When it comes to our appearance, we all want something we don’t have—you know, sculpted abs, thighs that don’t touch. For me, it’s flawless skin. When I see a model or celebrity with clear, beautiful skin, I turn green with envy. My skin is decent (I even get compliments on it sometimes), but I still battle with mild acne here and there.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, I’m not the only one—nearly 85 percent of Americans are affected by acne at some point in their life. But we’re not going down without a fight! Take me for example: I recently stopped taking birth control pills, but after an increase in breakouts, I’m ready to refill my prescription (like yesterday). I took a stroll around the Allure office to see if my coworkers were also taking measures in the name of pretty, spot-free skin. Here’s what I found:
* “Even though I get bottles of free moisturizer at work, I pay $50 for Vivité Replenish Hydrating Cream—a rich, but oil-free moisturizer I discovered at my derm’s office. It’s the only thing that fixes my dry and breakout-prone skin. I’ll never use anything else,” says assistant editor Daisy Shaw, whose teenage brother also swears by the stuff.
* “I was so desperate for clear skin that I let Allure post pictures of my pimples in the magazine in an acne makeover story. It was so embarrassing! But I was hooked up with a dermatologist and put on Differin lotion and Clindagel, prescribed antibiotics that have really helped my skin,” says editorial assistant Sophia Panych.
* “I walk around my apartment with chalky pink dots on my face thanks to Mario Badescu Drying Lotion and white Biore strips across my nose in front of my roommate,” confesses editorial assistant Alison Caporimo.
* “I once faked an injury and put a Band-Aid over a zit to cover it up!” says web editor Fiona Gibb.
* “I banned myself from shopping for skin-care products in the drugstore and can only use the prescription-strength stuff. And it’s not for a pimple here and there, I do it all of the time to maintain clear skin,” says associate editor Kate Sullivan.
How important is clear skin to you? And what do you do to get it?
Let’s talk about skin care lines and the products that will help your skin the most .
Can you have flawless skin?
Yes, but there are several factors that need to be addressed first.
* What effects hormones are playing in your body.
* How much sun damage you’ve subjected yourself to over the years.
* How healthy you eat.
* What skin care products your using and do they have any harmful or irritating ingredients.
Lots of skin problems are caused by the skincare products, skin treatments and skin cosmetics you use to try to prevent them. Skin care products should not irritate the skin. Avoid products with strong alcohols, mineral oil, paraffin wax, chemical fragrance and dyes, soaps and animal or human by products when you can. When you do, you’ll see big difference in the way your skin looks and feels.
Before you jump into skin care line, you need to Determine Your Skin Type. You may have dry, normal, combination, oily or acne skin or you may be dealing with aging, rosacea or other skin problems and you need to use a line that that will target those specific problems and concerns.
Anti Aging Skin Care
Aging can’t be completely eliminated, but it can be seriously reduced. There is no magic anti aging product that will take away all your skin wrinkles, lines and sagging skin, so don’t get your hopes up. But the benefits you’ll see and feel when you start using a really good anti-aging line, will be amazing.
What causes aging? Aging is caused by sun damage, genetics, loss of estrogen hormone, bone loss, fat loss in the face, and cell damage that makes the skin thin, dry with less bounce back.
I believe all skin care lines should be anti-aging, but that’s just not the case. So, if your dealing with aging, which can start in your mid thirties, switch to a full anti aging skin care line.
Anti aging products are full of antioxidants. They have the ability to reduce or prevent some of the damage that destroys your skins function and looks. There are hundreds of antioxidants each line uses a different combination.
Anti aging skincare is made for all skin types except acne. If you have acne and aging, combine products from both lines to get the best results.
Here are the main products that you’ll see in a good anti aging skin care line. You’ll want to use these products morning and night. Never sleep with your makeup on.
Anti Aging Wash or Cleanser – Gently cleans, hydrates and delivers moisture. It removes makeup and left over dirt and oil without stripping or drying out the skin.
Anti Aging Toner – Refreshes the skin and leaves it smooth and soft. Removes any trace of makeup or cleaner that might not have rinsed off thoroughly. A good toner will be pH correct to the skin, which balances it and eliminates that tight feeling you sometimes get after you wash your face.
