Always envious of the flawless faces of our favorite celebs and models, we gave Beauty Editor FRANCISCO OVALLE a mission: Hunt down the experts and tell us how to get beautiful skin.
Every day, we are bombarded with ads for beauty products featuring perfect-looking models, making it nearly impossible to look at our own skin and feel great about it. With barely enough time to study, it’s hard to imagine finding the time to work on getting flawless skin. Just in time for winter, I hunted down two top dermatologists willing to share some of their secrets for great skin.
First, we must stop believing that the clear, glowing skin of models and actresses is the result of good genes. “Like having a perfectly toned body >> takes a good workout, having good skin often takes some work,” said Dr. Debra Jaliman, author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets From a Top New York Dermatologist, whose clients include many of those stars.
Everyone should use the following three basic products every day, year-round: a cleanser, a moisturizer and a product with SPF 30 or higher.
There are several kinds of cleansers, including mild and exfoliating types. You can also use a sonic skin cleansing system like the Clarisonic Mia ($115) to treat acne-prone skin “as it helps get rid of the dead skin cells and bacteria,” Dr. Jaliman said. Otherwise, use a round cotton pad with your cleanser, but never your fingers.
Even if your skin is oily, you should use a moisturizer daily to restore a healthy moisture balance. “Everyone needs moisture around the eyes so look for one containing hyaluronic acid, which is very hydrating,” Dr. Jaliman said.
As for SPF, dermatologists agree it should be used every day. Damage from the sun accumulates. So unless you want wrinkles, brown spots, broken blood vessels or even skin cancer, use a product like Aubrey Organics Natural Sun SPF 30+ Active Lifestyles ($15.95). Whichever product you use, it should block both UVA and UVB rays. “Sunscreen needs to be a vital part of everyone’s skincare routine, every day, all year round,” said Dr. Naomi Fenlin, a top medical esthetician and aesthetic laser specialist who owns About Face Skincare. Keep in mind “the rule of thumb is that if you can feel the heat of the sun on your skin, UVA and UVB rays are being absorbed into your skin,” Dr. Fenlin said.
If you’re plagued with acne, look for cleansers and other products with retinol, salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. “I also like alpha hydroxy acids as they help exfoliate the skin,” Dr. Jaliman said. You can try a product like Kiss My Face Lavender and Shea Butter Moisturizer ($9.99), which contains alpha hydroxy acids. “At-home microdermabrasion helps as well,” Dr. Jaliman said. Just be sure to avoid overuse. “I have a lot of patients that overuse their acne products and what results is drying, peeling, red and sore skin with acne—the complete opposite of the clear, healthy skin they wanted,” Dr. Fenlin said.
With all of these products, Dr. Jaliman and Dr. Fenlin agree you must swap them out with the change of seasons. “A month before the weather changes, [you should] start to change your products,” Dr. Jaliman said. Every skin type is more sensitive during winter. “Usually my patients downgrade the strength of their facewash for a gentler version and use a richer moisturizer,” Dr. Fenlin said. You should “add a noncomedogenic moisturizer at night and use a more moisturizing SPF during the day,” Dr. Jaliman suggests.
Last but certainly not least, don’t forget your lips, which really suffer during the winter with drying and peeling. witching from your regular matte lipstick to a gloss should help put a stop to the season’s harsh effects on your lips. •
From M.L.T.S. Magazine‘s third issue, released in December 2011.