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There is no secret to clear skin, just a good routine. The basis of your skin care should be based around three simple steps: cleanse, tone, and moisturize.
Cleansing, or washing your face, is the first step. After wetting your face, I prefer warm water, apply the cleanser, and lather for about a minute. The warm water helps open up pores to get the dirt out easier. Currently I am using Neutrogena's Oil-Free Acne Wash. I just pump a little bit on to my silicone face scrub that I picked up from Forever 21 for a few dollars, and scrub in circular motions. Don't press to hard, you don't want to be harsh on your face. The skin on your face is delicate and the blood vessels under the eyes can break easily, leaving you with dark circles.
Here's a tip from a esthetician, if you are prone to black heads, try switching between two different cleansers. The different formulas help break down the black heads. I usually switch between an exfoliant and a foaming cleanser if I need to. Try using one in the morning and a different one in the evening before bed to help with acne.
After rinsing your face, pat it dry. Again use gentle pressure and try not to rub around your under eye area to avoid dark circles.
Next is toning! I currently use Neutrogena's Clear Pore Oil-Eliminating Astringent. I apply some to a cotton round or cotton ball and apply all over my face. It does tingle a bit but I like the feeling. Astringent or toner mostly helps reduce the size of pores but also has other benefits such as moisturizing, balance the skin's pH level and reducing dark spots. It can even be used as an aftershave to reduce ingrown hairs!
Last but certainly not least, is moisturizing. This is my favorite and to me the most important step to your skin care routine. I am very liberal with the amount of moisturizer I use, I don't even look at the recommended amount on the jar.
After cleansing and toning, apply your preferred moisturizer all over your face and neck. I am currently obsessed with Tarte's Drink if H2O Hydrating Boost Moisturizer. It is a gel base and has a cooling sensation to it when you apply it. I prefer a gel moisturizer over a cream base because I feel like a gel soaks into the skin better. This is one of the more expensive products I use but a great substitute is Neutrogena's Hydro Boost Water Gel moisturizer. I pick it up for around $18, about about half the price of Tarte's.
Because moisturizing is my favorite step, I often use more than one type of moisturizer from day to day. Or even more than one at any given time. I sometimes apply vitamin E oil to my face, focusing on my eye area. I know what you're thinking, wouldn't oil make your skin oily? Actually no, the oil soaks into your skin and helps prevent wrinkles and even out skin tone. You can pick up a bottle for around $6 dollars. I usually use the oil at night before bed so it can soak in over night and you wake up with super soft skin in the morning that last throughout the day, even after your morning cleanse! An alternative to vitamin E oil that I have used before is coconut oil. Again, I apply a liberal amount to my face before bed and let it soak in over night. I find myself using the oils more often after I spend time in the sun. The oils soak into my skin to help hydrate my skin.
Speaking of the sun! If your moisturizer does not include a SPF, please apply sunblock along with your moisturizer. Protecting yourself from the sun can help prevent wrinkles, fine lines, and more importantly, skin cancer.
There are plenty more products I use but the basis of my routine is a good facial cleaner, toner and moisturizer. I do these three steps twice a day, morning and evening. Along with these three steps, don't forget to stay hydrated and well rested.
Remember, if you have sensitive skin, remember to look for products for your skin type to avoid any irritation. Or go for natural products!