Reach your skin care goals with targeted shopping

WI’m constantly told about the products we all need for “better” skin. But aside from SPF, everything is really optional depending on your needs. There are certainly tried and true ingredients that can help your skin, like retinol and vitamin C, but that doesn’t mean you have to. need them in your routine. Before hitting “add to cart” for any item, dermatologist Daniel Sugai, MD, board-certified dermatologist recommends asking yourself one question: What exactly is the goal? What’s yours for your skin?

“I would never buy a product without a goal,” Dr. Sugai said in a recent TikTok video. “I see a lot of patients using too many skin care products. Teens are using vitamin C serum for acne – vitamin C doesn’t work for acne. So before spending money on it all these products, keep skin care goals in mind.”

@drspf Hope this helps 🙏🤙 #skincaremistakes #thingsiwouldcturesdo #dermatologist #skincare #drsugaiskincare #fyp ă‚· ♬ love nwantinti (ah ah ah) – CKay

To help you narrow your search — and avoid wasting money on products — we’ve rounded up the best ingredients for each specific skincare “goal”. Keep scrolling to buy them for yourself.

To treat acne

1. Adapalene

Retinoids help with acne by addressing one of its main causes, abnormal keratinization, which occurs when too many dead skin cells “stick” to the surface of your skin to build up and clog your pores. . Retinol stimulates cell turnover, bringing healthy new cells to the surface and removing all old cells. Sugai recommends talking with a dermatologist to get a prescription version of the ingredient, but if you want something you can buy at the pharmacy, pick up Differin Gel ($18). It’s made with adapalene, aka the most powerful retinoid you can buy.

2. Benzoyl peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is an excellent ingredient in getting rid of P. acnes, the bacteria that causes sedation. “P.,” says Elizabeth Kream, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. Acne is a bacteria that lives on people’s skin, but it likes to grow especially in acne lesions because it feeds on that oil,” said Elizabeth Kream, MD, a board-certified dermatologist. in New York City said. “There is overgrowth and dysregulation of P. Acnes in acne lesions.” She recommends Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser ($12), a benzoyl peroxide cleanser that you can use as a regular cleanser or leave on for five minutes before washing off as a deep-cleansing mask.

Softens/prevents wrinkles

1. Retina

Retinoids also help increase the skin’s production of collagen — the protein that keeps skin thick, firm, and plump — and retinal is starting to outperform retinol as an over-the-counter retinoid for smoothing wrinkles. “The nice thing about retinal is that they’re a bit more potent than your regular, traditional, over-the-counter retinol because they’re not as demanding in terms of conversion to retinoic acid, but they do have a bit of Marisa Garshick, MD.” , a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, says she likes the Medik8 Crystal Retinal ($53).

2. Vitamin C

Vitamin C also helps stimulate collagen production, but it is best known for its protective properties. As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C helps prevent the damaging effects of free radicals. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that seek out healthy skin cells to attach to their electrons, and thus, destabilize them. As our skin cells endure this damage, they become less able to function as they should, leading to signs of aging like wrinkles and discoloration appearing earlier than usual. Garshick is a big fan of Maelove The Glow Maker ($30) which blends vitamins C, E, ferulic acid, and hyaluronic acid.

To control dry skin

1. Ceramides

When it comes to managing dry skin, ceramides are one of your best defenses. They are natural lipids in the skin that protect the skin barrier and lock in moisture. They also function as emollients, a type of moisturizing ingredient that adds oil to the skin to help soften and smooth the skin. La Roche-Posay Double Repair Face Moisturizer ($20) is a great option packed with ceramides.

2. Hyaluronic Acid

Quench your skin’s thirst with a dose of hyaluronic acid. The hydrophilic molecule helps your skin absorb and retain moisture to soothe and nourish dry skin. The new Homemade Security Attachment Comfort Serum+ ($36) has the perfect blend of hyaluronic acid, squalane, and algae to keep your skin looking beautiful and hydrated.

To lighten discoloration

1. Tranexamic acid

Topical tranexamic acid regulates melanin production in the skin, which means it can help control discoloration such as acne scars, dark spots, and pigmentation. Topicals Faded Serum ($18 to $38) blends tranexamic acid with two other skin-lightening ingredients—namely niacinamide and azelaic acid—to help fade discoloration.

2. Cysteamine

Cysteamine is a controversial new ingredient that gives hydroquinone controversial money. Instead of bleaching your skin, the way hydroquinone does, it reduces your body’s melanin synthesis to return your skin to its original color. Do you apply it on dry skin? before You wash your face and let it work for 15 minutes before rinsing it off. Urban Skin Rx Hypercorrect Intense Fading Cream ($38) heroically cysteamine and is a great addition to your morning or evening routine.

To reduce oil

1. Niacinamide

Niacinamide is a form of B vitamin that can help normalize oil production in your skin. Which means with consistent application you could see a reduction in oil production. “Niacinamide has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties that counteract the effects of stress hormones on the skin,” says Shirley Chi, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Southern California. “Stress hormones increase oil production in the skin, so reducing inflammation makes your skin less oily.” Allies of Skin Prebiotics Niacinamide Pore Refining Booster ($73) is a great choice.

2. Mandelic Acid

While niacinamide does its job, you can get rid of your excess oil with the help of mandelic acid. “The interesting thing about mandelic acid is that because it’s a larger molecule, it’s generally a little more tolerable and less irritating than other alpha-hydroxy acids, like glycolic acid,” says Dr. . She really loves the Glow Recipe Strawberry Smooth BHA + AHA Salicylic Acid Serum ($40), which also includes mandelic acid.

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