If achieving smoother, firmer, even-toned skin is on your to-do list, you're in luck. We talked to our panel of skincare pros about your top complexion concerns. Here's their advice, free of charge.
By Ilana Blitzer
What You Said: Seventy-five percent of you moisturize once or twice a day.
What You Can Do: Moisturizing helps maintain your skin's health and allows cells to function at their max, says Dr. Bank. When adequately hydrated, your skin is glowing and radiant, plus it's plumped up, which—bonus—also helps minimize the appearance of lines. When skin is dehydrated, lines are even more pronounced. Another benefit of using lotion: The simple act of moisturizing can fight free radicals (by decreasing stress on skin caused by dehydration). The most important thing you can do is know your skin's needs. If yours feels oily within a half hour of washing, you may not need a moisturizer—just sunscreen and eye cream, says Dr. Wu. But most of us benefit from additional hydration. Oil-prone? Try an oil-free serum—these are light and water-based, so they're less likely to clog pores. Normal or combination skin types can use a lotion or cream depending on how dry you are (consider upgrading to something heavier in the winter when skin is drier than usual). If skin is parched or sensitive, apply a thick, occlusive moisturizer to prevent water from evaporating. Look for something with humectants and ceramides, such as CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, $15.
Your Beauty Routine
What You Said: Seventy percent of you remain loyal to a product you like.
What You Can Do: Keep it up! The amount of time it takes for a product to start working varies—but don't expect to see changes overnight. You may have to use something consistently for six to eight weeks before noticing improvement, says Dr. Bank. Have your husband or a friend take pictures of you in the same light, so you can better judge if a product is helping, suggests Dr. Wu. Remember, it's more effective to stay with one product for a longer period of time than to switch from one to the next.
Originally published in the January 2011 issue of Family Circle magazine.