Healing Skin Habits
If your skin is: Oily and Acne Prone
What makes it worse: Your efforts to improve your oily and acne-prone skin might be well-intentioned, but washing with the wrong cleanser, using too many anti-acne products in the same day, and scrubbing your skin with too much zeal will only aggravate blemishes and might increase oil production. Also, impatience with your regimen -- and moving onto another treatment prematurely -- can derail your skin's improvement. Keep in mind that the blemish that you woke up with did not appear from out of nowhere. It has been brewing for weeks. Here's how to stop it now before it annoys you later.
Wash with a cleanser that is not too creamy (and therefore, pore-clogging) but not too drying (will kick those oil glands into overdrive as the skin tries to compensate for its sudden dryness). Cleansers that contain an anti-acne ingredient, such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, are beneficial, but make sure that you're not doubling up on that ingredient with other skincare products in your regimen.
Try: Aveda Outer Peace Foaming Cleanser, $24: Its star ingredient is wintergreen oil (the first naturally derived form of salicylic acid), and it's joined by a bevy of anti-irritants, such as tamanu oil and saw palmetto, that calm inflamed skin.
Post-cleansing, target the breakouts that you have and prevent new ones from forming with a spot treatment product. Apply it to active blemishes or sweep it over your most common trouble areas, such as along your jawline or forehead.
Try: Neutrogena Rapid Clear Pads, $6.99: The salicylic acid in this formula has been created with a technology called MicroClear that helps reduce the size, redness, and swelling of blemishes in just eight hours.
3. Once a week:
Set aside a few minutes for a facial mask with oil-clearing ingredients. Masks are formulated to deliver an intense burst of active ingredients, making them an effective way to control oil and clean deep pores.
Try: Cellex-C Betaplex Clear Complexion Mask, $39.50: Clay (kaolin and betonite), healing herbal ingredients (peppermint, olive leaf, and green tea) and acids (glycolic and salicylic) exfoliate and calm oily skin.
Since skin is the largest organ in your body, it makes sense that it, too, is affected by stress. How? Quite simply, stress prods your body to produce the hormone cortisol, which then encourages your skin to over-produce oil. Naturally, exercise, long walks, and even a good laugh help keep stress at a manageable level -- and your skin more clear.
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