1. Use the right cleanser. Wash your face no more than twice daily. Use body washes with vitamin E to keep skin soft.
2. Exfoliate 2-3 times weekly. Gently scrubbing off dead skin helps fresh cells shine through (making skin more radiant).
3. Moisturize regularly. After showering, slather on moisturizer with hydrating ingredients like shea butter, milk or jojoba oil. Also look for the antioxidant vitamins A, C and E, which help protect skin from environmental pollutants
4. Get sea worthy. Packed with vitamins, minerals and proteins, seaweed, sea mud and sea salt can do everything from help clear up acne to add luster to the hair. Products containing sea ingredients, while having the ability to exfoliate and smooth the skin, also contain vitamins and antioxidants that may help quell skin-damaging free radicals.
For dry skin, rub the salts in gentle circular strokes, avoiding the face and any open sores or cuts (salt stings wounds). And since sea salts can be abrasive, also avoid them if you have sensitive skin.
To combat breakouts caused by clogged pores use a cleanser and toner a.m. and p.m. that contains sea ingredients, followed by a light moisturizer with marine-sourced collagen and elastin. A sea-mud mask, used two to three times weekly, can also help.
5. Never use the same product year-round. Skin is a living organ that's constantly affected by everything from hormones to humidity. Opt for a moisturizing cleanser in the winter when skin is drier and normal-to-oily formulations in the summer.
6. Always wash your face before calling it a day. Remove makeup before you go to bed to avoid setting the stage for blemishes. Use cleansers formulated with pore-purging benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.
7. Get enough shut-eye. Sleep deprivation can result in puffy eyes, sallow skin and breakouts. If you do end up with morning puffiness, try a product that contains the anti-inflammatory ingredients found in Preparation-H.
8. Hydrate your skin from the inside out. It's not possible to have good skin if you don't drink enough water, say the experts. When you're dehydrated, your skin is one of the first organs to show it.
9. Be sun savvy. Always apply a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 every day.
10. Feed your skin with exercise. Exercise boosts circulation and keeps oxygen and nutrients flowing to the skin, giving it a fresh, radiant look.
11. Don't let skin go up in smoke. Don't just not smoke; avoid smokers and smoky situation. Smoking constricts the capillaries, depriving the skin of much-needed oxygen.
12. Always apply moisturizer after washing hands. Dry, indoor air, cold weather and frequent washing can suck the moisture out of the skin on your hands.
13. Feed your face with vitamin C. A study published in the Swedish dermatology journal Acta Dermato-Venereologica showed that when used with a sunscreen, vitamin C provided added protection against ultraviolet B (sunburn-causing) and ultraviolet A (wrinkle-causing) rays. Look for serums that contain L-ascorbic acid, the form of vitamin C shown in studies to be more readily absorbed by the skin's cells.
14. Experiment with caution. Those particularly susceptible: women with acne or sensitive skin, who should only use products formulated for their skin type unless otherwise directed by their dermatologist.
15. Consider doctor-created skincare lines. Generally, these products contain stronger concentrations of ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids and anitoxidants.
16. Be skin sensitive. While most women think they have sensitive skin, only 5 to 10 percent actually do. What the rest of us suffer from is "situational sensitivity" caused by hormonal changes, medications (like Accutane), or sun exposure. Regardless, the symptoms and treatments are the same. What to do:
- Choose products with ceramides
These ingredients fill in cracks in the epidermis (the skin's outer layer), making it harder for irritants to pass through.
- Patch-test everything
Before using a new product, dab it on the inside of your arm and wait 24 hours to see if you develop a bumpy rash, swelling, or redness.
- Minimize your exposure to parabens
These chemicals—often used as preservatives—are notorious offenders.
- Go fragrance-free
The additives used to create scents are common rash triggers, so opt for scent-free beauty products and detergents whenever possible.
If your attempts at reducing sensitivity aren't working, visit a dermatologist to make sure you don't have an underlying condition, like seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, rosacea, or atopic dermatitis, all of which can make you more apt to react to cosmetics and lotions.