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March 24, 2011

Spring Clean Your Beauty Routine

Should your cleanser be creamy or foamy? Do you need an alpha or a beta hydroxy acid to look more youthful? Here, your customized road map to radiant skin.

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IF YOUR SKIN IS: NORMAL

The term "normal" is, well, relative. Normal skin can become acne-prone when pores are clogged, or irritated and dry as a reaction to active ingredients such as glycolic acid or retinoids. In general, people with normal skin can focus on ingredients that repair and prevent signs of aging.

Cleanser: Even if it's not easily irritated, normal skin isn't Teflon. You should treat it as if it were sensitive — using a mild foaming cleanser without harsh detergents (like sodium lauryl sulfate) that strip moisture.

MC Recommends: Dior Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Velvet Peony Extract, $32.

A.M. Moisturizer/Sunblock: "Set yourself up in the morning to prevent and protect your skin from the environmental damage you'll be exposed to during the day," says New York City dermatologist Dr. Macrene Alexiades. Try a multitasking moisturizer with broad-spectrum sunblock and antioxidants.

MC Recommends: Neova DNA Damage Control Everyday SPF 40+, $35.

Eye Cream: Use an eye cream with antiaging ingredients like antioxidants, retinol, and peptides without irritating the delicate skin around your eyes.

MC Recommends: Philosophy Miracle Worker™ Miraculous Anti-Aging Eye Cream, $60.

Antiaging Treatment: "Serums are an effective delivery method for getting highly active ingredients into the skin," says Alexiades. Pick one that's infused with vitamin C or peptides that can amp up collagen formation.

MC Recommends: L'Oréal Paris Youth Code Serum Intense, $25.

Exfoliator: A sometimes-oily T-zone is common enough to be considered normal.

MC Recommends: Sephora Collection Smart Dual Action Exfoliator ($24) combines a creamy scrub to mechanically exfoliate keratin-plugged pores in the T-zone, and a gel with mild malic acid to chemically exfoliate the rest of the face.

P.M. Moisturizer: "Your night step should help your skin repair itself while you sleep," says Alexiades. Look for ingredients like antioxidants (to facilitate DNA repair) and peptides (which signal skin cells to increase collagen production).

MC Recommends: Colbert M.D. Heal & Soothe Night, $145.


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