I like lists. So here is my list of the best skin care products for every skin type. I have also included a non-exhaustive list of product suggestions with links to my reviews in those instances where I have reviewed the product. Do you have a top skin care product that you would add or substitute? Leave a comment!
Number 5: A chemical exfoliating product. Use of a product such as glycolic acid, retinol, or even salicylic acid (a common beta-hydroxy acid acne product), will help keep your skin blackhead and blemish free. These products break up the chemicals holding those dead skin cells together. This increases cell turnover and assists in dissolving black heads, keeping skin looking fresh and youthful. If you have hyperpigmentation or melasma, glycolic or retinol products can be particularly good used in combination with skin lightening products. Look at it this way, less dead skin cells in the way means more active product is getting to the cells that need it. Finally they can have anti-wrinkle effects, especially the retinol products. So these products have multiple benefits! A few favorites to try:
Glycolic products: Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Clarifying Gel
Retinol Products: Worth looking at is Derma Doctor Poetry in Lotion. This is one of my favorites and one with the highest concentration allowed over the counter (1%) but that is also gentle on the skin. A good drugstore version is also RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum.
Salicylic: Neutrogena Clear Pore Oil-Controlling Astringent, Salicylic Acid Acne Medication is a good basic and affordable salicylic acid. Or check out these salicylic and glycolic mixes: For 5% glycolic and 1% salicylic, try MD Formulations Glycare Acne Gel. You can up it to 10% glycolic and 2% salicylic with Peter Thomas Roth AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel. I have used the Peter Thomas Roth product with good results.
Number 4: A vitamin C product. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help your skin recover from exposure to daily pollutants and stresses. It also can help lighten hyperpigmentation or melasma and generally even out skin tone. Some favorites to try:
High potency: GreatSkin® Vibran C Creme with Ceramides 1.25 oz. (pictured). This creme has 10% stable vitamin C with moisturizing ceramides.
Number 3: A good moisturizer for your skin type. All skin types can benefit from the regular use of a moisturizer, even oily skin. For those with acne prone skin who worry about moisturizer use, consider a light cream or gel product. Many acne products dry the skin and cause it to increase oil production as a rebound effect. The use of a moisturizing products can actually help prevent acne in the long run. Some items to try:
Dry skin: I really love Prescriptives Intensive Rebuilding Moisturizer read review here: Prescriptives PX Intensive Rebuilding Moisturizer. Unfortunately both are expensive. For a good value, consider trying one of the Lumene products (read review here: Lumene Skin Care.
For really dry skin or as a specialty product. I think Creme de la Mer can’t be beat. It is expensive, but a little goes a long way and this stuff really can moisturize with no irritation. Tip: Try it under your nose when it gets chapped from a cold.
Number 2: Water. OK, so it isn’t necessarily a product, but drinking a lot of water is one of the best things you can do for your skin. You can also look fashionable carrying certain bottles. Plain water is on of the best skin care products out there!
Number 1: Sunscreen. If you do nothing else, at least wear sunscreen. Aim for full spectrum coverage with a minimum of SPF 15, and SPF 30 being optimal. Regular use of sunscreen fulfills multiple functions. It prevents skin cancer, it delays wrinkling and hyperpigmentation, and for most people it also can double as a light moisturizer. Think that it is OK to skip sunscreen because you need vitamin D from the sun? Think again. You can get your dose of vitamin D from the sun in matter of a few minutes. Better yet, get it from a multi-vitamin or fortified milk. If you want a tan, try some of the many excellent self tanning products that are on the market.
Some good sunscreens to try: For full spectrum physical blockers with high SPF, my favorite is Total Block UVA/UVB SPF 65. This is full wavelength blocking and is great for people with melasma, skin cancer concerns, and hyperpigmentation. But it certainly is not limited to those people and is good for anyone concerned about the sun.
for more see our post on the Best Sunscreen.
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