The Evolution of Skin Care: Keep Your Skin Healthy at Any Age
Skin care in your 20s
When you’re in your 20s, wrinkles might be the furthest thing from your mind. But your skin is changing, even if it’s not noticeable yet.
Marisa Garshick, MD, FAAD, a board certified dermatologist based in NYC, notes collagen decreases by 1% each year, beginning in your 20s.
“The loss of collagen may contribute to fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging,” Garshick says.
Garshick says people in their 20s can avoid speeding up collagen loss by protecting their skin from the sun.
“Sunscreen can be very important for those in their 20s, as we know UV exposure can contribute to collagen breakdown,” she says.
Garshick suggests using a moisturizing sunscreen. Here are some of our favorite moisturizers with SPF.
The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) recommends choosing a sunscreen with at least 30 SPF that protects against both UVA and UVB rays — known as broad-spectrum.
Though acne is sometimes thought of as a “teenage problem,” it can continue into the 20s and beyond. Acne in your post-teen years can also be hormonal and even related to medications you may be taking. This might include lithium, certain hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs), and testosterone or other hormonal treatments.
Green says the stress 20-somethings experience from finishing school and starting their careers can worsen acne.
A 2017 studyTrusted Source of women ages 22 to 24 suggested that stress increases the severity of acne.
Green advises people experiencing mild acne to:
select a gel-based cleanser
use toners with alpha hydroxy acids (like glycolic acid) or salicylic acid
find a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid
People with mild acne should also consider:
washing the face twice a day and also after working out
using products that are labeled noncomedogenic
Green says sleep can benefit the skin. She explains that your skin naturally replaces dead cells and restores new ones while you sleep.
Skin care in your 30s
In your 30s, you may begin to experience fine lines and signs of sun damage.
Even more sun protection
Fine lines are often an early sign of sun damage.
According to a 2022 review of researchTrusted Source, UV exposure can cause photoaging.
Photoaging refers to mild changes to the epidermis (the outer layer of skin) and major changes to the dermis (the layer of tissue beneath the epidermis).
One study reviewed in the article suggests that UV rays are responsible for 80% of the noticeable signs of photoaging in the facial skin of white women. Another study mentioned looked at people exposed to UVA light through glass who received more exposure on one side of the face than the other. These individuals had “aggravated” signs of photoaging on the exposed side of the face compared to the other.
The National Institute on Aging (NIA)Trusted Source recommends opting for a broad-spectrum sunscreen, applying it 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure, and reapplying every 2 hours.
UVA rays can penetrateTrusted Source through glass, such as windows. This can also cause the breakdown of collagen and pigment in your skin. Consider applying broad-spectrum sunscreen or mineral-based sunscreen on exposed skin, even if you’re indoors.
“Overexposure to the sun during your teens and 20s can contribute to the formation of wrinkles, dark spots, and increase the likelihood of developing skin cancer,” Green says.
Continued skin care checks are essential for this reason.
Volume, collagen, and exfoliation
Green says people may also notice a loss of volume around the cheeks and eye area because of collagen loss.
Garshick adds that exfoliants can remove dead skin cells and keep the skin glowing.
Consider using a chemical exfoliant. If you want to use a physical exfoliant, you may want to limit use to 1 to 2 days per week, as these exfoliants may dry out the skin.
A 2017 reviewTrusted Source and a 2020 studyTrusted Source suggested topical use of vitamin C could benefit your skin as it ages, including the ability to increase collagen synthesis, reduce free radicals, and lighten dark spots.
You can choose the best vitamin C serums for your skin based on your skin type and concerns.
Green says laser therapy may also be a good choice for people in their 30s. Still, it’s essential to speak with a dermatologist about options first. These may include:
Intense pulsed light (IPL) laser therapy: IPL laser therapy can treat sun damage, broken blood vessels, and some types of hyperpigmentation.
Broadband light (BBL)lasertherapy: BBL lasers can also address minor skin concerns like IPL lasers.
Fractional or pro-fractional lasertherapy: These lasers penetrate deeper into the skin and can help reduce the appearance of enlarged pores, fine lines, wrinkles, and scars.
Laser therapy may help reduce:
fine lines and wrinkles
Green also notes that some people may want to start Botox at this time around the forehead and eyes, two areas where persistent facial expressions may begin to create wrinkles.
Maintaining a good sleep routine or starting one if you did not do so in your 20s is also important to help your skin repair, Green notes.
Hormonal acne can also affect people in their 30s and 40s. According to the AAD, This may be due to fluctuating hormones, stress, or a genetic predisposition. It may also be due to a health condition or appear as a side effect from medication.
If you’re experiencing adult acne, a dermatologist can prescribe treatment to help control outbreaks and reduce the appearance of acne scars.
Skin care in your 40s
Green says her patients are often most concerned with loss of elasticity and wrinkles as they hit their 40s.
Continuing with sunscreen and vitamin C use can help prevent sun damage and reduce its effects.
There’s a science behind these issues, Green explains. The skin’s supportive tissue has three building blocks:
The body produces less of them as time goes on, reducing your skin’s elasticity. It may be particularly noticeable on the face and neck, according to Green.
Sun damage could begin to show in the 40s if it didn’t happen in your 30s.
“Hyperpigmentation can become more prominent during this time as well, largely due to accumulated sun damage over time,” says Peterson Pierre, MD, a board certified dermatologist of the Pierre Skin Care Institute.
“Swap out your cleanser for a cleansing balm to hydrate your skin as it cleanses,” Green says. “Your toner should also rebalance your skin, so use a toner that will replenish lost moisture.”
Green suggests a toner with aloe.
Check out our lists of best cleansers for dry skin and top toners by skin type for options that have been medically vetted by our team.
“Exfoliation is also a key step in your 40s,” she adds. “Your skin needs all the help it can get to stimulate cell turnover. This will help maintain a healthy complexion.”
Consider trying a top-rated gentle chemical exfoliator.
Topical retinol or a retinoid can also help skin cells turn over.
Plant-derived stem cells
Plant-derived stem cells are undifferentiated cells. These stem cells come from many plants, each having different benefits.
For example, grapeseed may help with protection from sun damage and can be found in some sunscreens.
A 2016 reviewTrusted Source suggested that using grapeseed oil along with common sunscreen absorbers may reduce the number of UV rays the skin absorbs.
