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The science behind skin-care products has come a long way but there’s still no such thing as an instant fix — you need time to reap the benefits, says Dr. Rachel Nazarian, a Manhattan dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group. “Results are only seen through consistent use,” she explains. Generally, aim to use a product over at least six weeks, once or twice daily, to notice a difference.  
Pick soothing ingredients if you have irritation. Irritation and flaky skin can be common for both dry and sensitive skin types. To soothe your skin, pick products that contain moisturizing ingredients, such as aloe, chamomile, green tea extract, or Vitamin C.[17]
Nothing slows down your morning routine more than sorting through 15 different bottles and jars. Plus, overloading your skin with products can make it freak out (think rashes, breakouts). Keep your regimen down to a cleanser, toner, moisturizer and spot treatment, if needed. Your pores will thank you, and you’ll get out the door 10 minutes faster!
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.
Smoking has been shown to make acne worse since it diminishes the delivery of oxygen to the skin and robs it of nutrients, thereby inhibiting scars from healing, Dr. Bank says. Not enough reason to quit? Smoke depletes moisture, making skin lose its luster and look wrinkly.
Many skin care products contain salicylic acid. Some are available over-the-counter and others require a doctor’s prescription. Studies have shown that salicylic acid is less irritating than skin care products containing alpha-hydroxy acids but has similar results in improving skin texture and color.
($8.49, (Shop Now), with a benzoyl peroxide spot treatment, such as Murad Acne Spot Fast Fix ($18, (Shop Now). If you’re still seeing zits, “visit your dermatologist to discuss prescription options, like birth control pills, oral spironolactone—which blocks oil—or topical Aczone 7.5 percent gel,” says Zeichner. “It’s shown to be particularly effective in adult women without causing irritation.” Oral contraceptives level out those hormone fluctuations, keeping your oil production normal and your skin clear.
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Upgrade your (no-doubt soapy, sudsy) face wash to a milky cleanser that will “take off all makeup, sunscreen, and pollution from the day but in a way that’s not stripping,” says Holey. If you’re oily, go for a purifying clay- or charcoal-infused gel formula like the Bioré Pore Penetrating Charcoal Bar instead.
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.
Promising Review: “I have combination skin and problems with hormonal acne. I wanted to try a skin product that was affordable and didn’t contain a bunch of chemicals. Acure Argan Oil has since become a staple for my facial care. And I love it as a daily moisturizer.” —Justwhatineeded
Our top pick, Paula’s Choice Clear Regular Strength System, is a three-part system designed to unclog pores, heal breakouts, and soothe redness. We liked the dual approach of fighting acne and protecting your skin, making this kit a great starting point for your acne treatments. ($46)
The amount of time it may take to see a change in your skin all depends on which issue you’re attempting to treat or look you’re trying to achieve, according to Women’s Health. Based on the consultation of New York dermatologist Dr. Jennifer MacGregor, they recommend committing “anywhere from six to 12 weeks” to see if a new routine or treatment works.
For many, the word “toner” brings to mind stinging astringents from the ’80s. “The original was an alcohol-based product that was used to dry up oily skin and remove any leftover dirt following cleansing,” Dr. Nazarian says. Today’s formulas, however, have evolved. Think of them as supplements — these thin liquids deliver an extra shot of nutrients, helping the other products in your regimen absorb better, while still balancing your complexion. Most experts, the New York City aesthetician Jordana Mattioli says, consider toner to be optional: “It can be a good way to add in specific ingredients that you may not have in your other products or add another layer of skin-replenishment.” If you have the time and inclination, here are some hero ingredients to look for: 
Whoever said acne was a teenage problem—and that after adolescence, you’ve got smooth, clear skin forever—was totally lying. Acne lingers long beyond puberty and is caused by a myriad of common skin problems. Pimples may pop up if acne runs in your family or because it’s right before that time of the month. Blemishes may even appear after a day’s worth of oil and bacteria build up on your face. While genetics and hormones are beyond your control, what you can rein in is your skin-care regimen. It’s time to step away from that same tube of spot cream you’ve been using since high school because there’s a slew of new items in the beauty aisle to help clear up your skin.
This cult-favorite treatment is the only prescription-grade retinoid acne treatment you can get without making a visit to your dermatologist’s office. The formula minimizes and prevents blemishes while improving skin tone and texture. Apply a thin layer of it over your entire face between cleansing and moisturizing. 
Fights Acne: The natural antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties of this yellow-skinned fruit are beneficial for those who have acne and pimple-prone skin. Get rid of your blackheads with a simple mixture of lemon juice and honey.
