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.
This rosewater spray is a classic in makeup bags everywhere—including Emma Watson’s. Simply spritz all over your face whenever you’re skin feels dehydrated, whether from a long flight or extra time spent in the sun.
With so many skincare products on the market, choosing the right combination might seem overwhelming, but creating a skincare routine can be fun! To make sure that your routine works for you, you should first consider what type of skin you have. You can then put together a personalized regimen of cleansers, toners, moisturizers, exfoliants, and masks. Within a few months, you will be delighted by your beautiful skin!
Hi there. You don’t know me very well—I’m Sam! I work on the Glossier Communications team—but if you met me, you would know I’m pathologically obsessed with my skin. I constantly seek to make it brighter and tighter. I am also (plot twist!) tormented by my burning desire for more skincare products, to buy and also to apply. My life force comes from the feeling of treating myself each night, then waking up and seeing the results. The longer I do it, the more products I acquire. So much so that my skincare routine has become as many steps as it is humanly possible to do before bed. You could not possibly accomplish something longer—at that point it would become a morning skincare routine and no longer count in the category. With that, I should disclose that while I was born a Capricorn (who is also Ambitious, Wise, Disciplined, and Patient according to the internet) I’m actually not trying to fix anything. I just fucking LOVE doing the steps. From reading the comment section on ITG for years, I get the sense that you do, too. So why don’t you take a load off and join me? It goes something like this:
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.
Use brightening products if you have dull skin. Dull skin is a common side effect of dry or mature skin. If you are looking for more of a glow, try to find products that contain Vitamin C, arbutin, niacinamide, and mulberry extract. These products are more effective when used together, so feel free to mix and match.
Certain ingredients can cause dryness. According to Women’s Health, it’s best if you avoid or phase out products containing the following ingredients if you experience dryness: retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, alcohol, salicylic acid, fragrances, and preservatives.
Apply a natural toner made from lemon juice and water. Fill a water bottle or other container with one part freshly squeezed lemon juice and five parts filtered water. Apply the lemon juice toner with a cotton ball and do not rinse off.
So, moving on from that, Begoun gives Estee Lauder Perfectionist CP+R Wrinkle Lifting Serum a perfect 5-star rating, calling it, “…a formidable, ultra-silky serum to consider in the battle against signs of aging.” It’s loaded with ingredients that will repair and improve the look and feel of your skin.
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?”
Don’t overdo it. It can be tempting to layer on lots of cream, especially if you’re excited about trying out a new product. But everyone’s sensitivity to retinol and AHAs is different, so it’s best to be cautious until you know how well your skin will tolerate the product. Dr. Ford recommends a graduated approach: “We tell our patients to begin using retinol on Mondays and Thursdays for a few weeks, then up it to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a few more weeks, and eventually you’ll just be taking weekends off. Some people can tolerate these products every day of the week.”
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• Ferment Extract. It often comes with a scary long sciencey word in front of it (pseudoalteromonas), but it is an all-natural Peptide loaded with essential Amino Acids that may serve to reduce wrinkles and fine lines. Scientists used 3D optical measurements to see an effect on skin creases compared to the placebo, and results show great potential.*7 Peptides in general have been found to be potentially important in helping improve your skin, however the research is still very new.*8
“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
Face Oil: Your skin gets drier as it ages, so consider incorporating a nourishing face oil with anti-aging ingredients, like Sunday Riley’s Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil ($90), into your p.m. skin regimen a few times a week.
The skin on your lips needs love too! Get rid of pesky flakes by exfoliating once or twice a week with a lip scrub and slicking on a layer of your favorite lip balm after. You’ll like the way your lips feel! For an easy DIY exfoliant, mix equal parts petroleum jelly and sugar in your palm, slather it on and rinse with warm water.
We know “10” can seem daunting for starters, so we’re here to break it down for you! And remember, while we showcase all 10 steps of the classic K–Beauty Skincare Routine, you can select and choose steps that align with your personal skin goals. You heard it here first: Once you go 10–Step, there is no turning back.
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.
Maximize cucumber’s calming effect by shredding it—that way it will cover more of your puffy eyes than two little slices. Skin-care expert Ole Henriksen recommends a treatment that’s loved by clients like Jessica Alba: Wrap grated cuke, sushi-style, in cheese cloth. Sit down, tilt your head back, and place the roll across your eyes.
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.
• Beta-Glucan. It’s actually a type of sugar that just might be very good for your skin. Research suggests that it may have the potential to wash out sebum and other bodily compounds that are clogging pores.*9
And a lightweight face oil imbued with protective antioxidants and anti-inflammatory omegas will further buoy your skin’s defenses. No matter what your skin type, “don’t be afraid to moisturize,” says New York City dermatologist Whitney Bowe. “Anyone can get dehydrated, and with dryness comes low-grade, chronic inflammation, which leads to premature wrinkling.”
