We've all got our issues—acne, premature aging, sunspots, an oily T-zone, dry patches. After one too many battles with your skin, don't you think it's time for a truce? Arm yourself with latest tips, tricks and innovations when it comes to a perfect complexion. Here's what you need to get your face back into the friend zone.
The Good Kind of Oil
First, start with the basics of a clean, happy face. Oil cleansers may make you think oily skin. But quite the contrary, this newly popular deep-cleaning blend of natural oils rids your face of the day's grime, melts away makeup, decongests pores and helps skin return to its ideal moisture balance, without leaving an oily residue. Translation: It's gentle, effective and works on all skin types. Unlike over-sudsing, you won't have that dry, tight, itchy feeling soapier solutions can cause. A great option: Philosophy Purity Made Simple Mineral Oil-Free Facial Cleansing Oil boasts yummy peppermint and eucalyptus to invigorate, plus rose hip, green tea and golden palm oils that refine the skin's texture.
Save Face with a Serum
When it comes to rebooting and recharging, serum is the latest skincare buzzword. These lightweight, action-packed formulas penetrate and are absorbed by the skin's layers more deeply than a run-of-the-mill moisturizer (sans a sticky or greasy feeling), delivering essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Plus, consider each serum an expert in its field—designed to attack fine lines (like Regenerist Olay Daily Regenerating Serum), sagging, redness or acne. It's possible to find a fit for any skin type. But no need to toss your moisturizer. Those with dry skin can layer on their fave lotion on top of a serum for extra hydration.
Beauty from the Amazon
Call it a secret of the rain forest: Rejuvenating maracuja oil comes from a rare Amazonian fruit that's rich in vitamin C and nutritious essential fatty acids. The benefits of this new breakthrough? It's hydrating, anti-inflammatory and repairing, says New York-based aesthetician Cecilia Wong. "It also helps to brighten the skin. Maracuja oil is a good choice for all skin types, but is especially beneficial for those with acne, as it regulates sebum production," she says. Leading the movement is Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil (with nearly 45 fruits in one bottle). Apply two to three drops at night instead of using a nighttime moisturizer to help combat signs of aging. (Hint: Get a free sample with any Tarte purchase!)
Spots Are Only Cute on Puppies
It's only natural—age spots, acne scarring and sun damage can cause dark spots and skin discoloration. But new dark spot correctors can help even and brighten skin tone to lessen the appearance of those pesky marks and up your luminosity. Before buying a dark spot corrector, figure out what skin condition you want to treat, Wong suggests. Some spots will not react to a topical treatment (like liver spots) as dark spot correctors work best on sun or age spots. Look for ingredients such as licorice root (found in Vichy ProEVEN Total Dark Spot Corrector), kojic oil, lemon oil, grapefruit and frankincense oil. "Keep in mind that most spots are not on the top layer of the skin, so your product will need to penetrate deeply to treat the skin condition, to break down melanin and decrease its production," Wong says. And most importantly: "When using dark spot correctors, be sure to apply sunscreen daily—or else your spots could return!"