What’s Going On: Do you tend to get these at the same time every month—say, just before you get your period? Because these are the work of fluctuating hormones, says Joshua Zeichner,, a dermatologist and the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Hormones can put oil production into overdrive, and having an excess of it means that it’s more likely to settle in your pores and cause zits.
Treat uneven skin tones with lightening ingredients. If you want to reduce hyperpigmentation or dark spots on your face, choose ingredients that will lighten these areas. Some products that may be effective include:
Somehow, the idea that moisturizers are a no-no for pimple-prone skin started circulating many years back, and now a lot of people with acne avoid them like the plague. In reality, moisturizers are an essential part of the acne skin care routine. The acne treatment your dermatologist prescribed or recommended may contain drying ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, which can suck the moisture out of your skin and leave it looking red and irritated. A good moisturizer will keep the water in your skin and help avoid unsightly drying and peeling.
No, your eyes aren’t skin, but they are the centerpiece of your face. If your eyes look red or tired, your skin will look drab as well. Wake up your peepers with some eye drops and you’ll instantly look and feel more alert.
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.
Cut to today, when there is a surplus of anti-aging skin care products like creams, serums, gels and powders that all claim to be this fountain of youth. Some work their anti-aging magic through ingredients that have a ton of scientific research and analysis on how skin ages to back them up and some are pure hype — smoke and mirrors with a price tag exceeding $300.
Dealing with acne doesn’t get any easier with age. Even after our teen years are long behind us, many of us are still battling stubborn breakouts caused by any number of factors from hormones, to diet, to dirty makeup brushes. Finding the right way to treat blemishes is almost as frustrating as the actual pimples themselves. But while trial-and-error is essential in finding the best product for you, some formulas can be further irritating, not to mention expensive—but they don’t have to be.
“I often explain this concept to patients by giving the analogy of our minds being like a computer that need to be rebooted every night so as to process everything we put into them. Seven to eight hours of sleep allows this to happen.” — Vermén Verallo-Rowell, MD
Its signature ingredient, the soapberry, creates a gentle, luxurious lather that’s naturally pH balanced, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial. While it cleanses dirt, makeup, and excessive oil, it gently keeps your protective barrier intact, preventing breakouts.
In the same way popping a zit has that instant gratification, peeling off a pore strip provides a similar release. Try perennial favorite Bioré Pore Strips, $9, to get the gunk out once a week and watch your pores clear right before your eyes.
Once my serum has soaked in I moisturize with the Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cream. It’s anti-inflammatory and always balances out any unsavory happenings. During this step, I look exactly like Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna when she bathes in the milk bath with her crown on but maybe possibly even better because I’m not sure she prepped as hard as I did for this.
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.
A couple of affordable and readily available drugstore brands landed in this category. They contain retinoids and AHAs, the two most important anti-wrinkle ingredients. All they lack is sodium hyaluronate — our favorite moisturizer. An easy work-around is to add a face moisturizer to your routine — preferably one that does contain sodium hyaluronate. (Our top picks for best face moisturizer both feature it, if you need a recommendation.)
It’s our dying wish to turn back time and stay young forever. Unfortunately that can’t happen, and whether we like it or not wrinkles will sooner or later invade our complexion. A radical solution would be to turn to plastic surgery, yet not everyone can afford the elevated cost.
Stress sets off hormones that cause acne, so make time to wind down. Find a hobby, says David Bank, a N.Y.C. dermatologist. (Amanda Seyfried knits.) Less stress increases oxygen flow, minimizing flare-ups.
A credible company will share their research with you. You know they’re confident in their product if they demonstrate that they have nothing to hide. They will be able to show you verifiable sources and studies that prove exactly how their chosen ingredients may potentially get you results:
Oily skin looks dull and unattractive and it requires special nourishment and proper care. Select the right kind of skin care that maintains oily skin. Oily skin easily catches dirt from the surroundings. It makes the skin look dull and lifeless.
These brands were selected based on the research, safety, and effectiveness of their chosen ingredients, consistently high customer reviews, and how well they performed in our in-house tests and trials.
“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
7 Korean Skincare Tips That Will Give You GLASS SKIN!
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Wear a lot of makeup? Wash your face in two steps for the best results, says Milstead. First, remove makeup and sunscreen with a gentle cleanser that’s designed to break down cosmetics-try Shu Uemura’s Skin Purifier ($72; at shuuemura-usa.com). Next, use a formula with soothing, rejuvenating effects, like CeraVe’s hydrating cleanser ($11; at drugstore.com). Rub it in with upward motions from neck to forehead.
Hyaluronic acid is a humectant — different from the acid found in AHAs. Humectants work by drawing water into the cells, making skin look plumper and more full of life. And hyaluronic acid is the latest and greatest humectant out there, each of its molecules capable of holding 800 to 1,000 times their weight in water. That’s a lot of plumping power. Even more effective than HA is sodium hyaluronate, a derivative that has smaller molecules, making it better at sinking deeply into the skin.
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).
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.*
“The single most important treatment you can do at home for radiant, glowing, younger-looking skin—the goal of all your anti-aging efforts—is daily gentle-but-effective glycolic exfoliation. That glowing, younger-looking skin is the result of skin being smooth (like a mirror or shiny new car) which can only be achieved, and then maintained, by daily exfoliation to remove the dulling, discolored dead cells that re-accumulate every day. Weekly exfoliation just can’t give your skin the consistent smooth texture to make it glow. This peel [from his own skincare line] contains two potent glycolic exfoliants that dissolve the glue that holds the dulling dead cells on, leaving the skin of your entire face bright, glowing, and refreshed.”
