Tips for Taking Care of Your Skin

Whether it’s a second (or third) hole in your ear, a cute little nose stud, or a piercing elsewhere on your body, the idea of being able to sport new jewelry is always exciting. That being said, the time in between the piercing and when the skin is fully healed is crucial—doing everything you can do to ensure the area heals properly is paramount in order to ensure you don’t end up with an infection or even scarring. After all, a piercing is an open wound, points out Geeta Yadav, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of FACET Dermatology in Toronto. Luckily, while aftercare is important, it’s not that complicated. Here, top dermatologists share the five most important things to do when caring for a piercing.


Clean the area regularly.

The importance of this simple step cannot be understated. Start by making sure your hands themselves are clean, then wash the area with a gentle, fragrance-free soap a few times per day or rinse it with a saline solution, suggests Michele Farber, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in Philadelphia. (FYI, it’s especially important to clean it after sweating or if you’re wearing makeup around the area, adds Dr. Yadav.) It’s also a good idea to avoid hot tubs—which Dr. Yadav says are often “a hotbed of bacteria” and to change your bedsheets and pillowcases at least once a week. “If you’ve gotten a mouth or tongue piercing, use mouthwash after every meal and be sure to brush your teeth twice daily to ward off bacteria,” she says. Follow this cleaning protocol until the piercing is fully healed (more on that timetable in a moment). For areas other than your mouth, you can also apply a petroleum-based ointment at least once a day; this will help keep the spot moist which will promote faster healing, Dr. Farber explains.


Keep the piece of jewelry in until the area is healed.

Similarly, avoid removing or changing the piece of jewelry that was placed in the piercing until the skin has fully healed. “Removing it too soon could cause the piercing to close,” Dr. Yadav explains. How do you know the healing process is complete? “You’ll know if your piercing has healed if it’s no longer emitting any discharge, the piercing edges look smooth and the hue of your natural skin color as opposed to raw, red, or inflamed, and the piercing can move easily within the piercing as opposed to getting ‘stuck’  on the healing tissue,” she says.


Remember that different areas heal at different rates.

To that point, exactly how long this takes will depend largely based on the area you had pierced. Tongue piercings will heal the fastest, usually after about one to two months, thanks to the rich blood flow in the area that helps speed up healing, Dr. Farber notes. “The earlobe usually takes roughly six weeks, while ear cartilage or nose piercings can take six  to 12 months to heal, and the belly button about nine to 12 months,” she adds.


Avoid putting excess pressure on the piercing.

Along with keeping it clean, you’ll want to avoid applying any extra pressure or trauma to the area. That means avoiding laying on it and not touching or twisting it, says Dr. Farber. In the case of something like a belly button piercing, it’s also a good idea to avoid tight clothing, which can snag on the piercing and cause further irritation, notes Dr. Yadav.


See a doctor if you experience any signs of infection.

Both experts we spoke with caution that redness, warmth, tenderness, and/or oozing  are all tell-tale signs of an infection and warrant a visit to the doctor. You’ll also want to see your doc if the area is itchy or you see a bump forming as this can be indicative of a potential allergy to something in the jewelry itself, Dr. Yadav cautions.

78-Year-Old Shoppers Have ‘Very Minor Wrinkles’ After Using This Plumping Serum, and It’s on Sale

Nordstrom Beauty CPC Lancome Serum Tout

Sometimes, three can be a crowd, but in the case of skincare ingredients, three may be the magic number. And one specific beauty find that’s currently 40 percent off at Nordstrom is the ultimate triple threat, with a formula that boosts volume for a plump look, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and minimizes discoloration and age spots.

During the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, ongoing now through August 6, you can find the Lancôme Rénergie H.C.F. Triple Serum marked down to $85 from its original $140 price tag. The serum is designed with a three-dispenser packaging that delivers just-blended, equal parts hyaluronic acid to moisturize and plump, vitamin C+ niacinamide that brightens skin and smooths wrinkles, and the antioxidant ferulic acid to protect skin from harsh environmental factors that age it.

