Contrary to popular belief, sunscreen doesn’t cause acne. And while red, sunburned skin might temporarily hide your pimples, getting burned too many times can also leave you with premature lines and wrinkles, and increase your risk for skin cancer. You want to protect your skin when you’re outside in the sun without slathering on gobs of greasy sunscreen.
The three-piece set doesn’t come with an SPF, but Paula’s Choice has one in the line, the Clear Ultra-Light Daily Fluid SPF 30+. “Sun protection is really important, especially with acneic skin,” says Townsend. “In many cases, stronger acne products can make the skin photosensitive to the sun.” This isn’t your normal gloppy white sunscreen. Its fluid formula slips over tender skin, doesn’t need a ton of rubbing in, and also leaves a mattifying finish.
How long the results last varies from several months to over a year or two. Some research shows that repeated injections may help stimulate the body’s own natural production of collagen. That will help reduce the number of lines and wrinkles. There is also some evidence that less filler is needed over time to achieve the same look.
The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology states that salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are by far the most common acne ingredients and they’re effective in double-blind studies of patients with mild-to-moderately severe acne. We looked for kits that included at least one ingredient targeting each camp: the comedones and the pimples.
Since retinoids are so sensitive to sunlight, leaving a clear glass jar of wrinkle cream by your bathroom window could render it ineffective. “Have you ever noticed how vitamins and prescription drugs are distributed in containers to protect from UV light? Those amber prescription bottles from CVS are amber for a reason!” says chemist Jennifer Reid. So the first thing we did was double-check that none of our 12 finalists came in clear packaging, a test they passed without difficulty.
Though it does well on its own, if used with the Expanded Acne Treatment Kit, it guarantees a clearer skin in 30 days, or you get your money back. So, that’s something worth keeping as an option as well.
To help avoid skin irritation with alpha-hydroxy acids, it’s best to start with a product with low concentrations of AHA. Also, give your skin a chance to get used to the product. Start out by applying AHA skin products every other day, gradually working up to a daily application. Don’t use too much; follow the instructions on the package.
My Experience: I made my own little two-step SPF program. I started with the Neogen Day-Light Protection Sun Screen ($30, sephora.com), which I applied after my moisturizer every morning. And I finished everything off with the Amorepacific Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ ($60, us.amorepacific.com). This bouncy compact filled with tinted moisturizer not only provided SPF coverage, but it also gave me a glowing complexion without that cakey makeup feel. A cushion compact seemed like the best place to end since it’s a makeup innovation that’s also fresh out of Korean beauty culture.
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.
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.
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.
If you’ve found that your skin is too raw and sensitive to handle any treatment at all, don’t despair: there’s still hope. Thi Nguyen, program development specialist in dermatology at pharmaceutical research organization Biorasi, told us: “Patients with sensitive skin are not obligated to use topical products. Modifications like limiting dairy consumption and eating foods that are low on the glycemic index scale can be helpful.” Because skin issues tend to be a combination of genetic, dietary, and external factors, finding a solution to your acne requires more astute sleuthing than brute-force doses of chemicals.
Promising Review: “I can actually understand all of the products that make up this wash. I have many allergies, and this product does not contain any of them. It cleans my skin gently without drying it!” —Penny
A black skin care regimen should include a skin toner. Skin toners offer many benefits to the skin including: restoring the natural pH balance of the skin, reducing skin oil secretions, sloughing away dead skin cells, clearing away impurities and encouraging blood circulation. Skin toners give the skin a brighter, livelier appearance and should be applied to the face and neck following the cleansing process. Avoid skin toners containing harmful ingredients such as isopropyl alcohol, ethanol and alcohol. For best results, choose a skin toner especially designed for dark skin.
