Now, these aren’t your run-of-the-mill skin-care tricks, but rather rules they’ve learned and recommended to patients throughout their careers. For example, when and where to wear sunscreen (answer: everywhere and always), how to layer your skin-care products, and why chemical peels could be an important part of your routine.
Keep reading to learn one (or 21) new skin-care tips and tricks — all approved by dermatologists.
1. Period skin is real.
Everyone’s skin suffers from periods when nothing is working. But masks balance skin quickly: Clays reduce oil, and gels calm redness. —Ellen Marmur
2. Kick dryness at night.
If you wake up with dry skin, change your bedtime routine, not the morning one. It’s easier to head off dryness at night than to reverse it the next day. —Doris Day
3. Cleansing cloths shouldn’t be your first line of defense.
Face wipes may be more convenient than old-school cleansers, but don’t rely on wipes to detox skin if you live in a city where pollution is high. —Zoe Draelos
You don’t have to use one product on your entire face. Try glycolic acid on the T-zone to minimize breakouts and thick creams elsewhere. —Dendy Engelman
5. Take your time when applying products.
When layering, let each product absorb for two or three minutes so it’s not counteracted or diluted by the next one you put on. —Neil Sadick
6. The sun is responsible for fine lines.
Ninety percent of fine lines are caused by sun exposure, which makes sunscreenthe ultimate ingredient for younger-looking skin. Use an SPF 30 or higher daily. —Day
7. Consider a chemical peel.
Weekly chemical peels help healthy bacteria grow. Gritty scrubs have the opposite effect, triggering collagen-destroying enzymes. —Whitney Bowe
8. Glycolic acid works, too.
New to chemical peels? Try glycolic acid for normal skin, salicylic acid for oily or combination skin, and gentle lactic acid for dry or sensitive skin. —Day
9. Vitamin C is your friend.
Use brighteners (we like vitamin C) within six months of seeing a dark spot. Melanin goes deeper into skin over time, so it’s harder to reach. —Jessica Wu
10. Sweep up oil with a foaming face wash.
If you’re breaking out along your hairline, it could be from the oil in your hair products. A foaming face wash cuts through the oil without being harsh. —Patricia Wexler
11. Self-care with a sheet mask.
Sheet masks push hydrating ingredients into the skin. Put one on over your moisturizer for 10 minutes at night, and your skin will be dewy the next day. —Day
12. Be patient when using retinol.
Using retinol is a marathon, not a sprint. It stimulates collagen but can irritate. Start using it once per week, over a moisturizer. —Joshua Zeichner
13. Acne products come in many formulas.
Benzoyl peroxide kills P. acnes bacteria; use it all over to prevent breakouts. A 2.5 or 5.5 percent formula works without flaky side effects. —William James
14. Blackheads hate salicylic acid.
Salicylic acid is really only ideal for blackheads and whiteheads. If it dries you out, look for it in a face wash and let it sit on your skin for 30 seconds. —Zeichner
15. Integrate fatty acids into your routine.
Your skin uses omega fatty acids to produce lipids (moisturizing oils) and studies show that omega-3 supplements improve skin’s lipid levels and hydration. —Wu
16. Apply sunscreen — everywhere.
Don’t forget sunscreen on your ears, hairline, neck, hands, and chest. Dermatologists can look at your décolleté to see how old you are. —Ranella Hirsch
17. Pack an extra pillow for puffy eyes.
If you wake up to puffy eyes, add an extra pillow under your head while you sleep — gravity drains enough fluid to help with next-day puffiness. —Zeichner
18. Peel pads are almost too easy not to use.
Glycolic acid treats lines and dark spots. It’s most effective in individually wrapped peel pads (the pH of glycolic acid can change when it’s exposed to air). —Wu
19. Don’t towel off.
If your skin is ashy, make one easy change: Don’t dry it completely before moisturizing. Creams seal in hydration and work best with a little water. —Hirsch
20. Swap out your sunscreen.
Dryness, redness, and tight skin are signs that you may need to switch to a higher SPF. Try a new sunscreen and see if the issues go away in a few days. —Sadick
21. Fight hyperpigmentation during the day.
Treat dark spots using antioxidants during the day. At night, apply topical retinoids to enhance cell turnover to shed pigment. —Zeichner
More on skin care:
- Six Top Dermatologists Reveal Their Skin-Care Routines
- The Best Skin-Care Routine for Your 20s
- Skin-Care Rules to Always Follow When You Travel
Now, see how skin care has evolved in the last 100 years: