by Jessica Smith, REDBOOK
Going to the gym, talking on your cell phone and touching your face mindlessly can take a toll on your skin and now combined with warmer temperatures, you may find yourself fighting breakouts more than during the winter months.
We asked esthetician Lauren Braha, owner of Le Petit Skin Retreat in Miami, Florida, for a few easy tips on how to have clear skin, all year round:
1) Use hydrogen peroxide like a toner. “It kills the bacteria, which is in essence what causes breakouts,” says Braha. Hydrogen peroxide works best, as opposed to alcohol that will only dry out your skin, not disinfect it. Use it after a sweaty workout or a long cell phone conversation to kill anything that might be creeping into your pores.
2) Wash, rinse and repeat. Especially if you have oily skin or wear a lot of makeup in warmer months, you need to be washing your face twice. “The first time you use a cleanser it doesn’t cut through the oil”, says Braha. “The second time you wash, you will get under the first layer and, if you are using a glycolic or salicylic acid wash, allow the ingredients a chance to work on your skin.”
3) Exfoliate! Braha says everyone knows this already (But do we do it?). You may know about exfoliation, but here is why it’s so important: Exfoliating your skin takes off all the dead skin cells that are blocking your pores (translation: causing your breakouts). She advises exfoliation one to three time per week, depending on your skin type, and the strength of the exfoliator. We love the Neutrogena Wave for nightly use as a deep cleanser and exfoliator ($9.99, CVS).
Jessica Smith is a certified fitness lifestyle expert and creator of the 10 Pounds Down DVD series.