Winter conspires to dry your skin out. Summer bakes it. Then there’s booze, work, stress, smog, dirt, grime — you get the picture. Keeping your face looking great is no easy feat when it’s taking fire from all sides. While staying hydrated and keeping your mug clean will help you in the long run, if you’re looking for something to dramatically improve the appearance of your skin in the here and now, reach for these four products.
Caffeine Your morning flat white may make you feel like a million bucks, but the jig’s up if your face still has last night’s bender written all over it. Thankfully, the same stuff that provides your morning buzz can be used to eliminate wrinkles and puffy eyes. When applied, a caffeinated moisturizer like Parkdale Butter Co.’s espresso face balm or an eye roller infused with the stuff reduces your skin’s fluid retention, leading to firmer skin.
Natural oils If your mug needs a pick-me-up (especially in cooler, dryer weather), look no further than a moisturizer that replenishes your skin and leaves it looking smooth. Your typical tonic may do the trick, but the wrong kind can leave your face greasy and may expose it to unnecessary chemicals. Essential oils, on the other hand, last longer and are similar to the natural oil your skin already produces, which means they go on weightlessly (or close to it). Bonus? They smell great. There are many types to choose from — my go-to treatment from Clarins combines hazelnut, rosewood and patchouli.
Toner For some guys, dry skin’s simply not a problem — it’s the other end of the spectrum that they’re dealing with. If you’re stressed or not getting enough rest, your skin may be over-producing oil, making it shiny and uncomfortable. Wiping down your face and neck with a dab of a something like Kiehl’s ultra facial oil-free toner on a cotton ball will remove the excess oil tout de suite (leaving behind only just enough to keep it looking fresh) as well as shrink your pores.
Tinted moisturizer It’s never an easy sell when something has more in common with your girlfriend’s make-up than an aftershave, but stay with me. Like foundation, tinted moisturizer is used to even out dark spots, freckles and other inconsistencies, but the real reason a cream like Neutrogena’s belongs on your side of the medicine cabinet is how well it hides post-shave redness and abrasions as well. Add in some SPF factor (which helps reduce and prevent signs of aging) and it’s more than a fast, superficial fix for your face — it’s one with benefits down the line, too.