As beauty editors and self-proclaimed skincare fanatics, we know all the information out there about the latest and greatest ways to care for your skin can get overwhelming. From vagina facials to the secret an editor's mom uses to look half her age, we've covered a lot of ground in the skincare department this year. That's why to make your lives easier, we've compiled the best skincare advice we learned in 2018. Whether you're interested in erasing blackheads, preventing signs of aging, or shaking up your skincare routine, we've got you covered. After reviewing our skincare stories from the past year, we rounded up 15 of the best tips so you can enter the new year with flawless skin. You can thank us later.
1. Use Seltzer Water to Cleanse
Back in October, we learned that some dermatologists recommend adding carbonated water into your skincare routine. Roberta Del Campo, MD, told Allure that using seltzer water with a gentle cleanser can improve blood circulation to your skin, which in turn creates a brighter, more radiant complexion.
2. Layer Your Products from Thinnest to Thickest
According to Sarah Lee and Christine Chang, the founders of Glow Recipe, this tip is crucial. "Layering your serums and essences from thinnest to thickest helps the skin to absorb each layer most efficiently. We like the Blithe Tundra Chaga Pressed Serum ($49)," they told us.
3. Daytime is for Protecting Your Skin, and Nightime is for Restoring it
The perpetually youthful Cindy Crawford shared with us that this tip from her dermatologist, Jean-Louis Sebagh, MD, is the foundation of her skincare routine. To protect her skin during the day, Crawford likes to use the Environmental Protecting Moisuturizer ($65) from her skincare line, Meaningful Beauty.
4. Try Face Mapping to Prevent Future Breakouts
Our editorial director, Faith Xue, learned that mapping where your breakouts occur can provide key insights about your body. "Acne face mapping connects that specific area of your face to an organ or body part, which allows you to make the necessary changes to your diet or lifestyle to make it go away," she says. To fight pesky breakouts, we like this Mario Badescu Drying Lotion ($17).
5. Sour Milk Helps Reduce Breakouts and Fine Lines
Skeptical? We were too. But it turns out sour milk contains lactic acid, a key ingredient for exfoliation. We like this 10% lactic acid serum from The Ordinary.
6. Glycolic Acid Is a Game-Changer for Erasing Blackheads
Take it from Heather Wilson, licensed esthetician and director of brand development at InstaNatural: "Glycolic acid is an incredibly effective ingredient for reducing and clearing blackheads because it's an alpha-hydroxy acid with a smaller molecule, which means it can penetrate deeper into the pores to dissolve excess dirt, sebum, and pore-clogging skin cells." Try these facial cleansing pads from Cane + Austin which contain 30% glycolic acid.
7. Micro-needling in Your 20s and 30s is Key to Healthy Skin Later On
Dermatologist Gervaise Gerstner, MD, told our managing editor, Lindsey Metrus, that micro-needling is a great preventative measure for healthy skin when you're older. "By rolling the tiny needles along your face, you're creating micro injuries on the skin, which then increases collagen and elastin production to help heal the skin," Metrus explains. "This then thickens the skin a bit to help fill out fine lines and hide dark circles."
8. Facial Massage Can Transform Your Skin
"A quick stimulation of the tissues reinvigorates your face and helps to promote healthy skin. You'll see the benefits as a glowing and firm complexion," explains Diana Morrison, lead esthetician at Massage Envy. "We learned exactly how to give ourselves a facial massage here. If you want to take your massage to the next level, pick up a gua sha tool like the one below.
9. Don't Over-Exfoliate
Celebrity skincare guru Joanna Vargas told us that this is the biggest mistake she sees with clients. "Somehow, women have gotten the impression that the more they use retinols, glycolics, and scrubs, the better. However, we really need to understand that the skin can only take so much of that stuff," she explained. If you think you may be overexfoliating, invest in a skin repairing moisturizer like this one from SkinCeuticals.
10. Finding the Right Cleanser is Critical
"Many people in their 20s continue to use the same harsh cleansers and drying astringents they relied on when they were oily, acne-prone teenagers. You may not see it, but at this phase in your skin's life cycle, your oil glands are starting to shrink—making anti-acne and mattifying products that were once effective cause redness, flaking, and irritation," explains Dennis Gross, MD. In the market for a gentler cleanser? We love this one from Fresh Beauty.
11. Having an Everyday Skincare Routine is Important
When we spoke to three dermatologists about the best way to care for our skin, and they all agreed that sticking to a consistent routine is key to healthy skin in the future. "This is where good habits practiced yearly can really pay off. Really good habits for sun protection, particularly avoiding burns, really pay off in the long run," dermatologist Tara Rao, MD, explained.
12. Swap Your Morning Coffee for a Matcha Latte
Earlier this year, we read an article from SheFinds that explained that having a cup of matcha green tea every day is one of the best ways to improve your skin and keep it looking young. "Matcha green tea is filled with antioxidants, which are vital for healthy skin," the story said. "They help protect your cells from free radical damage and the other harmful effects from prolonged UV ray exposure and environmental aggressors."
13. Vitamin C Will Revolutionize Your Skincare Routine
"Adding vitamin C to your skincare routine will help improve skin texture by providing a powerful antioxidant to repair and defend the skin from environmental damage and restore suppleness while reducing pigmentation, scar tissue, and age spots," skincare expert Ling Chan divulged. We swear by this serum from SkinCeuticals to provide our skin with all the vitamin C it needs.
14. Ditch Your Lip Scrub
Apparently, lip scrubs can do more harm than good. "The skin on your lips has a special top layer that doesn't accumulate dead skin cells and is very thin (approximately one third of the thickness of skin on your face)," Dennis Gross, MD, explained in a press release. "In order to heal dry, chapped lips, you need to repair that barrier, not scrub it off. When you use a scrub, you're removing the protective outer layer of the lips, leaving them even more compromised." Instead of a scrub, opt for hydrating lip serum like the one below.
15. Make Your Skincare Routine Fun
"Adopt skincare habits that are enjoyable to you," Craig Kraffert, MD, told us. "If your skincare routine is not enjoyable, continuity is difficult." The more exciting and luxurious your skincare routine feels, the more likely you'll be to actually stick to it. To make your skincare routine more exciting, opt for a fun skincare treatment like this bubble mask.
Next up: Check out 7 things dermatologists want you to do before you turn 40.