Monthly Archives: September 2016

Products you need to take care

Twelve-step Korean skin-care plans, complicated acne treatments, lasers, peels, masks, oh-my. It’s enough to make even the most seasoned beauty girl’s head spin. So let’s bring it back to the basics, shall we? We asked top skin docs to weigh in on the only three products (plus one bonus add-on, for you overachiever types) you really need, no matter what your skin type. Finally, an easy way to figure out what skin-care products you should use — and what you can skip.

1. Simple cleanser: A basic face soap or wash will do; don’t waste time searching for one with lots of added active ingredients. Not only does your skin not need it, but any money spent on these pricey formulations will, quite literally, be washed down the drain, points out Dr. Jordan Carqueville, MD, a dermatologist in Chicago. Save your moolah and pick-up a drugstore option, like the Dove White Beauty Bar, $5.49 for four bars, one of her faves.

2. Moisturizer with SPF: Everyone needs moisturizer, and sunscreen is a non-negotiable (repeat, non-negotiable), so why not combine the two? Look for a product labeled broad-spectrum (meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays) with at least SPF 30, and be sure to apply in an even layer across your entire face to ensure adequate protection. Try the new CeraVe Skin Renewing Day Cream with Broad Spectrum SPF 30, $22.99.

3. Basic night cream: When you don’t have to stress about any kind of complexion imperfections, don’t worry about using super potent night creams, just focus on straight-up hydration and opt for a rich moisturizer. Carqueville recommends Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, $27.50.

Moisturizers for Oily Skin

There’s an adolescent beauty myth out there that moisturizers for oily skin simply aren’t necessary. We’re here to tell you that that skincare fabrication is all fiction. All skin types need nourishment, and oily skin is even more prone to over producing sebum when it gets too dry. Depriving your oily skin of moisturizer can kick off a vicious cycle of oil production and clogged pores. But not all moisturizers are created equal — especially when it comes to oily skin.

Matte skin (and lips) may be trending at the moment, but it was never exactly cool to have oil seeping through your foundation. Thankfully, brands have started to make products specifically formulated to soak up excess oil while keeping skin fresh. The mattifying moisturizers of today understand the battle for shine-free skin — you can leave the blotting papers at home.

We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite moisturizers for oily skin, from drugstore classics to new indie buys. What do they all have in common? You’ll be shine-free without sacrificing nourishment. Here, your guide to superstar moisturizers for oily skin.


Just pretend your face is on a Hawaiian vacation when you slather on this moisturizer, which contains actual volcanic extracts. The key ingredient helps soak up extra oil — picture the spongy texture of volcanic rock absorbing all the extra shine you want to keep off your face. As we learned from their cult favorite mud masks, Glamglow is brand that definitely knows moisturizers for oily skin, so just pat this on and let it work its magic.

We probably don’t have to sell you too hard on French beauty products, but Bioderma’s addition to the market is a must for anyone in search of matte skin. Its anti-reflective technology means you’ll look much better in selfies. It also works to regulate sebum production, meaning there’s less chance you’ll look shiny when you forget to moisturize.

Acne Products That You Need to Have

When you’ve struggled with annoyingly dependable breakouts for more than 15 years (and you’re only 28), you become an expert at acne-concealing life hacks. For example: I can tell you every date spot in New York City that has flattering, ambient lighting. I know the out-of-pocket cost of injecting an overgrown, painful pimple with cortisone. I can also give you a long-winded review of everything from spironolactone to Accutane, all of which promise to clear up your skin if you can endure side effects for months — or sometimes, years.

I’ve been battling hormonal acne since the age of 10. I know it’s a cliché statement, but I truly have tried everything to fight breakouts. And though I did a stint on Accutane four years ago, my picture-perfect skin didn’t last.

Until, on a whim, I tried a day-and-night serum treatment. In the past four months, it has made me a #makeupfreemonday poster for the very first time. I’ve not only noticed next to no breakouts, but many of my acne scars are fading, too. The star ingredient — retinol — might be due the credit. As dermatologist Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, explains: “Retinol helps to loosen the trapped, gunky dead skin cells that have shed into the pore and combine with sebum to create comedones and trigger inflammation. It also helps exfoliate skin cells and fade acne-related skin discoloration.”

The funny thing is that most serums — as they are traditionally defined — aren’t intended to be acne fighters. Even so, dermatologists say that because of their rich and robust ingredients, they can help hormonal acne sufferers overcome their monthly cycle of breakouts. Why?

“These topical solutions can deliver powerful ingredients to the skin without irritation,” explains Dr. Gary Goldenberg, MD, dermatologist and co-founder of Goldenberg Dermatology in New York City. “Serums containing tea tree oil, salicylic acid and alpha hydroxy acid can help fight blackheads and whiteheads and prevent breakouts,” he says. “These are especially effective as part of an overall acne regimen, which includes a gentle cleanser and a moisturizer with sunscreen.”

After 18 years of hating my skin, I couldn’t be more thankful for its new appearance. Here are some acne-fighting serums that could help you gain the smooth, blemish-free skin that you’re definitely deserving of, too.