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March 24, 2011

Spring Clean Your Beauty Routine

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skin types

Photo Credit: Veronique Beranger

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IF YOUR SKIN IS: SENSITIVE

Because your skin type is irritable, it's best to avoid certain ingredients. "Stay away from detergents, perfumes, acids, alcohol, and retinols," advises Alexiades. "Go for ingredients known to soothe the skin, such as chamomile or soy."

Cleanser: Look for "fragrance-free," "soap-free," and "hypoallergenic" on the label. Mild surfactants, such as cocamidopropyl betaine and polysorbate 20, won't be too aggressive for you.

MC Recommends: Aveeno Active Naturals Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser, $7.

A.M. Moisturizer/Sunblock: Skip chemical sunscreens. "Read the label carefully," Tanzi warns. "Many sunscreens may state that they're safe for sensitive skin but contain chemical blocks. Your go-to sunscreen ingredients are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide." These natural minerals physically block UVA and UVB rays without irritation.

MC Recommends: Neutrogena Pure and Free Liquid SPF 50, $13.

Eye Cream: Chemical ingredients can potentially irritate the skin, so the fewer, the better, especially around your eyes.

MC Recommends: Nourishing Eye Cream ($48) is water-based, with hydrating glycerin and grape-seed extract, along with cooling, calming aloe vera.

Antiaging Treatment: "Plant polyphenols like green tea provide a myriad of antiaging benefits," says Alexiades. "They calm inflammation, scavenge free radicals that create DNA damage and photoaging, and have anticancer properties as well."

MC Recommends: Replenix Serum CF, $48.

Exfoliator: "Think of dead skin cells as a wall of sponges that has to be removed in order for ingredients to get through," says Medlock. But AHAs and gritty scrubs are way too harsh for delicate skin. "Exfoliation for you may mean something as simple as using a washcloth twice a week with your cleanser," says Tanzi. And if you're using an electronic brush, "just use it once or twice a week."

MC Recommends: Clarisonic Mia(TM) Sonic Skin Cleansing System Mia Sonic Skin Cleansing System ($149) even for sensitive skin.

P.M. Moisturizer: Sensitive skin is prone to redness and rosacea. Use a super-mild, fragrance-free cream with humectants and emollients to heal the skin's protective barrier. Look for plant-derived licorice root extract or feverfew — both are proven to calm inflammation.

MC Recommends: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Intense Soothing Moisturizer, $35.


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