Nordstrom Lancome Renergie H.C.F. Triple Serum

Since the ingredients each sit in different chambers of the bottle, you can be confident that with every pump you’re getting a freshly mixed, high-potency batch of the serum. The gel-cream texture quickly absorbs into each layer of the skin to tighten, smooth, hydrate, and soften, resulting in a youthful glow. Two pumps of the serum is enough to evenly distribute its three key ingredients. To use, simply mix the serum between your hands and smooth all over your face and neck in an upward motion to help give your face a lifted look.

Shoppers of all ages rely on the Lancôme Rénergie H.C.F. Triple Serum to tighten their skin, with one 78-year-old sharing that after trying “a trove of products that don’t work” they finally noticed that their cheeks “are plump” and that they have “very minor wrinkles” thanks to the serum. Another reviewer who is 55 years old shared that after they apply it their “skin feels tight, plump, and clear,” and that they were mistaken for someone in their forties during a doctor’s visit, who also told them that they’re “lucky to have good skin at this age.”

Shoppers also revamped their beauty routine since using the serum, with one person sharing that they “go days without wearing makeup now” after using it for their hyperpigmentation. A separate reviewer simply said it’s “magic in a bottle,” and gives them “glazed donut skin.”

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is only happening for four more days, so grab shoppers’ “secret weapon” serum while it’s still on sale.

All of Vacation’s Viral Sunscreens Are 35% Off at Ulta, and These Stellar Formulas Are Sure to Sell Out Fast

When it comes to sun protection, there’s no such thing as too much. Although applying sunscreen daily can seem like a tedious chore, there are at least some exciting brands like Vacation to help make suncare fun. Through innovative formulas like its Classic Whip Sunscreen Mousse and retro-inspired Baby Oil, Vacation has stayed true to its mission to create “leisure-enhancing” SPF solutions that you’ll actually want to put on with help from Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth Hale and perfumers Carlos Huber and Rodrigo Flores-Roux.

If you haven’t had the chance to try any of its sunscreens, then now’s your chance. You can save 35 percent on Vacation’s entire lineup at Ulta through August 19. Considering the brand’s products frequently sell out, I wouldn’t wait too long. I’m a big fan of the brand’s products, so to save you from any decision paralysis, I handpicked six top-notch options I’ve previously added to my own carts.

Keep scrolling to invoke some ’80s beach scene nostalgia, and check out my favorite formulas.

Vacation Super Spritz SPF50 Face Mist

The new Super Spriz Face Mist is a do-it-all formula that I take with me everywhere. It’s the perfect sunscreen to spritz over my makeup and for quick touch-ups while also blocking out environmental stressors and blue light. Moreover, I like that it contains skin-friendly ingredients like bisabolol, aloe, caffeine, green tea, vitamin E, and shea oil inside.


Possibly the most enjoyable way to apply sunscreen is with this lightweight mousse. It smells like a vacation in a bottle and I find it quickly smooths onto my skin. The coconut and sheal oils keep my problematic skin soft and hydrated, while aloe vera and vitamin E create a soothing effect.

Ulta Vacation Classic Spray SPF 50 Sunscreen

For a classic, all-over sunscreen, you can’t go wrong with Vacation’s Classic Spray. I go for SPF 50, but there’s also an SPF 30 option that feels just as delightful and refreshing on the skin. The continuous spray technology means you don’t have to fiddle with it to apply an even layer, either.

Ulta Vacation Classic Lotion SPF 30 Sunscreen

The classic lotion is my go-to for a no-fuss, everyday sunscreen. The cream has a slight peachy tint that goes on my skin clear. Along with the brand’s proprietary concoction of coconut oil, vitamin E, banana extract, and aloe vera, this lotion also includes niacinamide to lock in hydration.

