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AHA/BHA Serum: Any serum with alpha-hydroxy acids or beta-hydroxy acids will help reduce the appearance of large pores as well as brighten dull spots. If you’re acne-prone, look for ingredients like salicylic acid and tea-tree oil to keep your skin clear. Try Ren’s Radiance Perfection Serum ($55) or Dr. Dennis Gross’s Hydra-Pure Vitamin C Brightening Serum ($95).
Melissa, a shy chemistry major at University of California, Davis, has dealt with acne since 5th grade. She’s avoided cameras and makeup for a long time and is eager to overcome her self-consciousness. Photo credit: http://www.michaelmasser.co.uk
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Boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding Intensive Wash-Off Treatment ($38, sephora.com) contains activated charcoal (duh) that absorbs all kinds of impurities and clears out clogged pores. It also contains willowherb, an ultra-soothing ingredient to reduce any post-treatment inflammation. The spatula for application that comes with it makes the whole treatment feel, well, pretty luxurious. Keep a jar of it for a rainy spa day at home.
One of the most important ways to take care of your skin is to protect it from the sun. A lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, age spots and other skin problems — as well as increase the risk of skin cancer.
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.
“Moisturizers help our skin barrier by providing lipids, protecting from external chemicals, and providing water to our sometimes parched skin. My all-time favorite moisturizer is of course virgin coconut oil.” — Vermén Verallo-Rowell, MD, of VMV Hypoallergenics
When it comes to anti-aging treatments, the neck is often woefully neglected. Yet despite a focus on the face, the neck ages just as fast. Thankfully, the beauty industry is wising up to concerns that fall just below the jaw-line. Our favorite products include everything from exfoliators that dissolve dead skin cells to moisturizers that target this very delicate area. Not only do they promise a firmer, tighter look right now, but also the hope of less creping and fewer wrinkles in the future.
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.
Creams and lotions with alpha-hydroxy acids may help with fine lines, irregular pigmentation, and age spots. Side effects of alpha-hydroxy acids include mild irritation and sun sensitivity. For that reason, sunscreen should be used every morning.
I know I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: As the Senior Editor and Researcher for Skincare at Woman’s Answers, my job is to empower you with knowledge that will help you find the best products for your skincare solutions.
If you give the Regular Strength kit a try and don’t see the results you want, Paula’s Choice also has an Extra Strength Clear Acne Kit that boosts the Daily Skin Clearing Treatment up to 5 percent benzoyl peroxide (and replaces the sodium hyaluronate in the exfoliant with green tea extract) to give your acne a real kick. But we recommend starting with the regular strength version. “When it comes to strong products, less is more,” Townsend says.
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!
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Dry patches are a major pain when it comes to skincare. They look flaky, they’re tough to cover up with makeup, and they’re not always in the most flattering of spots. Random dryness can be a sign that your products may contain the wrong ingredients.
This anti-aging product wasn’t as bionic as we thought, but it worked well. This is a worthy retinol cream that is effective, but does not contain the ingredients spoken about. Without these, results are slow and not less visible. Sunday Riley and the other brands are all trustworthy and can be depended on for several products.*
Purpose: The purpose of your mask depends on what your skin needs. Cho recommends a hydrating mask like Skinfood Hydro Fitting Snail Mask Sheet ($13, amazon.com). But you can also choose one for brightening that may be packed with vitamin C. This is not an every-night step, you really only need to do it twice a week. In fact, Cho explains that you can swap a sheet mask for a serum or essence to cut time off your routine. “The mask contains those treatment products already,” she explains.
Formulas that claim to be unscented can still contain aromatic essential oils, which may upset sensitive skin, says spa owner March. If perfumes tend to irritate your skin, check for labels that say “fragrance free.” First Aid Beauty Gentle body wash ($14; at firstaidbeauty.com) is mild and still ultra-moisturizing.
