Six essential tools for summer skin care continued...
To combat these downsides, Colbert suggests applying a retinoid every night and wearing a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher during the day. Depending on the sensitivity of your skin, you might have to start off using a retinoid every other day or a few nights a week until you build up tolerance. Over-the-counter options tend to be less irritating -- just make sure you find a product containing at least 0.1% retinol. Ask your doctor about prescription formulas such as Renova, which contains added moisturizers for dry skin, and Differin, designed for sensitive skin.
• Neutrogena Ageless Deep Wrinkle Moisture Night ($21.99/1.4 oz) compensates for the drying effects of retinol with the megamoisturizer hyaluronic acid.
• Philosophy Booster Caps Retinol Capsules ($50/60 capsules) can be mixed into a basic moisturizer (one without other retinoids or anti-aging ingredients because they can interact with retinol) to amp up your skin's health.
• RoC Multi-Correxion Night Treatment ($24.99/1 oz) is spiked with a cocktail of retinol and antioxidants to tackle environmental damage on all fronts.
6. Weekly Calming Mask
You know how hot dogs plump up when they're cooked at a Fourth of July picnic? Well, the same thing essentially happens to your skin when it's overheated. Your skin becomes inflamed in summer heat because your capillaries widen as they send blood to the extremities to help cool down. As they expand, they leak fluid, which causes swelling, Fusco explains.
"Acne, rosacea, sunburn, and allergic rashes are all forms of inflammation," she says. Soothing anti-inflammatory masks can help the skin fight and recover from such conditions. If your skin is oily and prone to any of these, Fusco recommends weekly masks containing clay or sulfur. Cooling formulas containing aloe and chamomile are better for drier complexions.
• Boots No7 Intensive Moisture Face Mask ($19.99/3.3 oz), a hydrating gel cream packed with soothing nutrients that douse inflamed skin with moisture.
• Yes to Cucumbers Calm Care Soothing Facial Mask ($14.99/1.7 oz) has aloe, cucumber, chamomile, and Dead Sea minerals to put the angriest skin into a zen-like state.
• Peter Thomas Roth Cooling Sulfur Mask ($40/5 oz) fights redness with purified clay and sulfur.