The First Step Toward Clear Skin

During the warmer months, it's easy for bacteria and oil, which is often exacerbated by humidity and sweat, to build up in your pores. But you can beat it! Just follow these few simple rules from New York-based dermatologist Marina Peredo and you'll be on your way to a cleaner, fresher, more balanced complexion.

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Tip No. 1: Go Toward the Light

Forego products with heavy formulas, especially if you plan to spend a lot of time outside. "People should switch to astringents and serums, as well as lighter foundations," Dr. Peredo says. "The lighter the product, the better it is."

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Tip No. 2: Be Consistent

Stick to a routine to ensure you're not allowing any excess oil to build up. "In the morning, use cleanser. If you're younger, I recommend astringent pads," she says, "then apply a sunblock."

Surprisingly, she says to skip moisturizer at this time, since a sunscreen should be enough moisture for an oily surface. "Sunblock should be very light, like a lotion or serum, which won't cause breakouts," she says. "If you're going to wear makeup, use a mineral powder instead of an oil-based liquid." 

Use an astringent to clean up excess oil. Photograph courtesy of Getty Images
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For midday maintenance, pack travel-friendly glycolic or witch hazel cloths for an on-the-go touch-up.

At night, you need to work a little harder to clean skin. First, remove your makeup, then wash with an exfoliating cleanser that's gentle but effective—look out for ingredients such as charcoal, natural exfoliant particles (like seeds and kernels), and alpha hydroxy acids. Dr. Peredo recommends using this wash at least once a week, if not twice. If you find there's still some oil left post-cleanse, follow up with a toner.

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Tip No. 3: Step Up Your Mask Game

A weekly mask can dramatically improve the condition of your skin. "When trying to dry out your skin, use a clay-based mask," Dr. Peredo says. You can also use natural ingredients such as oatmeal and honey, which help detox and soothe the outer layer without over drying.

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