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Reboot your skin care routine

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

Complexion perfection

If your skin has been looking dull and lifeless lately, it may be time to reboot your skin care routine -- especially now that summer is around the corner and heavy makeup is being replaced with a much lighter touch. We turned to Beth Steenburgen, skin care expert and training esthetician for the Chella line, for tips on how to get your skin looking gorgeous.

Woman with eye cream

Steenburgen is a firm believer that a good skin care routine starts with the right products. "Certain ingredients make for a more effective way to treat the skin, and we should concentrate on making sure our products have these ingredients," she says.

Steenburgen's top 5 must-have ingredients for healthy, glowing, younger-looking skin:

  1. AHAs: Penetrate the skin to remove dead skin cells and improve texture and tone
  2. Retinol: Unclogs pores, boosts collagen to reduce fine lines, and speeds cell turnover to even out discoloration and smooth the skin
  3. Antioxidants: Protect skin from free-radical damage
  4. Peptides: Increase collagen production, thereby making the skin thicker and reducing the appearance of wrinkles
  5. Sunscreen: Protects skin from harmful UV rays

What not to do

One of the biggest skin care mistakes people make is over-treating their skin, Steenburgen says. For example, if a teen has acne, she tends to overuse products that contain drying ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and Retin-A. The skin then compensates for the dryness by creating more oil -- so rather than healing the skin, a vicious cycle emerges.

Steenburgen says the same can happen with active anti-aging ingredients such as AHAs and retinols. People get tempted to use more than they need or apply more often in hopes of increasing effectiveness, but this can have adverse effects. "We don't want to overtreat or undertreat the skin," she says.

Neglecting to wear sunscreen is, of course, the biggest no-no when it comes to skin care. Even if the day is overcast, you need to protect yourself from UV rays. "Along with inflammation, UV light is a main source of oxidative stress and pathway to aging of the skin," Steenburgen says.

Maintaining younger-looking skin

Steenburgen says that a few tried-and-true methods can go a long way to improve the condition and health of the skin:

  • Cleansing the skin twice a day. She points out, however, that makeup removal and cleansing are two very different things. Heavy makeup wearers should always cleanse twice at night to remove all traces of makeup.

  • Toning clarifies and preps the skin to take in moisture. She says to always coordinate the active ingredients in your correctors and moisturizers to your skin type and condition.

  • Wearing sunscreeen. Always.

More skin care advice

How to make your skin glow
8 Great summer beauty fixes
At-home facials

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