Friday, June 27, 2008

Clear Skin 101

1) The problem: oil
You’re constantly fighting shine, your skin is greasy to the touch and your makeup never lasts past noon.

Quick fix: Avoid heavy, oil-based makeup. “It can stimulate the sebaceous glands,” says Joanna Schlip, a celebrity makeup artist for Physicians Formula who has worked with Jessica Simpson and Ellen Pompeo. Instead, choose a light, water-based foundation—a skin-friendly formula made for oily skin. After spreading foundation evenly over your face with a synthetic brush, dab on pressed powder with talc using a sponge or puff to help absorb excess oil. Rather skip powders and foundations? Try a powder-free blotting papers.

Skin tip: Avoid a high-sugar diet, which is believed to increase oiliness and encourage acne flare-ups.

2) The problem: acne
You know the signs: small, red pimples, whiteheads, blackheads and, in more severe cases, nodules, cysts and scarring.

Quick fix: Cover up each pimple with Cream Concealer in Soft Green to neutralize redness, then blend it in with a clean concealer brush. Next, grab a natural-bristled foundation brush and dust on a micro-fine layer of loose mineral powder to even out your skin tone. “Mineral-based formulas are fragrance-, preservative-, dye- and talc-free,” says Schlip, “so they’re less likely to irritate acne-prone skin.” Studies have shown that minerals such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide can actually speed up skin’s healing time.

Skin tip: Breaking out? Avoid hydrating masques and facials until your complexion calms down.

3) The problem: big pores
Enlarged pores can be caused by whiteheads, blackheads or past acne scars, and they’re tough to hide.

Quick fix: “Primers are the best way to fill in uneven skin,” says Schlip. “Warm up a dot between your fingers and spread it over areas that need it most.” Apply primer in the morning with clean hands across the top of your cheeks, around your nose and on your chin. Finish with a dusting of loose mineral powder for a natural look.

Skin tip: Avoid ultra-shimmery cosmetics; they magnify pitted skin.

4) The problem: dull skin
Grey, pasty, sallow—call it what you will, but dull skin is instantly aging. Here’s what it takes to coax back a youthful glow.

Quick fix: Begin with an illuminating mineral powder. “These sheer finishing powders are even more lightweight than loose mineral foundations,” says Schlip, “and they give you a healthy luminous finish.” Tap your foundation brush for one application and apply in a circular motion over your entire face. Follow up with a soft sweep of your favourite blush. “To me, blush is the quickest route to younger, fresher-looking skin,” says Schlip.

Skin tip: Don’t forget to wear sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15. The more sun damage you acquire, the duller your skin will look.

Find more tips and tricks in FLARE’s July issue.

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