Ulta Vacation SPF 30 Baby Oil

This formula takes me back to the days when my sister would rub baby oil all over and lay out in the sun for a flawless tan—except this baby oil is backed by SPF 30, so it’s already a much safer option. It’s also loaded with actives like rose, jasmine, calendula, chamomile, jojoba oil, and bisabolol.

Ulta Vacation Chardonnay Oil SPF 30 Sunscreen

Speaking of soothing, sun-safe oils, the Chardonnay Oil Sunscreen delivers a non-greasy glow thanks to the blend of chardonnay grape seed, jojoba, marula, and passionfruit seed oils along with vitamin E and bisabolol. It’s a must-have for my high-waisted shorts or mini-skirt days. No ashy legs here.

The Moisturizer That’s Been Dubbed a ‘Miracle Cream’ for Wrinkles Is 34% Off at Nordstrom

Finding a moisturizer that fits into your already over-complicated skincare routine can be a task. You want something that won’t alter the equilibrium, but still accomplishes your ultimate goal: plumper, softer, age-defying skin.

And while plenty of products tout just thatwithout any real results in the end, Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Anti-Aging Face & Neck Cream actually delivers on its promise for younger, healthier skin. The formula reduces wrinkles, evens tone, and smooths texture thanks to vitamin- and nutrient-packed formula that includes the trifecta of PhytoMimetic vitamin A, chaga mushroom, and hyaluronic acid.

The chaga mushroom works to even skin tone and boost radiance, the fragmented hyaluronic acid smooths and plump skin, and the PhytoMimetic vitamin A diminishes wrinkles. The brand recommends first cleansing your skin and applying both eye cream and serums before adding a small amount of the Multi-Corrective Cream evenly across your face and neck area.

Nordstrom KIEHL'S SINCE 1851 Super Multi-Corrective Anti-Aging Face & Neck Cream

According to shoppers, the on-sale cream strips away years off your skin without irritating it in the process. Countless reviews praised the Kiehl’s product for noticeably smoother, brighter, and firmer skin. In fact, it’s so effective that one customer said there was “no need” for botox after using the anti-aging moisturizer. They added that their “forehead wrinkles and 11s are gone,” and that the cream “evened out” their skin tone. A fellow shopper said their skin looks “better than it did at 16,” while others saw visibly firmer skin, a more even texture, and improved elasticity.

However, as its name implies, the multi-corrective cream targets more than just one area or one issue. A 71-year-old shopper, who was suffering from eczema “all over” their face, said that it disappeared within two days of using the product. They shared that they were “totally blown away” after this was the “only product” they used.

You can snag the Kiehl’s Multi-Corrective Anti-Aging Face & Neck Cream for $63 during the Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale, discounted from its usual $95 price tag. You’ll want to hurry though. The sale ends August 6 and products are selling out fast.

Kopari’s Newest Lotion Tackles KP, Roughness, and Body Bumps Without Drying Out My Sensitive Skin

I’ve dealt with excess K.P. (keratosis pilaris) most of my life without even realizing it. I figured the excessive rough texture that plagued my arms and legs was just stubborn body acne. But board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon at Art of Skin MD, Melanie Palm, MD, recently told Real Simple, “These bumps are caused due to an excess amount of keratin, a type of naturally-occurring protein found in hair, skin, and nails.” The dotted texture is due to the accumulation of keratin blocking the hair follicle, which can mimic a whitehead—hence, my confusion.

Since learning of this skin condition, I’ve dedicated a chunk of my body care routine to exfoliating. However, I’ve definitely overdone it in the past—it also doesn’t help that I have notoriously sensitive and dry skin, so I have to be careful about exactly what I apply and when. Thankfully, Kopari recently expanded its KP Body Bumps Be Gone line, which originally consisted of its customer-loved Clarifying Body Scrub and Clarifying Body Pads, to include the new Smoothing Body Lotion. Over the last month, the exfoliating pads and lotion have helped me keep my strawberry skin in check without ever over-drying it.

