I've devised a few easy steps, which come from my experience giving makeup tutorials for sensitive skin at the hospital, and my personal love-affair with makeup over the past decade. I will not be posting about expensive creams that promise to perform wonders, because I don't really believe that they do, and the beauty industry can be extortion a lot of times, using very similar, if not the exact same, chemicals in creams of all price-points. Don't believe the hype, nothing will make you look younger if you abuse your face, the best way to keep looking fresh-faced is to maintain a logical regimen that revitalizes and hydrates your skin.
Cleanliness is very important, washing your face with Dove soap or cold cream can drastically reduce your breakouts and proves to be moisturizing for your skin. The purpose of using soap when washing your face is to mostly remove the dirt and grime that inevitably build up in your pores from day-to-day dust and grime, as well as makeup. Also, it is important to be using brushes or makeup sponge wedges when applying your foundation and concealers, you don't want to be putting your hands on the product and transferring your bacteria onto the bottle or your face. For this reason, it is also absolutely essential to discard your sponges after a few uses (use your common judgement, for me they last about a week) and to wash your brushes once a week.
Do you suffer from puffy eyes in the morning and have to cover those bags up with tons of concealer? My trick to getting those down is a mixture of drinking plenty of fluids every day, getting the right amount of rest in (8 hours of sleep per night is ideal), andClinique's de-puffing serum in the form of a rollerball (retails for $26). It's great because it is hypoallergenic, the rollerball promotes the movement of fluids and stimulates circulation underneath your eye and it has a refreshing, cooling sensation that will cause your blood vessels to constrict. Ultimately, for all of these reasons it will bring puffiness and dark-circles to a minimum. I have this listed under the morning category, but you can be using it at night also.
Before applying your makeup, you should ideally use a daily moisturizer such as Clinique's dramatically-different moisturizer or Nivea's moisturizing cream. Either one will work, or you can use whatever is tried, tested, and true with your skin. If you are in a colder climate, you should opt for even more moisturizing in your cream (such as this Nivea). Apply just a dollop so that it will absorb into your skin before you put your makeup on (in the meantime, just get dressed, make yourself a cup of coffee, and let it seep into your skin).
Then, for the ultimate morning-pick-me-up, use a pure Aloe Vera gel, all over your face to substitute for a face primer (be careful not to put it on your eyes, though, that can sting). It is a very inexpensive alternative to a facial primer and is not jam-packed with chemicals, but rather protects your skin with a sheer coating of the all-natural Aloe gel (you can find it at Wal-mart in a 12oz bottle for just under $4.00). This is a trick I discovered many years ago and I have been using it every day. If you apply this all over your face, you will have a flat, even surface to apply your foundation onto and it will act as a barrier for your pores so that your makeup does not clog them up. Try it once, and you will see a major difference in the way your foundation and powder sits on your face.
Once a week, you can use a soft exfoliating facial wash, or use a silicon-face brush to slough off any dead skin cells from your face, but do not be too aggressive when doing so, or you will irritate your face and cause it to release more oils to protect itself and this will make you break out. Do not exfoliate every day, or even every other day, it is aggressive on your skin and you should do it sparingly.
More importantly than anything else is removing your makeup that you have been wearing all day before you go to sleep. You can do this with makeup wipes (although they tend to be alcohol-based and will promote drying your face), cleansing wash, or soap and water, but please do not fall asleep with that makeup on! I think it's pretty self-explanatory... you don't want all that gunk to be in your pores and on your eyes, the makeup will settle in your wrinkles (yes, even if you're a teenager) and will continue to wedge them in and make them even bigger!!! Nobody wants to give themselves wrinkles!
Before going to sleep, you should apply a night-repairing facial moisturizing cream and a night-repair eye serum, because you won't be able to keep hydrated at night (who drinks in their sleep?) and these will help your skin from drying out. I've found that Lancome, Estee Lauder, and Clinique make good products, so really here I use whatever I can get my hands on. It's a good idea to change these up, as your skin will get used to the active ingredients and their benefits will be decreased. However, if you are allergic to most creams and you know of one that does agree with your skin, then stick to it!
If you follow these rules, you will stay youthful and beautiful looking for as long as your wonderful genetics allow you to. Take care of yourself and your face will thank you.