The world of makeup and skin care is the ultimate game of "choose your own adventure." Some days you rock glitter eyeshadow and red lipstick. Other days you only reach for your SPF. But we all know that one beauty choice supersedes all the others: to wear foundation or not to wear foundation (well, after the SPF part—that's always #1). For those days when you decide against it, a dermatologist says you can slather on these skin-care products for clear skin with no foundation.
Below, two dermatologists share the skin-care goods to buy for that radiant look (minus the foundation). From alpha and beta hydroxy acids that increase that increase cell turnover to antioxidant-rich sunscreens to illuminating vitamin C serums, here's everything you need to stock up on to ditch your full coverage forever (or, okay—as long as you want to).
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Products to shop for clear skin with no foundation
“I love Revision Intellishade. It’s a moisturizing sunscreen with anti-aging features such as antioxidants and peptides that improve skin with continued use, and is also tinted for sheer coverage—so it’s a multi-tasking powerhouse,” says New York City dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, MD. This product also contains vitamin C to brighten your complexion, as well as octinoxate and octisalate to provide UVB protection.
According to Corey L. Hartman, MD, founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama, this product is a winner no matter your skin type. “It boasts a blend of AHAs—glycolic, tartaric, lactic and citric acids—and increases cell turnover. The BHA, salicylic acid, unclogs pores for an overall non-irritating exfoliation with maximum hydration,” he says.
Vitamin C is a brightening ingredient that combats the oxidative stress that leads to the sign of skin aging. This product infuses those benefits into a moisturizer for those of us who aren’t in the mood to add another step to our skin-care routine.
“Suntegrity is also a great option, although you’ll have to confirm the tint shade matches your own. The benefit COMES from the high moisturizing and hydrating characteristics, such as from its hyaluronic acid, which keep skin plump and youthful appearing, and improve the way light bounces off it,” says Dr. Nazarian.
If you’re cool with adding a vitamin C step to your skin-care routine, you can’t do much better than this serum from Murad. The formula contains glycolic acid to exfoliate the skin so it can better absorb your vitamin C.
Budget-friendly and brightening, Inkey List’s Alpha Arbutin targets the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation, all while brightening your complexion.
This skin-care land-favorite liquid exfoliant lands a place on Dr. Hartman’s list because it’s both sensitive and effective. “This product doesn’t irritate the skin as it minimizes the appearance of large pores and smooths texture over time. You don’t need a lot as a little goes a long way as it melts into the skin,” he says.
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