Anti Aging Serum – Serums are very unique. Because of the thin, silky consistency, they are able to spread and absorb quickly and deliver ingredients way down deep into the skin.
Anti Aging Day Moisturizer – Moisturizing will help lesson aging signs which let’s your makeup look so good. Day moisturizers have the added benefit of a sunscreen to keep even more aging from happening.
Anti Aging Night Moisturizer – Night moisturizers have no sunscreen like their day counterpart. They can absorb into the skin quickly and target areas, since your free of makeup while you sleep.
Anti Aging Eye Cream – Do you need any eye cream? Yes, if you have dark circles or puffy under eye area. Eye creams have ingredients inside to help lighten dark circles, and reduce puffiness. If you don’t have these problems, just apply your day moisturizer around the eye area instead.
Oily Skin Care and Acne Skin Care
If you have oily skin, blemishes, or acne skin, use an Acne Skin Care Line.
Teens aren’t the only ones that fall into this category. It happens to lots of women into their 40’s and 50’s. If you’re have both acne and aging issues, combine products from both lines so treat both problems.
The main ingredient in acne products is salicylic acid. This is made from aspirin which we all know is a major inflammation reducer. Acne skin care have other ingredients like Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA), which helps to unglue the outer layer of dead skin cells which, improve texture, smooth the skin, absorb extra oil, unclog the pores and allow moisturizer to be better absorbed.
Even if you have oily skin, you still need to moisturize. So many acne lines are way to harsh and dry out the skin. That’s why they offer a lightweight moisturizer that has no wax or emollient ingredients that clog pores.
Here is what products you should use in a good acne skin care line –
Acne Face Wash – Soap free so it won’t clog pores. Cleans the skin gently without stripping or causing redness or irritation. Lightweight, oil free. Full of Salicylic acid.
Acne Toner – Alcohol free with Salicylic acid. Removes the excess surface oils, reduces redness and irritation.
Acne Day & Night Moisturizer – Oil free, with Salicylic acid will moisturizes the skin with a matte appearance. Most acne lotions have no sun screen so you can use the same product for day and night. Because of this, get a face sunscreen that wont clog pores to apply after the moisturizer but under your makeup.
Acne Spot Treatments – This product is applied to any blemish to give it some extra salicylic acid to help clear it up fast.
Do You Need An Eye Cream? – Only if you have dark circles, puffy under eyes or are showing signs of aging around the eyes. If you do, get an anti aging eye cream and it will reduce all those issues.
Dry Skin Care
Do you have dry, flaky, rough skin? Does your face feel tight after it’s washed? Unfortunately, those with dry skin tend to show signs of aging earlier and it’s more prominent, so if you have dry skin and aging issues, switch to an anti aging line instead.
Dry skin is caused by hormone imbalance, sun damage, and harsh products that irritate the skin. The good news is you can improve things by using a humidifier while you sleep, using sunscreen, balancing your hormones, exfoliate dead skin cells each week, and using a really good skin care system made for dry skin.
Companies usually manufacture these products as normal/dry skin care.
Hydrating Cleanser – Removes makeup and cleans the skin leaving it hydrated without feeling tight or itchy.
Hydrating Toner – Hydrates the skin and leaves it ready for moisturizer.
Day Moisturizer – Dry skin needs moisture more than anything. This is a super moisturizer with sunscreen added to help prevent aging.
Night Moisturizer – Super moisturizer that won’t clog pores without sunscreen since your sleeping and won’t need that added ingredient. Find a line that is not thick or greasy, but super emollient.
Do You Need An Eye Cream? – Only if you have dark circles, puffy under eyes or showing signs of aging. If you do, get an anti-aging eye cream and it will target all those issues.
Normal Skin Care
If you have normal skin, consider yourself blessed. Small pores, great texture and your skin looks and feels awesome all the time. You might have a tiny bit of dry areas on the checks or a bit of shine, but never too much.
You can use either an anti aging skincare, dry skin treatments, or combination skin care lines made for those with normal skin type.
Combination Skin Care
Combination skin is part oily and part dry. Usually oily in the “T” zone and dry on the cheeks and around the eyes. If this sounds like you, you’ll benefit from using skin care products from both a dry and oily/acne line.