Kopari Kp Body Bumps Be Gone Smoothing Body Lotion with 3% AHA

The $24 body lotion boasts 3% AHAs from glycolic acid and lactic acid to help resurface the skin and refine texture, while the nourishing blend of shea butter, sweet almond oil, and aloe leaf juice soothe and hydrate, leaving behind a soft, radiant finish. Plus, it’s gentle enough for everyday use. It’s the perfect complement to the Clarifying Body Pads, which come in a pack of 50 for $36. They also contain glycolic and lactic acids, along with fruit extracts, calming aloe vera, willow bark extract, and protein-rich coconut oil.

When my skin feels especially gritty, I’ll start my routine by wiping the pads over my troubled areas. I’ll use them on my dry skin before hopping in the shower, then I’ll apply the lotion before getting dressed. Due to the pads’ potent 4.4-percent AHA concentration, I don’t use them every day, but you can gradually increase your use to daily if necessary. I just found that the lotion works so well that I don’t need the pads as often—although they’ve quickly become a travel must-have.

Kopari’s powerful KP Body Bumps Be Gone Smoothing Body Lotion and Clarifying Body Pads have helped transform my sensitive skin without irritating it. Consider this effective yet hydrating duo if you’ve been searching for a gentle option to eliminate your K.P. for good.


Thanks to This Micellar Mousse, I Finally Found a Gentle but Potent Cleanser That Doesn’t Strip My Skin

While I absolutely believe in the importance and effectiveness of a morning and evening skincare routine, I’ll admit I don’t enjoy having to commit to numerous steps. I cleanse and apply my serums and treatments twice a day and follow with some essential SPF in the morning. However, more often than not, I get lazy—especially in the a.m. when it comes to cleansing, and I just don’t want to do it. That is until Medik8’s remarkable Micellar Mousse came across my desk.

I’ve tried my fair share of subpar foam cleansers, but I was immediately intrigued by the fact that this formula included micelles, a cleansing molecule that’s never left my sensitive skin irritated, and it didn’t let me down this time around either. This mousse gently removes impurities without stripping my skin by way of nourishing olive oil-infused micelles, purifying moringa extract, and hydrating glycerin. The brilliant trinity effortlessly melts away the day’s dirt, sweat, makeup, and skincare without making my face feel tight and dry like many other powerful cleansers in the past.

Medik8 Micellar Mousse Purifying & Nourishing Effortless Rinse-Off Cleanser

The airy yet creamy foam leaves my skin feeling fresh in the mornings—not stripped—and like a blank canvas for my evening routine. It’s also a great addition to a double-cleansing regimen. I made the mistake of using way too much my first time around but quickly learned that one pump of fluff was enough to cover my face and neck. I typically massage it onto my dry skin and let it sink in for 30 seconds before washing it off.

I’m also happy that I can put away my cotton pads since this is a rinse-off formula that just requires a splash of water. I don’t need to rub excessively to remove my skin tints or mascara since the pH-balanced cleanser does a superior job of breaking down any traces of product. I’ve actually come to look forward to using this morning and night.

If you have sensitive skin and are ready to kick your cleansing routine up a notch, try the Medik8 Micellar Mousse. An equally hydrating cleanser like this is rare.

These 11 Sunscreens Work Double Duty to Deliver Skincare Benefits—and You Can Snag Them for Under $25

I’m pretty excited about SPF these days—out with the subpar gloopy creams that leave a ghastly white cast behind and in with innovative, skincare-packed formulas that work double-duty as serums or moisturizers. These multitasking products are heroes for those of us that prefer a more pared-down morning routine to save time and get out the door faster. Although I work from home, I hate applying layer after layer of product—I’d rather spend my time on my morning pages. Plus, the natural light gives me a much-needed boost of energy throughout the workday, so my desk sits in front of my window.

However, thanks to the ever-evolving world of SPF, I’ve been able to whittle my skincare regimen down to just a few quick steps while still staying safe from the sun. My job as a shopping writer means I not only spend eight hours a day shopping but also slathering on plenty of formulas for the sake of testing, and I’ve come to realize that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to find sun protection that feels good on your skin.

