Celebrity hairstyles and “it” shades may come and go — but perfect skin is always in style. Even if you don’t quite have your own entourage of derms and facialists just yet, you can still whip your complexion into shape with these insider secrets for a soft, clear glow.
Wash Away the Day
If your skin is already dry and tight to start with, you probably have a bit of facial-cleanser-phobia. Not all cleansers are drying, and with the right one you won’t end up with skin so tight it feels like it’s going to crack.
Choose a cleanser that is specifically formulated for your skin type — dry, oily or normal/combination — and one with a gentle formula that doesn’t strip your skin.
Washing your face regularly — at least once a day, most importantly before bed to get rid of grime, makeup and oil — keeps your skin clean and reduces imperfections.
Get in the Buff
Don’t let dead skin put a damper on your dewy glow. A fresh, radiant look is a skin must-have every season.
To amp up the wattage on your complexion, give your skin a gentle buffing at least once a week. If your skin isn’t super sensitive, you can work your way up to a few times a week.
Exfoliation is an important part of any skin care routine, because it removes the dead, dull skin cells from the top of your skin. This allows the new, healthy skin underneath to show through and lets your skin breathe.
Clogged pores are one of the most common causes of pimples and other skin imperfections, so preventing this means you prevent such imperfections as a result. You can exfoliate your skin every day as long as you’re using a gentle exfoliating product that isn’t rough on your skin.
To really baby your face, stick with smaller, synthetic scrubbing particles instead of rough-edged natural grains that can scratch the surface of your skin. (The skin below your chin can play a little rougher.)
If your skin needs more serious intervention, try a weekly at-home acid peel, followed by some extra-rich moisturizer.
Hype up the Hydration
Hydrated skin is soft, supple skin, so don’t be stingy with that lotion. Pamper your body skin with a rich in-shower moisturizer that’s packed with moisture-rich oils and butters — think shea, jojoba, and almond.
Always moisturize your skin after washing it. A little bit of moisturizer goes a long way; don’t think that the more thickly you pile the cream on your face, the better off you are.
In fact, overdosing on your moisturizer can actually end up doing more harm than good. It can clog your pores and leave you with slick, oily skin. Dab moisturizer around on your face and blend it in over your face and neck with your fingers; a light moisturizer with super-concentrated ingredients is your best bet.
If you want to go the natural route, try an oil-based cleanser. Wait, oil on your face — seriously?
You can bet your Louboutins.
Lightweight, plant-derived oils such as argan and jojoba actually soothe and balance the skin, so its own oil glands quit working overtime.
After cleansing, apply a moisturizing product that contains humectants such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid. But ditch the fragrance-laced formulas — they can cause redness, dryness, and itching, especially in sensitive skin.
An Ounce of Prevention
So do you want perfect skin now, or later? It turns out you can have both.
The beauty experts at Victorian Cosmetic Institute suggests that you stick with multi-tasking superheroes such as glycolic acid, which sops up oil and shrinks pores in young skin, while preventing wrinkles later on.
Remember, it’s never too late — or too early — to start an anti-aging regimen, so add a lightweight, collagen-boosting serum to your skincare regimen ASAP. And of course, you know this now, but it bears repeating:
Never skimp on that sunscreen.
Good Clean Living
You are what you eat — especially when it comes to your skin.
So load up your plate with omega fatty acid-rich wild salmon or walnuts, vitamin C-packed strawberries, and blueberries, lutein-laced spinach, zinc-powered legumes, and seafood.
Meanwhile, cut back on the inflammation-inducing sugars and white flours. Your skin will thank you.
In the p.m., take a cue from Sleeping Beauty and get plenty of zzzs. Your body repairs and revives your skin while you sleep. Finally, here’s one more reason to hit the gym:
Regular workouts decrease stress and increase circulation — both of which do wonders for your skin.
Choose the Best Products
You need to be really picky when it comes to choosing the skin care products you use. Always study the ingredients on any product before buying or using it.
Stick with products made with all-natural ingredients because they’re much safer and gentler on your skin.
You can usually tell when an ingredient isn’t natural; if you can’t pronounce the name of an ingredient, chances are it’s not something you should be putting on your delicate skin.