Garshick says other common benefits of plant-derived stem cells may include:
protecting against free radical damage through antioxidant activity
boosting collagen production
providing anti-inflammatory benefits
Many products claim to contain plant-derived stem cells, but a 2017 reviewTrusted Source indicated these items mostly contained plant-derived stem cell extracts. The study suggested live versions are better for skin and that more studies were needed.
Garshick says using products with vitamin C is still a good idea, but she suggests also looking for items with peptides.
“When peptides are incorporated into skin care products, they tell your body to produce more collagen,” she says.
A small 2020 studyTrusted Source of 22 healthy Asian participants over 40 suggested the use of peptides for 2 weeks could reduce wrinkles.
Garshick says there are various types of peptides, including:
Carrier peptides: These deliver minerals for wound healing, like copper, and promote collagen production.
Signal peptides: These send messages to the skin to stimulate the production of collagen, elastin, and other proteins.
Neurotransmitter peptides: These block the release of the chemicals that cause the contraction of facial expression muscles.
She says peptides may help with:
the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Check out some of our favorite peptide products for skin.
Aside from products, Pierre says people may consider Botox at this time if they did not begin it in their 30s.
“Botox [can] relax muscles and improve expression lines, [and] filler injections [can] replace lost volume,” he says.
A 2019 literature reviewTrusted Source indicated Botox was safe and effective at reducing wrinkles.
PRP and microneedling
Green suggests combining microneedling with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy — a treatment that uses a patient’s blood plasma to aid in faster healing.
“PRP with microneedling utilizes the protein-rich plasma containing growth factors to stimulate cell turnover and collagen production by creating tiny micro-channels into the skin infused with PRP,” she explains. “As the skin heals, the cells stimulate collagen production. The result is younger-looking skin.”
Orthopedic surgeons use PRP to help athletes recover from injuries more quickly. Dermatologists may use PRP to support graceful aging. However, the AAD notes that there isn’t enough evidence that it works or doesn’t work.
A few lifestyle tweaks may also help.
“As you get older, your metabolism slows down, and your body retains less water,” Green says.
Be sure to stay hydrated and include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Green suggests cooking with healthy oils and fats and consuming foods high in vitamins and calcium.
Skin care in your 50s
Your skin concerns are likely to shift as you enter your 50s.
“As we age, there’s a decrease in the amount of hyaluronic acid because of slowed production and increased breakdown of our natural hyaluronic acid. [This] can lead to dry skin and loss of moisture,” Garshick says.
A decrease in ceramide levels can also weaken the skin barrier, she adds.
This may lead to:
A 2020 study suggested participants with dry, atopic eczema-prone skin saw significant improvements in skin hydration and dryness for 24 hours after a single application of a cream and lotion containing ceramides.
Menopause may also play a role in the appearance of skin.
“Fluctuations in hormone levels can cause facial fat to redistribute, potentially hollowing the face and causing it to appear thinner and more aged,” Green says.
She suggests dermal fillers can help the inner structure of the face and increase volume loss due to hormonal changes.
Green also says following a nutritious diet can continue to help skin, particularly as individuals begin to feel and see the effects of bone density loss and osteoporosis common with aging.
Bone loss in the face can also contribute to a changing appearance as you age.
Green says individuals can try to reduce the risk of these issues through foods with:
high amounts of protein, like lean meats
high calcium, such as yogurt and cheese
vitamin D, found in fish and eggs
vitamin K, often in green, leafy vegetables
Skin care in your 60s and beyond
Keep up the sun protection
As you move into your 60s, Garshick says the results of cumulative sun exposure may start to show in the form of dark spots.
“While these brown spots reflect prior sun damage that’s been done, it is just as important to continue to wear sun protection to prevent the spots from becoming darker,” she says. “At-home skin brighteners and lightening creams can be helpful.”
She suggests exfoliating a few times per week to improve skin appearance.
Garshick says retinol is still a key ingredient for those in their 60s and beyond.
A 2016 study suggested retinol and vitamin C could boost elasticity in postmenopausal women.
A 2021 review noted additional benefits of retinol on aging skin. These benefits include:
increasing production of elastin and collagen
reducing water loss from the skin
absorbing UV radiation
Whole-body skin care
It’s important to take note of more than your facial skin.
“It becomes especially important to also pay attention to your hands, neck, and chest, as these areas will continue to show signs of aging as they lose volume and the skin appears thinner and more crepey,” she says.
Moisturizing these areas can help.
According to the AAD, skin becomes drier as we age. They suggest that people in their 60s and above should take steps to relieve dry skin. These include:
using gentle, fragrance-free cleansers to avoid irritation
using warm but not hot water when bathing
applying a gentle, fragrance-free body moisturizer within 3 minutes of bathing
using a humidifier when the air is dry
protecting the skin from harsh chemicals and sunlight, such as wearing gloves when cleaning or gardening and using SPF daily on the face, ears, and neck
Garshick says in-office procedures may help with targeting skin concerns that come with mature skin, including:
Embrace the skin you’re in
It’s also important to remember that aging is inevitable. Above all, focus on accepting yourself as you are and growing older gracefully.
“It’s OK to accept and embrace the changes we experience and to remember that it’s a privilege to live longer and get older,” Garshick says.
She emphasizes that there’s no right or wrong.
“While there are options to help people feel better about themselves while going through the process, people should not feel pressure to do any of it,” Garshick says.
Like the rest of your body, your skin will likely show signs of maturing as you get older. Fine lines, wrinkles, unwanted pigment, and loss of elasticity are four of the more noticeable and common signs of maturing skin.
The aging process starts in the 20s, when the skin begins to lose collagen. Damage from UV rays can speed up collagen loss, so wearing sunscreen is essential.
Continued use of sunscreen, as well as adding topical vitamin C, retinoids, and hyaluronic acid, can help fight the free radicals that cause further skin damage. This can help slow down the signs of aging.
Getting enough sleep, eating nutritious foods, and keeping alcohol intake to a minimum are lifestyle tweaks that support the skin as you age.
That said, it’s essential to remember aging is inevitable, and it’s OK to embrace the skin you have.
What Order Should I Follow for My Skin Care Routine?
Your skin care routine is an important part of every day. If you use multiple products morning and evening, the order you use them matters. Here’s an 11-step quick guide to help.
Whether you want a simple 3-step routine for the morning or have time for a full 10-step regimen at night, the order in which you apply your products matters.
Why? There isn’t much point in having a skin care routine if your products don’t get a chance to penetrate your skin.
Read on to learn more about how to layer for maximum impact, which steps you can skip, what products to try, and more.
