From essences to sheet masks, Korean beauty products and trends are taking over the American beauty market. Everyone is talking about the 10-step routine that is popular among the skin-centric women of Seoul. But it’s a total exaggeration. The first thing I learned when taking on this experiment: A week on a Korean skin-care regimen does not mean a 10-step process every day.
Creams you apply in the morning are equipped to protect your skin from the environmental aggressors you’ll face when you leave the house—many contain antioxidants to minimize pollution-based free radicals and sunscreen to shield you from ultraviolet radiation. They typically have a lightweight consistency. Night creams, on the other hand, focus on repairing any damage you might have picked up with ingredients like retinol to speed cellular turnover and counteract dark spots. These creams also replenish moisture levels, which naturally dip in the evening, with emollients that often create a rich, thick texture.
We wanted an anti-aging cream with a full arsenal of defenses, so we required our top picks to contain hyaluronic acid of some type. But we opted to bring all 8 of our remaining contenders into the office for hands-on testing — four with HA and four without. This allowed us to check out drugstore runners-up like RoC, which are a lot cheaper and easier to find than brands like La Prairie (and can be paired with a face moisturizer containing HA).
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.
“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
Wash your face with a natural, organic cleanser. Natural cleansers can be found at a health food store or in many chain drugstores. Look for a cleanser with a glycerin or castille soap base that cleans without stripping the skin’s protective acid mantle. Other ingredients that are soothing and cleansing include essential oils, coconut, aloe vera, chamomile and oats.
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Protecting yourself from sun damage will make you feel better now (how much fun could a sunburn really be?) and later on. Wear at least SPF 15 every day (higher if you’re spending time in strong sun) to help prevent skin cancer, wrinkles and sunburn. Oh, and don’t even think about going to the tanning bed.
Antibiotics are available with a doctor’s prescription only. Antibiotics can be very helpful for acne that is swollen and red, or for acne that is not improving with other medications. The antibiotics kill the bacteria which contribute to whiteheads.
“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
Glycolic Acid Product: When it comes to keeping your normal skin normal, Rouleau suggests incorporating glycolic acid into your routine a few times a week. “This is an [alpha-hydroxy acid] that is favored because it has the smallest molecular structure and can absorb deeper within the skin,” Rouleau explains. “This helps to dissolve surface dry skin cells to encourage brighter, more even-toned, smoother skin.” Try Dr. Dennis Gross’s Alpha Beta Peel ($48) for easy, on-the-go smoothing and brightening.
If your skin is too sensitive to use Retin-A, retinol is an alternative, although the effects are less impressive. Retinol may improve mottled pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, skin texture, and skin tone and color.
BeautyFace Care Tips: 10 Dos And Don’ts For Naturally Beautiful SkinFace Care Tips: 10 Dos and Don’ts for Naturally Beautiful SkinAashna Ahuja | Updated: October 23, 2017 17:29 ISTTweeterfacebookGoogle Plus Reddit
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Promising Review: “I struggle with a lot of adult acne, including painful cysts, oily skin, and a ton of blackheads and pimples. This scrub, and many other Yes to Tomatoes products have been the only thing to control my breakouts. This face wash is perfect for sensitive skin. And the exfoliating property helps with my blackheads.” —OnlineShopper
“Despite what you hear all the time, the amount of water you drink daily doesn’t translate into proper skin hydration. It’s vital to hydrate your skin from the outside in with serums, creams, and hydrating mists.” –Dendy Engelman, dermatologist at Manhattan Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery
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).
Is peach not your color? This Clearasil product offers 10% benzoyl peroxide for killing acne bacteria fast, without the familiar peach tint. It’s great for killing acne bacteria fast, but like the tinted version of Clearasil, it can also cause itching, peeling, burning, and stinging if it is applied to unblemished skin. This product also retails for US $6.99 for 1 oz/28 grams.
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With the many options of wrinkle creams available, it is not always easy to know if you are making a safe and effective choice. Here are a few tips to ensure you have chosen a safe and reliable brand.
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.
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.
American Academy of Dermatology: “Acne,” “Dry skin: Signs and symptoms,” “Dermatologists’ top tips for relieving dry skin,” “How to Create an anti-aging skin care plan,” “Melanoma,” “Skincare on a budget.”