Miami dermatologist Leslie Baumann has all of your skin concerns covered:
IF YOUR CONCERN IS ... Acne.
Unless your only concern is blackheads, scrubbing with a salicylic-acid cleanser won’t cut it, says Baumann. For serious breakouts, try one with benzoyl peroxide, like Neutrogena Rapid Clear ($9, Ulta). (She recommends using it twice daily, because acne bacteria reproduce every 12 hours.) At night, follow with an over-the-counter retinoid to prevent clogged pores. Or, if all these harsh chemicals don’t jibe with your skin, Baumann suggests an at-home “blue-light device,” such as the Tria Acne Clearing Blue Light ($149, TriaBeauty), which may be pricey but has been shown to kill acne-causing bacteria without causing dryness or flaking.
IF YOUR CONCERN IS ... Dark Spots.
Sun exposure, stress, and heat are the biggest causes of skin discoloration, so avoid all three. Use an SPF 30 daily and “treat existing spots with a hydroxy-acid cleanser, like NeoStrata Skin Active Exfoliating Wash ($40, NeoStrata),” says Baumann. (Aqua Glycolic Facial Cleanser, $17, Walmart, is a great drugstore alternative.) “At night, apply a prescription cream; Tri-Luma contains a steroid to break up pigmentation.” To speed up the process, your derm can do a series of light chemical peels spaced two to four weeks apart.
But Baumann warns against laser treatments: “We see a lot of dark spots in Miami, and the laser makes them better for about a month, then they come back three times worse.” Yikes.
IF YOUR CONCERN IS ... Dryness.
For parched skin, it’s all about finding the right cleanser and moisturizer. “You want a nonfoaming wash that won’t strip oils away, along with a barrier-repair moisturizer to help skin hold water,” says Baumann. She suggests washing with iS Clinical Cream Cleanser ($48, DermStore) or Dove White Beauty Bar ($3.08 for two, Dove), followed by SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 ($125, SkinCeuticals). We also like CeraVe Skin Renewing Cream Serum ($17, Target).
IF YOUR CONCERN IS ... Redness.
The key to really beating red skin, says Baumann, is a clean diet. Eat foods with a lot of omega-3’s, like salmon, avocado and flaxseed to reduce inflammation. Baumann also suggests a gentle wash, like SkinMedica Facial Cleanser ($38, SkinMedica), then a twice-daily application of Argan oil: “It’s the best for redness.” Anti-inflammatories in green tea and resveratrol also help, so try Shea Terra Organics Argan & Rose Complex ($29, Shea Terra Organics) or Caudalie Premier Cru the Cream ($158, Sephora).