What should I use in the morning?
Step 1: Oil-based cleanser
What is it? Cleansers come in two forms: water-based and oil-based. The latter is intended to dissolve oils produced by your skin.
How to use it: Some oil-based cleansers are designed to work their magic on wet skin. Others are best on dry skin. Read the instructions before applying a small amount to your skin. Massage in and rinse thoroughly with water before drying with a clean towel.
Skip this step if: Your cleanser only contains oil — instead of a blend of oil and surfactants and emulsifiers — and you have combination or oily skin. Cleansing oils may cause an increase in oiliness.
Products to try: Deviant Enzymatic Cleansing Oil removes makeup and impurities but is gentle on skin. For an olive oil option, DHC Deep Cleansing Oil is suitable for all skin types.
Be sure to: Do a patch test in a small area on your skin for a few days and monitor how your skin reacts. If you experience cystic acne, talk with your dermatologist before switching to an oil-based cleanser.
Pros: Oil cleansers can have a higher cleansing abilityTrusted Source. They can unclog pores and remove even waterproof makeup. A small 2019 studyTrusted Source suggests that oil cleansers may do a better job at removing waterproof sunblock compared to other methods.
Cons: Anecdotal evidence suggests that there may be an initial 1- to 2-week “purging” period where you may experience breakouts as old oil on your skin is cleansed.
Step 2: Water-based cleanser
What is it? These cleansers primarily contain surfactants, which are ingredients that allow water to rinse away dirt and sweat. They can also remove the oils collected by an oil-based cleanser.
How to use it: Massage into wet skin and rinse with water before drying.
Skip this step if: You don’t want to double cleanse or if your oil-based cleanser contains surfactants that sufficiently remove dirt and debris.
Products to try: For a soothing oil-free experience, try La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser. COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser is designed to help balance and protect your skin.
Be sure to: Look for a cleanser with a neutral or low pH, as a 2017 study suggests they may be less irritating to your skin.
Pros: Mild water-based cleansers may help prevent breakouts in those with acne-prone or oily skin.
Cons: Harsher surfactants can dry out your skin and may damage your skin’s natural barrier.
Step 3: Toner or astringent
What is it? Toners are designed to replenish skin through hydration and remove dead cells and dirt left behind after cleansing. An astringent is an alcohol-based product used to remove excess oil.
How to use it: Straight after cleansing, either tap directly onto the skin or onto a cotton pad and swipe over the face in an outward motion.
Skip the astringent if: You have dry skin.
Products to try: Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel Facial Toner is an alcohol-free cult classic, while Neutrogena Clear Pore Oil-Eliminating Astringent is designed to fight breakouts.
Be sure to: Avoid toners high in alcohol as they can irritate your skin.
Pros: Toners and astringents can help reduce the appearance of pores and remove impurities left behind after cleansing.
Cons: Overuse of alcohol-based toners can cause irritation.
Step 4: Antioxidant serum
What is it? Serums contain a high concentration of certain ingredients. An antioxidant-based serum will protect skin against damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. Vitamins C and E are common antioxidants used to improve texture and firmness. Others to look out for include green tea, resveratrol, and caffeine.
How to use it: Pat a few drops onto your face and neck.
Products to try: A bottle of Skinceuticals Phloretin CF with Ferulic Acid doesn’t come cheap, but promises to protect against ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays and lessen signs of aging. For a more affordable alternative, try Avene Hydrance Intense Rehydrating Serum.
Be sure to: Test a new product in a small area to see how it works on your skin and with the other products in your routine.
Pros: Antioxidant serums can help reduce redness, wrinkles, and damage to your skin.
Cons: Some serums, such as those that contain acids, may cause irritation when combined with other acid-containing skin care products.
Step 5: Spot treatment
What is it? If you have a blemish with a head, first look for an anti-inflammatory product to remove it, then turn to a spot-drying treatment to clear up the rest. Anything under the skin is classified as a cyst and will require a product that targets the infection on the inside.
How to use it: Use a damp cotton swab to remove any skin care products from the spot. Apply a small amount of the treatment and leave to dry.
Skip this step if: You have no spots or want to let nature take its course.
Products to try: Kate Somerville EradiKate Acne Treatment has a high sulfur content to reduce spots and prevent new pimples. Murad Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment is also great for the day. Drying clear, it can speed up the healing process and assist with leftover discoloration.
Be sure to: Avoid using spot treatment on open blemishes.
Pros: Acne treatments can reduce inflammation, redness, and pain.
Cons: Skin reactions may occur, especially with products with stronger ingredients. Always introduce a new product slowly and monitor your skin.
Step 6: Eye cream
What is it? The skin around your eyes tends to be thinner and more sensitive. It’s also prone to signs of aging, including fine lines, puffiness, and darkness. A good eye cream can brighten, smooth, and firm up the area, but it won’t completely eliminate issues.
How to use it: Dab a small amount onto the eye area using your ring finger.
Skip this step if: Your moisturizer and serum are suitable for the eye area, contain an effective formula, and are fragrance-free.
Products to try: SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complexcan reduce under-eye circles while reinforcing firmness. Clinique Moisture Surge Eye 96-Hour Hydro-Filler Concentrate is a gel that aims to help the eye area replenish its own moisture.
Be sure to: Use only a small amount and cleanse properly. Not removing product buildup from this gentle area may clog pores.
Pros: Eye creams are designed for the sensitive skin around your eyes and can help reduce signs of aging, such as wrinkles and discoloration.
Cons: If your eye cream gets into your eye, it may cause irritation.
Step 7: Lighter face oil
What is it? The lighter the product, the earlier you should apply it. Easily absorbable oils are lightweight and should therefore come before moisturizer. They’re especially useful if your skin’s showing signs of dryness, flakiness, or dehydration.
How to use it: Squeeze a few drops onto your fingertips. Rub them together gently to warm the oil before lightly dabbing onto your face.
Skip this step if: You prefer a maintenance routine. More often than not, you’ll have to try different oils to see which works best for your skin.
Products to try: Aspen Kay Glow Face Oil can treat dry skin, while The Ordinary Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil is designed to reduce signs of photoaging.
Be sure to: Let your oil sink in fully before applying sunscreen. Some face oils may dissolve your sunscreen.
Pros: Face oils help lock in hydration, keeping your skin moisturized.
Cons: Oils may cause breakouts in people with oily skin.
Step 8: Moisturizer
What is it? A moisturizer will soothe and soften skin. If you have a dry skin type, opt for a cream or balm. Thicker creams work best on normal or combination skin, and fluids and gels are recommended for oilier types. Effective ingredients include glycerine, ceramides, antioxidants, and peptides.
How to use it: Take a slightly bigger than pea-size amount and warm it in your hands. Apply to cheeks first, then to the rest of the face using upward strokes.
Skip this step if: Your toner or serum gives you enough moisture. This is especially true for those with oily skin.
Products to try: CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion is a lightweight SPF 30 formula that should work well on oily skin. For those with dry skin, look to Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream Extra-Dry.
Be sure to: Apply moisturizer with clean hands — especially if you’re using it from a jar that you dip your fingers into. If you use dirty hands, you may be adding dirt and even bacteria into your moisturizer.
Pros: Regular moisturizing can help prevent blemishes and other skin issues by protecting your skin’s barrier.
Cons: Using a moisturizer that’s too heavy without proper cleansing may result in developing milia — small white bumps — on your skin.
Step 9: Heavier face oil
What is it? Oils that take some time to absorb or simply feel thick fall into the heavy category. Best suited for dry skin types, these should be applied after moisturizer to seal in all the goodness.
How to use it: Follow the same process as the lighter oil.
Skip this step if: You don’t want to run the risk of clogging your pores. Again, trial and error is key here.
Products to try: Supergoop! Glow Oil SPF 50 is a fragrance-free face oil that also contains SPF.
Be sure to: Fully cleanse your face at the end of the day, as heavier face oils can contribute to clogging pores.
Pros: These oils moisturize your skin and seal in hydration from other steps in your skin care routine.
Cons: Heavier oils may contribute to breakouts in people with acne-prone skin.
Step 10: Sunscreen
What is it? Sunscreen is a critical final step in your morning skin care routine. Not only can it lower your risk of skin cancer, but it can also reduce signs of aging by blocking damaging UV light. The American Cancer SocietyTrusted Source recommends choosing a broad spectrum sunblock rated SPF 30 or higher that protects against UVA and UVB light.
How to use it: Spread liberally over your face and massage in. Make sure to apply it 15 to 30 minutes before you go outside. Never apply skin care products on top, as this can dilute the sunscreen.
Products to try: If you don’t like sunscreen’s usual texture, Glossier Invisible Shield may be the one for you. The product is also recommended for darker skin tones. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 absorbs fast with a matte finish.
Be sure to: Reapply sunblock to your face and body every 2 hours while spending time in the sun.
Pros: Using sunblock along with taking other precautions like wearing a hat and being in the shade can help lower your risk for skin cancer.
Cons: Some sunscreens may cause skin reactions, so it is important to test in a small area prior to applying over the body. Other formulas may not be safe for marine life, such as the coral reef, if you will be swimming in ocean water. Be sure to read the label to determine the best product for your needs.
Step 11: Foundation or other base makeup
What is it? If you want to wear makeup, a base layer will give you a smooth, even complexion. Opt for foundation — which comes in a cream, liquid, or powder form — or a lightweight tinted moisturizer or BB cream.
How to use it: Use a brush or sponge to apply makeup. Start at the center of the face and blend outward. To seamlessly blend the edges, use a damp sponge.
Products to try: Whether you prefer powered or liquid formulas, try hypoallergenic foundations or natural foundations that are environmentally friendly and nontoxic.
Skip this step if: You prefer to go au naturel.
Be sure to: Check your foundation’s expiration date. Many last for 6 to 12 months from the date you first open them.
Pros: Foundations provide light to heavy coverage for blemishes, uneven tone, and more.
Cons: Covering your skin with makeup can cause breakouts in some people.
What should I use at night?
Focus on repairing the damage done during the day with thicker products at night. This is also the time to use anything that makes skin sensitive to sunlight, including physical exfoliants and chemical peels.
Step 1: Oil-based makeup remover
What is it? As well as dissolving the natural oils produced by your skin, an oil-based cleanser can break down oily ingredients found in makeup.
How to use it: Follow the specific product instructions. They may advise you to apply the makeup remover on wet or dry skin. Once applied, massage in until skin is clean, then rinse with water.
Products to try: Deviant Enzymatic Cleansing Oil and DHC Deep Cleansing Oil were our choices for daytime cleansing, and they’re our choices for nighttime cleansing too.
Skip this step if: You don’t wear makeup, have oily skin, or would prefer to use a water-based product.
Be sure to: Read the instructions on your oil-based makeup remover, as some may direct you to follow this step with another type of cleanser or micellar water to remove residue.
Pros: Using a makeup remover helps remove makeup residue and impurities from your skin.
Cons: Not fully removing excess oil from your skin may clog pores.
Step 2: Water-based cleanser
What is it? Water-based cleansers react with makeup and dirt on the skin in a way that allows everything to be rinsed away with water.
How to use it: Follow the instructions. Usually, you’ll apply it to wet skin, massage in, and rinse off.
Skip this step if: Double cleansing isn’t for you.
Products to try: TULA Super Calm Gentle Milk Cleanser can remove makeup and impurities and is hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and sulfate-free. For those with normal to dry skin, CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser may help restore moisture while gently cleansing.
Be sure to: Choose a gentle formula with a low or neutral pH. These help maintain the health of your skin’s natural barrier. Avoid scrubbing your face too hard when cleansing. Using too much force can irritate your skin.
Pros: Double cleansing can help remove any residue left behind by your makeup remover or oil cleanser.
Cons: Some formulas may have ingredients that can dry out your skin. If you experience dryness or irritation, switch to another product.
Step 3: Exfoliator or clay mask
What is it? Exfoliation removes dead skin cells while clearing pores. Clay masks work to unclog pores, but can also absorb excess oil. These masks are best applied at night to remove leftover dirt and help the skin soak up other products.
How to use it: Exfoliators have different application methods, so follow product instructions. For clay masks, once or twice per week, apply the mask all over or to specific problem areas. Leave on for the recommended time, then rinse with warm water and pat dry.
Skip exfoliating if: Your skin is already irritated.
Products to try: Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant uses beta hydroxy acid to even texture and tone. Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Mask contains bentonite and kaolin clays and can help purify clogged pores.
Be sure to: Avoid overuse of physical and chemical exfoliators, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), especially if you have sensitive skin. Stop use if any irritation occurs. Exfoliators may affect your sun sensitivity, so be sure to wear sunblock during the day after exfoliating.
