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Monthly Archives: November 2016

Tips for Beautiful Summer Skin

Summer is a wonderful time of year, but the sun and heat can take a toll on your skin, hair, and body. That doesn’t mean you should stay indoors — with a little care and a few precautions, you can enjoy summer to its fullest.

1. Try a Self-Tanner

Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are very damaging, especially UVA rays. They not only burn your skin and cause premature aging, but can also lead to skin cancer.

So, instead of lying for hours in the sun, get that sun kissed glow with a self-tanner. Many salons offer spray-on tan services, or you can purchase an inexpensive self-tanning lotion at your local drugstore. Gradual self-tanning moisturizers keep your skin smooth as they help you control just exactly how bronzed you become, and they are less prone to streaking. Just remember to exfoliate before you apply self-tanner to remove any dry skin that could pick up excess color and lead to an uneven appearance.

2. Slather on Sunscreen

Many dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. The Skin Cancer Foundation points out that tests demonstrated SPF 30 products block out only 4 percent more rays — 97 percent compared to 93 percent for SPF 15. So know that you’re getting more protection with SPF 30, but not double the amount of SPF 15. In the past, broad-spectrum SPF sunscreens made skin look whitish because of the opaque nature of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which physically block UV rays, but with more refined, micronized formulations, you can get their sun protection benefits without the ghostly appearance.

More sunscreen smarts to follow include:

  • Check the sunscreen’s ingredients list; it should contain agents that block both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Apply sunscreen regularly, as it will wear off with prolonged swimming or sweating.
  • Even if it’s cloudy, ultraviolet rays can still reach your skin, so wear sunscreen even on sunless days.
  • Many makeup and skin care products contain an SPF agent, but don’t be fooled: Look for the SPF number and use extra sunscreen if it’s below 15.

3. Give ’Em Lip Service

Use a lip sunscreen with SPF agent even if you’re putting lipstick on, too.

4. Remember Hair Care

The beating sun will hit your hair hard, but there are a number of sprays containing SPF that you can put on after you wash your hair. This is a must if your tresses has been chemically treated.

Another tip: Don’t overwash your hair as this can remove the oils that naturally protect it.

5. Exfoliate Head to Toe

Expensive scrubs and salts feel wonderful, but if you’re on a budget, you can do just as good a job using an exfoliation mitt or glove and your regular body wash. Gentle exfoliation is essential if you’ve had any area waxed, particularly in the bikini area, as it can help prevent ingrown hairs.

6. Moisturize and Nourish With Oils

Elbows, feet, and ankles can get very dry, so try avocado oil to keep them healthy and smooth. Avocado oil not only moisturizes, but also has nourishing properties as it contains vitamin E.

7. Be Kind to Your Face

Chemical peels, creams, scrubs, and other products containing glycolic acids and retinoids should not be used if you spend a lot of time in the sun: These treatments can make your skin more sun sensitive and cause more damage to your skin. If you must use them, wear a hat and sunscreen to protect your face. Follow this advice as well if you’re taking certain antibiotics, such as tetracycline, which also make you more prone to sunburn.

8. Try Mineral Makeup

Because mineral makeup has a light powder base, it won’t sweat off as easily as regular foundation. Some mineral bases even contain a built-in SPF. And you don’t have to spend a fortune: Check out what’s in the aisles at your local pharmacy or supermarket. There are many inexpensive brands there that are as good as the more pricey products sold in department stores.

9. You Are What You Eat

Your skin needs lots of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy, so check out your local farmer’s market for the freshest fare in summer fruits and vegetables. Foods rich in antioxidants and protein, such as fresh produce, fish, and eggs, can stimulate collagen growth, which keeps the skin elastic and helps prevent wrinkles.

10. Drink Plenty of Water

The beating sun can dry your skin and make you sweat more, so keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water. If you’re active, you need to drink at least 8 glasses during the day. Be careful though: You can actually drink too much and that can be dangerous.

Ways to Use an Eyelash Curler

Eyeliner, eye shadow, and mascara are standard tools in any makeup kit. But makeup pros know that using an eyelash curler can further enhance your eyes by making them look wider and brighter. Inexpensive and easy to use, an eyelash curler is also safe if used properly. Read on for information about types of eyelash curlers and step-by-step instructions.

Eyelash Curler Options

There are two types of eyelash curlers — the conventional clamp-down kind and the newer heated eyelash curler. “Although manual or heated curlers can be used to curl the lashes, the effects are only temporary, from day to day,” notes lash stylist Twanna Smith, owner of Glam Eyelash and Brow Bar Salon in Duluth, GA.

Traditional eyelash curler.

This curler is metal and has the same kind of handles you’d find on a pair of scissors. The handles open and close a clamp that, when squeezed tight for a few seconds, produces the curl. The curling end has a rubber pad to protect delicate eyelashes from the metal clamp. The curler works by crimping your lashes up toward your brow, making them look longer and more pronounced. “Look for an eyelash curler that’s curved, not straight,” advises Candice Torres of Younique. “The curved base conforms well to the natural shape of the eye and can get closer to your lash line without pinching.” Be sure to choose a model with a good-sized pad to press against your lashes as well as a natural shaped handle, which will be easier to hold, she suggests. To avoid possible infection, you’ll want to replace the pad on the curler every two months. An eyelash curler typically costs between $5 and $25, depending on the brand and the store. Consider buying a replacement pack of the rubber pads at the same time.

Heated eyelash curlers.

Heated eyelash curlers are another option. Some use a small heated brush rather than a clamp to curl the eyelashes. You run the heated brush from the base of the lashes to the tip, working from the center of the eye out to the edges. Heated eyelash curlers cost from $10 to $20.

Step-by-Step Advice From the Pros

If you have one of the newer, heated curlers, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you prefer the traditional, inexpensive model, follow these tips to get the best curl.

Start with clean lashes.

For the best results, make sure to remove any old mascara from your eyelashes before you curl them. Old mascara can clog your curler or cause your lashes to clump, Torres explains, so it’s important to remove it. Use a gentle, oil-free eye makeup remover; any oil on the lashes would cause your new application of mascara to smudge. “The mascara will go on so much easier when your lashes are curled and more easily accessible,” Torres says. “I have naturally stick-straight lashes, so it’s hard to reach every little hair unless I curl them first.”

Next, do your eyelid makeup.

“Put your eyeshadow and liner on first, then curl your lashes and add your favorite mascara,” Torres says.

Clamp with care.

“Open the eyelash curler — and your eyes — and place your upper lashes between the padded base and the top,” Torres says. “Wiggle the eyelash curler into place, trying to get as close to your upper lash line/eyelid without pinching the skin. Don’t be scared — just go slowly if it’s your first time. “Close the clamp with the handle and gently squeeze in place for 10 to 15 seconds.”

To avoid a sharp bend and to create a natural curled look, gently release the curler and move it up the lash, away from the lid, by one or two millimeters, and again clamp the lashes for five to 10 seconds. Gently release the curler and repeat the process one or two more times, moving the curler up the lashes, closer to the end of the lashes each time.

You can repeat the process if you feel that your eyelashes are not sufficiently curled. Once you’re satisfied, add mascara. “In order to maintain the most curl, try to find a formula that’s not too wet or heavy,” Torres says.

You might need a little practice — to learn how to maneuver eyelashes through the clamp, how to comfortably clamp down, and how to use mascara to maintain that curl. But in very little time, you’ll create beautiful, long lashes with almost no effort.

Take Care of Your Lashes

You might have the best curler and mascara on the market, but it won’t help you if you don’t care for your lashes.

“The main problem with lashes is people tend to unconsciously fiddle with them, which can lead to shedding,” cautions dermatologist Lisa M. Donofrio, MD, associate clinical professor in the department of dermatology at the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, CT, and spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatology. ” Side sleepers may also repeatedly crush their lashes, which can lead to lash loss over time.”

Dr. Donofrio recommends talking to your dermatologist if your lashes seem sparse — you may be able to use a prescription or over-the-counter serum to spur lusher lash growth. Or, when a curler isn’t enough, eyelash extensions may be option, Smith suggests. These individual lashes, applied along your own lash line, can last for up to six weeks with the right care.

Ways to Reduce Wrinkles

Are you tired of waging a war against wrinkles? Scott Gerrish, MD, of Gerrish and Associates, PC, a non-surgical skin care specialist with offices in Virginia and Maryland states, “Don’t give up yet. There are steps you can take to lessen and even reverse one of the biggest signs of aging: wrinkles.”

