1. Keep Skin Clear with Green Tea: In addition to a salicylic acid cleanser (to unclog pores) and a benzoyl peroxide spot treatment (to dry up zits), use an oil-free moisturizer with green tea (try Replenix Power of Three, $68; amazon.com). Studies show that green tea helps improve acne by up to 58 percent, says NYC dermatologist Miguel Sanchez, M.D.
2. Get Your Vitamin D Fix: Vitamin D promotes bone growth and prevents osteoporosis, Austin dermatologist Mary Ann Martinez, M.D., says. Women with dark skin tones dont absorb the sun as easily, which prevents them from getting enough vitamin D. The solution: Take a vitamin D supplement daily (look for one with 400 to 1,000 IU). Or if youre pale and want more color, swipe on Dr. Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad with Active Vitamin D ($32; nordstrom.com).
3. Look for Lip Gloss with SPF: Shiny lip gloss intensifies the sun's effect on your lips. When you're outside, swipe on a gloss with SPF 15, like Clinique Long Last Glosswear SPF 15 ($14; bloomingdales.com).
4. Protect Your Skin Daily: New studies show that it only takes 15 minutes for the sun to damage skin cellsno matter what your skin tone is. "We're seeing increased damage in 30-something Latinas with dark skin tones," says Miami dermatologist Loretta Ciraldo, M.D. "These women were less likely to wear sunscreen in their teens and 20s than those with lighter skin tones." To be safe, apply a broad-spectrum SPF 30 like Aveeno Positively Radiant SPF 30 ($16.99; drugstore.com) every day.
5. Make Bronzer Your BFF: Bronzer brings out the gorgeous warm tones in your skin while covering up any imperfections. Darker skin tones should try a brownish red color, like Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in Dark ($33; nordstrom.com). If you're fair, go for a pinkish brown, like Lancôme Star Bronzer in Sunkissed ($36.50; lancome-usa.com).
6. Use the Right Amount of SPF: Visualize a shot glass. Now squeeze enough sunscreen into your palm to fill your imaginary shot glass. That's the amount you need to cover your body, Martinez says.
7. Go for Glycolic Acid: "It exfoliates, fades pigmentation, and isn't abrasive," says Anthony Gonzalez, Avon's Global Research and Development Senior Manager. Try Avon Anew Rejuvenate Glycolic Facial ($16.45; amazon.com) or Olay Regenerist Resurfacing Elixir ($23.49; drugstore.com) nightly.
8. Use Gentle Exfoliators: Gritty scrubs are often too strong for Latina skin, and can create manchas. Choose an exfoliator with round jojoba beads (we like Chella Exfoliating Cleanser, $35; chella.com), not ground up nuts or beans, which can cause tiny cuts.
9. Give Toner Another Try: Old toners were full of alcohol, which caused skin to break out instead of clearing it up. The latest toners (hydrating mists or clarifying lotions, like Origins A Perfect World Liquid Moisture with White Tea, ($31.64; amazon.com) contains nourishing extracts, vitamins, and antioxidants. Apply moisturizer directly after the toner to seal in hydration, Martinez says.
10. Take a Break from Polish: "Nail polish remover irritates nails, making them thin and fragile," Sanchez says. If your nails start to crack, go polish-free and apply a thick shea butter cream, like Nubian Heritage Mango Butter ($7.95; amazon.com) before bed.
11. Reach for Retinoids: Smooth fine lines! Even out your skin tone! Banish pimples! A prescription retinoid has the power to do all of this. And the new generic version is only $30, Sanchez says. Don't want a prescription? Try Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair with Retinol SA ($18.20; amazon.com).
12. See a Doc for Brown Spots: Latinas are very susceptible to melasma, which darkens certain areas of the skin, Martinez says. And when you take oral contraceptives, are pregnant or get sun exposure, it can get worse. If your brown spots are severe, visit a board-certified dermatologist, who can give you a prescription for a hydroquinone cream.
13. Moisturize After You Wash Your Hands: Although washing your hands cleans them, it also dries them out. Keep a bottle of moisturizer by the sink and put it on your hands immediately after you wash, Sanchez says.
14. Try a Strip-Free Wax: Waxing can inflame our skin, which makes it blotchy and uneven. Take a break from scrubs, prescription acne medicine, and retinols for ten days before waxing, Ciraldo recommends. Also consider a wax that pulls off without cloth strips (like Sally Hansen Simple Spa Wax Kit, $21.99; amazon.com) since it's less irritating.
15. Pop Pimples with Q-tips: First, try not to pick your zit (you may make a scar), but if you absolutely must squeeze, press on each side with a swab like Q-tips Cotton Swabs ($4.99; drugstore.com). Stop if they bend, then you've pushed too hard.
16. Heal Itchy Skin Fast: Ceramides make up about half of the outer layer of your skin. Use a lotion that contains them like Curel Itch Defense ($7.99; drugstore.com) to restore what you lose when skin gets dry and itchy.
17. Choose a Creamy Wash: Gel body washes might strip moisture from the skin, but a cream formulas like Dove VisibleCare ($8.29; drugstore.com) creates a lipid barrier that prevents moisture loss, Sanchez says.
18. Boost Your Glow Gradually: If you go to tanning beds, you're seven times more likely to get melanoma, Martinez says. It's just not worth it. Want to glow? Because your skin already has a lot of golden tones, try a gradual tanner and moisturizer combo, like Jergens Natural Glow Foaming Daily Moisturizer ($10.18; amazon.com).
19. Ask for the "Latina Laser": If you're springing for laser hair removal, look for a doctor who uses a Q-switch ND/YAG laser, which is made for Latina skin tones. Other lasers aren't, so to avoid scarring the technician must crank the laser's beam so low that it won't be effective, Sanchez says.
20. Opt for Clear or Tinted Formulas: Are you sick and tired of beauty products washing out your color? Here are three we swear won't:
Sunscreen: Supergoop! Sunscreen Swipes SPF 30 ($34; amazon.com)
Serum: bareMinerals Pure Transformation Night Treatment ($60; qvc.com) is a powder that comes in five different tints and covers imperfections.
Moisturizer: mark Calm & Composed Super-Soothing Moisturizer ($18; avon.com) is a sheer, cooling gel.
21. Make Shaving Your Go-to Hair Removal Method: Shaving is cheap, easy, and safe. "I'm a Latina dermatologist, and it's what I do," Martinez says. Bonus: The razor exfoliates, which helps with texture and wrinkles.
22. Press, Don't Rub Makeup Off: Saturate a cotton pad with makeup remover (like Benefit Remove It, $21; sephora.com), then gently hold it over each eye for ten seconds. This gives the product a chance to work and stops you from rubbing your makeup off harshly. Use this technique with nail polish remover, too!
23. Listen to Music While You Wax: Wear headphones and crank up the tunes while you get (or give) yourself a bikini wax. The music helps distract you from the big rip.
24. Simplify Your Skin Care Regimen: When you layer too many products, you dilute them and they tend to pill up. Look for a double-duty formula, like Miracle Skin Transformer SPF 20 ($48; beauty.com), which is a tinted moisturizer with antioxidants and SPF. As a general rule, apply antioxidants in the morning and a retinol or glycolic acid at night, says Sanchez.
25. Remember to Wear Bug Spray: A bug bite is likely to leave a dark mark on skin for years. "The further down the body, the harder it is to remove," Ciraldo says. If you do get bitten, apply one percent hydrocortisone twice a day to lighten up the spot.