Think of your skin like a sponge—it’s more difficult to rehydrate it when it’s dried up and hardened than when it’s already a bit damp. Toners are the product that dampens your skin and balances its pH levels. Sprinkle one into your hands and tap it directly onto your skin or dispense it onto a cotton pad and gently swipe around your face working outwards.
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.
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However, Boots No7 Lift & Luminate Night Cream earns only a 2-star rating at Beautypedia. While Begoun acknowledges that it makes skin feel “smooth, silky-soft, and beautifully hydrated,” and praises its good mix of ingredients, she dings it for containing fragrance — a serious concern for those with chemical sensitivities. It’s also packaged in a jar instead of a more sanitary pump-style dispenser. Dipping your fingers into a jar lends itself to the risk of contaminating the ingredients. Still, many people prefer jar packaging for its convenience, and if you wash your hands before applying and have no sensitivities to fragrances, we highly recommend this product — it’s a great performer at a not-too-bad price.
I’m a big fan of hydrolyzed collagen in moisturizers. It refines the skin surface and gives it a beautiful texture. It also tends to only be in the more expensive creams so I was excited to find this. Immediately after I spread it over my clean face my skin turned bright red as though I had a bad sunburn. My face also heated up to a very uncomfortable level. It died down after an hour or so but why use something that hurts? I had to cover my face with straight aloe vera gel to calm it down. I also felt that it was too light weight for my 63 year old complexion.
“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
Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Set aside a few hours over the weekend (or a Monday night, if you can swing it), slather on a moisturizing face mask like Kiehl’s Algae Masque, $27, and take a hot bubble bath. Once you’ve emerged from your Mr. Bubble-induced bliss, wash off the mask and moisturize with face cream or oil. You’ll be amazed at how calming your own bathroom can be!
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.
Consider boosters, serums, and ampoules as concentrated essences that directly treat the issues you’re most concerned about. Whether they target dull skin, large pores, pigmentation, wrinkles, or acne, serums are the ideal skin-perfecting step. Gently tap these into your skin!
PAULA’S CHOICE VS. EXPOSED SKIN CARE As much as I hate to admit it fellas, I fell for it. Yes siree, I fell for the acne treatment products by Paula Begoun sold under the brand name ‘Paula’s Choice’ despite being a severe skeptic of hyper-marketed products and claims. With a reputation that far precedes her, Read More …
Even oily skin needs hydration and protection throughout the day. This Mattifying fluid retains and replenishes moisture that is lost during the day. It is ideal for oily skin as it has a water based formula.
“Nodules and cysts are deeper than any other type of acne lesion,” says Dr. Bowe. “They’re filled with a combination of puss and fluid, but don’t try to pop them.” By doing so, you’d be rupturing their contents deep in the skin and could likely cause scarring. For angry zits like these, Renee Rouleau Anti-Cyst Treatment ($42.50, reneerouleau.com) is a miracle worker thanks to lactic acid and ethyl lactate, which help dissolve cell-blocking pores and decrease bacteria, respectively. Within hours of using, you’ll see that big, bad cyst slowly creeping its way back down.
These pore cleansing pads are supposed to remove dirt and makeup with a small amount of sodium hydroxide, which is also known as lye. They are supposed to open pores with salicylic acid, and the pads include the right amount of salicylic acid to do the job. The problem is that the sodium hydroxide used to remove oil and makeup neutralizes the salicylic acid so that it can’t do its job. The pads also contain alcohol and menthol that can actually stimulate sebum production on sensitive skin. Even at the bargain price of US $5.49 for 90 pads, Clearasil Pore Cleansing Pads can’t be recommended.
Kojic acid is a more recent remedy for treating pigment problems and age spots. First developed in 1989, kojic acid has a similar effect as hydroquinone. Kojic acid is made from a fungus, and studies have shown that it is effective at lightening skin.
When we asked what those types of other ingredients are, Dr. Green said there were no clear answers there either — skin is too subjective. “I think the best answer is to use one that feels good and rubs into your skin well without over-drying it,” he says. The more comfortable it is to apply, the more likely you are to keep up the regimen.