Steps to Reduce Wrinkles

    1. Avoid sun exposure. Try to wear white or light colors, and wear a hat when you’re outdoors. Also, don’t use tanning booths, which can be worse than the sun.
    2. Wear sunscreen. For the best anti-aging protection, Dr. Gerrish strongly recommends, “Apply sunscreen with at least an SPF 15 (sun protection factor) thirty minutes before sun exposure to protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Look for one with zinc or titanium oxide in the ingredient list.”
    3. Avoid environmental pollutants. Ozone, smoke, and gasoline fumes are just a few of the pollutants that can age skin and cause premature wrinkles.
    4. Start an anti-aging skin care program. June Breiner, MD, an internist in Maryland suggests, “Consult with a non-surgical skin care doctor. There are many products available that thicken your skin and reduce wrinkles.”
    5. Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke. Smoking takes away oxygen and nutrients, and it also increases the number of free radicals in your body’s cells, a main cause of skin aging. “The amount of cigarette consumption and the number of years you have smoked are correlated with an increase in premature wrinkles,” states Dr. Breiner.
    6. Wear sunglasses. Other than staying indoors and away from windows, sunglasses are the best way to protect the thin, sensitive skin around your eyes from UV radiation.
    7. Sleep on your back, if possible. Sleeping with your face pressed against the pillow can cause sleep lines, which can turn into wrinkles. Satin pillow cases can also help in the anti-wrinkle fight.
    8. Use moisturizer. A good moisturizer will keep skin hydrated and soften wrinkles.
    9. Exercise regularly. “It gets your cardiovascular system going, which is great for getting needed nutrients and oxygen to your skin,” Breiner explains. “You should get cardiovascular exercise for your heart and skin health, and weight strengthening exercises for muscle underlying your skin.”
    10. Eat a nutritious, anti-aging diet. Drink plenty of water and teas, and get eight to ten servings daily of fruits and vegetables. Eat fresh caught Atlantic salmon three times a week or another fish high in omega 3 fatty acids, such as herring, mackerel, trout, or tuna. Foods have a tremendous ability to fight the aging process as they are chock full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs to combat wrinkles, says Breiner.
    11. Avoid processed and refined foods and sugars. They contain chemicals that can cause your skin to age prematurely
    12. Try Retin-A or Renova. Gerrish recommends, “See your doctor for a prescription of Retin-A, a cream that has been proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and thicken thinning skin, which is part of the aging process.” If your skin is very dry, ask about Renova, a gentler formulation of the anti wrinkle cream.
    13. Avoid stress. When you’re stressed out, your body releases a powerful aging hormone, cortisol, into your blood stream. “If you have chronic stress, take yoga, write in a journal daily, sing, take a walk, meditate. Do whatever works for you to reduce stress,” suggests Gerrish.

Need a bit more motivation to implement this skin care plan? The best anti-aging advice is also great for your overall health, so get started today.

Step to Younger-Looking Skin

The right anti-aging products and treatments can turn back the clock by erasing signs of aging, fine lines and wrinkles, and other sun damage.

If you haven’t been protecting your skin, it can start to give away clues about your age. Fine lines and wrinkles begin to appear, along with brown spots and rough skin patches caused by sun exposure. Your skin might be producing less collagen, and dead skin cells don’t flake off imperceptibly anymore. If this sounds like your skin, it’s time to turn to anti-aging products and treatments to slow down, reduce, or even reverse the signs of aging and regain younger-looking skin.

Any skin that’s been regularly exposed to the elements can be expected to show its age and needs special care to maintain its youthful look, says Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD, CEO and medical director of Elite MD, Inc. Advanced Dermatology, Laser, and Plastic Surgery Institute in Danville, Calif.

Your Anti-Aging Action Plan

At-home and doctor’s office procedures can have a visible impact on your complexion, giving you back younger-looking skin.

  1. Protect your skin. The first rule of thumb: Prevent the damage. “The best thing to do to protect your skin is prevention,” Dr. Badreshia-Bansal says. The sun is enemy number one, so you need to wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor, or SPF, of 30 or higher whenever you’re outside. You also should wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. Protect your face and neck with wide-brimmed hats, your eyes with sunglasses with UV coating. Dryness is enemy number two, making lines seem more noticeable, so choose a moisturizer made for your skin type and use it regularly to keep skin supple.
  2. Apply a vitamin A cream. Prescription-strength, vitamin A–based topical gels or creams known as retinoids can reduce wrinkles and produce younger-looking skin. “It helps to build collagen, which can prevent the development of fine lines and wrinkles, and to lighten dark spots,” Badreshia-Bansal says. “We also use it to treat acne, and it can help prevent precancerous growths.” Prescription retinoids include Retin-A and Renova (tretinoin), Differin (adapalene), and Avage (tazarotene).
  3. Bleach your brown spots. You can try lightening brown spots (also called age spots) with a bleaching cream that contains hydroquinone. “Hydroquinone helps inhibit an important enzyme in pigment synthesis,” Badreshia-Bansal explains.
  4. Pick up a pentapeptide anti-wrinkle cream. These anti-aging creams stimulate the skin’s production of collagen and elastin and are found in some drugstore or beauty counter products. “You’re helping to build back the support structure that’s been lost through aging and sun damage,” Badreshia-Bansal says.
  5. Peel to reveal fresher skin. Dermatologists use various methods to remove the top layer of skin and expose new skin. These procedures can help tighten the skin and diminish fine lines and brown spots. “By exfoliating that top layer, you’re allowing the moisturizers and other products we use to penetrate deeper and work better,” Badreshia-Bansal says. Procedures include:
    • Chemical peel solutions to loosen and slough away the top layer of skin
    • Laser skin resurfacing to vaporize the surface skin
    • Microdermabrasion that sprays tiny particles to strip away topmost skin cells
    • Plasma skin regeneration using a stream of ionized nitrogen gas to heat the skin and cause the top layer of cells to flake away
  6. Consider Botox. Injections of botulinum toxin have become tremendously popular as an anti-aging therapy. The injections relax the muscles under the skin and can eliminate deep lines and wrinkles around the face. Botox treatments also can help prevent new wrinkles from appearing.

You have many options available to create younger-looking skin. Factors including cost and the recovery time associated with procedures like peels will help you decide on your best course of action.