By Ali Hoffman, Refinery29
.In addition to health and happiness, there's one thing we all strive for: Great skin. Sure, everyone's got their own obstacles en route to achieving this, but the end goal is almost always the same. We want dewy, clear, even-toned skin. But, how we choose to get there often leaves us distressed, dried out, and desperate for a quick fix.
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Enter Kate Somerviille, L.A.'s ultimate skincare guru and creator of her eponymous med-spa and product line, whose expert opinion is usually saved for the pores of Jessica Alba and other Hollywood elite. Ahead, Somerville's best skin-perfecting secrets, from ridding your face of blackheads to coping with unwanted facial hair.
Kate's three steps to getting rid of blackheads:
1. "Exfoliate and get off all the dead skin prior, so the blackhead is able to surface when you apply pressure."
2. "Next, steam your face thoroughly before trying to extract them."
3. "Using a Q-Tip in each hand, apply a light pressure. If the blackhead doesn't come out on it's own, don't try and force it!"
.The best way to calm an already irritated blemish:
"If you pop a whitehead on your face and it's all red and inflamed, mix Neosporin and Hydrocortisone, and dab that gently on the irritated spot. The Neosporin helps to fight the bacteria and let it heal quicker, and the cortisone will take the redness and inflammation down. It's my favorite little trick."
Best tip for looking red-carpet ready:
"For award shows, I tell all of my clients the same thing: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! It's the key to looking young, healthy, and vibrant."
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The easiest way to do this, aside from drinking a glass of water:
"We came out last year with DermalQuench Liquid Lift, which will totally hydrate your face, and keep you looking young."
The ultimate old wives' tale:
"Shaving your upper lip or chin will NOT cause you to grow a beard or mustache. That's a total old wive's tale. Some of the oldest celebrities like Liz Taylor and Marilyn Monroe used to shave their facial hair. Hair grows from within. It doesn't matter if you cut if off at the top."
.The trick to never having dry skin:
"It's really important to use retinol. You want to pepper in a moisturizer with retinol into your regimen three times a week. And you want to hydrate and exfoliate three times a week."
The new-age beauty trick that actually works:
"That'd be light therapy, or LED therapy. Red-, white-, and blue-light therapy are phenomenal for skincare and tissue healing. There's also a lot of handheld units that you do at home coming out now, and they fully work. Especially if you have acne, the red and blue combination will clear your acne in about 12 weeks, just by using it for about 20 minutes a day. Huge athletes, like Kobe Bryant, get put under these red lights when they have injuries because it helps to heal tissue and speed up the healing process."
"There's no downside whatsoever. It's completely healthy for your skin."
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By Ali Hoffman, Refinery29