Benzac Intensive Spot Treatment ($12, target.com) is the best spot treatment we’ve ever used, which is some seriously high praise. Not only does it contain the classic salicylic acid, which exfoliates and decreases inflammation, says Dr. Bowe, but it also contains sandalwood oil to calm inflammation and counteract any dryness from the active ingredients. This treatment is a major steal: It’s super affordable and it works on every type of zit including blackheads, whiteheads, and even angry papules.
How to Handle It: Think of these as bigger, pissed-off whiteheads. Your best bet, says Zeichner, is to stock up on benzoyl peroxide, which kills the bacteria. A spot treatment like Murad Acne Spot Fast Fix ($18, (Shop Now) should do the trick. Also, try not to pop them—as tempting as that may be. Since they’re inflamed, they’re more likely to scar if you go the DIY route.
A balanced black skin care regimen must always include a daily moisturizer. Opt for moisturizers containing “humectrants,” or products that draw water to the skin. When choosing a moisturizer, choose one containing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, dimethicone or urea. Alcohol-free and scent-free moisturizes are best since those containing alcohols and perfumes irritate and dry out the skin. Products consisting of retinol or vitamin A should also be avoided as these rob the skin of moisture. Consider products containing natural ingredients including bees wax, soy oil and corn oil.
“You have to get a full-body skin exam by a dermatologist by the time you turn 30. It’s important to have expert eyes take a look at any moles you may have and be able to follow them for changes in the future. Also, the dermatologist can teach you how to do a proper skin check on yourself. This is very important because melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, is almost 100% curable if caught in its earliest stages. If women are armed with information on what to look for, it may save their lives.” — Elizabeth Tanzi, MD
Need a little detox? Lemons support your liver and kidneys, and there’s a clear connection between healthy organs and healthy skin. Vitamin C-rich foods such as oranges may help prevent wrinkles, too.
What’s Going On: Meet papules. No, they’re not things you’d find growing on the grounds of Hogwarts (though they sound like it). These are a type of inflammatory acne and they’re the work of bacteria. “Growth of the bacteria p. acnes on the skin promotes inflammation, causing acne bumps to become red and tender,” says Zeichner.
($26, (Shop Now), a two-time Best of Beauty winner that packs both salicylic acid and sea whip extract—an ingredient with skin-soothing properties—to help counteract the dryness sometimes caused by salicylic acid. The formula does double duty: It works as a spot treatment for mild to moderate acne and as a nightly allover treatment for pimple prevention. And since it dries clear, you can wear it to fight zits whenever, wherever.
Once you’ve applied face cream, it’s time to lock in that moisture with an oil. This pick from Drunk Elephant is anti-aging as well as hydrating. It’s also high in antioxidants that fight pollution and free radicals. So, yeah, it kind of does a little bit of everything.
This collagen night cream is AWESOME!! I use it on my face and hands in the morning and at night. It has made my pores appear almost invisible! I had a couple minor cuts on my hands and after 1 day of using this they were almost completely gone!! It seems to accelerate the healing process!! It also has a very fresh scent, not over-bearing!! I will definitely purchase this again. I did NOT receive any discount for my review, just so everyone knows!! You must try this cream! You will not be disappointed!!
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.
If your acne is not better after 4 to 6 weeks, try a 10 percent solution. It is now available over-the-counter (without a doctor’s prescription). Be sure to get the pure form: you may want to ask the pharmacist for the type that used to be available by prescription only.
Retinol Serum: Rouleau recommends incorporating an over-the-counter retinol serum into your regimen five nights a week. “I prefer serums over creams because they have smaller molecules and can better penetrate the skin,” she says. Some of our favorite retinol serums for dry skin include Peter Thomas Roth’s Retinol Fusion PM ($65) and Chantecaille’s Retinol Intense Cream ($110).
We truly did enjoy Dr. Dennis Gross’s Ferulic Acid + Retinol Anti-Aging Moisturizer — it’s the cousin cream to our top pick serum. It has a rich creamy texture that absorbs quickly, and a gentle orange scent. Like our two top picks, it has retinoids, AHAs, and sodium hyaluronate, which means that it will fight wrinkles by encouraging your skin to regenerate more quickly,, while also moisturizing and plumping your skin. This cream is packaged in a jar, but it’s also less expensive than our two top picks, retailing at $75.
