Skincare 101 and 5 Myths Exposed
Feel like you’re doing everything "right" for your skin but are still unsatisfied with its appearance?
Dermatologist Dr. Rebecca Baxt sets the record straight (and that’s about all she’s setting straight) for those of you who think you are doomed to bad skin due to genes. She also identifies actions that may actually be sabotaging your complexion.
Trying to Scrub Away Acne
Acne is not a hygiene problem; it’s a hormonal issue. Excessively cleaning of your face won’t get rid of acne. Instead of attempting to scrub your pimple-prone skin into submission, wash it gently with a foaming face wash that’s designed to lift off dirt without irritating skin. If you feel compelled to use scrub, use it no more than once a week, choosing a product that has even-sized, round beads, not rough particles.
The big mistake people make is trusting the sunscreen label that reads "all day protection." The truth is that no sunscreen lasts more than four hours; you’re kidding yourself if you think you can put it on once and forget about it. Regular sunscreen use is even more important if you are treating your face with Retin-A or alpha- or beta-hydroxy acids, or getting peels or microdermabrasion -- all of which can leave skin more sensitive to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Consider alternating drinks with water. Drinking alcohol causes dehydration and dilated blood vessels -- both of which make skin look tired and unhealthy. Try to drink one glass of water per alcoholic drink consumed. This will help skin stay hydrated.
Stress causes your body to go into survival mode by pumping adrenaline to heighten the senses. While this is healthy if you are in danger, prolonged periods of stress can take a toll on your skin. When the body is in survival mode, the most vital organs like the heart, lungs and brain work overtime. The skin, a less vital organ, becomes deprived of nutrients, which eventually affects its appearance. Combat stress by incorporating relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation and deep breathing into your routine.
Drinking eight glasses of water a day and applying a moisturizing cream to your face regularly can save you the headache of dealing with a cracked and sensitive skin. No matter how tired you feel, remember to clean your face before going to bed. Using harsh cleansers to clean your skin will strip away the natural oils that protect it from dirt, pollution and other factors that can easily damage your skin. Do your skin a favor and use mild cleaners.
Applying your usual facial moisturizer to your "under-eye" area is really harsh. This area is the most delicate area in your face and it’s where fine lines will appear first, so having a specialized eye cream is a must after the age 25.
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