Top Experts Share Their Skincare Secrets
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Personally Speaking1 of 9
By Ning Chao
From the right way to wash your face to cell phone wrinkles and self-tanner allergies, we asked skincare experts to reveal their best secrets for staying youthful and blemish-free.
Wake Up Your Routine2 of 9
Splashing your face in the morning isn't enough to keep acne and aging at bay, says celebrity facialist Sonya Dakar, who counts Anne Hathaway, Megan Fox and Gwyneth Paltrow as devoted clients. "It is essential to gently cleanse in the morning to remove oil and sweat," says Dakar. "You want your skin to be a clean canvas so it can absorb any serum or moisturizer you're applying. Water alone removes about 65 percent of the dirt on your skin, so a cleansing agent is also necessary."
Save Your Money3 of 9
A mild, soap-free cleanser is the best way to avoid upsetting your skin. Cleansers that contain acids and fragrance strip oil from skin, making you more prone to irritation from any treatment products you apply afterward, especially retinols, explains dermatologist Debra Jaliman, M.D., author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets From a Top New York Dermatologist. "Not every skincare product should have an active ingredient in it. Don't spend a lot of money on a cleanser with special ingredients—you're washing them down the drain. It's better to splurge on your moisturizer."
Fight Oil with Oil4 of 9
Super-rich creams and long-lasting makeup are beauty lifesavers—until you try to remove them. To really get your skin clean, Ava Shamban, M.D., author of Heal Your Skin: The Breakthrough Plan for Renewal, suggests using a face wash that contains natural oils like olive, jojoba, maracuja or babassu, even if you have an oily complexion. "Because oil dissolves oil, you can cleanse your pores of sebum, dirt and bacteria while at the same time replacing harmful oils with beneficial ones that leave skin healthy, balanced, protected and properly moisturized."
Ditch Dairy & Donuts5 of 9
Dermatologists used to think that the hormones in milk caused bad breakouts, but now even organic dairy is being blamed. "We don't know why, but all dairy really flares acne," says Jaliman. Junk food like donuts, pizza and chips also wreak havoc on your face, but not because of the grease factor. "High-glycemic foods make your insulin levels jump, which affects skin like another big hormonal level change: PMS," adds Jaliman.
Take Cover6 of 9
As the weather warms up, SPF-rated clothing is a smart addition to every wardrobe, especially if outdoor barbecues, tennis games or beach days are on your agenda. Shamban recommends hats with a brim that's at least 5 inches deep, while Jaliman suggests sunglasses with a UV protection rating of 400.
Use Your Head7 of 9
We all know about cell phone breakouts (Apple even sells a special cleansing liquid for the iPhone), but nasty makeup and dirt buildup on your glasses can also cause trouble. Do you rest your sunnies on top of your head when you're in the shade? You're not only stretching out your frames (the top of your head is typically wider than your face), but also transferring dirt from your hair to your skin. Keep your glasses clean with an alcohol wipe, suggests Jaliman.
Hold the Lines8 of 9
Just as sleeping on one side of your body will cause more lines on that side of your face, so holding your cell phone against one ear will cause more creasing on that cheek, warns Jaliman. Switch up mid-conversation or change to a hands-free device to keep wrinkles at bay.
Stop Rubbing9 of 9
Spring pollen isn't the cause of itchy eyes, runny noses, and skin reactions. "Skin allergies are on the rise in general," explains Shamban, who lists quaternium-15 (a preservative found in self-tanners, nail polish, shampoo and sunscreen) as a common culprit. "Metals such as nickel and gold are also now found in skin care and known to cause allergic reactions." Whether it's your eyes, nose or skin, extra wiping, rubbing, and scratching can cause more wrinkles, so try an over-the-counter antihistamine—for the sake of your skin.