Flawless Skin


Ever wonder why some sisters have the kind of skin that seems to shimmer under a kiss from the summer sun? Well, some were born with it, of course. But whether or not God blessed you with a flawless, radiant complexion the Face Basics can help you get it and keep it — all year long. For those of us with problem skin, ESSENCE.com talked to Dr. Kerry Wong, M.D., R.Ph., (yes, she’s a sister) a Boston-area dermatologist and registered pharmacist, to give us the scoop on great summer skin now.


The Problem: Dark Spots

Wrong Moves: Picking blemishes; inadequate sun protection

Solution: Over-the-counter lightening products don’t work miracles, but they do help. Philosophy’s A Pigment of Your Imagination ($22) combines hydroquinone and salicylic acid to attack the hyperpigmentation (the proper name for dark spots). Prada’s Lightening Gel/Face ($90) is a pricey but effective treatment product and Neutrogena’s Visibly Even Facial Moisturizer ($16) is a good choice for a moisturizer.

Realistic Timeframe for Results: 12 months.


The Problem: Breakouts

Wrong Move: Clogged pores; dehydration; skin sensitivity; inadequate cleansing.

Solution: Salicylic acid is your new best friend. Ditto for alpha and beta hydroxy acids. Look for these ingredients and follow the directions carefully because you want to solve problems, not create new ones.

Some good stuff to try: Pond’s Clear Solutions Deep Pore Foaming Cleanser ($7). It’s oil-free and will help guard against new blemishes and clogged pores while allowing the skin to heal. Clinique’s Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam ($17.50) When selecting a moisturizer, be sure to get one that is non-comedogenic (won’t clog your pores and cause acne.) and whatever you do, please avoid mineral oil and cocoa butter at all costs. Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15 has a lot going for it. It’s a dermatologist favorite and it’s budget friendly ($9). A visit to the dermatologist can help you get the breakouts under control.

Realistic Timeframe for Results: 6 month-12 months


The Problem: Dry Skin

Wrong Move: excessively hot baths or showers; dehydration; skin sensitivity; heredity

Solution: Try using a cream instead of a lotion. Eucerin’s Dry Skin Therapy Plus Intensive Repair Cream ($8) is a favorite with dermatologists. It contains alpha hydroxy to exfoliate dry, flaky skin. Sista favorite Carol’s Daughter has a Mango & Aloe Shea Body Cream ($8) which blend shea, mango and aloe butters for a delicious combatant against dryness. For an indulgent treat with glorious results, prepare to fall in love with Fresh’s Brown Sugar Body Polish ($58) made from sugar and essential oils. Be careful not to fall literally though. Your tub will get slippery when you use it so enjoy but be alert. Another good one to try: Dr. Hauschka’s Rose Body Moisturizer ($29) Rose Body Moisturizer is ideal for dry, easily irritated skin and smells amazing.

Realistic Timeframe for Results: You should notice the results right away.