Pros: Exfoliation removes dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. Some chemical exfoliators can also remove impurities from deeper within your skin and prevent breakouts.
Cons: Some physical exfoliators, such as those containing coarse sugar or salt, may be abrasive on sensitive skin and cause irritation. If a product leaves your skin irritated, stop use and swap it out for another option once your skin has healed.
Step 4: Hydrating mist or toner
What is it? A hydrating mist or toner marks the end of your nighttime cleansing routine. DermNet NZ says you should look out for humectant ingredients — lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, and glycerine — to really give skin a moisture boost.
How to use it: Spritz mists over your face. For toners, apply the product to a cotton pad and swipe over the skin.
Products to try:Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber and Green Tea can be sprayed at any time of day or night. Dry and sensitive skin types may find Tower 28 SOS Daily Rescue Facial Sprayworthwhile.
Be sure to: Avoid overuse of toners with high levels of alcohols, as they may cause irritation or damage to your skin’s barrier.
Pros: Toners can help remove leftover residue from other steps in your routine and balance your skin’s pH.
Cons: Alcohol-based products may cause irritation in individuals with sensitive skin.
Step 5: Acid treatment
What is it? Dousing your face in acid may sound scary, but this skin care treatment can encourage cell turnover. Beginners may want to try glycolic acid. Other options include acne-busting salicylic acid and moisturizing hyaluronic acid. Over time, you should notice a brighter and more even complexion.
How to use it: Start once per week with the goal of using every night. Do a patch test at least 24 hours before first use. Add a few drops of the solution to a cotton pad and sweep across the face. Make sure to avoid the eye area.
Skip this step if: You have particularly sensitive skin or experience a reaction to a particular acid.
Products to try: Glycolic acid can be found in Alpha-H Liquid Gold. For hydration, choose Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Serum. People with oily skin types may safely layer acids. Apply thinner products and lower pH levels first.
Be sure to: Choose an acid treatment that fits your skin’s needs.
Pros: According to 2021 research, acids can help reduce signs of aging, scarring, and acne, and even out your skin tone.
Cons: Acids may make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Be sure to use sunblock during the day following application of an acid treatment.
Step 6: Serums and essences
What is it? Serums deliver powerful ingredients directly to the skin. An essence is simply a watered-down version. Vitamin E is great for dry skin, while antioxidants like green tea extract can be used on dull complexions. If you’re prone to breakouts, try retinol or vitamin C.
How to use it: Carry out a patch test 24 hours before using a new serum or essence. If skin looks good, dispense the product into your hand and press into your skin. You can layer multiple products. Just apply water-based ones before oil-based and wait around 30 seconds between each.
Products to try: To refresh the look and feel of skin, try La Roche-Posay Retinol B3 Serum. If a brightening effect is what you’re after, Sunday Riley C.E.O. Brightening Serum contains 15 percent vitamin C.
Be sure to: Choose a serum that delivers benefits your skin needs, whether it’s one that focuses on pro-aging support, moisturizing, brightening, or spot reduction.
Pros: Serums deliver highly concentrated skin benefits. Because of their formula type, more of the product penetrates your skin’s surface.
Cons: Some serums can be pricey — but you don’t need to spend a fortune to reap the benefits. And remember, compared to moisturizer, you only use a small amount of serum, so a little goes a long way.
Step 7: Spot treatment
What is it? Anti-inflammatory products are for blemishes with a head. Follow with a spot-drying treatment. Ones that dry visibly are great for nighttime use.
How to use it: Make sure skin is clean. Apply a small amount of product and leave to dry.
Skip this step if: You’re spot-free.
Products to try: Mario Badescu Drying Lotion uses salicylic acid to dry up spots overnight. Alternatively, stick a pus-absorbing COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch on before bed.
Be sure to: Avoid popping pimples, blemishes, and whiteheads yourself. The AAD says that this can cause scarring, introduce bacteria, and push pus further under the skin. If you don’t see improvement in 4 to 6 weeks, consider talking with a dermatologist.
Pros: Healing products can make a noticeable difference, sometimes even overnight.
Cons: Sometimes, peeling, redness, or irritation can occur, especially if you have sensitive skin.
Step 8: Hydrating serum or mask
What is it? Some products can clog pores, but hydrating serums aren’t one of them. With the ability to pack a real moisture punch, they’re wonderful for dry skin.
How to use it: These powerful hydrators can come in various forms. Some are serums. Others are thicker masks. And some are even designed to be left on overnight. If this is the case, apply it at the end of your routine. Just follow the instructions on the pack and you’re good to go.
Products to try: Designed to deliver long lasting moisture, the ingredients list of The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5boasts three forms of hyaluronic acid with different molecular weights to penetrate the skin. If you’re more into sheet masks, K-beauty brand TONYMOLY offers their I’m Real Sheet Masks, a collection of different sheet masks with different hydrating ingredients. If you’re applying a sheet mask, make sure to use it earlier in your routine — just after toner. Otherwise, when you take it off, it may remove your other products as well.
Be sure to: Try refrigerating a sheet mask before using it and enjoy some additional anti-inflammatory benefits.
Pros: A mask keeps beneficial and hydrating ingredients in close contact with your skin and can remove excess sebum.
Cons: As with all new skin care products, test masks on a small area of skin before applying, as they may contain ingredients that irritate your skin.
Step 9: Eye cream
What is it? A richer nighttime eye cream can help improve appearance-related issues, like tiredness and fine lines. Look for a high concentration of peptides and antioxidants.
How to use it: Apply a small amount of cream to the eye area and dab in.
Skip this step if: Your moisturizer or serum can be safely and effectively used under your eyes.
Products to try: La Roche-Posay Redermic Retinol Eye Cream aims to refresh the eye area, while Olay Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum is packed with those all-important peptides.
Be sure to: Apply eye cream with clean hands or a clean applicator and gently pat into skin, rather than rubbing — which can contribute to skin aging and damage.
Pros: Applying overnight gives the product a chance to penetrate your skin. Plus, certain formulas can help boost collagen production and delay the signs of aging.
Cons: Dedicated eye creams can be expensive. But there are affordable options that can also make a difference for your skin.
Step 10: Face oil
What is it? A nighttime oil is great for dry or dehydrated skin. The evening is the best time to apply thicker oils that may result in an unwanted shiny complexion.
How to use it: Pat a few drops into the skin. Make sure no other product is applied on top for the best results.
