A Step-by-Step Guide to Caring for Your Skin
For most, simply splashing water on the face is adequate. (When you wash well at night, skin is still clean upon waking.) Acne-prone or oily skin might need gentle cleansing. Then apply products in this order.
Step 1: Eye Cream
The skin around the eyes is thin and has few oil glands, so it dries out quickly, accentuating lines. A rich eye cream can help. Apply it first to allow time for it to sink in (otherwise makeup may smear).
RS pick: Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream, $30, origins.com.
Step 2: Antioxidant Serum
Experts suggest a serum to help prevent environmental skin damage. Use on a bare face, as potent treatments should be closest to the skin.
RS pick: Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum, $45, juicebeauty.com.
Step 3: Moisturizer With Sunscreen
Hydrate last to lock in moisture. Added SPF lets you skip a step, as with the choices here (picks for oily skin and dry or sensitive skin follow).
For Normal Skin
Choose an all-purpose, nongreasy lotion. It will soften skin but won’t make it feel slick as the day goes on.
RS pick: Clarins Multi-Active Day Early Wrinkle Correcting Lotion SPF 15, $59, clarinsusa.com.
For Oily Skin
Use a light-as-air formula that is oil-free.
RS pick: Bioré Skin Preservation Dual Fusion Moisturizer + SPF 30, $13.50, amazon.com.
For Dry or Sensitive Skin
RS pick: Eucerin Everyday Protection Face Lotion SPF 30, $9.50 at drugstores.
Concentrate on more thorough cleansing and treatments targeted to specific skin concerns.
Step 1: Cleanser
Use a mild wash to take off makeup and dirt and prepare the skin to absorb troubleshooting ingredients.
RS pick: Aveda Green Science Perfecting Cleanser, $35, aveda.com.
Step 2: Treatment
Apply to a naked face so active ingredients are directly on the skin, which allows them to do their jobs better (a product for uneven pigmentation follows).
Use a benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or glycolic acid salve nightly. Allow sensitive skin to dry for 10 minutes after washing to minimize discomfort.
RS pick: Vichy Normaderm Night Daily Corrective Care for Oily Skin, $35, amazon.com.
Choose a lotion with kojic acid and alpha hydroxy acids to inhibit production of melanin (the substance that causes spots) and slough off darkened skin cells.
RS pick: Skinceuticals Pigment Regulator, $90, skinceuticals.com.
Step 3: Moisturizer
This final step hydrates and soothes. For oily skin, use a nongreasy cream that adds moisture but won’t clog pores or make skin feel slippery in the morning.
RS pick: Clinique Repairwear Uplifting Firming Cream, $59.50, clinque.com.