First, be sure to remove your make-up completely before going to bed. Your mother has probably been telling you this since you were a teenager, but it's good advice. Leaving makeup on overnight will lead to breakouts caused by clogged pores and excess oil. Also, leaving eye makeup on while you sleep can cause temporary inflammation and swelling (and will wreak havoc with your contact lenses).
Use a product such as Biore Daily Cleansing Cloths or Olay Daily Facials Cleansing Cloths to remove oil, dirt and makeup before you go to sleep. The soft, alcohol-free cloths can deep clean your skin down to the pores, but are also gentle enough to remove eye makeup -- even waterproof mascara.
Follow up with a toner followed by a light oil-free moisturizer before going to sleep.
And when it comes to sleep: Be sure to change your pillow cases often, as dirt trapped in fabrics can cause irritation and breakouts.
Don't forget about your hands and feet. If you feet are dry and cracked, apply a thick layer of Vaseline or moisturizing body lotion to your feet. Then, wear a pair of clean, cotton socks to bed. Moisturize your hands, arms and legs too -- particularly in the cool months of fall and winter when your skin can get dehydrated.
Start in the shower by rejuvenating your skin with a face steam. Hold a steamy wash cloth up to your face and let the steam penetrate your pores for a few minutes.
Cleansing will remove dirt, oil and bacteria from your skin that may cause breakouts. It will also stimulate the blood circulation in your face, rejuvenating your skin to a healthy glow.
Use a skin cleanser suited for your skin type. A foaming cleanser, such as Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser, Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser or Biore Skin Recharging Cleanser, will awaken your tired, sluggish skin and leave it healthy and vibrant. This cleanser uses natural lemon, pineapple and grapefruit juice to leave your skin feeling and looking refreshed -- and is a treat for your other senses, too.
Work the cleanser into a lather in your hands. Wash your face and neck in a circular motion for a couple minutes, then rinse thoroughly with cool water. Pat dry with a clean towel. Be sure not to scrub too vigorously or too long. Overdoing it may cause inflammation, redness and lead to breakouts and swelling -- exactly what you don't want.
Many people tend to skip the toner in the morning. But it's actually a very important step because it balances the pH of your skin and preps it for moisturizing.
Look for toners without alcohol, which can severely dry your skin. Also be sure to select a toner for your skin type; many companies offer toners especially formulated for sensitive skin or acne-prone skin. Dab toner onto a cotton ball and apply to your face and neck. After applying toner, do not dry your skin with a towel before applying moisturizer -- just let your skin breathe and air-dry.
Everybody needs a product to help their skin say soft and smooth and to remain hydrated. Even if you have oily skin, you need to keep it moisturized. Again, be sure to pick a product suited for your skin type. It's also a good idea to find a moisturizer that will give you protection from the sun throughout the day. You want something that gives your face just enough moisture without feeling oily or greasy.
Apply moisturizer on your face and neck, paying special attention to the area around your eyes and lips, which can get excessively dry.
Choosing the right makeup
Treat your skin well by using quality cosmetics that are non-comedogenic (essentially, something that won't clog pores and/or otherwise make your skin more breakout-prone). Seek out products that will keep your face hydrated but not make it oily. Remember that what is an almost-magic potion for one person may not work at all for another, so be prepared for some trial and error! After moisturizing, use a light foundation with SPF 15 or above to even out your skin tone and keep your skin protected.
If your face is naturally oily, you can choose to use a powder foundation rather than a liquid. Powder foundations contain less oil and will leave your skin with a beautiful matte finish. On the other hand, if your skin is dry, select a liquid or cream foundation that is labeled "moisturizing" or "hydrating."
Also look for make-up containing mineral powder. These all-natural cosmetics are very good for your skin and do not contain chemicals, dyes or fragrances -- which can cause irritation and allergies. Lines of mineral cosmetics include bareMinerals, Sheer Cover, glominerals, mineral fusion, Jane Iredale, Monave and several others.
Eating a good breakfast
Believe it or not, treating your skin right in the morning is also about your diet!
Start the day with berries. Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries all contain vitamins C and E, which are terrific for your skin. Vitamin C restores your skin by helping produce natural collagens, while vitamin E keeps it moist and smooth. As an added bonus, these berries are yummy, and make a perfect complement to cereal or yogurt.
Staying hydrated is another vital component, so drink your water -- at least eight 8-ounce glasses -- each day. Think of it as drinking to your beautiful self!