1 Wash your face way before you go to bed. If you wait until you're ready to hit the sack, you'll be too tired to wash up, and research shows skin repairs itself best around 10 p.m. So let skin breathe easy long before you start snoozing.
2 Wear sunscreen every day, year-round. Botox bites. So use a moisturizer that has an SPF 15 or higher (try Eucerin Skin Renewal SPF 15 Day Lotion, $10, drugstores). UV rays can do their damage while you're sitting in class, riding in the car or walking the dog.
3 Be nice to your face. Picking, poking and squeezing force bacteria deeper into the skin, resulting in scarring and further breakouts. Yuck.
4 Stop thinking that if your skin feels tight it must be clean. Tight skin isn't clean skin--it's dry skin. If you're rushing to dab on moisturizer after you wash, time to find a cleanser that won't leave you high and dry. Normal and combination skin will benefit most from a gel formula (we love Nivea Visage Refreshing Cleansing Gel, $6, drugstores). Got dry or sensitive skin? Go for a creamy cleanser. Either way, choose a low foaming formula. More lather=more drying. Less lather=less drying.
5 Banish breakouts. If you've got major acne, an acne face wash is for you (we like Clearesil Total Control 5-in-1 Acne Cleanser and Moisturizer, $9, drugstores). If you just get spot breakouts, avoid acne washes. They worsen skin by drying out the clear parts and allowing dead skin-cell buildup. The buildup traps oil under skin, leading to more clogged pores and breakouts.
6 Keep shine at bay midday. The ugly truth? You can't stop or slow down oil production. The beautiful solution? Blotting papers! They instantly pull oil off your skin. We like Sephora's Roll-Up Blotting Papers, $8, sephora.com
7 Wash your face after you do your 'do. Almost all conditioners, hair sprays and mousses contain ingredients that can clog pores. So (carefully) wash your face after using hair products.
8 Clean your makeup brushes weekly. Bacteria and oil can build up which can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. Use a mild soap (Nature's Gate Organics liquid soaps, $6, drugstores) and cold water to carefully wash out brushes, and rinse thoroughly. Toss cosmetics sponges after a few uses to prevent the spread of bacteria.
9 Change pillowcases often. As you sleep, bacteria and oil collect on your pillowcase and are reintroduced to your skin the following night. So invest in a stack of nice pillowcases, and wash them with a dye- and fragrance-free laundry detergent, like Tide Free.
10 Get your beauty rest! Eight hours should do the trick. Sleep not only keeps undereye circles away but, at night, your body most actively rids itself of toxins that might otherwise wreak havoc with your skin. Z's also reduce stress, the top ache aggravator!