Choose a foaming cleanser. Foaming cleansers work the best for oily skin as they remove oil gently. You only need a small amount for your whole face. Foaming cleansers come in gel, pump, and cream form.
Even if you’re stepping outside for just a couple of minutes, you must wear sunscreen. It’s the easiest and most effective way to prevent premature aging (and skin cancer!). Apply every—and we mean every—morning, reapplying throughout the day as needed. It’s important to put this on last so it can fully shield your skin from UV rays without being diluted by prior products.
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As a professional beauty enthusiast, I’m often asked what skincare products I recommend, especially for anti-aging, whether it’s through emails from readers or people I bump into at the grocery store who recognize me from this site.
Anyone who suffers from persistent blemishes knows you can’t get rid of them fast enough. But if the acne products you’ve tried have had spotty results, put our top-rated Korean treatments to the test. (After all, Asian women prize creamy-smooth skin, so you know their anti-acne arsenal means business.) These solutions for acne-prone complexions will clear the way for more beautiful skin in no time.
For my day cream I used Erborian Bamboo Crème Frapee Skin Reviving Fresh Gel ($43, sephora.com), which I actually used before my week with Korean skin care. I loved the sheen this left on my skin underneath my makeup or barefaced. And it was so light it mixed well with the SPF.
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).
The best acne products are essential for adults suffering from bad skin. While some women are lucky enough to outgrow teen acne (or skip it entirely — jerks), the rest of us need help dealing with the recurring blemishes in our 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond. That’s when this list of the best acne products — along with the ones you should avoid — becomes especially handy. With it, we can navigate the endless acne treatment options out there and hone in on the best acne products that will help us treat everything from cystic acne and the occasional monster zit to chin acne or recurring breakouts.
In the days before your period, swapping out your regular cleanser for one with antibacterial benzoyl peroxide (BP) like the Clean & Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser can keep zits from cropping up, says Robert Anolik, a dermatologist in New York City. (If you find it too drying, use it only on your lower face to target impending zits.) But, again, he stresses, “even if you knock out bacteria and unclog pores, hormonal acne will often persist without the help of birth-control pills.” While Anolik prefers BP for pimple prevention, once bumps arise, he likes salicylic acid (in both spot treatments like this and masks) for its unparalleled ability to free up pores and temper swelling.
The goal of any skin-care routine is to tune up your complexion so it’s functioning at its best, and also troubleshoot or target any areas you want to work on. “Beauty routines are an opportunity to notice changes within yourself,” says the San Francisco skin-care specialist Kristina Holey. As your skin needs shifts with age, so will your products. Still, she adds, “it’s not about creating perfection.” Allow these three steps to become your daily ritual that fortifies your skin and grounds your day.
The first thing I do to prepare for my nightly ceremony the second I get home is to jump into my pajamas—specifically a pair that buttons down. Gotta have access to the neck and chest zone. I enter the bathroom, lay out all of my tools, and stare at myself in the mirror for somewhere around 68 seconds. This is enough time to make sure nothing new has climbed to the surface. Then I light a sensual jasmine candle, just for funsies.
Clay Mask: Rouleau recommends indulging in a gentle clay mask once a week (we love the Kiehl’s Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Masque, $30). “Make sure your clay mask doesn’t dry too much before rinsing it off,” she warns. “If you smile and it cracks into 10,000 pieces, you’ve waited too long and it’s gotten too dry—this can actually dehydrate your skin.”
We found the formula pleasantly lightweight when we tested it. It only took us about four drops to cover our entire faces, and the serum absorbs within a couple of minutes. Its scent is fairly light — you might have to focus to catch it, as opposed to Dermatologica’s knock-your-socks-off approach — and has herbal and medicinal tones that none of our testers objected to.
My Experience: One thing I was dying to include during this experimental week was the Blithe Patting Splash Mask ($45, sephora.com). The watery texture tricked me into thinking the product would just run down my face, which wouldn’t give it any time to sink in or have a noticeable effect. But damn Daniel, that was not the case! I tried it twice, both times in the shower since I didn’t want to “splash” all over my clothes or bathroom counter. I poured a cap full of the Green Tea mask thinking I was in for a nice calming green tea treatment. But after patting onto my skin, I could really feel the active ingredients against my skin. It was clear this product is a seriously potent mix of ingredients (and that explains why it only takes 15 seconds to work). The first time, I got too close to my eyes, and I couldn’t even open them because of the stinging. By my second attempt, I learned my lesson.
Fuller earth is easily available in stone as well as powdered form. In order to make a pack, the powdered fuller earth will be the best. Just take two spoons of fuller earth and mix it with plain water till it becomes a smooth paste. Make sure there is no lump. You can use a spoon to make paste. Once this is done apply it over your face so that it covers all portions. Wait till it is dry and wash with plain water.
Antioxidant Serum: Rouleau suggests looking for an antioxidant serum with brightening ingredients like vitamin C and algae extract, as well as naturally revitalizing ingredients like rosemary and peppermint. We’re fans of Caudalie’s Polyphenol C15 Anti-Wrinkle Defense Serum ($62).