Among us natural skincare enthusiasts, there are two main criteria we check when evaluating a new beauty product: efficacy and purity. As S.W. Basics founder Adina Grigore once told us, “I’m a huge believer in the cliché ‘less is more,’ especially when it comes to skin.”
“I keep extra beauty treatments in my car in a little bag. When I’m in bad traffic (at a red light of course), I apply serum, an eye mask, teeth whitening strips, eyebrow gel, and more!” -Francesca Fusco, dermatologist, New York City.
If you notice a sudden, bumpy problem area, don’t follow your immediate instincts to go forth with the pimple popping. Though these areas or clusters of little, white bumps may look like breakouts, they could actually be milia. One big part of your skincare routine could be the cause of milia.
Exfoliates Skin: Milk can also be used as an exfoliating agent to get rid of dead skin cells. Lactic acid present in milk has natural exfoliating properties. Dissolve a pinch of salt in boiling water. Add 3 cups of milk to it, keeping aside the cream. Add about ½ a cup of lukewarm water and allow the mixture to stand for 20 minutes. Apply on your body and scrub off the dead skills with the help of a loofah. You can use this milk scrub twice a week for good results.
Another reason to take that extra Spin class: A good workout doesn’t just burn calories, it also helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to your skin. Hate going to the gym? Start a dance party—even if you’re the only one busting a move! Turn up the Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, get your blood flowing and have a blast doing it. Your skin will thank you!
On the other hand, there are a variety of all-natural wrinkle creams that are reasonably priced, and the beauty of this is that many of these creams last an extra-long time due to the fact that you only need a few drops per day. Take some time to compare prices as well as read user reviews in order to ensure you are getting a quality product at a fair and reasonable price.
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.
How to Handle It: Speaking of touching, don’t! Picking it, squeezing it, or poking at it will only worsen the situation. These may disappear on their own after a few days. Otherwise, Zeichner suggests visiting your dermatologist for a shot of cortisone, which will reduce inflammation and shrink it in just 24 to 48 hours. But if a last-minute appointment isn’t in the cards, play mad scientist. First, ice the area, and then apply salicylic acid gel, benzoyl peroxide gel, and 1 percent hydrocortisone cream. The combo will calm skin, kill bacteria, and draw out excess oil from the pimple—all things necessary to take this down, says Zeichner.
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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.
Avoid alcohol and other astringents. Alcohol can dry out skin and irritate sensitive skin. Read the ingredients of all of your products so that you can avoid alcohol. In addition to alcohol, you should avoid irritating ingredients like:
Lightweight Moisturizer: “Combination skin doesn’t need an oil-free moisturizer, but it does need a lightweight one,” Rouleau says. Try Eve Lom’s TLC Radiance Cream ($72) for silky texture with antioxidants.
Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems. To encourage healthy skin — and a healthy state of mind — take steps to manage your stress. Get enough sleep, set reasonable limits, scale back your to-do list and make time to do the things you enjoy. The results might be more dramatic than you expect.
I have to say, during my seven-day experiment, only one night felt like work. The other six nights, it was a nice way to unwind while chatting with my roommates or catching up on The Affair. “Western culture’s skin-care routine is more of a chore almost,” claims Cho. “You just put on whatever you have in the bathroom.” But she explains that with a Korean-skin mind-set, it’s all about pampering and taking care of yourself. By the end of my vigorous week, my skin felt smoother. My red, blotchy inflammation calmed down and my undereye bags were almost nonexistent. I was so confident in my skin, I didn’t wear makeup the following week. Will I do all 10 steps again? Probably not. Using a toner, essence, AND serum seemed redundant. But double cleansing is the way forward for my city lifestyle.
Most of our other recommendations will cost you more than the average acne treatment. If you’re looking for something that can treat your breakouts without breaking your budget, try the Neutrogena Complete Acne Therapy System. This three-piece set scores points for including sunscreen, which will help protect your skin while it’s sensitive from treatment.