Your goal is to balance, hydrate, absorb oil, and leave a shine free matte look in the oily areas. Using ingredients that are oil free and wont irritate the skin will help you look flawless.
Here’s what to use….
Wash – Use just one wash cleanser from the oily/acne line. A cleanser with salicylic acid will control the oily parts, but won’t do damage to the dry side. You’ll save money purchasing just one wash cleanser.
Toner – Use one toner for the entire face. Not too much hydration, more of a balancing toner from either the anti-aging or oily/acne line. You’ll save money with getting just one toner.
Day Moisturizer – Use 2 different day moisturizers . An acne/oily moisturizer from the acne oily line for the “T” zone. You’ll need to get an added oil free sunscreen to put over the top of your acne oily skin care. Then, use a anti-aging or dry skin day moisturizer with sunscreen for the cheeks and eye area.
Night Moisturizer – Use 2 different night moisturizers. Remember, these come without sunscreen, since you’ll be sleeping and wont need it. Again, a night moisturizer from the acne skincare and oily skin care line for the “T” zone and use an anti aging or dry skin night moisturizer for the cheeks and eye areas.
Do You Need An Eye Cream? – Only if you have dark circles, puffy under eyes or showing signs of aging. If you do, get an anti-aging eye cream and it will reduce all those issues.
If you struggle with uneven pigmentation on your face, chest, arms or hands and it shows itself in freckles, age spots, or your skin looks either lighter or darker than normal in certain areas, you’ll benefit from using a skin lightening product line.
Skin pigmentation problems happen when the body produces either too much or too little of the pigment melanin. Skin discoloration is caused by hormones, and too much unprotected sun exposure.
There are lots of non prescription ingredients added to skin lightening products and get amazing results. Depending on the skin care line you use, here are the top ingredients; Azelaic acid, kojic acid, glycolic acid, bearberry extract, mulberry extract, white mulberry, paper mulberry, arbutin, alpha hydroxy acids, lactic acid, glycolic acid, vitamin C, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, L-ascorbic acid, ascorbyl glucosamine, ascorbic acid.
Always use a healthy sunscreen, inside your skin care or foundation and you’ll do some serous prevention.
When you use skin lightening products, use them under an anti-aging skin care line.
Brightening Day Cream with Sunscreen – Works all day to brighten the skin, reduce the appearance of freckles, age spots, skin discoloration. Has added sunscreen to prevent more.
Brightening Night Serum – Works same way as day cream without added sunscreen.
Age Spot Targeted Treatment – Apply directly to the worst areas to speed up skin brightening and reducing spots.
Brightening Hand Therapy with Sunscreen – Made to apply to your hands, arms and chest. You can use your day and night cream instead, but some will like the simplicity of skin lightening in a hand cream.
Chemical & Mechanical Exfoliants
Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA), Alpha Hydroxy Acid(AHA) Facial Masks Scrubs, and Enzyme Peels are all products with ingredients you can use to remove the dead skin cells from your skin each week.
* Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) – Made for people who have acne and oily skin. BHA is an active ingredient is many acne and oily skin care systems that works automatically (chemically) in removing these dead skin cells while you’re wearing the product. This product is to be used daily.
* Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) – This exfoliating ingredient is best for those with dry or aging skin. Most skin care systems made for those skin types will have AHA ingredients that exfoliate and remove dead skin cells while you are wearing the product. This product is to be used daily.
* Facial Scrub – This product is a mechanical exfoliant. Meaning, you use ‘finger power’ to rub the product on your skin and the course ingredient inside removes the dead skin cells. These are best to use once each week.
* Facial Mask – Facial masks are made for both AHA and BHA exfoliants. Made to use once a week. Leave on for 20 minutes and remove. You can find AHA to be used for those with aging, dry and combination skin. BHA masks are best for those with oily and acne skin types.
* Enzyme Peels – These are usually AHA exfoliants and work on chemically removing dead skin cells while you are wearing the product. Peels can be done at a one time sitting like a mask that you let sit on your skin for 20 minutes. I prefer the peels that you wear overnight as part of your skin care.