Beauty isn’t always pain. In fact, when it comes to your face, the less pain, the better. This is an immediate sign that something is wrong and that you need to make some sort of change to your routine — fast.
“When choosing a cleanser, stay away from high-foaming cleansers, as they can strip the skin, leaving it tight, dry, and more prone to breakouts. It can even cause lines, wrinkles, and sensitivity to the environment. Instead, one of my most strategic skincare tips is to apply a pre-cleanser prior to cleansing to help thoroughly clean your skin without stripping your skin’s natural oil.” — Candace Noonan, esthetician and director of education at Environ Skin Care
Like any other skin type, black skin requires protection from the sun. Always apply a sunscreen to keep your skin well protected from the harmful rays of the sun. Using a sunblock provides a barrier of protection between your skin and the sun, forcing sun rays to bounce off the skin. Use a sunscreen with an SPF 15. If you suffer from a medical condition such as lupus or have discolorations and dark spots, look for a sunscreen with an SPF 30. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before sun exposure, taking care to apply it generously on all exposed parts of the body.
Peptides (strings of amino acids) may have a role in preventing fine lines and wrinkles, so try a peptide serum with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid. If you have acne or are already seeing signs of sun damage like sunspots (hyperpigmentation), use a prescription retinoid lotion or cream or a product containing retinol, the over-the-counter version.
Twice a week apply a tablespoon of full-fat sour cream to sensitive skin for 20 minutes, Julia March says. It will nourish touchy complexions that react badly to store-bought masks. According to Dr. Shamban, the lactic acid gently smooths skin and improves texture.
Antibiotics are available with a doctor’s prescription only. Antibiotics can be very helpful for acne that is swollen and red, or for acne that is not improving with other medications. The antibiotics kill the bacteria which contribute to whiteheads.
Speaking of hydration, Choi smears on a “decent amount” of moisturizer after toning. Her two ride-or-die products are Cetaphil’s Moisturizing Cream and Wonjin Effects’s Water Bomb Cream. (The latter is a better option if you have oily skin, FYI.)
“We consider treatment steps to be anything between toning and moisturizing. Layering your serums and essences from thinnest to thickest helps the skin to absorb each layer most efficiently! Try it with an ultra-lightweight essence like the Earth’s Recipe Dual Hydrating Liposome ($48), following up with the Blithe Tundra Chaga Pressed Serum ($49).” — Sarah Lee and Christine Chang, founders of Glow Recipe
“Toners should be done after cleansing and before putting on anything else,” Mattioli says. The traditional application method is to saturate a cotton pad and pass it over your face. But, as Mattioli points out, “You end up losing a lot of product.”
Why She Loves It: The only redness you’ll see after using this cream is on the tube since retinyl propionate is a mild retinol, which renews skin surface with less irritation. And, “It contains some of my favorite ingredients, like niacinamide in a hydrating formulation,” says Day. Got Qs about retinols? Find out answers in this definitive guide.
To repair and protect, look for a serum rich in antioxidants, like vitamin C or E, or epidermal growth factors to help stimulate collagen production, says Jackson. (If you’ve become particularly concerned about your eye area, give your eye cream an extra boost with a specialized serum containing the same ingredients.) Over that, layer a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 30 moisturizer.
Radical’s anti-aging serum contains a clean, safe and effective blend of ingredients that aim to help improve the look of skin. It’s free from many of the harsh chemicals that are found in cosmetics and the company seems very reliable.*
I have to say, during my seven-day experiment, only one night felt like work. The other six nights, it was a nice way to unwind while chatting with my roommates or catching up on The Affair. “Western culture’s skin-care routine is more of a chore almost,” claims Cho. “You just put on whatever you have in the bathroom.” But she explains that with a Korean-skin mind-set, it’s all about pampering and taking care of yourself. By the end of my vigorous week, my skin felt smoother. My red, blotchy inflammation calmed down and my undereye bags were almost nonexistent. I was so confident in my skin, I didn’t wear makeup the following week. Will I do all 10 steps again? Probably not. Using a toner, essence, AND serum seemed redundant. But double cleansing is the way forward for my city lifestyle.