Little Barn Apothecary is another natural beauty brand to know. Our favorite product is this green sea mineral recovery mask. The dry powder is meant to be mixed with liquid—whether honey, yogurt, floral water, or something similar—to turn into a traditional paste mask. It’s sold in a dry form to avoid fillers and additives that come with liquid masks.
If you want to switch from shaving to waxing your underarms, fall is the time to start. Sleeveless season is over, making the interim growth stage easier to handle, says Ji Baek. Then, the more you wax, the less hair grows back. “Wax every month and by summer, you can just pluck out strays,” she says. Our tool of choice: Tweezerman for Benefit slant tweezer ($25; at benefitcosmetics.com).
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.
If your acne is severe, painful, or refusing to get lost, you may just be beyond what an over-the-counter treatment can do. Not only can a professional set you up with the really powerful stuff, but also Fitz Patrick explains that “working closely with an aesthetician or dermatologist means you can keep tweaking a routine to make it work best for you.”
All of Proactiv’s regimens are heavy on the benzoyl peroxide, and the Proactiv+ three-step kit is no different: a 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide wash, a 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide gel, and a 0.5 percent salicylic acid moisturizer.
Oil cleanse to remove makeup. Makeup removers often contain alcohol and other harsh ingredients that can dry out and irritate your skin. Oil cleansers are gentler than makeup removing wipes. Simply apply the oil to your dry skin, and wash off with warm water.
Antioxidant Serum: Rouleau recommends using a highly potent antioxidant serum (look for vitamins E, A, and C) during the daytime to help prevent collagen breakdown—just make sure to follow with SPF. We love SkinInc’s Vitamin A Serum ($45).
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“Here’s the sad news about the neck for those in their 20s: While you have the wisdom of caring for your skin better than your mother did (due to more awareness and better products available now than ever before), with technology more so embraced by younger people, you are creating what is known as ‘tech neck.’ The 45-degree angle that you hang your head to look at your cell phone causes a repeated squishing of the neck, resulting in premature folds and wrinkles. To treat neck this, most people know to apply moisturizer to the neck, and many do this, but the mistake is made in treating the neck as an afterthought. This particularly applies with sunscreen, since the number one cause of premature skin aging is UV rays given off from the sun. The best way to apply sunscreen to this area is by doing a full second application exclusively to the neck. If you have sensitive, oily, acne-prone skin and require a sunscreen that dries to a matte finish, use Renée Rouleau Daily Protection SPF 30 With 7% Zinc Oxide ($38). In addition to sunscreen, be sure to apply your serums and moisturizers in an upward motion to go against gravity.” — Renée Rouleau
If you’re used to seeing advertisements for acne treatments using five or six different products to clear up blemishes, you might be surprised that a simple three-step kit is our top pick. In fact, we favored Paula’s Choice for its simplicity. This twice-daily, three-step kit — which includes a cleanser, an anti-redness exfoliant, and a leave-on treatment — is concise without cutting corners.
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.
If you’re overwhelmed by the seemingly infinite array of lotions and potions out there—and the added wrinkle that your best choices change as you age—you’ve come to the right place. With advice from leading dermatologists, we’ve created a core regimen for each decade, so you can enjoy complexion perfection (and a streamlined routine) your whole life long.
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.”
In her series of tweets, which have been screenshotted and posted as slideshow on Instagram, Choi starts off by announcing that she has combination skin. More specifically, she’s “oily in T-zone and dry around [her] cheeks.” From there, she dives into where any good skin-care routine should start: cleansing.
But the side effects of targeted spot treatments aren’t always worth it. “So many products instruct consumers to use benzoyl peroxide to spot treat red bumps and pustules. I don’t recommend it,” says Dr. Green. “Benzoyl peroxide, when placed on red spots, can actually cause more irritation and inflammation to the area. It’s best used to prevent red bumps and pustules, and applied all over the area you want to treat.” Robin Townsend, a medical aesthetician based in Cincinnati, was also quick to naysay a spot-treat-only approach: “Acne affects all of the pores. If someone is going to spot treat against my advice, I still suggest they spot treat one day and treat the whole face the next.”