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“Prevention is the most important weapon against signs of aging because sun—which is avoidable—is responsible for 90% of skin aging. My favorite face sunscreen is Elta UV Physical Broad Spectrum SPF 41 because it doesn’t irritate even the most sensitive skin (we use it after procedures), it’s water-resistant, and has a transparent tint which is great for going sans makeup.”
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:
Jasmine extract is a soothing oil rich with antioxidants. Many clients of N.Y.C. dermatologist David Colbert treat their faces with Rodin Olio Lusso ($140; at oliolusso.com), which contains jasmine to condition the skin and give it a healthy look. Molly Sims is a fan.
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.
Disclaim Medical Advice: The information in the Dr. Bailey Skin Care web site, and related links, articles, newsletters and blogs, is provided as general information for educational and advertising purposes only. The information is the opinion of Dr. Cynthia Bailey, or other indicated authors. Consult your physician or health care provider for any specific medical conditions or concerns you may have. (This also applies to Dr. Bailey’s patients in her medical practice in Sebastopol – the information is not a substitute for, or an extension of, the medical care she provides her patients.) Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read here. Use the information and products referred to in this information at your own risk. Use of the Dr. Bailey Skin Care web site, and related links, articles, newsletters and blogs indicates your agreement with these statements and the Terms and Conditions of DrBaileySkinCare.com. If you do not agree to all of these Terms and Conditions of use, please do not use this site.
The Erno Laszlo Anti-Blemish Beta Wash ($45, sephora.com) has an antiseptic ingredient that helps clear away the bacteria behind your breakouts. There’s also salicylic acid to exfoliate the skin. Consider this the sophisticated version of the acne wash you used as a teen.
* Shea butter is a skin super food that comes from the seeds of the fruit of shea. The concentration of natural vitamins and fatty acids in shea butter makes it incredibly nourishing and moisturising for the skin.

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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).
You need to apply a moisturizer within three minutes of toweling your skin dry. Use hypoallergenic moisturizers with rich oils and water-binding ingredients that soak deeply into your skin. This locks in healing moisture that your skin soaked into the skin layers when you washed or bathed.
I’m done. At this point, I just lunge my entire body horizontal onto the hardwood floors and belly slide like a baby seal all the way to my bed. Consider applying just one or five more layers of lip balm. The control variable in this freak show is my morning routine which consists of America’s sweetheart duo: Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser and Priming Moisturizer Rich to keep things consistent and carefree. I would tell you about my airplane routine but we’ll take a raincheck on that for my future Youtube channel.
Visit a dermatologist. If you are struggling to find products that work for your skin, visit a dermatologist. They can help you identify your skin type while pinpointing the underlying issues that may be causing your concerns. They may even give you prescriptions that can help.
Your bath or shower has the potential to either hydrate or dry out your sensitive skin. To make your shower or bath therapeutically hydrating, don’t strip your natural skin oils with hot water (remember that hot water cleans greasy dishes better than warm water). Use only gentle soaps and cleansers on your sensitive skin and be sure to always rinse them off completely. Also, use them only where needed, meaning on the body-odor producing parts of your skin and the oily or soiled areas as I mentioned above.
Fights Dark Circles: If dark circles are troubling you, don’t worry. Just dab a little coconut oil and subtly massage into the eye area. Follow this regularly for about two weeks and you will see the result for yourself.
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.
Salicylic acid is an effective ingredient for treating the bother-some bikini-line issue, but some women find it too harsh. As an alternative, Ji Baek suggests a facial toner like 3Lab’s Perfect Beautifying toner ($55; 3lab.com) with lavender extract to soothe bumps and minimize redness.
Do not get injectable wrinkle fillers from sources outside a doctor’s office. Know what you are being injected with, and ask your doctor if an FDA-approved wrinkle filler is being used and if it was purchased directly from the maker. There have been reports of everything from industrial-grade silicone to baby oil being used. If a provider won’t give you this information, don’t let them do the procedure.
When washing skin, avoid abrasive puffs and just use your fingertips. If your routine includes a washcloth, get the gentler, low-loop terry ones made for newborns, says Wendy Allred, education manager at N.Y.C.’s Bliss spa.
“It’s a common misconception that those with an oily skin should avoid moisturizers,” Dr. Howard Murad told Bustle. In fact, it’s vital that even oily skin gets moisture because without it, skin will overcompensate for the loss of hydration [with more oil], leading to breakouts and an uneven skin texture.”
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.
A few of my personal faves: For starters, the Neogen White Truffle Laycure Oil Stick is a delectable tube for stressed-out skin, while the Yuri Pibu Grante Cleansing Foam is a non-drying cleanser infused with green tea that works wonders for sensitive complexions. To remove even the toughest makeup without leaving your skin raw, try a cotton pad soaked with Blithe Himalayan Pink Salt Cleansing Water, then throw on the Neogen Pink Cactus Hydramax Knit Mask to brighten dull skin in just 20 minutes or less.