I have been debating if I want to share this with you because I can’t bear the thought of sharing this and exposing its secrets so here I am sharing it sjadkjdnknesdkjsnw…. The Rahua Elixir Oil is… revolutionary, iconic, absolutely groundbreaking, EARTH shatteringly good. My hair just eats this shit like Kobayashi. I will use this until the day I die and hopefully when I’m reincarnated as a house cat my paws will have thumbs to open it and continue this journey.
The first thing I do to prepare for my nightly ceremony the second I get home is to jump into my pajamas—specifically a pair that buttons down. Gotta have access to the neck and chest zone. I enter the bathroom, lay out all of my tools, and stare at myself in the mirror for somewhere around 68 seconds. This is enough time to make sure nothing new has climbed to the surface. Then I light a sensual jasmine candle, just for funsies.
Caring for acne-prone skin requires some careful cosmetic sleuthing — reading labels to find products that won’t clog your pores and lead to more breakouts. WebMD has made the process a little easier by compiling a checklist of must-have makeup and grooming ingredients for people with acne.

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“You have to get a full-body skin exam by a dermatologist by the time you turn 30. It’s important to have expert eyes take a look at any moles you may have and be able to follow them for changes in the future. Also, the dermatologist can teach you how to do a proper skin check on yourself. This is very important because melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, is almost 100% curable if caught in its earliest stages. If women are armed with information on what to look for, it may save their lives.” — Elizabeth Tanzi, MD
Estee Lauder Perfectionist CP+R Wrinkle Lifting Serum (Est. $100 for 1.7oz) is another over-the-counter anti-wrinkle serum that gets raves from experts and users. Yes, it’s pricey, but it gets rave reviews across multiple sites such as Macy’s, Sephora and Nordstrom. Amazon carries it as well, and the prices line up with what we see elsewhere, however, the ratings at Amazon are lowered by reports of counterfeit products. We have no way of verifying or refuting those reports, other than to suggest that you should be sure to buy from a seller (Amazon does not sell this themselves) with top user feedback to ensure you are getting the real thing. 
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.
For undereye bags and inflammation, caffeine, peptides and hyaluronic acid can be soothing, Mattioli says. “Dark circles can be due to visible veins or actual discoloration common in darker skin tones,” she says. “Look for brightening ingredients like vitamin C, kojic acid and niacinamide.” Insider tip: Steer clear of strong retinols (which can sting and create redness) and fragrance, to avoid any eye irritation.   
We began our search for the best wrinkle cream by pulling top-sellers from major retailers like Walgreens, Amazon, and Target, compiling a list of 112 creams, gels, and serums — everything from high end brands like Estee Lauder and Lancome to drugstore staples like Neutrogena and L’Oreal. From here, we reached out to cosmetic chemists and dermatologists: We wanted to find out which ingredients would help skin look youthful, and which weren’t worth the hype.
No time for a post-gym shower? Pack a stash of wipes, says N.Y.C. dermatologist Heidi Waldorf. Almay’s Oil-Free makeup-remover towelettes ($6; at drugstores) cleanse away the dirt that triggers breakouts.
Many non-retinol wrinkle creams contain various antioxidants, which can prevent the fine lines and wrinkles associated with aging, without the irritation that many experience with retinol (retinol creams also tend to be pricier, sometimes much pricier). These products can be used during the day as part of your morning skin regimen. They usually contain ingredients that plump the skin, minimize skin damage, and even, in some cases, reverse it. That difference can be subtle — there is no magic potion that will make your wrinkles disappear overnight, or prevent all wrinkles — but if you use them consistently you should see an improvement.
Luckily, some of the most effective acne-fighting must-haves can be found at the nearest drugstore, so they won’t leave your wallet feeling too light. From cleansers to spot treatments, read on for some of the best cost-effective ways to tackle acne head-on for a clearer complexion.
My Experience: Since redness is a major issue of mine, I was all in on this serum step. It’s also one that I’m used to completing on a regular basis. For this week, I used Blossom Jeju Pink Camellia Soombi Essence Serum ($64, amazon.com), which feels a lot like a gel but spreads easily. It left a smooth layer over the skin similar to how a cream would without any stickiness or grease. It also gave a dewy effect that didn’t look wet or sweaty, just faint enough to look healthy. I’m crediting the serum combined with the moisturizer for my skin feeling so smooth in the mornings.
Kojic acid is a more recent remedy for treating pigment problems and age spots. First developed in 1989, kojic acid has a similar effect as hydroquinone. Kojic acid is made from a fungus, and studies have shown that it is effective at lightening skin.
At-Home Peel: “Dry skin responds well to [gentle] exfoliation,” Rouleau says. “If your skin is dry, it means you have dead skin cell buildup—if you try to hydrate dried skin cells that are expired, it makes no sense.” She says that dry skin has invisible “cracks,” so you should avoid using a facial scrub with sharp edges. “Chemical exfoliants do a better job of dissolving dead skin cells without tearing at your skin,” she says. Try her line’s Triple Berry Smoothing Peel ($87) or AmorePacific’s Treatment Enzyme Peel ($60).