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!
“My number one tip is absolutely my favorite skincare tip: Drink a green juice every day. It will be a great replacement to your afternoon coffee and will transform your skin in a matter of days. The ingredients in the juice help oxygenate the skin and stimulate lymphatic drainage, so it’s de-puffing too! Start by eating a bit of avocado every day or even throwing half of an avocado into your morning smoothie. Avocado supplies the skin with healthy fats and phytonutrients to hydrate from the inside out and bring back your glow.” — Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and founder of Joanna Vargas Salon and Joanna Vargas Skincare
Anti-aging products made up a $130 billion market in 2017, a number that the Infinium Global Research Group projects will continue to rise. It’s a big business. Needless to say, there are a lot of formulas to choose from: Whole aisles in drugstores and department stores are devoted to combating wrinkles, fine lines, and sun-damaged skin.
This compact flawlessly blends into your skin making it look visibly fair and translucently radiant. Its unique formula contains skin brightening pearls, vitamin B3 (lightens skin) and SPF 23 UVA and UVB protection. It provides a matte finish and gives an oil free look.
Do: Use Ayurvedic scrubs to nourish the skin, and help it breathe better. Luckily for you, everything you need is already in your kitchen. 2 tbsp chickpea flour, ½ tsp turmeric powder, a pinch of camphor and sandalwood with some rose water/milk/water is your perfect skincare pack. Yes, the secrets of beauty lies in ancient Ayurveda.
Promising Review: “I love the velvety texture of this cleanser on my skin! You only need a pea-sized amount of product for it to slightly lather up and clean your face. The smell of grapefruit and ginger is very addicting. And the small beads are so beneficial. I could feel it exfoliate and actually stimulate my pores. It is very hydrating for a product that is oil-free!” —Gina O.
Fried food and fatty food must be avoided or limited as they lead to excess oil secretion on the skin. Consumption of high calorie or sweet food items also increases the chances of excess oil and pimple formation
The table below does not include all companies or all available products in the market but those that we promote as their affiliates. In full compliance with the FTC guidelines, please assume that any and all links on the table are affiliate links, and we may receive compensation if you click one of these and make a purchase. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own. All editorial content is written without prejudice or bias, regardless of sponsor or affiliate associations.
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).
Information on the PhaMix.com internet site is intended to heighten awareness of health information and does not suggest diagnosis or treatment. Information is not a substitute for medical attention. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or are currently taking any medications, please contact your health-care professional to seek appropriate medical advice and treatment. Information about many products such as vitamins, homeopathic, herbal remedies and dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA or Health Canada and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are trying a new skin care product it is advisable to apply a test patch to ensure that you will not experience a reaction. Information supplied has been abstracted from information prepared by the products’ manufacturers and while every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information on this site, PhaMix.com does not represent or warrant that the information is accurate, complete or current. Price and availability information is subject to change without notice.
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.
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If you’re looking to minimize your exposure to toxins and chemicals in skincare, you can’t go wrong with anything from S.W. Basics. This moisturizing cream is made with three simple but powerful ingredients. After a few applications of this, forget about your dry skin; it won’t exist anymore.
Now is the time to develop good habits to preserve your youthful glow, says Jennifer Linder, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco. The one guaranteed to shore up your chances of gorgeous skin in the decades to come? You guessed it: applying sunscreen religiously. You might be noticing dryness for the first time, so a moisturizer is essential. If you’re one of the many 20-something women who suffer from acne, you may see that it’s shifted from the forehead and midface to the jawline, which means it’s hormone related. The breakout treatments you’ve been using may now be too aggressive; it’s time to switch to a less drying routine.
What’s Going On: You don’t actually see these so much as feel them—which is why they’re called blind pimples. “A blind pimple is like a balloon under the skin with no connection to the skin’s surface, so there’s nowhere for it to go,” explains Zeichner. The pressure just builds beneath the skin, which is what makes it sensitive to the touch.