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5 Skincare Essentials You Should Be Using

Vanessa Hathaway
Founder, Your Custom Beauty

Regardless of your particular issues, skin type, or lifestyle, the following products should be staples in any skincare routine:

1. A gentle, mild-formula cleanser

It’s important to use a daily facial cleanser that’s gentle but effectively removes dirt, oil, and makeup without stripping your skin of its natural moisture. Optimally, you’ll want a water-soluble formulation that rinses clean and contains little or no fragrance.

These are great cleansers for normal and combination skin:

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser

First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser with FAB Antioxidant Booster

These are some of the best cleansers for oily skin:

Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser

iS Clinical Cleansing Complex

For dry skin, these are our top-rated cleansers:

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

DHC Concentrated Cleansing Oil

Click here to see all of Your Custom Beauty’s top-selling Cleansers

2.  Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C is a powerhouse antioxidant that helps increase your skin’s collagen production, reduce melanin production (dark spots), and brighten the complexion.  We recommend wearing a vitamin C serum daily under your moisturizer/sunscreen to boost the effectiveness of your sun protection, reduce sun damage, and protect your skin from free-radicals.  Although vitamin C works beautifully to protect and prevent skin discoloration and wrinkles, you may not see immediate results.  But, trust us when we say your skin will look so much better 5 years from now because you used vitamin C religiously.

Great vitamin C products for dry skin:

BeautyStat Universal C Skin Refiner

Revision 15% Vitamin C Lotion

For those with oily skin, these are both great options:

Andalou Naturals Tumeric + C Enlighten Serum

SkinMedica Vitamin C + E Complex

If you have normal or combination skin, any of the products above would work.  Lucky you!

Click here to see all of Your Custom Beauty’s top-selling vitamin C products

3.  A Daytime Moisturizer with SPF 30 or higher

Dermatologists and beauty experts agree that consistent daily use of sunscreen is the absolute best defense in any anti-aging skincare regimen.  The best daytime moisturizers are noncomedogenic (won’t clog pores), fragrance-free, and contain broad-spectrum sun protection of SPF 30 or more.  Your Custom Beauty also ensures that the moisturizers we recommend work well under makeup and are packed with anti-aging ingredients.  Ideally, you want a moisturizer that goes on smoothly, absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave skin feeling greasy.

There are many great options available, even for oily, acne-prone skin.  Yep, even if you have oily skin you will benefit from using the right moisturizers.  Most acne medications can quickly take your skin from greasy to uncomfortably dry, peeling, and irritated. Using a daily moisturizer is the best defense to help avoid these side effects.

For our friends out there with normal or combination skin, check out these moisturizers with SPF:

Olay Complete Daily Defense Moisturizer SPF 30

For dry skin, these are a couple of our favorites:

EltaMD UV Physical Tinted Sunscreen SPF 41

Revision Skincare Intellishade SPF 45 Original

Hydrating gels are usually best for oily or acne-prone skin.  We like really like these in particular:

Paula’s Choice RESIST Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 Tinted Matte Moisturizer

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Mineral Light Fluid Sunscreen SPF50

Click here to see all of Your Custom Beauty’s top-selling Moisturizers with SPF

4. Retinol or its more powerful prescription-grade counterparts tretinoin and retinoic acid

The superstar of anti-aging ingredients.  Retinoids are very powerful, effective agents in combating the signs of aging, but they also tend to be some of the more expensive products in any skincare arsenal. All the more reason to pick a product that packs a powerful punch!

If you have skin sensitivities, you should start out with an over-the-counter retinol product, using only once or twice a week – increasing frequency of use as tolerated.  If you have ultra-sensitive skin, you may want to begin by applying a retinol product after moisturizing to avoid irritation.

If you’re new to retinol products, start with a well-formulated serum with a low concentration of retinol.  This 0.25% retinol complex by SkinMedica is a highly recommended option:

SkinMedica Retinol Complex 0.25%

For those of you that are accustomed to using this miracle worker, these are some of the best retinol serums available:

Revision Retinol Complete 1%

SkinMedica Retinol Complex 1.0

Click here to see all of YCB’s recommended retinol products

5. Night-time Moisturizer

Although all skin types benefit from a well-formulated moisturizer, the texture of the product will differ according to your skin type.  Night-time moisturizes should not only hydrate but repair and protect your skin’s natural moisture barrier.  As we age, skin retains less moisture and begins to show the effects of any previous sun damage.  Using a hydrating moisturizer in the evening helps minimize fine lines and wrinkles, giving your skin better tone and texture.

Light-weight lotions are usually recommended for normal and combination skin, while heavier creams or emollient-rich balms are best for dry skin. Look for moisturizers that contain plenty of skin-repairing antioxidants like vitamin C, ubiquinone, and green tea extract.   If you have normal or combination skin Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Retinol Night Cream is an excellent, budget-friendly choice.

The most effective night moisturizers for dry skin contain a combination of non-fragrant plant oils, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, shea butter, or fatty acids to provide superior moisture.

Skinmedica Rejuvenative Moisturizer

Paula’s Choice Resist Intensive Repair Cream

There are many moisturizing products that are created especially for oily skin types.  These products are light, fast absorbing, and don’t leave your skin feeling like an oil slick.  Products containing humectants such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid help your skin retain moisture and provide a protective barrier to give your skin a soft, smooth feel.

Tula Probiotic Oil-Free Gel Cream

bosha Cactus Water Moisturizer

Click here to see all of YCB’s recommended Moisturizers

Unfortunately, there are no products that are going to give you an over-night or instant fix. However, by incorporating a consistent daily skincare routine using the above guidelines, you should begin seeing noticeable results in 4 to 6 weeks.  Expect to see dramatic results within 3 to 6 months.

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