My Experience: Even if you complete the most basic skin-care routine, moisturizer should be worn day and night. I switched over to Belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb ($38, sephora.com) for this particular experiment. I looked forward to applying this cream every night. It felt like it was doing its duty, sealing in all the other skin care while providing hydration. Waking up ever morning, my skin didn’t feel greasy or sticky.
Massage your face with nourishing oils — sweet almond, coconut, olive and jojoba oils are good choices — before going to bed. Black skin tends to be on the dry side, so allowing oils to soak into the skin overnight can contribute to glowing skin in the morning. Apply the oil to the skin using your fingertips. Use caution when massaging the sensitive tissues around the eyes.
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.
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Protecting yourself from sun damage will make you feel better now (how much fun could a sunburn really be?) and later on. Wear at least SPF 15 every day (higher if you’re spending time in strong sun) to help prevent skin cancer, wrinkles and sunburn. Oh, and don’t even think about going to the tanning bed.
Consider this your rule of thumb, according to Dr. Nazarian: “Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply at least every two hours. Chemical sunscreens should be applied directly to clean skin, while physical blockers can be applied last in your skin-care regimen, but before makeup is applied. About two tablespoons of sunscreen are appropriate to cover your face and exposed areas of your body; within that amount, use a nickel-size dollop to cover your face.”
Don’t share makeup or makeup tools. Use fresh applicators when you try on makeup in stores. Don’t apply eyeliner inside your lid, because it may irritate your eye. If you’ve had an eye infection, buy new makeup so you don’t reinfect yourself. Never put on makeup in a car or on the bus. A bump or swerve could make you scratch your eye or get makeup and germs in it.
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“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.
Sheet masks are a twice-a-week ritual, or more if your face is very dry. The wet, papery, Jason-like masks (I love Manefit Bling Bling Hydro Gel Masks [ed note: discontinued]), are soaked in ingredients like collagen, which they in turn soak into your skin. The fun is in the variety; some masks contain avocado extracts (containing tons of antioxidants) or Vitamin E (anti-aging). The secret to sheet masks? They force your skin to absorb the nutrients and moisture better than if you just applied a cream or serum—before the product has a chance to evaporate. The immediate effects are addicting, after one use your face is slightly more plump and much brighter due to all the moisture your skin just absorbed.
If you have chronic eczema, research from Northwestern University shows that a very diluted bleach bath (about ½ cup for a full tub, which is weaker than the chemicals in a swimming pool) kills the surface bacteria that cause inflammation.
Anyone who’s visited a Turkish hammam can tell you how satisfying the experience is, especially when the massage happens. Rachel Raczka decided to re-create the experience at home with a hammam glove that worked wonders: “I didn’t notice clumps of dead skin washing away, but I did find that it created a sleeker-than-usual surface for shaving and soaking up moisturizer. It wasn’t until a few days of regular use that I noticed the bumps on my arms and legs had faded, and the rest of my bod appeared healthier and glowier from consistent use. It’s like those elimination diets that promote better skin from within, but instead of laying off dairy or wheat, you eliminate a layer of your epidermis.”
Here is a breakdown of available wrinkle fillers. It includes their basic ingredients, how they work, their pros and cons, and the best areas for treatment. Your doctor can help you choose the right one for you.
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Use a face mask. Let’s be honest: We love face masks not just for their ability to make our skin look absolutely ah-amazing but for how fun they are to use, too. Seriously, is there anything better than sitting back and relaxing with a face mask on? We think not! Try the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Mask Exfoliate & Refining Face Mask, L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Mask Detox & Brighten Face Mask, L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Mask Purify & Mattify Face Mask, L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Mask Clear & Comfort Face Mask, or L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Clarify & Smooth Face Mask. Apply an even layer to clean, dry skin, leave it on for 10-15 minutes, then rinse off thoroughly with lukewarm water. Use your choice of face mask 2-3 times a week for best results.
Sleeping packs or overnight masks: “Overnight masks or sleeping packs will have a thicker texture and help trap in whatever ingredients you layer underneath. They’re ideal for mature skin or severely dry skin.”
As if you needed a reason to indulge in a glass of vino: Red wine is packed with antioxidants that will help keep your skin healthy and protect against free radicals, so have a glass (note we said a glass, as in one.)
For the sheet mask, I tried Amorepacific Moisture Bound Intensive Serum Masque, ($90, nordstrom). It was much thicker than most sheet masks I’ve used, but that meant it stayed on easily. And although it wasn’t dripping in serum like most, the tight seal made my skin feel tighter and plumper after removing. I also tried Skinfood Hydro Fitting Snail Mask Sheet ($13, amazon.com), which was incredibly moisturizing and plumping. Although this was packed with wet serum, it didn’t drip and absorbed fairly quickly.
Do: Apply sunscreen with SPF of at least 15 that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Since a lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, age spots and other skin problems, you have to protect your skin from the sun. Make sure the label reads ‘noncomedogenic’ or ‘nonacnegenic’ so that the product does not tend to block pores.
When we say massage, we mean massage. Rather than dabbing on your face cream, use gentle pressure, massaging it into your skin in a circular motion. Do the same when you wash your face. This simple trick will kick your circulation into high gear. Plus, it feels so good.
a. Drink more water. Your skin is your body’s largest organ and the first place to show signs of dehydration. Not sipping enough H2O? You’re skin will look dull and drab, feel dry and be more prone to show the signs of aging and to breakout!
Since retinoids are so sensitive to sunlight, leaving a clear glass jar of wrinkle cream by your bathroom window could render it ineffective. “Have you ever noticed how vitamins and prescription drugs are distributed in containers to protect from UV light? Those amber prescription bottles from CVS are amber for a reason!” says chemist Jennifer Reid. So the first thing we did was double-check that none of our 12 finalists came in clear packaging, a test they passed without difficulty.
How long the results last varies from several months to over a year or two. Some research shows that repeated injections may help stimulate the body’s own natural production of collagen. That will help reduce the number of lines and wrinkles. There is also some evidence that less filler is needed over time to achieve the same look.
It is difficult to manage oily skin, but there are several solutions to handle this problem. There is no need use expensive, chemical based skin care products. Some simple homemade remedies are found to be effective to deal with oily skin.
What’s Going On: You might be all too familiar with these, which tend to make their debut when you’re in high school. “Blackheads, like whiteheads, are blocked pores,” says Zeichner. What gives them their namesake color, though, is the oil. It’s already dark, but blackheads also have a larger opening at the surface than whiteheads do, meaning air can enter and oxidize that oil sitting inside the pore, turning it even darker.