“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.
The goal of any skin-care routine is to tune up your complexion so it’s functioning at its best, and also troubleshoot or target any areas you want to work on. “Beauty routines are an opportunity to notice changes within yourself,” says the San Francisco skin-care specialist Kristina Holey. As your skin needs shifts with age, so will your products. Still, she adds, “it’s not about creating perfection.”   Allow these three steps to become your daily ritual that fortifies your skin and grounds your day.
With airbrush tans, “have the technician spray your face once, but the rest of your body four times,” says Julia Marrero of Forever Tan in Miami. Add facial bronzer like Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Mineral Bronzing Powder ($35; Elizabetharden.com) for a more realistic glow.
Men may not be the main target market for wrinkle creams, or any skin care product for that matter, but it’s just as important that they take care of their skin for the same reasons women do — to look and feel younger and to radiate a healthy glow. All of the products in any of our skin care reports can be used by men as well, although some fragranced products are probably best suited to women. There are only a few expert sources for skin products for men, but we have some recommendations based upon our research and a little bit of common sense.
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IT Cosmetics’ Confidence in a Cream Moisturizing Super Cream ($48) is another wrinkle cream in a jar that’s worth a mention. Like Dr. Dennis and La Prairie, it contains retinoids, AHAs, and sodium hyaluronate. It’s a little cheaper than Dr. Dennis, but it also uses a type of retinoid (retinyl retinoate) that’s weaker than the retinol that’s found in Dr. Dennis and La Prairie. This means it may take longer to see results but is less likely to irritate your skin, especially if you’re prone to sensitivity. While it comes in a jar, testers liked its mild citrus scent and creamy formula.
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.
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?”
Don’t: Forget to pamper yourself. A gentle facial massage with oils could work wonders. Depending on your skin type, choose oils from mustard, coconut, almond or Kumkadi as they are excellent nourishing agents which help to get glowing skin. Better still – switch on some soothing instrumental music. After 20 minutes, what do you have? Beautiful skin and a relaxed you.
2) Free Trial – When a company offers to give you a free product and asks you to just pay for shipping, they enter you into a subscription as soon as you give them your credit card info. The subscription becomes nearly impossible to cancel. So, whether the product works or not, you’re stuck paying for it again and again (like my cousin Barb).
Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Set aside a few hours over the weekend (or a Monday night, if you can swing it), slather on a moisturizing face mask like Kiehl’s Algae Masque, $27, and take a hot bubble bath. Once you’ve emerged from your Mr. Bubble-induced bliss, wash off the mask and moisturize with face cream or oil. You’ll be amazed at how calming your own bathroom can be!
Promising Review: “I love the velvety texture of this cleanser on my skin! You only need a pea-sized amount of product for it to slightly lather up and clean your face. The smell of grapefruit and ginger is very addicting. And the small beads are so beneficial. I could feel it exfoliate and actually stimulate my pores. It is very hydrating for a product that is oil-free!” —Gina O.
Do: Have a regular skin care regimen. “For dry skin, use a fresh cherry mask. Apply the pulp of fresh cherries on your face before going to bed. Leave for 15 minutes and wash with lukewarm water”, adds American author Vasant Lad.
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
Of course! Keep in mind that because of male hormones, the skin may be more oily (but, not always the case). The marketing of many skin care products are geared toward females; however, they can be used on males as well. Once you know your skin type you can lay out a routine. If you need help, you can see an esthetician or visit a dermatologist.
My Experience: In a light patting motion, I applied Erborian Gineng Infusion Total Eye ($36, usa.erborian.com) every night. This particular eye product was a creamy texture that absorbed quickly. So I didn’t have to do any rough rubbing to get the cream to sink in. “When you’re pulling and tugging at the area, it causes premature wrinkles,” explains Cho. During my regular routine, I’ll apply an eye cream about two times a week. But I saw my dark circles and puffiness diminish by using this every night. I also applied it during the day a couple times, and this product was great to wear under makeup without smearing my concealer.
4) Amateur Website – This is similar to the first point, but maybe a little more obvious. A company might not be pretending to be a popular magazine, but their website will be full of coding errors where buttons don’t line up right or there are obvious misspellings all over the place. If a company can’t afford to hire a decent web designer, how can they afford to develop high-quality skincare products?
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.
This product is Clearasil Ultra Overnight Wash minus the salicylic acid—which gets rinsed down the drain just a few seconds after you apply it to your skin. If you have sensitive skin, you wont have any problems with either Ultra Overnight Wash or Daily Clear Daily Face Wash for Sensitive Skin, but why not buy the latter, since it sells for just US $5.29? Both products will get your skin clean, but neither product will clear up blackheads or pimples.