Once my canvas is clear and I have the facial muscle structure of a seasoned saxophone player, I like to take a journey to my personal, at-home sauna. It’s where I plug in my beloved Dr. Dennis Gross facial steamer. After feeding her some bottled distilled water (I know), I sit on my toilet (the lid!) and allow the device to bless me with a soothing mist of light steam to annihilate anything lingering in my pores. This turns my face into a delicate, porcelain sponge that will soak in every last drop of sorcery that’s to come.
Of course, products aren’t the only acne solution. That’s why we talked to Doris Day, M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the New York University Langone Medical Center. She gave us these tips on how to prevent zits from popping up in the first place:
Men with acne need to pay attention to their skin care regimen, too. Shaving can be both a plus and minus for a man’s skin. The plus is that shaving each day acts as a natural exfoliant, opening your pores so the excess oil can drain out. But if you shave the wrong way or use the wrong products, you could wind up with more acne. Or, you could get razor bumps, which aren’t acne but look a lot like them. Razor bumps pop up when newly cut, sharp-ended hairs turn back into the skin and make the skin swell up.
If you assume a crusty cut at the corner of your mouth is chapped lips, don’t. It could be perlèche, a fungal infection. Dab on an antibiotic ointment like Neosporin ($8; at Walgreens) every few hours to kill the bacteria, says Dr. Fusco.
If you wear makeup, choose products that have “nonacnegenic” or “noncomedogenic” on the label. They should be less likely to cause acne or clog pores. Look for makeup that’s water-based and not oil-based. Some products have expiration dates, even though they aren’t required. Most of the time, you’ll need to replace eye makeup first. For example, don’t use mascara longer than 4 months.
There are a variety of anti-wrinkle creams on the market, and the results of each cream greatly depend on the individual’s specific skin care needs. Anti-wrinkle creams that contain all-natural ingredients fare better than many creams that contain filler ingredients, and certain fragrances.
In today’s economy, it is important for consumers to compare prices on items before making a purchase. While there is a variety of anti-wrinkle creams that offer amazing results, the reality is that they can often be costly.
Though it’s a well known industry truth that it’s worth paying more for skincare rather than splashing out for makeup, there are now a few cheap gems out there that are well worth adding to your basket; for we sensitive types, I’d say it’s a smart move too because unless you know your exact beauty demons there’s always the risk of reaction and therefore of wasting your hard-earned cash.
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.
There’s no need to slather your face in day-glo green or mud and scare off all the neighborhood kids. Experts say masks and scrubs do little, if anything, to improve acne. A gentle, non-abrasive cleanser that’s formulated for your skin type (oily, dry, or combination) will do a lot more to keep your face pimple-free.
“Complete nutrition for the epidermis is critical. The epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin) is a key protective structure that uses 23 vitamins. These vitamins must be provided at therapeutic concentrations and delivered within the epidermis for optimum skin health. A vitamin serum is non-irritating and formulated with vitamins A, B, C, D, and E to give skin the nutrition it needs.” — Carl Thornfeldt, MD
“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.
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Skincare DO’S & DON’TS You Need To Know!
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Do: Make sure you always (and we mean always) remove your makeup before hitting the sheets. The skin needs to breathe overnight. And makeup prevents that, as leaving it on overnight clogs the pores which may cause blemishes and/or blackheads. Don’t possess a makeup remover? Just put some olive oil on a cotton pad and gently massage the oil onto your face to get rid of the makeup and dirt.
One word of caution, though: Dr. Lawrence Green, board-certified dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at George Washington University, warns that even moderate acne can be beyond what an over-the-counter treatment can handle, and recommends seeing a specialist. Our advice: Track your progress while using any over-the-counter treatments, and consider consulting a doctor if your skin continues to worsen or not improve after one month.
“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
Apply a water-based moisturizer. Using a heavy moisturizer might make your skin even oilier. To combat this, use a water or gel-based moisturizer instead. These are moisturizers where water is listed as the first or second ingredient.
Yes, you do. If you are talking about using a device, such as an exfoliating brush or cloth, then you will definitely use a facial wash. A chemical exfoliator on the other hand, may require a different additional prep, usually after you have cleansed the skin. Follow the directions of the exfoliator you purchased. These articles may be helpful: http://www.wikihow.com/Use-a-Glycolic-Acid-Peel http://www.wikihow.com/Exfoliate-Your-Face
“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
“Don’t: Eat spicy and fermented foods, salt, citrus fruits, fried food. Instead favour blander foods such as rice, oatmeal and applesauce”, advises American author and Ayurvedic physician, Vasant Lad, in The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies.
We also like the Dermalogica Clear Start Kit — in fact, we liked it so much, it almost made our top pick until we realized that the company only sells kits with travel-sized products. At $42, it’s not the cheapest of our recommendations, and if you buy the five products separately (so you have more than a few days’ supply), you’ll be paying closer to $100. But if you’re able to spend more on your skin care, we loved the combination of active and natural ingredients. For a less expensive option, there’s also the Neutrogena Complete Acne Therapy System, which contains a cleanser, control lotion, and sunscreen for just $24.
Don’t: Neglect the basics. Make Sudarshan Kriya your beauty mantra. Yes, it’s that easy. Just breathing right could rid you of spots and pimples. Nidhi Gureja, Art of Living, says “Sudarshan Kriya is a breathing technique which incorporates specific natural rhythms of the breath that harmonize the body, mind and emotions. This helps releasing accumulated stresses, and each individual’s experience is different.”
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Be on the lookout for these nine warning signs if you’re not sure about your current routine. If you’re experiencing these things, you just might want to pull a Beyonce, tell your skincare routine that it’s time to “Upgrade U,” and try something new.
The makeup-removing wipes from beloved beauty brand RMS are soaked in pure, organic coconut oil. You get to reap all the benefits of using coconut oil to remove stubborn makeup with extra-chic packaging and portability.
Multani mitti is the best suited face pack for oily skin. It helps to remove acne prone skin. Prepare a paste of Multani mitti with the required amount of rosewater. You can also add a pinch of turmeric into it. Apply this solution on the skin. Leave it to dry and rinse it off with lukewarm water.
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.
“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
TeensHealth: “I used another girl’s lip pencil sharpener for my lip pencil. Can I get any diseases from doing that?” “Can I Prevent Acne?” “Does Putting Toothpaste on a Pimple Make It Go Away?” “Indoor Tanning,” “Melanoma,” “Myths About Acne,” “Tanning,” “Why Do I Get Acne?”
Prevents Growth Of Facial Hair: South Indian women, in earlier days, used to apply a fine paste of turmeric powder mixed with water. They did this daily while bathing to prevent the growth of facial hair.
Drinking six to eight glasses of water a day is beyond important for your skin—hydration starts from the inside out. Hate plain water? Take a cue from Emma Watson and chug coconut water, which is naturally sweet and chock-full o’ nutrients.