Since your skin type will guide many of your skin care buying decisions, here's an easy way to figure yours out. After a quick rinse first thing in the morning, dab a clean tissue around your face. Take a look at the tissue. How does your skin feel?
The tissue won't show oil. Normal skin usually feels soft with minimal care and doesn't blemish often.
The tissue won't show oil, but instead of feeling soft, your skin may feel dry, tingly, tight or even be flaky. Dry skin doesn't break out as much, but it can look dull and may show more signs of aging.
The tissue may show oil spots. Your skin often looks shiny and may break out often.
If the tissue blots oil from your "T-zone" (forehead, nose and chin), but not others, you have combination skin.
Wiping the skin with tissue may leave it feeling chapped or tight. Sensitive skin tends to be dry and easily irritated, so you'll want to treat it gently.
Start with a clean slate, morning and night. Cleansers, toners, astringents, and exfoliants work together to get your skin clean. Pick the products that do the job without irritating your skin.shop cleansers
Find a fresher face by removing dead surface skin cells. Exfoliants typically contain salt or crushed shells and should not be used too often. For dry or sensitive skin—or for daily use—products with microbeads tend to be gentler.shop exfoliants
Removing the top layer of dead skin cells helps your products work better and your skin look more youthful. Use brushes morning and night, in or out of the shower and with a gentle cleanser. Sensitive- skin types should test on a small patch first. Replace brushes every 3-4 months.
To make sure your cleanser and moisturizer are doing everything they should, use a toner—which may also be called an astringent, clarifying lotion, refiner or freshener.
Pick a toner that will help gently exfoliate your face without drying your skin.
For normal and dry skin (or a combination of the two), use a moisturizing toner, perhaps with
gentle AHA for exfoliation. Avoid ingredients such as menthol,
salicylic acid or alcohol.
For oily and normal/oily combination skin use an oil-controlling toner. For summer, think about using a moisturizing toner under your
sunscreen instead of a moisturizer.
Salicylic acid helps to treat acne, so try a toner that contains 2%.shop toners & astringents
Look for a calming or soothing toner that doesn't sting and feels cool when applied.shop toners & astringents
Choose moisturizers that are best for your skin type and appropriate for day or night. You'll want something with SPF for daytime. At night, you can use a richer formula, especially if you have dry skin.
For normal skin, look for vitamins A, B, C and E, collagen or aloe vera.shop moisturizers for normal skin
For dry skin, look for the same ingredients as for normal skin, plus cocoa and shea butters, and coconut oil.shop moisturizers for dry skin
Look for an oil-free formula.shop moisturizers for oily skin
For combination skin, moisturize dry areas, but not as much in the T-zone where you may need an oil-free product. Special skin care products such as oatmeal mask creams can be great for combination skin. You'll find your skin glows and feels great after using products with oatmeal—it is a natural exfoliant and an anti-inflammatory agent.shop moisturizers for combination skin
For sensitive skin, look for hypoallergenic, natural moisturizers with lots of vitamins. Always spot-test new products.shop moisturizers for sensitive skin
Now that you've found the right cleansing and moisturizing routine, it's time to address skin challenges with the right products and habits.
Puffiness or darkness around the eyes can be signs of illness somewhere else in the body. Common causes are lack of sleep, stress, aging, a deficiency of vital nutrients, and hyperpigmentation from the sun.
To get rid of dark circles and puffiness (and prevent them in the first place) drink lots of water and get enough sleep. Apply moisturizers with natural ingredients such as avocado oil, sesame, vitamins C, K and E and retinol. Be aware that scented cosmetics, and those containing glycolic acid or salicylic acid, may make dark circles worse.
Acne isn't the end of the world, although it can feel that way. Find out how to treat and prevent it.learn more about acne
Whatever your age or skin type, wear SPF protection every day, year-round. After being out in the sun, use after-sun products to replenish moisture. If you do get too much sun, look for a product designed to soothe sunburn. And brush up on sunless tanning basics for a healthier way to glow. The sun care buying guide explains it all.sun care buying guide
Different ages face different challenges when it comes to skin care. Find out how to do the best for the stage your skin is in.learn more about the right skin care for your age
Different ages face different challenges when it comes to skin care. Find out how to do the best for the stage your skin is in.
