The makeup-removing wipes from beloved beauty brand RMS are soaked in pure, organic coconut oil. You get to reap all the benefits of using coconut oil to remove stubborn makeup with extra-chic packaging and portability.
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?”
So it’s good news that the science behind the most powerful wrinkle fighters — retinol, for one, but alpha hydroxy acids and humectants like hyaluronic acid too — says they do actually work to decrease the appearance of fine lines and signs of aging. The bad news: They don’t come cheap.
Estee Lauder Perfectionist CP+R Wrinkle Lifting Serum (Est. $100 for 1.7oz) is another over-the-counter anti-wrinkle serum that gets raves from experts and users. Yes, it’s pricey, but it gets rave reviews across multiple sites such as Macy’s, Sephora and Nordstrom. Amazon carries it as well, and the prices line up with what we see elsewhere, however, the ratings at Amazon are lowered by reports of counterfeit products. We have no way of verifying or refuting those reports, other than to suggest that you should be sure to buy from a seller (Amazon does not sell this themselves) with top user feedback to ensure you are getting the real thing.
Don’t: Skip the sunscreen, whether it’s cloudy or cold outside (no excuses). If you’re heading to a beach or around reflective surfaces like snow or ice, lather your skin up with some more sunscreen with SPF of at least 30.
Linda Daniels is a true creative force, having worked as a seasoned writer, editor and consultant in the fashion and beauty industries. Connect with Linda on Facebook for constant updates to her projects.
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We do most of our acne fighting in our sleep—after all, we’re usually too busy covering it up during the day to actual heal any zits. A lot of acne happens because our pillowcases get covered in bacteria, which causes breakouts. That’s why you should change or wash your pillowcase at least once a week. Or, you could go one better and buy a SleepCycle Clean Sleep Pillow Case ($30, skinlaundry.com) from NYC facial bar SkinLaundry. It’s charged with negative silver ions, which give it anti-microbial properties. Although there’s no way to measure the difference, your skin will be noticeably smoother after sleeping on one for a few nights. Plus, it lasts up to 50 washes—that’s almost a whole year of good skin.
Retinoids are one of the most well-documented wrinkle fighters around, reversing the signs of aging in study after study (after study). A class of chemicals derived from vitamin A, retinoids work in two ways: First, they help your skin slough off old cells and make new ones — a process our bodies are good at when young, but which slows down as we age. Second, they spur collagen production, improving elasticity and filling in lines — another natural process that tends to slow down with age.
Once a week, slather your hands and feet with a thick lotion and cover in plastic wrap for about a half-hour—then strip it away to check out the soft results. For severely dry, chapped hands, Dr. Levine likes dense, rich Triple Cream ($19; drugstore.com), a formula derived from diaper- rash ointment, with oat-kernel extract and petrolatum.
Toner: Rouleau says to look for an alcohol-free toner that has ingredients like sodium PCA (a humectant to hold water to your skin), geranium (an essential oil good for cutting oil), and witch hazel (a natural ingredient with an astringent effect without the drying effects of alcohol).
• Beta-Glucan. It’s actually a type of sugar that just might be very good for your skin. Research suggests that it may have the potential to wash out sebum and other bodily compounds that are clogging pores.*9
I’m done. At this point, I just lunge my entire body horizontal onto the hardwood floors and belly slide like a baby seal all the way to my bed. Consider applying just one or five more layers of lip balm. The control variable in this freak show is my morning routine which consists of America’s sweetheart duo: Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser and Priming Moisturizer Rich to keep things consistent and carefree. I would tell you about my airplane routine but we’ll take a raincheck on that for my future Youtube channel.
Olay Micro-Sculpting Serum gets a perfect 5-star rating from Paula Begoun at Beautypedia. She notes that, “With each use your skin is treated to a helpful amount of the cell-communicating ingredient niacinamide, skin-identical glycerin, and a cadre of other anti-aging ingredients, including peptides, antioxidants, and more cell-communicating ingredients.” She also praises how well it brightens skin tone.
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This daily face wash certainly has an attractive price, just US $4.99 for 6.5 fluid oz/195 ml. It is great for getting rid of makeup without the need for using cold cream. But it uses the same ingredients as bar soap that can make it too drying for anyone who does not have very oily skin, and it contains menthol and fragrances that can cause breakouts on sensitive skin. Even though the price is great, you probably will spend a lot more than you will save on concealer and skin restoration products if you use this product regularly.
For just US $24.99 you can buy four Clearasil products in a single acne protection system. You get a bottle of StayClear Daily Face Wash (5 ounces/150 ml), a bottle of StayClear Daily Toner (5 ounces/150 ml), a bottle of StayClear Daily Lotion (1.5 ounces/45 ml), and a tube of quick-start benzoyl peroxide gel for disinfecting pimples. The gel is a proven disinfectant for pimples. But the other products in this acne care system have serious problems.
Impatience for acne to be better right now usually results in less-than-healthy habits. Your pimples need TLC too. That 2013 study on acne vulgaris found that, in an attempt to dry out acne lesions, patients often use too many products or apply excessive amounts to problem areas, resulting in further irritation and overdrying the skin. Vigorous scrubbing and using harsh exfoliants (remember that St. Ives Apricot Scrub we were all crazy about in the early 2000s?) can make acne worse by rupturing whiteheads and blackheads, and turning them into painful red ones. And remember: No matter how satisfying it is, picking and popping your zits will also increase their inflammation and opportunity for infection. Resist!
