Now is the perfect time to adopt a solid skin care regimen. If you already have one, revamp it to get the most out of your products. We know that with the election cycle, the search for a work-life balance and the stress of wearing many hats daily, you’ll have enough reasons to break out.
That’s why we tapped a few of the top experts across the country for tips and tricks, plus answers to our pressing skin care questions. We took it back to basics, so novices won’t miss a beat. And for aficionados, it’s a great refresher to help you look your most radiant in this new decade.
Add these buzzy and beneficial ingredients to the mix
To maintain moisture, our bodies produce this chemical naturally. But it dips over time, which is why HA should be one of your staples.
Derivatives of vitamin A get converted by skin enzymes into retinoic acid, which boosts collagen and increases cell turnover for a smooth and ageless complexion.
These small chemical compounds, composed of amino acids, tell your skin to create more collagen. They also help strengthen your skin barrier and reduce fine lines.
Take a stand against this common skin concern among women of color
When cells containing melanin become inflamed, dark spots can appear. Common triggers include acne, skin treatments such as microdermabrasion and lasers, oral contraception and pregnancy. “Genetics can also play a role,” says dermatologist Michelle F. Henry of Laser & Skin Surgery of New York. “In dark skin tones, we have larger melanosomes, which are cells that hold pigment.
They’re large and they’re full of melanin, and because of this, the melanin is more prone to leak.” This, in turn, causes discoloration. Traditional treatments include hydroquinone as needed and natural skin brighteners like vitamin C. For specific recommendations or more aggressive solutions, consult with a dermatologist.
What is an Essence?
It’s everywhere. Should you use it?
To help serums and moisturizers better penetrate skin, apply an essence. The active ingredient is typically milder in essences than in toners, but both prep all skin types.
Try Vitamin C
This vitamin, fruit and rootjuice combo will take skin from dull to dazzling.
How to do skin care in the right order
1. CLEANSER It goes without saying that cleaning your face comes first. Try double cleansing or using a makeup remover for stubborn dirt and cosmetics.
2. MASKS AND TREATMENTS This is when you should bust out your favorite mask or exfoliant.
3. TONER OR ESSENCE Use these liquids to prep your skin and help it absorb serums more effectively.
4. SERUM These power-charged products come in various formulations to address specific skin concerns. Use consistently for best results.
5. MOISTURIZER Lock in all the benefits of your serum—and help protect your skin from environmental aggressors.
6. SUNSCREEN Last, don’t forget to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays before you leave the house.
2. The Magic of Serums
These are the superheroes of your beauty regimen. Here’s why
Serums are potent and powerful. They’re packed with various combinations of effective ingredients that protect your skin from signs of aging, like dullness, fine lines and more. Find one that works for you and use it every day.
If you aren’t using a serum, you should be. These power-charged products can address specific skin concerns.”—JULEE WILSON, ESSENCE GLOBAL BEAUTY DIRECTOR
Never Skip Sun Protection
This moisturizer doubles as a sunscreen.
3. How Often Should I…
See a dermatologist or an aesthetician?
Go to a dermatologist once or maybe twice a year for a routine checkup. If there’s a specific issue, the doctor might want you to come in more frequently. It’s also good to see an aesthetician every four to six months if your skin is in good condition, says Washington, D.C.–based dermatologist Yolanda C. Holmes.
But if you have problem-prone skin, you’ll want to schedule an appointment once a month. You can maintain the health of your skin with at-home masks and treatments.
Top Skin Perts