Products to try: Dermalogica Retinol Clearing Oil features argan, rosehip, and jojoba oils to nourish the skin. Dr. Wang Herbal Skincare Radiance Facial Oil contains ginseng, which may help reduce signs of aging, and licorice root, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
Be sure to: Cleanse thoroughly the following morning to remove residue from heavier products.
Pros: Oils may change the effectiveness of your sunscreen during the day, so nighttime application may be best for certain products.
Cons: A heavier oil may not be the best fit for those with oily skin or acne. Everyone’s skin is different, so find a product that works for you.
Step 11: Night cream or sleep mask
What is it? Night creams are a totally optional last step, but they can be worthwhile. While day creams are designed to protect the skin, these rich moisturizers help cell repair. Sleep masks, on the other hand, seal in all your other products and contain hydrating ingredients mild enough to be kept on overnight.
How to use it: Warm a small amount of product in your hands before distributing it evenly across your face.
Skip this step if: Your skin already looks and feels its best.
Products to try: For pro-aging support, apply Elemis Pro-Collagen Overnight Matrix. For an affordable, hydrating mask, Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque may appeal to dry skin in need of extra moisture.
Be sure to: Test a small amount before an overnight application to see how your skin reacts.
Pros: Applying a night cream or sleep mask allows the product time to penetrate the skin barrier.
Cons: Some people may not like the feel of sleeping with heavier products on. If that’s the case, you can still take advantage of a more lightweight formula.
Frequently asked questions
What routine should I follow for dry skin?
If your skin is dry, focus your routine on hydration and building a healthy skin barrier. Follow the steps above but swap out products that may be too harsh or acidic for those that add moisture to your skin and help it retain that moisture.
What is a basic skin care routine?
A basic skin care routine has fewer steps than an expanded one but keeps your skin clean and healthy. The steps can depend on your needs and the amount of time you have. Usually, a basic routine includes removing makeup, cleansing your face, applying a spot treatment for any blemishes, using sunblock during the day, and putting on moisturizer.
At what age should you start a skin care routine?
It’s never too early — or late — to start a skin care routine. Even kids can practice taking care of their skin by washing their faces when they wake up and before bed and applying sunscreen during the day.
But, choose the steps and specific products in your routine for your skin concerns and age. Adolescents, for example, may need a routine built on products to help manage blemishes and oily skin. Adults may focus more on products that support their skin as it ages. Build a routine that’s right for you.
The bottom line
Not everyone loves a 10-step routine, so don’t feel pressured to include every step in the above lists.
For many people, a good rule of thumb is to apply products thinnest to thickest — for however many products that may be — as they move through their skin care routines.
The most important thing is finding a skin care routine that works for you and that you’ll follow. Whether that involves the whole shebang or a simplified ritual, have fun experimenting.
6 Ways to Maximize Your Beauty Sleep for #WokeUpLikeThis Skin
Here’s everything you need to know about sound sleep and stunning skin.
We do so much to make our skin look great in the morning. Our bathroom counters are cluttered with everything from 10-step skin care to Fenty foundation or the most recent Amazon haul from clean beauty brands.
But what if one of the biggest secrets to better skin was as simple as laying down and taking a nap? After all, our body never stops working — especially when we’re asleep.
There’s some research and science behind the concept of beauty rest. Sleep is when some of the most important internal — and epidermal — recovery takes place!
While you shouldn’t fully abandon your daytime skin care routine in favor of getting more Zzz’s, there are some easy ways to amp your skin-sleep relationship for morning results.
How sleep affects your skin
You can almost immediately tell that getting a poor night of sleep doesn’t do woke-up-like-this wonders for your face. Older 2013 research even says that one night of poor sleep can cause:
darker undereye circles
more wrinkles and fine lines
more droopy corners of the mouth
A 2017 study found that two days of sleep restriction negatively affected participants’ perceived attractiveness, health, sleepiness, and trustworthiness.
So, what seems like an overnight issue could transform into something more permanent.
First and foremost, you should understand that sleep is the time when your body repairs itself. This is true for your epidermis as much as it is for your brain or muscles.
During sleep, your skin’s blood flow increases, and the organ rebuilds its collagen and repairs damage from UV exposure, reducing wrinkles and age spots.
Second, sleep is when your face inevitably comes into contact with the elements directly around it for a long time, especially if you’re getting the recommended seven to nine hours each night.
Think about it: Your face against rough, drying cotton for one-third of its existence and being exposed to the sun for two unprotected hours could do a number on the appearance and health of your skin.
Here’s what you can do to help give your skin a rest.
1. Get a full night of sleep
The best place to start for your skin — and overall health — is to get the recommended amount of rest each night.
The results of poor sleep for your skin include:
skin that ages fasterTrusted Source
skin that doesn’t recover as well from environmental stressors like sun exposure
less satisfaction with your skin quality
Sometimes you might have an off day, but you should average seven to nine hours of sleep. If you’re wondering how to reset your internal clock and catch up on rest, try sleeping in on the weekends by following our three-day fix guide.
You can also track your sleep with a wearable fitness tracker.
2. Wash your face before turning in
We’ve established how sleeping is a surefire way to help your skin repair itself: blood flow increases, collagen is rebuilt, and the muscles in your face relax after a long day.
But going to sleep with a dirty face can also harm the appearance of your skin.
Cleansing your face each night is arguably more important than in the morning — you don’t need to use fancy products or scrub too hard. A gentle cleanser to remove dirt, makeup, and extra oil will do the trick.
You don’t want to give the day’s pore-clogging irritants the chance to sink in and cause damage overnight. This can cause:
3. Use an overnight moisturizer and stay hydrated
Washing your face can dry it out, and sleeping can also dehydrate skin, especially if you snooze in a low-humidity environment. While staying hydrated by drinking water can help to some extent,Trusted Source what your skin really needs at night is a topical moisturizer.
Again, you don’t need the fanciest product on the market. You just need a thicker cream or oil that can help your skin as you sleep. Another option is to use your day moisturizer and layer petroleum jelly — using clean hands — on top to lock in the moisturizer.
For a more supercharged product, try an overnight sleeping mask.
4. Sleep on your back or use a special pillowcase
It makes sense that the position your face is in while you sleep (for one-third of your day!) matters to your skin.
Sleeping on a rough cotton surface can irritate your skin and compress your face for long hours at a time, resulting in wrinkles. While most wrinkles are caused by the expressions we make while we’re awake, wrinkles on the face and chest can result from sleeping on our stomachs or sides.
