Put your best face forward by showing off a clear complexion. Your face can often be the golden ticket to a brighter future, but not if it's the backdrop for red marks, uneven skin tone, pimples, clogged pores or scaly skin. A clear complexion starts with a consistent skin-care routine that can banish blemishes, overcome oil and reduce wrinkles -- all in the privacy of your bathroom.
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Wash your face twice a day with a cleanser made especially for your skin. Oily, acne-prone skin benefits from a noncomedogenic wash featuring tea-tree oil, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. The goal is to slough off dead skin cells, control oil and unclog pores. If your skin is on the dry side, use a mild, fragrance-free cleanser featuring olive and almond oil or glycerin and hyaluronic acids to lock in moisture. Rinse oily skin with warm water; dry skin with cool water. Always pat your face dry with a clean towel.
Pour some toner on a cotton pad and wipe your entire face. Pay particular attention to the T-zone area -- the forehead, nose and jawline where dirt and oil tend to collect. Oily skin benefits from a toner with acne-reducing agents such as witch hazel, salicylic acid and retinol that can clean and tighten pores. If your skin is dry, try a water-based toner that features hydrating ingredients like rosewater or chamomile extracts, vitamin B and cucumber.
Smooth a moisturizer, with a built-in sunscreen, onto your face after you wash in the morning. Even acne-prone skin benefits from an oil-free moisturizer because it adds hydration back into the skin where pimple-fighting products have taken it out. If your skin is on the dry side, use a moisturizer that features urea or lactic acid that soothes the skin and traps in moisture.
Choose products that are necessary for your skin type. If your face always features at least one pimple, have zit-zapping products on hand with ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, sulfur and alpha-hydroxy acid. If these are not strong enough, a dermatologist can prescribe antibiotics, retinoid creams and other treatments that can clear acne and brighten the skin. If your skin tone is uneven, use products that have glycolic acid and soy extracts that can help slough off dead skin cells and give your skin a nice glow.
Apply products to your skin that fight the signs of aging. Combat wrinkles with hyaluronic acid, which can plump up the skin, and retinol, which causes new collagen to form.
Drink plenty of water and eat a healthy, well-balanced diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Beta-carotene, flavonoids and antioxidants found in dark, leafy greens reduce wrinkles and aid in a radiant complexion.The fiber in legumes helps prevent skin damage and reduces the signs of aging, while antixoidants and vitamins in many fruits have excellent skin-smoothing properties. In addition, fish provides the skin with DHA and EPA, two properties that are beneficial to your skin's cell membranes.