since the number one cause of premature skin aging is UV rays given off from the sun. The best way to apply sunscreen to this area is by doing a full second application exclusively to the neck. If you have sensitive, oily, acne-prone skin and require a sunscreen that dries to a matte finish, use Renée Rouleau Daily Protection SPF 30 With 7% Zinc Oxide ($38). In addition to sunscreen, be sure to apply your serums and moisturizers in an upward motion to go against gravity.” — Renée Rouleau
Writer Ashlea Halpern moved to Bangkok months ago and discovered an entire new world of Thai-drugstore products that have transformed her skin, from blacker-than-black mascara to cooling powder for muggy days.
If your complexion is looking a little dull, chances are it needs a little scrub-down. Use a face scrub with round beads to slough off dead skin cells, and glowing skin will emerge underneath. Try to keep exfoliation to only twice a week to avoid irritation.
acne skin care products
skin care routine
best anti aging cream
skin care tips
skin care products
That’s right. Any acne treatment is a weeks-long experiment that you’re conducting with your skin. Acne is slow to heal, and in some cases, it can get worse before it gets better (nearly every benzoyl peroxide product we looked at emphasized the likeliness of irritating acne further, and starting off with a lighter application). April W. Armstrong, a doctor at the University of California Davis Health System, recommends waiting at least one month before you deem a product ineffective, and Townsend agrees.
AHAs on their own will help improve the appearance of your skin, but by selecting a product with both a retinoid and an AHA, you’re getting two of the best clinically proven anti-aging ingredients in one.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are usually derived from fruits (like apples and oranges) or sugars. They are exfoliation powerhouses, and multiple studies have demonstrated their effectiveness in improving the look of aging skin.
While using facial cleanser, toner, serum, and moisturizer can be part of your twice daily skin care routine, there are certain steps in your skin care routine that only need to be done once a day—either in the A.M. or P.M.
Tip: “Applying toner with clean hands is the most efficient. Just pour a few drops in your palm, then swipe it on.” Or if you prefer, you can pull apart a cotton pad “so it’s not so thick before putting toner on it,” Mattioli advises. Most formulas can be used morning and night, but you might want to use those with exfoliating acids only at night or every other day.
Four of our remaining wrinkle creams advertised sunscreen built in: L’Oreal, Neutrogena, Philosophy, and StriVectin. Do you need a wrinkle cream with sunscreen in it? Turns out, that’s an interesting question.
“Complete nutrition for the epidermis is critical. The epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin) is a key protective structure that uses 23 vitamins. These vitamins must be provided at therapeutic concentrations and delivered within the epidermis for optimum skin health. A vitamin serum is non-irritating and formulated with vitamins A, B, C, D, and E to give skin the nutrition it needs.” — Carl Thornfeldt, MD
Apply a natural toner made from lemon juice and water. Fill a water bottle or other container with one part freshly squeezed lemon juice and five parts filtered water. Apply the lemon juice toner with a cotton ball and do not rinse off.
Promising Review: “This is much cheaper than other drying lotion brands. Dries out an open acne wound. Just be sure not to shake it. Insert a cotton swab all the way to the pinkish-orange part, and apply it on top of the pimple. It should accelerate the healing process after one or two uses.” —Raychelle
Clogged pores are a common—and preventable—cause of breakouts. Use Bioré’s deep-cleansing scrub two or three times a week to lift dirt and oil from your skin for a squeaky-clean, blemish-free complexion.
Product picks from my practice: Vanicream Cleansing Bar, Naturally Best Bar Soap for Dry Skin. (Other sensitive skin product options include naturally made unscented glycerin soaps or Dove Unscented Bar Soap.)
Retinol Serum: “Retinol is good for oily skin because it helps your pores look smaller with continued use,” Rouleau says. Try Verso Skincare’s Super Facial Serum ($120) or RoC’s Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum ($25).
Do: Make sure you always (and we mean always) remove your makeup before hitting the sheets. The skin needs to breathe overnight. And makeup prevents that, as leaving it on overnight clogs the pores which may cause blemishes and/or blackheads. Don’t possess a makeup remover? Just put some olive oil on a cotton pad and gently massage the oil onto your face to get rid of the makeup and dirt.
Moisturizer With SPF: “When you moisturize, do two applications,” Rouleau says. “One on the face and one on the neck. Sun protection isn’t just about the number—it’s about how generously you apply it.” A light moisturizer like Origins A Perfect World SPF 25 Age Defense Moisturizer With White Tea ($44) will protect your skin from the sun and hydrate without clogging your pores. Rouleau suggests looking for ingredients like dimethicone, panthenol, and sodium hyaluronate (also known as hyaluronic acid).
The Pore Targeting Treatment gel and Complexion Perfecting Hydrator moisturizer slip on nicely, with the former powered by skin-loving glycerin and the latter by a whole slew of delicious ingredients, including licorice root extract, sodium hyaluronate, bisabolol, and allantoin. We are iffy on the Skin Smoothing Exfoliator face wash, though, and not only because the microbead granules can be harsh on active breakouts. “Acne products that are washes will tend not to work as well as leave-on or rub-in products,” explains Dr. Green. “Think about it. How well can a product work when rinsed off a few seconds after you put it on?”
Don’t smoke. Smoking causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin. It also damages collagen and elastin — fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity. As a result, skin begins to sag and wrinkle prematurely.
Don’t overdo it. It can be tempting to layer on lots of cream, especially if you’re excited about trying out a new product. But everyone’s sensitivity to retinol and AHAs is different, so it’s best to be cautious until you know how well your skin will tolerate the product. Dr. Ford recommends a graduated approach: “We tell our patients to begin using retinol on Mondays and Thursdays for a few weeks, then up it to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a few more weeks, and eventually you’ll just be taking weekends off. Some people can tolerate these products every day of the week.”