Whether you have far too many skincare products cluttering up your cabinet at home, or too few with no idea on what you need, here is a list of the five products every gal should have to make sure you are taking care of your skin adequately and treating it well.
A Cleanser That Works For Your Skin Type
This is critical because, as you know, not all cleansers (or faces) are created equal and it is essential that you are cleansing in a way that doesn't exacerbate the signs of aging, irritate your skin, or lead to clogged pores. Here are our recommendations based on several factors:
- If you have dry skin, try an oil cleanser, micellar water, or a cleansing milk. Don't be afraid to use your cleanser as an opportunity to add moisture to your delicate skin. Products like this can help break down impurities without disrupting your skin's natural barrier. Our go-to product for patients with dry skin is Alastin's Gentle Cleanser. While they work well for all skin types, dry skin can particularly benefit from their hydrating properties.
- If you have oily, acne-prone skin, don't be afraid to try a slightly more aggressive approach but be careful not to strip your skin entirely. Oil may be the culprit for your blemishes, but it also serves as an extraordinary barrier from pollutants and irritation that can age your skin or make your breakouts even worse. Revel in the fact that your oily skin will very likely keep you looking younger for much longer, and keep products like Revision's Brightening Facial Wash and iS Clinical's Cleansing Complex in your repertoire to make sure you keep your blemishes in check and balance out the oils in your skin. Be sure to treat your skin to a black mask every so often as well, as charcoal is particularly beneficial to individuals with blackhead-prone pores. We recommend the Black Mask by Revision as a special occasional treat for your skin.
- If you are concerned about anti-aging, steer clear of the aggressive cleansers that will strip the fleeting amounts of moisture that your skin is struggling to hold on to. Instead, opt for gentle cream cleansers that provide soothing moisture and recovery and always pair them with the right moisturizer (more on that below). Revision's Papaya Enzyme Cleanser is a gentle yet energizing formula that enhances your skin's vibrancy and freshness and provides antioxidants and soothing protection.
- If you have combination skin, always opt for the less aggressive cleansers and stick to those that will gently extract impurities without stripping. For areas with excess oil and blemishes, use spot treatments on those areas to make sure you don't dry out other areas that might be too sensitive.
No matter what skin type you are or what age you are, your skin will always benefit from moisture in some form. The key is balance and ensuring you address your skin's specific moisturizing needs. Don't forget to factor in your neck and eye areas when searching for the right products too, as these are the first areas where the signs of aging can occur.
- If you are trying fight wrinkles and aging skin, you will want to address the various effects of aging in addition to the lack of moisture. We recommend iS Clinical's Youth Intensive Crème because of it's incredible power to deliver extraordinary amounts of hydration, antioxidants, and botanically-driven moisturizers to reduce wrinkles and freshen up skin. And one of the perks of this moisturizer? A little goes a LONG way, according to our patients that have used it, so use it very sparingly and adjust based on how your skin responds. Don't forget to extend your moisturizer of choice down to your neck and décolleté because both areas tend to start showing signs of aging about 10 years before your face.
- If you have oily, acne-prone skin, don't fall victim to the misconception that you don't need to moisturize. Your skin still needs moisture (just less of it) so try products like iS Clinical's Active Serum, a best-selling and award-winning product that delivers fast-acting moisture to acne-prone skin and doesn't leave pores feeling heavy and clogged. In fact, any hyaluronic acid serum will do the trick thanks to it's ability to hold 1,000 times its weight in water.
- If you have dry, sensitive skin, help your skin by stimulating it's own moisture levels and reduce irritating redness by trying a cream like iS Clinical's Renewal Crème.
- If you have combination skin, try using a hyaluronic acid, which will deliver intense moisture to dry areas of the skin without causing congestion in oily areas. One product that can provide balance and reduce the signs of aging is Daily Power Defense by ZO Skin Health.
In case you haven't familiarized yourself with this wonder, a retinol product has the power to benefit absolutely any and every skin type, as well as any condition you can throw at it. Retinols and Vitamin C are capable of clearing away dead skin cells from pores, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, brightening skin by penetrating deeply to interrupt pigment production, and helping to reduce or prevent acne scars. A retinol skin brightener or Vitamin C Lotion 30% are two that we routinely recommend to patients.
Any and every aging concern you have should automatically involve protecting your skin from the sun. Since approximately 90% of aging comes from UV exposure, it is imperative for both the health of your skin as well as your overall wellbeing to protect yourself with a zinc or titanium oxide sunscreen. Dozens of products come to mind, but if you are concerned about actinic damage and preventing aging, try a strong but simple solution such as ISDIN's Eryfotona Actinica Broad Spectrum SPF 30+ or Revision's Intellishade with SPF 45 if you would also like a little touch of coverage that blends with your makeup.
Now, we know what you must be thinking. If you have dry, sensitive skin, is a scrub or exfoliator really that necessary? The short answer is yes. While oily skin can benefit tremendously from scrubs and exfoliators that aid in unclogging congested skin, a gentle scrub can also help sensitive or aging skin by clearing away dead skin cells and making way for your other products to absorb more deeply and effectively. We recommend going with a gentle formula if you are prone to redness and irritation, but be sure to keep it in your cabinet as a refreshing boost as recommended.
For any other recommendations for your skin type and the conditions you are most concerned about, try scheduling an appointment with a dermatologist or esthetician right away to make sure you don't waste years and money on products that provide limited (if any) benefit and simply take up space in your cabinet and on your skin. Be sure to check out our online shop if you are looking to refresh your favorites, too!