Reader Beauty FAQs: Skincare Edition

Reader Beauty FAQs
Photo: Time Inc Digital Studios

Reader Beauty FAQs: Skincare Edition

01 of 11

Under Eye Circles FAQ

Under Eye Circles FAQ
Courtesy Estee Lauder, Courtesy Dennis Gross

QUESTION:

"How can I get rid of my dark under eye circles?"

ANSWER:
Those annoying blue shadows can be hereditary or caused by environmental factors like hay fever and seasonal allergies. Try a super-charged eye cream packed with vitamins A, C and K like Lift and Lighten Eye Cream from Dr. Dennis Gross ($60; dgskincare.com) which can be effective at lightening skin over time. For a quick fix, try Estee Lauder's new Idealist Cooling Eye Illuminator ($58; esteelauder.com): the cool ceramic tip delivers your shade of concealer and ingredients to help brighten, de-puff and reduce fine lines in the eye area.

02 of 11

Blackheads FAQ

Blackheads FAQ
Courtesy Glycolic

QUESTION:

"I have really old blackheads on my nose. I've tried bands, vaporizations, exfoliations but nothing works. What can I do?"

ANSWER:
Blackheads appear when sebum oxidizes, and we're going to be honest: If you've tried everything else, only extraction by a licensed aesthetician or dermatologist will do the trick. But to prevent future outbreaks, Beverly Hills dermatologist Harold Lancer, who works with Oprah Winfrey, says modifying your diet will have a huge impact, "Reduce dairy, caffeine, spicy and acidic foods." An oil control product like Glycolic 10% Exfoliating Oil Control Gel by DDF ($48; sephora.com) is also key for prevention.

03 of 11

Anti-Aging Moisturizer FAQ

Anti-Aging Moisturizer FAQ
Courtesy Lancer

QUESTION:

"What is the best anti-aging moisturizer to use at night?"

ANSWER:
Look for a retinol-based formula that also has powerful humectants to lock in moisture while you sleep. The 0.3% retinol in Lancer Skincare Evening Anti-Aging Therapy ($75; shop20yearsyounger.com) exfoliates and improves skin tone.

04 of 11

Oily Skin FAQ

Oily Skin FAQ
Courtesy Smashbox, Courtesy Clinique

QUESTION:

"I have oily skin. How can I make it look less shiny?"

ANSWER:
"When your skin tends toward the oily side, look for a long wear formula that dries to a nice finish," says makeup artist Brett Freedman whose clients include Sienna Miller and Vanessa Hudgens. His pro tip? Mixing a shine-fighting formula like Smashbox's Anti-Shine ($27; smashbox.com) with your favorite oil-free foundation-he loves Clinique Stay-True Oil-Free formula ($22; clinique.com). After that, he advises clients to lay off, "You never want to layer a lot of makeup on oily skin. Too many formulas at once just combat the matte texture."

05 of 11

Fine Lines FAQ

Fine Lines FAQ
Courtesy Estee Lauder, Courtesy Kaplan MD

QUESTION:

"I'm in my 20s and I have fine lines on my forehead. How can I soften or get rid of them?"

ANSWER:
Crow's feet are a sign of aging, but because lines on the forehead have a more genetic component says Beverly Hills dermatologist Stuart Kaplan, it's not uncommon for young women to develop them. He suggests using skincare packed with vitamins and soy to plump up skin and improve texture. We love the Replenishing Night Cream ($145; kaplanMD.com) from his line, Kaplan MD-Eva Longoria and Jennifer Garner are fans-for diminishing fine lines and wrinkles. When it comes to your makeup, a subtle shine will highlight the contours of the face and make lines less noticeable, so look for something light-diffusing like Lucidity Foundation by Estee Lauder ($34; esteelauder.com).

06 of 11

Acne Marks FAQ

Acne Marks FAQ
Courtesy Paula's Choice

QUESTION:

"Is there a way to diminish old acne marks without layering on makeup?"

ANSWER:
Manhattan dermatologist Neil Sadick suggests starting with products containing alpha hydroxy acids, like the Paula's Choice 8% Alpha Hydroxy Acid Gel ($14; paulaschoice.com), to decrease acne scarring, chicken pox and deep pock marks. "The next step is lasers," he explains. "With up to five sessions with a fractional laser one can expect to see up to a 75-80% improvement in scarring." Of course, results will vary by person, but almost all patients see a marked improvement.

07 of 11

Break Outs FAQ

Break Outs FAQ
Courtesy Clearasil, Courtesy Revlon

QUESTION:

"I recently started breaking out in my 30's. Help!"

ANSWER:
"The vast majority of adult acne is the result of stress and hormonal fluctuations, both of which have a direct effect on oil production," explains New York City dermatologist Dr. Jeannette Graf. She recommends a salicylic acid–based cleanser (like Clearasil's new Ultra Acne + Marks Wash and Mask, $9; drugstore.com) twice a day to "draw out impurities and exfoliate without overdrying skin." For a quick cover-up, try Revlon's great multi-tasking ColorStay Blemish Concealer ($10; drugstore.com)-it hides flaws while medicating break-outs.

08 of 11

Uneven Skin Tone FAQ

Uneven Skin Tone FAQ
Courtesy Makeup Forever, Courtesy Clinique

QUESTION:

"My skin looks red even when I'm wearing foundation. What can I try for better coverage?"

ANSWER:
To even out your complexion, opt for a foundation that looks more yellow than pink, suggests makeup artist Sara Vaughn. If the redness still shows through, use a product with neutralizing green or yellow pigments. Try Make Up For Ever's green-tinted primer ($32; sephora.com) after your moisturizer or a dusting of Clinique's Redness Solutions yellow-toned powder ($33; clinique.com) for midday touch-ups. Don't worry: The scary color disappears-along with your redness-as soon as you rub it in.

09 of 11

Retinols & Sensitive Skin FAQ

Retinols & Sensitive Skin FAQ
Time Inc Digital Studio

QUESTION:

"I'd like to use retinol products, but I have sensitive skin. What can I do to prevent irritation?"

ANSWER:
Regardless of your skin type, the most important thing to remember is that you have to slowly build up tolerance when using this potent vitamin A derivative to treat fine lines. "Retinol can be very drying," explains N.Y.C. dermatologist Anne Chapas, who says to apply it every other night for the first week. Formulas with soothing vitamin E and green tea, such as Peter Thomas Roth's Retinol Fusion PM ($65; sephora.com) and Philosophy's Miracle Worker Anti-Aging Retinoid Pads and Solution ($70/set; philosophy.com), also help minimize flaking.

10 of 11

Large Pores FAQ

Large Pores FAQ
Time Inc Digital Studio

QUESTION:

"My pores are so large. What can I do to make them less noticeable?"

ANSWER:
File this under sad but true: You can't actually shrink your pores. On the bright side, there are tricks to make them appear smaller. Start by using your daily cleanser in the shower to get rid of surface oils, then exfoliate with a granular cleanser that contains salicylic acid. (We like the Biore Pore Unclogging Scrub, $6; drugstore.com.) "The combination helps dislodge telltale dirt," says N.Y.C. dermatologist Neal Schultz. After moisturizing, smooth on a velvety primer like Clinique's Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector ($18; clinique.com), which gives skin an airbrushed quality.

Have any pressing questions about your skin? Ask us now!

11 of 11

Reader Beauty FAQs

Reader Beauty FAQs
Time Inc Digital Studios

Do you have any more unanswered questions about skincare? Ask us now! We love answering.

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