For many, the word “toner” brings to mind stinging astringents from the ’80s. “The original was an alcohol-based product that was used to dry up oily skin and remove any leftover dirt following cleansing,” Dr. Nazarian says. Today’s formulas, however, have evolved. Think of them as supplements — these thin liquids deliver an extra shot of nutrients, helping the other products in your regimen absorb better, while still balancing your complexion. Most experts, the New York City aesthetician Jordana Mattioli says, consider toner to be optional: “It can be a good way to add in specific ingredients that you may not have in your other products or add another layer of skin-replenishment.” If you have the time and inclination, here are some hero ingredients to look for:
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.
Can you survive without an eye cream? Absolutely. But, if you have specific concerns — like hyperpigmentation, dryness or puffiness — you might want to try one. “The skin around the eyes is quite thin and delicate, and more likely to react to irritating ingredients than other areas,” Dr. Nazarian says. “Therefore, dermatologists typically recommend an eye cream that considers the potential sensitivity and has more tolerable concentrations of active ingredients.”
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Our one mild quibble is that Dr. Dennis Gross Brightening Solution is not strictly a cream — it’s a serum, with a thin, oil-like consistency. If you like the skin-feel of lotion or thick cream, you may want to consider either La Prairie or one of our not-quite-perfect runners-up below. That said, we found the formula easy to apply. The angled dropper allows you to precisely deposit small drops onto your face or finger and then rub it in. The package also includes a wrapped stack of microfiber pads if you’d prefer to apply this way.
I am always looking out for good products for acne prone skin as my husband has breakouts occasionally. It’s amazing how men don’t see to care about a skin care regimen as we do. If I don’t remind him to wash his face and put lotion on etc. he won’t do it!
Little Barn Apothecary is another natural beauty brand to know. Our favorite product is this green sea mineral recovery mask. The dry powder is meant to be mixed with liquid—whether honey, yogurt, floral water, or something similar—to turn into a traditional paste mask. It’s sold in a dry form to avoid fillers and additives that come with liquid masks.
“When you eat hydrating fruits and vegetables like grapefruit or cucumber, the water penetrates and plumps up cells better than drinking water,” Dr. Murad says. Aim for three daily servings of fruit and five of veggies.
To say that face masks have become popular lately is a bit of an understatement — Sephora has more than 400 varieties (and 60 of those launched in the last few months). Masks “offer highly concentrated treatments to address specific issues,” says New York City dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner. But unlike a toner or a serum, masks deliver ingredients under occlusion, which helps the ingredients absorb more efficiently, notes Dr. Nazarian.
Running around all day? Your skin doesn’t need to suffer just because you’re busy! Bring a pack of refreshing face wipes (like Yes to Cucumbers Hypoallergenic Facial Towelettes, $3) along for the ride, and wipe your face down any time you and your skin need a boost.
Men with acne need to pay attention to their skin care regimen, too. Shaving can be both a plus and minus for a man’s skin. The plus is that shaving each day acts as a natural exfoliant, opening your pores so the excess oil can drain out. But if you shave the wrong way or use the wrong products, you could wind up with more acne. Or, you could get razor bumps, which aren’t acne but look a lot like them. Razor bumps pop up when newly cut, sharp-ended hairs turn back into the skin and make the skin swell up.
Don’t: Neglect your jawline and facial muscles. For just 5 minutes a day, perform a few facial exercises. You can jut out your lower lip in such a way that wrinkles are created on the chin, then lower your chin to your chest. Another exercise that works wonders is to look up towards the ceiling and pout. It stretches out the muscles making the skin more firm. “18 till I die”, why not?
We get it: Ruling the world from one’s iPhone leaves little time for diligent skin care. But “by your mid-20s, you really need to start paying attention,” says Kristina Holey, a holistic facialist in San Francisco. Breakouts, brown spots, and dry patches are likely on your mind. But using too many products can irk skin and clog pores. Here, experts highlight the decade’s most common challenges — and everything you need to overcome them.
I love the product. I’ve used it before but, this time, the pump is really bad. It’s very stiff so you either can’t get anything out of it or, when you push it too hard, the product squirts across the room. The last bottle I had worked much better.
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).
Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and rinse with warm water. Don’t rub your skin with a towel — gently pat it dry. Exfoliating may irritate sensitive skin. Try not to use products that have alcohol, soap, acid, or fragrance. Instead, look on the label for calming ingredients like aloe, chamomile, green tea polyphenols, and oats. The fewer ingredients in a product, the happier your face may be.
“Retinol is the best-studied OTC ingredient to minimize signs of skin aging, and this is my go-to product for that. It stimulates collagen production to help keep the skin foundation strong. Ultimately, this helps the skin resist lines and wrinkles from setting in. Not all retinol products are created equally; it is important to choose a product that has proven stability, penetration into the skin, and a clinical effect.”
I love an oil in my nighttime skincare regime, but I must admit this is my first foray into a cleansing oil – and what a great introduction it was too. I’ve been keeping a close eye on Simple for the last few months after discovering that their fragrance-free shower gel is not only cheaper but more pleasant than my usual brand; though I had a few scary moments in my teens with Simple’s earlier skin products they really seem to have upped their game, and this cleanser is no exception. If you find cleansing leaves your skin dry and tight, you will love this – you need only a few drops (hello, money-saving formula) which you massage in gently to remove makeup before rinsing away. It leaves skin feeling far fresher than you’d expect, with no residue and no grease. Baby-soft skin for under a tenner.
Simple alcohols destroy the skin’s barrier, called the acid mantle, which is what keeps your skin’s pH in its happy place (and your skin blemish-free). “A lot of products that are marketed to treat acne do not maintain — or even consider the importance of — the skin’s acid mantle,” explains Natarsha Bimson, a Los Angeles-based aesthetician. “It’s a huge issue.” In one study, even a small, 3 percent alcohol solution applied to skin cells over the course of two days increased cell death by 26 percent — in some acne treatments, like Kate Somerville’s EradiKate, alcohol is one of the first ingredients listed, meaning it’s a largely alcohol-based formula.