The real difference between the two is texture: Dr. Dennis Gross Brightening Solution is a thin, lightweight serum applied via a dropper. La Prairie is a creamy, luxurious-feeling lotion with a faint citrus scent that we loved. Your choice comes down to your budget and personal preference.
“Retinol is the best-studied OTC ingredient to minimize signs of skin aging, and this is my go-to product for that. It stimulates collagen production to help keep the skin foundation strong. Ultimately, this helps the skin resist lines and wrinkles from setting in. Not all retinol products are created equally; it is important to choose a product that has proven stability, penetration into the skin, and a clinical effect.”
My Experience: I’m all for lazy exfoliating options like wipes instead of scrubs, which is why Cho’s recommendation of Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine ($21, amazon.com) was perfect for me. I could easily exfoliate away, while watching The Bachelor on my couch. The double-sided wipes were packed with red wine (which you could seriously smell, but in a nonalcoholic stench) and lactic acid. The gauze side was bumpier allowing you to really feel as though your sloughing away any gunk clogging up your pores. Then the quilted side gave you a gentle finish to the process. I did this three times during the seven-day trial.
When you want deep exfoliation, do it longer, not harder, as you cleanse your skin. “Don’t think scrub when you’re using one,” since too much force is harmful, says Kenneth Milstead of Bliss Hollywood spa.
Avoid harsh cleansers and soaps, which can strip your skin of necessary oils. Among the ingredients to avoid are sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, which are foaming agents, and alcohol, which can be extremely drying and irritating to the skin. Joni Loughran in “Natural Skin Care” recommends investing in a cosmetic ingredient reference book so you can look up which chemicals to avoid and their effects on the skin.
So that’s why, ordinary face washes and cleansers don’t work out for acne-prone skins. This carefully formulated, ultra-gentle cleanser from acne.org rinses your skin clean without disrupting your skin pH levels.
If you have any kind of inflammatory acne—think red, puss-filled bumps—these stickers are life changing. Nexcare Acne Absorbing Covers ($8, amazon.com) are thick, gel covers that work like a sponge, absorbing oil and puss. You can actually see it working because the translucent patch turns white when the dressing needs to be changed. Bonus: It’ll keep you from touching your zit, and you can even apply makeup over it, too.
You thought you’d outgrown acne like an old high-school sweetheart, but 45 percent of women in their 20s still regularly battle bumps, says Bowe. In this decade, docs have shifted the list of triggers from clogged pores and overactive bacteria to unbalanced hormones, which typically cause pimples to sprout on the chin and jawline right around the time of your period. Sometimes acne flairs up when women go off the pill after many years not realizing (light bulb!) it was preventing both pimples and pregnancies. For some, returning to the pill can quickly rectify the problem (talk options with your gynecologist).
Apply toner after your cleanser. Toner should be applied once you have dried your face after cleansing. Pump a small amount of toner onto a cotton pad, and simply wipe over your face. Avoid the eye area. Let the toner dry on your skin. You do not need to rinse off.
You want to continue to protect your skin’s natural barrier, so use a gentle face wash in the morning and evening, says Marmur. To make dull skin more luminous, try a cleanser with hydroxy acids, which increase cell renewal; you can also use a mild scrub several times a week or a cleansing brush.
Don’t neglect the rest of your routine. This includes the obvious: Wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser. If you wear heavy eye makeup, invest in a dedicated eye makeup remover to avoid tugging at the delicate skin around your eyes more than necessary. You may also want to explore eye creams, which use many of the same ingredients found in wrinkle creams, but in gentle doses intended for the very thin skin under your eyes.
All acne is not, actually, created equal. This makes perfect sense, seeing as there are so many factors, from hygiene to hormones to genetics, that can both lead to and exacerbate your breakouts. But knowledge is power, and just knowing that there are different types—and that each kind requires its own plan of attack—puts you ahead of the clear-skin curve. Once you figure out what you’re working with, it gets far easier to treat. Here, your ultimate guide to identifying, and then taking down, every type of acne out there.
The best wrinkle cream should be pleasant to put on and wear. You’re committing to a long-term routine, after all. Keeping in mind that everyone’s skin is different, we looked for any glaringly obvious issues in the immediate aftermath of use.
One easy way to de-stress your skin? Pare down your makeup routine so your pores can be exposed to actual oxygen. If you aren’t willing to go completely makeup-free, try using just concealer, lip balm and mascara—even if only on the weekend. Hey, the look is called “fresh-faced” for a reason!