Developed by Radical Skincare within the United States by Liz and Rachel Edlich, this company has been pioneering skincare in many ways. They have several products using their “Trylacel Technology” and empty several scientists and advisors to develop their formulas and compounds.*
It is always a good idea to conduct a bit of research on the manufacturer prior to purchase. This can easily be done online. A credible manufacturer will often have an abundance of positive reviews, and you will be able to easily find information regarding their company and skin care products.
“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.”
A couple of affordable and readily available drugstore brands landed in this category. They contain retinoids and AHAs, the two most important anti-wrinkle ingredients. All they lack is sodium hyaluronate — our favorite moisturizer. An easy work-around is to add a face moisturizer to your routine — preferably one that does contain sodium hyaluronate. (Our top picks for best face moisturizer both feature it, if you need a recommendation.)
“My number one tip is absolutely my favorite skincare tip: Drink a green juice every day. It will be a great replacement to your afternoon coffee and will transform your skin in a matter of days. The ingredients in the juice help oxygenate the skin and stimulate lymphatic drainage, so it’s de-puffing too! Start by eating a bit of avocado every day or even throwing half of an avocado into your morning smoothie. Avocado supplies the skin with healthy fats and phytonutrients to hydrate from the inside out and bring back your glow.” — Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and founder of Joanna Vargas Salon and Joanna Vargas Skincare
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.
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).
Thus, we present to you our extensive guides of daily skincare routines. With the expertise of skin guru and esthetician Renée Rouleau, we’ve put together the exact products you should be using based on your particular skin type. Basically, we’re hoping to help you take the guesswork out of your a.m. and p.m. skin routines and explain why those with dry skin should use a cleansing milk or why anyone with sensitive skin should try a gel-based mask (serious game changer, by the way).
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Brinker TJ, et al. A dermatologist’s ammunition in the war against smoking: A photoaging app. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2017;19:1. https://www.jmir.org/2017/9/e326/. Accessed Oct. 12, 2017.
Clogged pores are a common—and preventable—cause of breakouts. Use Bioré’s deep-cleansing scrub two or three times a week to lift dirt and oil from your skin for a squeaky-clean, blemish-free complexion.
Natural products. While there is a trend towards using natural beauty and skin care products bear in mind that ‘natural’ preservative systems may not be as robust as those used in traditional cosmetics. Shelf lives may be shorter so you must be diligent in watching out for changes in smell, color or consistency.
The best acne products are essential for adults suffering from bad skin. While some women are lucky enough to outgrow teen acne (or skip it entirely — jerks), the rest of us need help dealing with the recurring blemishes in our 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond. That’s when this list of the best acne products — along with the ones you should avoid — becomes especially handy. With it, we can navigate the endless acne treatment options out there and hone in on the best acne products that will help us treat everything from cystic acne and the occasional monster zit to chin acne or recurring breakouts.
Don’t let the lack of any active ingredients in the Pore Normalizing Cleanser throw you off. This gentle gel is designed just to cleanse, not treat, which is a good thing: The Nurse Practitioner study emphasizes the importance of washing with mild cleansers in conjunction with topical acne medications to combat or avoid excessive skin irritation. This one is water-based and fragrance-free, and uses sodium laureth sulfate (as opposed to its harsh cousin sodium lauryl sulfate) to eliminate any chance for irritation.
Keep your skin healthy by eating smart. Fill your plate with veggies, fruits, and whole grains. Choose lean proteins like chicken, fish, lean meat, beans, and eggs. Avoid foods that are high in cholesterol, trans fats, saturated fats, salt, and sugar. Get plenty of sleep to avoid dark circles, fine lines, dull skin, and other side effects of bad rest. Relax! Even stress can make you break out. And stay hydrated.
For this skin type, use a gentle cleanser that doesn’t have alcohol or fragrances. Those ingredients can dry you out even more. Gently wash your skin, then rinse with plenty of warm water. Don’t use hot water — it removes the natural oils from your face faster. Try exfoliating once a week to get rid of flaky skin cells. It will make your skin look clearer and more even.
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