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Skincare: Taking Care of the Skin You’re In

Lauren McLemore

There are countless skincare products on the market, many of them with names that are impossible pronounce. With so many options, choosing the right products for your routine can become intimidating. Sometimes the best thing to do is get back to the basics.


The first thing to look for is a cleanser. After you remove your makeup, this is the product you will wash your face with, to remove any lingering bacteria or dirt. For some, a good cleanser is enough without all the fancy serums and oils. The important part is making sure that your cleanser is compatible with your skin type, whether it be sensitive, dry, oily or combination. You may find that a cleanser that works for you one month may not work for you a year from now and that’s okay. Things like the environment, age, diet, other products and numerous other factors can contribute to skin’s varying tolerance and sensitivity.

For dry skin, gentle creamy cleansers are the way to go. In the ingredients list, watch for harsh chemicals, artificial dyes and perfumes or fragrances that could irritate your skin.

For oily skin, choose a gel-based or foaming cleanser that provides a deep clean and keeps pores from getting clogged. Be careful not to shy away from hydration and moisture, because while you may think that it will only make the oiliness worse, dehydration will make you more prone to inflammation.

For sensitive skin types, look for labels with the words “hypoallergenic” or “calming”. It may also be helpful to have a fragrance-free or unscented product, as those are often considered irritants.


Next, you’ll reach for your toner. While certain products claim to have specialty ingredients that help with a variety of specific issues, the main purpose of a toner is to help tighten pores and remove whatever dirt and bacteria that was left behind after your cleanser. (

After that, you’ll apply any serums follow by spot treatments. Serums are “highly concentrated formulations that are designed to sink into the skin quickly, delivering an intensive dose of ingredients that can address common skin complaints.” They’re commonly used all over the face and mostly for anti-aging, while spot treatments come in many forms, like gels and creams, and are meant to treat particular small areas like blemishes or dark spots.


You’ll want to finish with a hydrating moisturizer and the most important skincare product of your entire regimen—sunscreen, with at least 30 SPF to protect your face from the harsh outdoor environment.

Skincare for a Congresswoman

Current it-girl Alexandria Ocasio Cortez has thoughts about everything from immigration to climate change. But her advice about skincare? Double cleanse and use sunscreen every day. “I’ve been using daily sunscreen since I was 19. I’ve been bad about it lately and can tell the difference,” she shared on her Instagram stories back in January.

See also: Your Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Swimsuit
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