Teens have it all: oily skin, acne and dry patches. Start with a daily cleanser to keep skin clean and prevent oil buildup and acne. Use a moisturizer even if you have oily skin, since cleansing may dry your skin. For dry skin, use a creamy moisturizer; for oily skin, use an oil-free formula. Wear sunscreen every day.
Protect your skin and prepare it for healthy aging. Look for products that contain antioxidant enzymes to help smooth and even skin tone. Use a daily cleanser to prevent oily skin or acne breakouts. Wear moisturizer and sunscreen products designed for your skin type. At night, apply a retinol- or glycolic acid-containing moisturizer.
Keep up your skin care regimen to maintain healthy-looking skin. For daytime, use concentrated anti-aging ingredients such as collagen, vitamins and antioxidants. Always wear an SPF moisturizer. At night, choose a moisturizer with collagen-production stimulators, but not SPF.
Since oil production drops off in your 60s, use moisture-rich skin care and avoid powder-based makeup, which can get trapped in deeper wrinkles and clog pores. Apply sunscreen every day. Use a weekly algae mask to help with circulation and minimize age and sun spots.
Anti-aging products help reduce the appearance of lines by filling in shallow wrinkles. Lasting results typically take a while, so stick with your regimen. Look for creams, exfoliants and peels, products for the eye area and microdermabrasion to keep your skin looking younger.shop anti-aging products
Check product labels for lists of ingredients.
Antioxidants including vitamins A and C, polyphenols, alpha lipoic acid, beta-glucan and coenzyme Q10 reduce inflammation, help build collagen and protect against environmental stress and sun damage.
Magnesium, zinc, copper, copper peptide, sea kelp, algae, vitamin C or ascorbic acid, and palmitoyl oligopeptid help renew collagen in the skin, restoring skin's elasticity to keep it firm and younger-looking.
A key ingredient in skin renewal, retinol creates healthier skin cells and increases collagen production.
Silicone, oils and butters, acetyls, glycerin, cetearyl alcohol, stearic acid and dimethicone keep skin soft and moisturized so it retains its elasticity.
Chemical exfoliants such as AHAs and BHAs (Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids) remove layers of dead skin cells and make the skin look refreshed. You can also use physical exfoliants with ingredients such as crushed shells, salt and microbeads.
Sunscreen won't get rid of the wrinkles you have, but if applied correctly, an SPF of 15 or higher can minimize future wrinkles, discoloration and sagging.shop sun care
From mild to severe acne, there are products that can help.
Characterized by uninflamed whiteheads, blackheads and breakouts once or twice a month. Treat sudden flare-ups with spot treatments. Using an acne-fighting cleanser and spot treatment on a regular basis helps treat steady, mild breakouts. Astringent will help keep oily skin under control.
Characterized by inflamed whiteheads that are usually swollen, red and painful. Treat with acne cleanser, astringent and moisturizing products designed for acne-prone skin. Depending on the severity, you may want to use both spot treatments and weekly acne treatments.
Characterized by always-inflamed whiteheads covering a large portion of the face. Breakouts are frequent and scarring is a possibility. Start with over-the-counter topical acne treatments used for mild to moderate acne. You may also need prescription medications such as retinoids or antibiotics. Talk to your healthcare professional about options.
Whether you have mild, moderate or severe acne, stick to your regimen—even if you experience dry skin, flaking, redness or inflammation at first. If the problem persists, change products. Look for non-comedogenic or water-based makeup, which is less likely to clog pores.
To find an acne-fighting product that won't inflame acne or clog pores, look for benzoyl peroxide, a peeling agent that clears pores; or salicylic acid, which exfoliates skin and neutralizes bacteria. Test acne products on a small area first to make sure they don't irritate your skin. Keep spot treatments handy for pimple pop-ups.
Zit zappers are handheld devices that use heat to treat pimples. By applying heat, pimples can be vanquished, usually within 24 hours. Zit zappers are small and portable and clear skin fast, but they can be expensive.
Many products reduce the redness or visibility of acne on your skin. Some help breakouts clear up more quickly or help reduce the marks acne leaves behind. Others minimize pores, pimples and redness with cooling and soothing ingredients.
Avoid scrubbing and excessive washing, which can worsen acne. Instead, wash gently twice each day and if needed, scrub once a week to remove dead skin.
Keep your hands away from your face to avoid transferring bacteria to your face. And leave blemishes alone. Squeezing and picking can make them worse.
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