Confused about which product combinations and treatments will give you clear, glowing skin? Here's how to mix the perfect signature "cocktail" for your complexion.
By Gina Way
Photo Credit: Grant Cornett
Cocktail: The Acne Annihilator:
Cleanse: It can seem fruitless to start an antiaging regimen if you're still dealing with pimples. Get blemishes under control by using a salicylic acid cleanser at night. San Antonio dermatologist Dr. Vivian Bucay suggests simply rinsing your face with water in the morning if you have normal to dry skin. "If your skin is oily, swipe with a wipe that contains salicylic acid," she says.
Exfoliate: "When dead skin cells pile up and block pores, sebum and bacteria can get trapped underneath," explains NYC plastic surgeon Dr. Michelle Yagoda. Use glycolic pads (see "The Line Eraser" Minibar) or a very gentle scrub every other day to keep things clear, avoiding abrasive scrubs that can irritate skin and exacerbate acne outbreaks.
Treat: Spot-treat pimples with a salicylic acid gel or benzoyl peroxide. If it causes your skin to flake or redden, anti-inflammatory sulfur is another good option (although it can smell a little like Yellowstone National Park). Use in the form of a mask once a week, says Baumann.
Hydrate and Protect: "Most people don't want to moisturize if they have acne, but that's a mistake, especially if you're over 30," says Yagoda. "Look for an oil-free one with hyaluronic acid." Baumann recommends a moisturizer that also contains retinol, which speeds cell turnover and prevents clogged pores while reducing the look of fine lines. In the a.m., use an SPF that's noncomedogenic.
Top-Shelf Solutions: For acne/oil maintenance, Bucay swears by DermaSweep treatmentscrystal-free microdermabrasion followed by an infusion of salicylic or glycolic acid ($175). Blue LED light therapy kills bacteria and reduces inflammation ($100; 30 minutes, twice a week for a month is recommended).