An easy solution to this is sleeping on your back — which also has a few other benefits — even if you train yourself over time.
If you prefer to sleep on your side, get a skin-friendly pillow. A satin or silk pillow minimizes skin irritation and compression, while copper-oxide pillowcases may reduce crow’s feet and other fine lines.
5. Elevate your head
Elevating your head has been proven to help with snoring, acid reflux, and nasal drip — all issues that can disturb the quality of your sleep and, therefore, your skin. In addition, it can help reduce bags and circles under your eyes by improving blood flow and preventing blood from pooling.
Elevating your head while you sleep can be as simple as adding an extra pillow, a wedge to your mattress, or even propping the head of your bed by a few inches.
6. Stay away from sun while you snooze
While we do most of our sleeping in the dark, sleeping with your skin directly exposed to the sun in the morning, or during naps, can have a damaging effect on your skin’s health and appearance — not to mention that sleeping in a lighted room can disturb sleep and sleep rhythms.
Getting blackout curtains or making sure that your bed is out of the sun’s direct line can help.
Embrace healthy sleep as a way to healthy skin
While we often spend a lot of our time layering and lasering our skin, paying attention to how we treat our skin during sleeping hours shouldn’t be overlooked.
It’s not just for a glow or looking youthful; it’s about maintaining your health in body, mind, and skin for years to come. A few wrinkles never hurt anyone — in fact, they’re usually a sign of happy years lived.
About Skin pH and Why It Matters
Your skin tends to have a naturally acidic pH depending on the areas of your body. Factors like the environment and your skin care routine can affect your skin’s pH level. Learn how to keep a balanced skin pH.
Potential hydrogen (pH) refers to the acidity level of substances. So what does acidity have to do with your skin?
It turns out that understanding and maintaining your skin’s pH is important to your overall skin health.
A little about the pH scale
The pH scale ranges from 1 to 14, with 7 considered “neutral.” The numbers below 7 are acidic, while above 7 are considered alkaline or non-acidic.
You might be surprised to learn that a healthy skin pH is more acidic. With more acidity, your skin can combat harmful microbes and damaging free radicals that might quicken the aging process.
Still, it can be a bit challenging to level out skin pH. How can you maintain your skin’s acidity levels without causing harm? Read on to learn more.
Skin on the pH scale
Remember that a neutral pH is 7, with anything higher being alkaline, and anything lower being acidic. The skin, though, tends to have a broad pH range, with acidity ranging between 4 and 7.
An older 2006 study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic ScienceTrusted Source reported that the ideal pH level is below 5.
Newborns have relatively high pH levels all over their skin. As babies get older, their pH levels rapidly decline. The average newborn has a skin pH of about 7. This is compared to the average adult skin pH of 5.7.
Skin pH varies depending on the area of your body. Lesser exposed areas, such as the buttocks, armpits, and genital area, tend to haveTrusted Source a higher acidity. This is unlike your face, chest, and hands, which tend to be more alkaline.
Such differences are often due to acid barrier differences.
Other factors that can affect skin pH include:
sebum and skin moisture
area of the body
genetics and age
cosmetics and cleansersTrusted Source
antibacterial products like soaps and gels
certain skin conditions
These factors can lead to unbalanced skin pH. Having skin pH that is too high can make you more likelyTrusted Source to have acne.
How to check the pH of your skin
Below are a few ways you can check the pH of your skin.
At-home test strips
Thanks to at-home pH kits, it may be possible to determine your skin pH on your own. These come in the form of paper strips that are applied to your skin and measured.
For the best results, buy pH kits meant for your skin. Saliva and urine tests can measure your body’s overall pH levels, but these will do little to tell you the pH measurement of the surface of your skin.
Home kits may not be as accurate as testing from a skin care professional.
Through a dermatologist
A dermatologist may also offer pH testing in their office. In addition, they can help you with cosmetic and other skin-related care that you’re interested in.
Observe and estimate
It’s possible to get a general idea of your skin pH level through careful observation.
Skin that has a healthy appearance without dry spots could be considered balanced. Irritation, acne, redness, and dry spots may all be signs of a high skin pH leaning toward a more alkaline profile.
How to balance skin pH
Below are a few ways to help maintain healthy skin and balanced skin pH.
Wash with gentle cleansers
Whether gentle for you means using a specially formulated commercially made face wash or cleaning your skin with DIY natural or plant-based items, remember that water affects your skin too, even if momentarily.
More alkaline facial cleansers may makeTrusted Source your skin more prone to irritation.
More acidic cleansers may help combat acne, which may clear up once your pH levels reach below 6. More acidic-based skin care ingredients may also helpTrusted Source maintain healthy skin in conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Look for products with a pH of 4 or lowerTrusted Source to help maintain your skin barrier. Not all products list pH, but some do.
Use a skin toner
According to Paula’s Choice, skin toner usually has a pH between 5 and 7, which can help neutralize any remaining alkalinity adversely affecting your skin’s optimal pH levels.
Toners are discouraged in people with some skin conditions, such as rosacea. Speak with your skin care professional before using toner if you have a skin condition.
Follow up with a moisturizer. You can choose from moisturizing oils, lotions, gels, and thick creams. You may even want to adjust your moisturizer for the season, too.
One 2018 studyTrusted Source found that certain petrolatum-based emollients could help protect and maintain ideal skin pH.
For some, exfoliating your skin as often as once a week with gentle exfoliants can be good for your general skin care routine. The type of exfoliation and frequency varies depending on your skin type and needs.
Maintaining healthy skin may also be assisted with acids used in chemical peels and microdermabrasion. Talk with a skin care professional about these options to see if these procedures can help even out or tone your skin.
Ask your skin care professional what type, if any, of exfoliation is a good option for your skin.
Read more about how, when, and how often to exfoliate.
The bottom line
Skin pH is just one of the aspects of overall skin health. Taking care of your skin with a cleanser and moisturizer for your skin type helps strike the right balance of oil your skin needs to stay at its healthiest.
Daily sunscreen is also a must-have to protect your skin from damage from ultraviolet (UV) light and other particles.
Any specific skin care concerns, such as acne or dermatitis, should be addressed with a dermatologist. They can help resolve any underlying skin issues and help you keep your skin healthy.
These 8 Beauty Myths Aren’t Doing Your Skin Any Favors
Plus, eight more skin care tips to counter them.
When I stepped into the skin care aisle in grade school, I was sure my skin problems would be whisked away by the fancy bottles and copy writing promises. Even better if the products had before-and-after photos next to them.
