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Do: Retinol + Hyaluronic Acid Or Glycerin
Retinol is a powerhouse ingredient for smoothing fine lines, but it can also irritate and dry out the skin, says Chin. Follow any retinol products with a moisturizer that contains super-hydrating glycerin or hyaluronic acid to counter harsh drying effects.
Do: Salicylic Acid + Soy Or Licorice
This combo is perfect for curing acne — both old and new. Soy and licorice heal and fade acne scars, while salicylic acid prevents new ones from popping up. Add these to your routine by washing with a salicylic acid cleanser, then applying a soy- or licorice-enriched moisturizer or night cream. So long, pesky pimples.
Do: Benzoyl Peroxide + Salicylic & Glycolic Acids
For more frequent acne, use salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide in conjunction with each other for a one-two punch. First, cleanse with glycolic- or salicylic acid-based face wash to control excess oil production. Then, use a benzoyl peroxide-based spot treatment to kill any lingering bacteria and shrink existing spots.
Do: Vitamin C + Peptides
Think of peptides as batteries that energize and super-charge certain ingredients to do a more effective job. Infuse your night cream or moisturizer with an extra dose of peptides by adding a couple drops of the Clarins Booster Energy. Then, follow with a vitamin C-infused serum. The vitamin C will work to banish dullness and increase skin-cell turnover, while the peptides will make skin more resilient.
Don't: Citric Acid + Literally Anything
Citric acids, not to be confused with vitamin C, can be ace when it comes to exfoliating. But layer them on top of anything else, and the higher-than-average pH levels can cause serious irritation. The lesson here: If you see "citric" on the label, be prepared to use this product and this product only.