Customize Your Care Routine
By Melissa Gulden
In a world with trackers and apps to propel you toward your fitness goals, it’s no wonder skincare is moving in a customized direction, too. Just-for-you skincare is on the rise, and that means you can assemble your own dream-team roster of products to meet your complexion’s needs.
Not unlike vitamin supplements, if you find your skin lacking in a certain area – say, Vitamin C – you can add specific products to help just with that. The new Clarins Boosters ($39, Sephora) are the beauty equivalent of juice-bar shots, with formulas to revive radiance and refresh dull skin. However, sometimes we are unable to diagnose our own skin’s needs, and that is where a professional comes in. Talk to your dermatologist about your concerns – pore size may feel like your biggest problem, but a dermatologist may find it irrelevant compared to dullness, fine lines or a myriad of other issues.
There’s always a risk of cocktailing ingredients that might not play well with others, so be sure to do your research when assembling that squad. In the meantime, here are some key recruits to get you started on your goals.
Goal: Clear Skin. Players: Benzoyl peroxide to clear blemishes and kill bacteria + soothing botanicals, such as chamomile or green tea to reduce inflammation. (Try Cover FX Custom Infusion Drops E + Chamomile, $48.)
Goal: Brighter Tone. Players: Niacinamide (vitamin B3) to fade dark spots and improve elasticity + Vitamin C to help reduce inflammation and prevent spots from returning. (Try Olay Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Treatment, $26.)
Goal: Smaller Pores. Players: Salicylic acid in the morning to remove dead skin cells + Retinol at night to keep pores tight and firm up skin and reduce fine lines. (Try RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum, $23.)
Goal: Less Puffy Eyes. Players: Caffeine to bring down swelling and stimulate microcirculation + blackberry to boost elastin production and reduce collagen loss. (Try Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Intensive Renewal Serum, $20.)
Goal: Smooth, Dewy Skin. Players: Glycolic acid to exfoliate and smooth the surface of the skin + hyaluronic acid for long-lasting moisture and a plumping effect. (Try L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Peel Pads, $20.)
Goal: Less Shine. Players: Tea tree oil to help control excessive sebum on skin’s surface + red clay to mattify shiny skin and soak up excess oil. (Try Algenist Perfect Clarifying Pore Corrector Mask, $55.)
Always read labels and ask your dermatologist if you have any questions about particular ingredients. And for you especially active types, here is something else to be aware of – an active lifestyle can put your skin through a workout, too. To avoid sacrificing your skin for that sweat session, try this routine, morning, noon and night.
First thing: Hydrate and defend. A hyaluronic acid serum like Shiseido Bio-Performance Super Corrective Serum, $80, locks in moisture. Add a cream with SPF and antioxidants, such as Estée Lauder DayWear, $52, to help defend your skin against environmental stressors.
After a workout, calm and protect skin. By midday, your morning sunscreen has worn off; if you work out around noon, re-up on SPF and bring down post-sweat redness with a soothing cream. By late afternoon, add antioxidants. Your morning cream will eventually break down when exposed to sunlight, so it’s time to replenish your reserves. Try a concentrated mist, such as Dermalogica Antioxidant Hydramist, $42, which also tones and reduces dryness. I also like Clinique Clarifying Lotion to refresh and tone ($14.50).
And finally, before bed, renew. At night, your skin benefits the most from retinol, along with peptides and yes, even more antioxidants. Try layering a treatment such as Philosophy Help Me Retinol Night Treatment, $49, under your night cream.
You can solve one skin issue and then another crops up. Creating a custom formula allows you to be in control of your skin at all times. Don’t let your Fitbit or apps have all the control – individualized skincare is the way to go.