What I didn’t realize at that time was that skin care wasn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. In fact, it’s often the exact opposite.
To find out what worked for me, my routine, and my budget, I needed to also work my way through psoriasis, hyperpigmentation, and the pressure we put on ourselves to look like a porcelain doll.
Throughout my journey I’ve discovered a few things that work and others that do not. More importantly, I’ve learned eight skin product myths that keep people from having a great relationship with their skin.
Myth #1: Use a ‘dime-sized’ amount of product
This myth started from hair care and somehow made its way into skin care. You may even see companies perpetuate this myth when they apply a fingertip amount in their advertisements.
When in doubt, use a little more product than the amount slotted on the back of the bottle. After all, everyone’s face — from size to absorbency — is different.
Two drops of face oil may be too much for balanced oily skin but after it sinks into dehydrated, oily skin, it may turn out to be too little.
Tip: When it’s been a long day of touching your face, eating takeout, picking up another quarter you dropped at the coffee shop, you’ll want to treat your face to more than a dime-sized amount of cleanliness. (Same goes for sunscreen, as most people only apply 25 to 50 percent of the needed amount!)
Myth #2: You absolutely need a toner
A standard toner removes excess dirt and oil off the skin before you apply moisturizer. Depending on the brand, they promise to help your skin look brighter and smoother.
While I do believe that toner can assist in your beauty routine, not everyone needs it. Too many products can cause build up or a lack of absorption in your products.
I eventually took a minimalist approach to my skin care journey and removed toner. In its place, I added a liquid cell rejuvenator that’s mostly made of aloe vera. It’s a great base to my moisturizer and gives me that bright glow while minimizing my pores.
Tip: If you use toner, I suggest looking up your toner and comparing it with the other products in your routine (use SkinCarisma). You may find it overlaps or isn’t necessary at all.
Myth #3: Makeup wipes are the best way to remove makeup
If you’re prone to hyperpigmentation, makeup wipes can actually cause friction and slowly tear at the skin if you use daily. Plus, a lot of makeup wipes have alcohol, which can cause stinging for sensitive skin.
On regular days, I apply CeraVe SA Cleanser to my hands and wash my face. After, I wash with the soap again with my Vanity brush. You can also opt for an oil cleanse to melt off the day’s impurities.
Tip: If you choose to use makeup wipes, try to limit them for long nights out instead.
Myth #4: Price is a good indicator of how well a product works
My combination skin forces me to spend more money on skin products. But I don’t spend a lot on every product.
Sometimes a simple product that costs less and has less going on ingredient-wise pays off more. For example, my Trader Joes’ Tea Tree Oil Facial Wash is $13.99 but my Lancome Beinfait Multivital moisturizer with SPF 30 is $60.
When I can’t afford that moisturizer for the month, I opt for a Cetaphil moisturizer and Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer sunscreen. Both keep my skin looking fierce!
Tip: You can easily learn to put your money where it matters by researching the star ingredient in your favorite products and see if there are “dupes” (aka copycat products) that also highlight those ingredients.
Myth #5: Never touch your face with your hands
Skin myths can emerge from anywhere, especially word of mouth. You may have heard: “Avoid touching your face to prevent acne” but touching alone isn’t the only thing breaking you out.
My dermatologist warned me about talking on the phone without headphones and scrolling on my phone and then touching my face afterward. Apparently our phones carry more bacteria than most toilet seats.
A huge indicator of the skin issues I dealt with in high school came after I began getting acrylic nails. Apparently long nails can carry the gunk from your entire day, and if there’s bacteria, it can travel to your face or even cause an infection underneath your nails.
Tip: When washing your hands, concentrate on getting in underneath your nails!
Myth #6: A consistent routine is the key to preventing breakouts
A consistent skin care routine isn’t going to save you from breakouts. Breakouts can be a result of anything from internal gut health to stress.
In fact, an inflexible routine may hurt you in the long run — the weather can change, you may encounter unexpected stress, or your skin might also just stop responding to your favorite cream. When that happens, your routine needs an adjustment.
I believe in keeping the same base products, like face wash, but switching up other steps to achieve my goal. For example, I wear aloe vera gel under my moisturizer during the spring. In the summer, I wear a lighter moisturizer so I won’t look oily when the sun comes out.
Tip: Let your inner researcher splurge a little and try new products or formulations. Don’t be afraid of the return policy. Most brands understand their products aren’t one-size-fits-all and will gladly accept returns.
Myth #7: Viral threads and high reviews are an indicator of a good product
Your skin is one of a kind. Just because a “clear skin” thread went viral on Twitter doesn’t mean you should be concocting a lemon and baking soda mask on a Tuesday night.
The goal is to not put your skin into shock. According to research, it may take anywhere from 6 to 20 weeksTrusted Source to really see a change in skin. Of course, the time depends on the ingredients and what kinds of changes you’re looking for.
Tip: If you do want to look at reviews of the product, look at the four- to three-star section for a more balanced perspective. The best reviews are the ones that include a before and after of someone who has the same skin tone, skin concerns, and skin type as yours.
Myth #8: You don’t need a dermatologist
One of my biggest mistakes was self-testing products until I found one that worked. For many others this means not learning your skin type or even the actual condition (remember there’s different types of acne and they all respond to different treatments).
But dermatologists are doctors for your skin. They can tell you things that other people can’t, with the scientific education and experience to back it up.
How do you know it’s working? What breaks you out? Is your skin going into shock because of a new product or are the ingredients not a fit for your skin?
These questions are ones dermatologists can help you answer — or even start asking.
Tip: Access and costs are some of the biggest issues relating to dermatologist visits. If your provider won’t cover visits or treatment, tele-derm apps may be an option. Tele-derm based services use selfies to help you decide what kind of skin treatment you need.
You may want to see if there’s a dermatologist who charges based on flexed income. This kind of payment is usually based on the income of the individual and can be set at a reasonable rate.
A lot of skin knowledge is trial and error
Most of these myths I learned about after a grueling journey to clear and healthy skin. I didn’t see progress until I decided to take control of what healthy skin looks like for me — and not based on what others did.
That included accepting my hyperpigmentation, controlling my psoriasis, and letting beauty marks accent the beauty I naturally possessed.
James Allen is a seasoned technology enthusiast and the founder of Destod.com, a leading technology website that provides comprehensive coverage of the latest trends, gadgets, and innovations in the world of technology.