Whether you’re drawn to chemical or mineral UV protection, the options are endless, but we narrowed it down to these 11 top formulas when it comes to SPF on command. These tried-and-true sunscreens will transform and streamline your skincare routine to keep your face happy without sacrificing your commitment to sun-shielding. Best of all, they’re all under $25!

This glow-inducing cream has a slight tint to ensure no white cast and even protects against blue light with the combo of zinc oxide and raspberry seed extract. The non-comedogenic formula maintains Bubble’s mission to develop no-fuss products using science-backed, plant-based ingredients with omega-rich cupuacu seed butter and balancing lilac extract.

Amazon SKIN1004 Hyalu-CICA Water-fit Sun Serum

Korean skincare brand, Skin 1004, hit it out of the park with this featherlight, protective serum. All of its products are powered by age-preventing Centella straight from Madagascar, but this reef-safe sunscreen also boasts seven types of sprout extracts to brighten and restore moisture, all while protecting your skin with SPF 50.

Amazon e.l.f. SKIN All Set For Sun SPF 45

E.l.f.’s viral sunscreen finally comes in spray form, and this formula lives in my purse, so I can quickly reapply it while I’m out and about. The versatile formula also works as a primer or setting spray. Plus, it boasts prickly pear seed oil, bisabolol, and watermelon extract to firm, soothe, and prevent visible signs of aging.

Amazon La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair UV SPF Moisturizer for Face

La Roche-Posay rolled up its best-selling daily moisturizer with SPF in this potent iteration. The sensitive skin-friendly lotion is loaded with reparative ceramide-3, antioxidant-packed prebiotic thermal water, refining niacinamide, and moisture-retaining glycerin and feels invigorating with every swipe.

Amazon Sun Bum Skin Care SPF 30 Daily Sunscreen Face Moisturizer

If you’re searching for a vegan, reef-safe formula, then look to Sun Bum’s moisturizer-sunscreen. Two pumps are all you need to shield your face, and although I find the texture thick, it effortlessly smooths out and quickly absorbs into my skin. It’s also jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients from green coconut water, Australian wild rosella, and bananas.

Sephora innisfree Daily UV Defense Invisible Broad Spectrum SPF 36 Sunscreen

Leave it to Korean brand Innisfree to develop high-impact formulas from natural ingredients sourced from Jeju Island at an unbelievably reasonable price point. I’ve always been a fan of the brand, as is Associate Commerce Editor Brandi Fuller, who raved, “I have acne-prone, combination skin, and this is my favorite sunscreen right now because it’s lightweight but hydrating. It also has green tea and sunflower oil in it for added benefits.”

Hero Superlight Sunscreen SPF 30

Speaking of acne, Hero Cosmetics’ Superlight Sunscreen champions non-nano zinc oxide, superfood botanicals, extremolytes, and a subtle green tint that helps counteract any angry red bumps on my face. Not to mention, it’s rich with other calming ingredients like green tea, turmeric, and red algae.

Amazon Good Molecules Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

Summer or winter, rain or shine, my skin is epically dehydrated, but it feels and looks renewed with a swipe of this zinc oxide and hyaluronic acid-powered cream. It’s not quite dewy or matte but leaves my skin soft, smooth, and, most importantly, hydrated with a natural finish.

Ulta BYOMA Moisturizing Gel Cream SPF30

I often forget that this gel cream is even a sunscreen because I typically use it like I would any moisturizer. It doesn’t leave behind a greasy residue like other similar formulas have in the past. The powerful tri-ceramide complex restores your skin’s barrier, while beta glucan and hyaluronic acid pump up the hydration. The perfect union of ethylhexyl salicylate and homosalate provides chemical-based UV protection.


Protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays, blue light, and environmental aggressors with this peachy-hued mineral sunscreen infused with blemish-fighting moringa seed extract and spot-fading sea fennel extract. The cream is also free of potentially irritating ingredients without silicones, sulfates, or parabens.

Amazon Hawaiian Tropic Mineral Powder Sunscreen Brush

You’ll be happy to have this mineral powder on deck for those makeup and full glam days. It’s the perfect way to touch up and boost sun defense without disrupting the beauty looks you worked so hard on. This travel-friendly translucent powder also features brightening and plumping actives like passion fruit, mango, and papaya fruit extracts.

8 Skincare Products You Should Bring on Vacation

Traveling is hard enough, and trying to pare down your beauty routine while packing for a trip can be a challenge. After all, travel impacts your skin—and rarely in a positive way. So you want to make sure you have everything you need on hand. The best way to go about this is to pack multitasking products, especially ones that contain SPF or calm your skin after a day in the sun. Here are the eight skincare products worth bringing on vacation.

Supergoop (Re)setting 100% Mineral Powder

This could be one of the most useful products you take with you, not just on vacation but anytime you’re on the go this summer. A true holy grail, Supergoop (Re)setting 100% Mineral Powder ($35) provides SPF 35 sun protection and sets your makeup. Not only is it pocket-sized, but it has a built-in brush that dispenses the perfect amount of product. So, you don’t need to bring an extra powder brush. Better yet, there’s no need to tote around a potentially leaky bottle of sunscreen for re-applying throughout the day.

SLMD Skincare Dual Defender

Don’t scrimp on sunscreen when you travel. Bring a fresh new bottle. SLMD Skincare Dual Defender ($30) is a great choice because it not only protects your skin from the sun, but also moisturizes. Ideal for acne-prone skin, it is oil-free and non-comedogenic.

All Moringa Cold-Pressed Oil

If you’re looking for one product you can use on your face, body, and hair, All Moringa Cold-Pressed Oil ($18) is it. This natural oil is a moisturizer for the face and hair as well as a post-pool or beach soother. You can even use it to shave. It’s a minimalist traveler’s dream.

Iris and Romeo Weekend Skin

Traveling can make skin look dull, so choosing a skincare product with vitamin C is a good way to counteract this. Iris and Romeo Weekend Skin ($50) can help you get your glow on all day long with time-release vitamin C. The transparent mineral SPF 50 formula also helps to combat hyperpigmentation, even out skin tone, and soften wrinkles. There are shades available for both darker and lighter skin tones.

Wild Rose Beauty Daily Toner


Wild Rose Beauty Daily Toner ($29) not only contains powerful ingredients like glycolic and hyaluronic acids to help get rid of dead skin cells and moisturize, but its packaging is perfect for travel. This spray bottle can be kept in your purse so you can refresh on the go, or spray a little bit on a cotton pad after washing your face for extra exfoliation.

Augustinus Badar The Cleansing Balm

If you’ve ever travelled with a bottle of face wash you know how challenging it can be to take along any kind of makeup remover product. That’s why packing a cleansing balm such as Augustinus Badar The Cleansing Balm ($77) will make your life easier. There’s no need to worry about leaks or even bringing a separate bottle of eye makeup remover because this product can do it all—leaving you with super soft skin.

Dear Dahlia Paradise Tinted Blooming Balm

Between the dry air on the plane and the heat of the sun, travel can wreak havoc on your lips. Opt for a tinted balm instead of lipstick. We like this one ($34) from Dear Dahlia because it applies like lipstick—no finger or brush required. Infused with sweet almond and argan oils, the subtle color works just as well at the pool as it does out to dinner.

VSoto Exotic Pearl Eye Creme

Traveling can make you feel and look tired. So, if there’s one product you shouldn’t scrimp on, it’s a good eye cream. Vsoto Exotic Pearl Eye Creme ($68) is formulated with essential oils, green tea, and silk peptides to brighten and rejuvenate the area. For an extra kick, keep it in your hotel fridge.

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