If you want smooth, luminous skin (who doesn't?), you don't need to spend a fortune on products-just amp up the power of the ones you already have. Prevention asked experts to reveal easy, cheap ways to make skin smoother, firmer, softer, and younger. Here are some of my favorite tips.
1) Use soap selectively.
To keep skin soft, use soap or body wash only on select areas-your face, underarms, feet (you get the point). The reason? Rinsing with water is enough to get other spots clean and prevent you from unnecessarily stripping skin of its natural oils, according dermatologist Amy Wechsler, MD, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
2) Clean a wet face.
Use cleansers-especially foaming or gel types-on damp skin. If applied on dry skin, they're more likely to be irritating, says Mary Lupo, MD, a Prevention advisor and clinical professor of dermatology at Tulane University.
3) Cleanse for 60 seconds.
Massage face wash on your skin for about 1 minute to break down dirt and makeup before rinsing off. Wiping away pollutants, dirt, bacteria, and product residue helps prevent dullness and clogged pores, says New York City-based dermatologist Jeanette Graf, MD, author of Stop Aging, Start Living.
4) Give makeup a firm base.
Try this trick favored by movie stars in the 30s: Splash your face with cold water before applying makeup. The coolness temporarily shrinks pores and tightens skin so the product glides on seamlessly, says makeup artist Valerie Sarnelle, founder of the cosmetics line Valerie Beverly Hills.
5) Mist up midday.
Refresh parched skin with a spritz of facial mist on your bare skin-just be sure to apply moisturizer after to seal in the added hydration. The dewier your skin, the less noticeable wrinkles will be, says New York City-based celebrity makeup artist Maria Verel.
6) Apply products properly.
The effectiveness of ingredients depends largely upon whether they penetrate deeply enough, explains Jeanine Downie, MD, a dermatologist in Montclair, NJ. Because heavier formulas prevent lightweight ones from seeping in, follow this sequence:
2) Serum or treatment products (such as retinoids or bleaching agents)
More Ways to Look and Feel Beautiful from Prevention:
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