From fighting acne decades past puberty to scoffing at the first signs of wrinkles, it’s hard to win the good-skin game. But before you curse your genes, ask yourself whether your skincare routine and lifestyle habits are up to par. And by that, we don’t mean clocking hours in front of the mirror or stealing your girlfriend’s fancy facial products.
There’s no need for five-step peels or expensive serums, says Howard Sobel, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist. Layering on too many products can actually irritate skin. The key is washing and moisturizing every day and following a few other maintenance basics, he says. Check out Sobel’s do’s and don’ts for a fresher looking face.
DO: Lather up
A splash of cold water does more than wake you up. A good cleanse helps slough away dead skin cells that stick together and make your face look dull. Use a wash with glycolic acid, both in the morning and before bed, advises Sobel. For a deeper clean that also stimulates the growth of new skin cells, wash with an exfoliating scrub once or twice a week. Just don’t overdo it—cut back if the skin starts to get red or irritated.
DON’T: Forget moisturizer
Lotion should be an automatic step two after cleansing. Apply moisturizer when skin is still slightly damp to help seal in moisture, suggests Sobel. Most face lotions are oil-based, which work well for guys with normal skin—and they’re a must for dry or flaky skin, especially in the winter (check out these other top-rated cold-weather skincare essentialsOpens a New Window.). If you have oily skin or are prone to breakouts, look for a water-based product.