If essences are the heart of the Korean skin care routine, sheet masks are the soul. All you have to do is put one on and chill for 15-20 minutes (and probably take a selfie). Sheet masks provide you with a quiet, meditative, and skin-nourishing ritual that imparts maximum treatment to your skin. Use one at least once or twice a week or every single day if you’d like!
How to Handle It: If you’ve tried the usual anti-acne ingredients, like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide (which, we should warn you, rarely work for this), you should consider paying your dermatologist a visit. “You may need a cortisone injection or an oral medication, like an antibiotic, in addition to topical formulas,” says Zeichner. He’s also a fan of a prescription topical medication called Epiduo Forte Gel, since, he says, it’s been shown to be effective at controlling severe acne without the help of oral treatments.
a. Choose makeup and skincare products that are as natural as possible to reduce chemical exposure. Natural lip balms and lipsticks are particularly good to use, since, you aren’t eating chemicals when you use them.
Exfoliating, which removes the layer of dead skin cells, is also important for healthy skin. After washing your face with a mild cleanser, exfoliate with face facial scrub one to two times a week. This can help reduce dead skin cells and debris which can clog pores and cause more acne.
Skincare DO’S & DON’TS You Need To Know!
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If you’ve been diligent with sunscreen, you most likely haven’t seen a radical change in your skin since your 20s. But this is the decade when your complexion may start to look dull because of slower cell turnover, so regular exfoliation should be your top priority, says Ellen Marmur, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. Sun worshipers will see an increase in fine lines and damage like dark spots and loss of elasticity—but it’s never too late to get with the (sun protection) program. This is also the decade when you may begin to notice crow’s-feet, dark circles, and sagging of the lower eyelids, says Doris J. Day, MD, clinical associate professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center.
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.
It’s simple: Moisturize and repair. You need a rich night cream with peptides, a hydrating prescription retinoid, or retinol cream or lotion. If the retinoid causes dryness, mix it with a moisturizer or a night cream, or use it only three times a week. You can apply retinoid cream up to your lower eyelids. Be sure to use the night cream on your neck and the retinoid on your chest and the backs of your hands.
Water energizes you and relieves you from fatigue. When you are dehydrated and tired, your face looks really dull. The skin mirrors your health, so you should treat water as a nutrient and drink it. Since water improves digestion, it makes your face fresh and free of acne.
Are you surprised to read that in the list? Well, so were we until we found out that the staggeringly effective result record of using buttermilk will help you tone and exfoliate your skin from within. Not only will it remove oil from the surface but also enhance glow and radiance naturally. It might seem oily in the beginning but works as magic in the long run.
If your favorite day cream doesn’t contain sunscreen, mix it with a lightweight SPF lotion like Dermalogica Solar Defense Booster SPF 30 ($43; at dermalogica.com). Look for micronized zinc, Avobenzone, or Helioplex, says N.Y.C. dermatologist Rosemarie Ingleton. They offer broad-spectrum protection without leaving a purple or whitish cast.
We also found a number of runners-up that aren’t quite perfect, either because they come in tubs that expose the product to air and light (Dr. Dennis Gross Anti-Aging Moisturizer and It Cosmetics Moisturizing Super Cream), or because they lack sodium hyaluronate and will need to be paired with a standalone moisturizer (RoC Night Cream and The Ordinary Retinoid Emulsion). Still, if you want to shop around, these brands represent decent options at a range of price points.
Don’t pop those pimples! That can lead to infection and scars. Instead, try acne-fighting products. They come as lotions, creams, gels, and cleansing pads. Follow the directions carefully. If you use them too much or too often, they can irritate your skin and cause more blemishes. Just be patient — they can take 8 weeks to work. If your acne is really bad, get help from a dermatologist.
Not really. A simple washcloth really does most of the work. But who needs a spa appointment when the latest skin-care gadgets — and one surprisingly analog standby — bring the same technology to your bathroom?
Oil cleanse to remove makeup. Makeup removers often contain alcohol and other harsh ingredients that can dry out and irritate your skin. Oil cleansers are gentler than makeup removing wipes. Simply apply the oil to your dry skin, and wash off with warm water.
Clear, even skin tone, free from spots and discolorations, is the desire of most people of color. Black skin contains melanin — a natural substance that provides pigment and color to dark skin. This same substance also makes black skin more prone to discolorations and dark spots. To keep black skin looking its flawless best, adapt to using products that nurture and enhance black skin and help you put your best face forward.
As your doctor will tell you, Retin-A should only be used at night, because it makes your skin more sensitive to the sun and more susceptible to sunburn. Use extra sunscreen and sun protection when outdoors.
Having tried everything under the sun for years, I finally found that glycolic acid is the only thing that saved me from my hormonal acne woes. I’ve been using it for over two years now and my skin have done a complete 180. You’d never guess that less than 10 years ago my brother called me crater face because it was THAT bad.
For Dry Skin: Honey, known for its moisturizing properties, is a blessing for Indian women with dry skin. Regular application can not only solve dry skin problems, but also add a shine and glow to the face. It helps keeping all fungal infections and other skin problems at bay.
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My Experience: Since redness is a major issue of mine, I was all in on this serum step. It’s also one that I’m used to completing on a regular basis. For this week, I used Blossom Jeju Pink Camellia Soombi Essence Serum ($64, amazon.com), which feels a lot like a gel but spreads easily. It left a smooth layer over the skin similar to how a cream would without any stickiness or grease. It also gave a dewy effect that didn’t look wet or sweaty, just faint enough to look healthy. I’m crediting the serum combined with the moisturizer for my skin feeling so smooth in the mornings.
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.
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?”
American Academy of Dermatology: “Acne,” “Dry skin: Signs and symptoms,” “Dermatologists’ top tips for relieving dry skin,” “How to Create an anti-aging skin care plan,” “Melanoma,” “Skincare on a budget.”
More than one drink a day can cause increased oil production and enlarged pores, says Beverly Hills dermatologist Susan Evans. Lack of sleep can have the same effect, so be sure to get your z’s—aim for at least seven hours a night.
To give a favorite shirt or casual sundress extra sun protection, N.Y.C. dermatologist Jody Levine suggests laundering with Sunguard Laundry Aid ($2; sunguardsunprotection.com) for a Universal Protection Factor of 30, compared to a UPF 5 for a plain T-shirt. Like SPF in sunscreen, UPF measures the sun protection in clothing. Or wear a rash guard like Nicole Kidman. The ones from Athleta have a UPF of 50.
To find the right product for your skin type and activities see how I rate the products on my Sunscreen Comparison Chart. My top picks for the most highly sensitive skin are the pure mineral zinc oxide products. If your skin is moderately sensitive then you will most likely tolerate any of the sunscreens that I use in my practice.
“Many people (myself included) frown and scrunch their faces at night, leading to frown lines and crows feet. To relax my face, I do facial acupressure for a few minutes at bedtime. Press above your inner eyebrows, temples, and next to your nostrils, holding for 10 seconds each.” –Jessica Wu, dermatologist, Los Angeles, and author of Feed Your Face