Notably, The Ordinary is the only one of our finalists to have two types of retinoids on its ingredient list: a retinol and a retinoate. This means that it may be a little stronger than our other picks. And, in fact, it was the only formula where our testers noticed a light burning sensation after application. It’s not unusual for retinoids to cause stinging, itching, or tenderness, and it’s usually a sign to cut back on your use: Only apply the product once every two or three days while your skin adjusts, and monitor your reaction over the course of a few weeks. If your skin continues to react poorly, take it as a sign to choose a gentler formula or consult with your dermatologist for other options.
Why She Loves It: You’d be hard-pressed to find a derm anywhere who doesn’t have a bottle (or three) of this elixir on their shelf. Why all the love? It’s teeming with powerful ingredients, including antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E, and ferulic acid. “It acts as a neutralizing shield against ultraviolet radiation and free radicals, so your skin experiences less aging effects from sunlight and damaging pollution — and that means less brown spots, uneven redness, and wrinkles,” says Nazarian. Oh, and that little brown bottle is significant, too. The dark glass helps the formula stay stable, which is key when you’re dealing with vitamin C.
These three ingredients work together to enhance* your skin health. Hyaluronic Acid helps in moisturizing and tightening your skin; Argireline helps in smoothening wrinkles and fine lines while Matrixyl 3000 and collagen work together to give your skin a youthful appearance.
Aretha C. Smith began her professional writing career in 2004. She has authored several training guides for Dalhousie University, where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English. Smith also holds a diploma in library information management from Nova Scotia Community College.
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.
Apply a homemade, natural face mask once or twice per week. Mash one ripe banana with one egg white and coat your face, neck and decolletage with the mixture. Leave the mask on for 15 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water.
Wrinkles form for a variety of reasons, but photoaging (damage to the skin from sunlight) is a big one. Sunlight breaks down collagen and elastin in the skin — two proteins which help the skin connect and remain flexible. As they break down, the skin slowly becomes weaker and less supple, leading to drooping.
Retinol is the crème de la crème (or cream, or serum) when it comes to anti-aging, but it can take some trial and error to find the one that works for you. For example, if you really think a retinol cream is right for you but you have sensitive skin, find a retinol formula targeted for sensitive skin (and we have a top recommendation in that category). If you have deeper wrinkles, look for a dropper or pen-type applicator that makes it easier to directly apply the product just where you need it.
“If you rub your eyes like you are scrubbing a pot, your eyes will look black like a pot! When you’re taking off eye makeup, gently wipe off mascara as if you’re touching an egg.” –Jeanine Downie, dermatologist, New Jersey
A good skin care regimen for black skin should include use of a daily skin cleanser. Skin cleansers rid the skin of dirt, makeup and oil, leaving it clean and refreshed. A cleanser specifically formulated for black skin is best; you should refrain from using cleansers containing abrasive ingredients such as alcohol, dyes, propylene glycol, lanolin and fragrances. Such ingredients may lead to irritation of the skin or hyperpigmentation. Be sure to cleanse the skin gently.
Don’t let price be your guide. If you are offered a wrinkle filler treatment that costs far less than the standard treatment, it’s likely some compromises are being made, either in the skill of the provider or the quality of the product. Never risk making a bargain with your face.
“It’s the lifestyle and mind-set behind skin that’s really getting people interested in Korean skin-care rituals,” says Cho. And if you’re one of those intrigued by the lengthy routine, see what my week on a Korean skin-care regimen was like—step by step and mask by mask.
“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
Hyaluronic acid is part of the body’s connective tissues, and is known to cushion and lubricate. Aging destroys hyaluronic acid. Diet and smoking can also affect your body’s level of hyaluronic acid over time.
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!
“Did you know that some cleansers may shrink your skin cells, making your face feel dry and uncomfortable? DailyClear Daily Face Wash is scientifically formulated to gently cleanse deep into your pores, moisturize and soften skin, and prevent overdrying.”
a. Natural Cleanser: Packed with anti-inflammatory properties, the juice of this spice helps in easing your acne worries. A great natural cleanser, ginger juice can be applied regularly by those who have acne and pimples to clean and unclog their skin.
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.
“Ginseng applied topically is one of my favorite skincare tips—it works to stimulate blood flow in the capillaries, promoting a healthy, firmed, glowing-from-within visage. Bonus points if you layer a product containing plumping hyaluronic acid with your ginseng! Try it with Soyedodam’s Ginseng Hydrogel Sheet Mask ($9).” — Sarah Lee and Christine Chang
The key ingredients that are used by the manufacturer are Matrixyl-3000, Argireline, and SYN-AKE. These ingredients work together to preserve stem cells for healing, repairing, and fighting the signs of aging.
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.[9]
Product picks from my practice: Vanicream Cleansing Bar, Naturally Best Bar Soap for Dry Skin. (Other sensitive skin product options include naturally made unscented glycerin soaps or Dove Unscented Bar Soap.)

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