Overtreating your skin is as stressful on your face as it is on your debit card and bathroom storage space. In fact, using too many products is one of the most common problems skin docs see, says Manhattan dermatologist Amy Wechsler, MD, author of The Mind-Beauty Connection. All those cleansers, lotions, scrubs, masks, creams, and toners together can add up to dryness, irritation, inflammation, and, ultimately, breakouts -- the opposite of what you're trying to achieve.
Here are Dr. Amy's four must-haves. They're all that most women -- and men -- need to keep skin clear and healthy.
- One mild everyday facial cleanser, like Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser or Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser. If you're prone to acne, Dr. Amy likes Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Cleanser or Clinique Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam.
- Two good moisturizers -- one for day, with sunscreen, such as Eucerin Everyday Protection Face Lotion SPF 30; a second for night, without sunscreen, like Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion. If you're dealing with fine lines, look for a nighttime moisturizer with retinol, such as Philosophy Help Me Retinol Night Treatment. Although they're not as effective as prescription-strength retinoids (such as Retin-A), they're not nearly as irritating, either.
- One exfoliating toner to use two or three times a week after cleansing. Philosophy The Microdelivery Mini Peel Pads are super easy to use. For acne-prone skin (plenty of adults deal with it), try La Roche-Posay Effaclar Toner Astringent Lotion.
Downsize Your Beauty Rituals
In the morning, wash lightly with a gentle cleanser. Complexion brushes -- motorized or hand powered -- aren't needed. Your hands are fine, and gentle. Apply your daytime moisturizer to still-damp skin.
Repeat at night, but wash a little more thoroughly to suds away all makeup. Apply your nighttime moisturizer to still-damp skin.
That's your new daily routine: Quick. Simple. Affordable. And dermatologist approved!
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