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What can I do to get my rough, dry skin ready for spring fashions?

If the thought of revealing arms and legs that have hidden under jeans and sweaters for months makes you cringe, you’re not alone. Fortunately, it’s easy to prep and polish your way to skin you’ll want to show off.

You may have tried one of the many facial peels available, but have you considered one for your body? Kerstin Florian Brightening Body Peel uses a multi-acid complex and botanical enzymes to brighten and smooth skin. Exfoliation is key to smooth, radiant skin. Thibiant Beverly Hills Escential Sugar Scrub gently exfoliates and revives dull, dry skin, while providing essential moisture with Sweet Almond and Macadamia Seed Oil. Firm, toned skin doesn’t have to be a fantasy. Murad Body Firming Cream is clinically proven to increase firmness and improve resiliency.

Spring Skin

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Previous Questions

I don’t want to deal with dry, irritated skin this winter. What can I do to keep my skin happy?

Unfortunately, icy winds and heaters working overtime can do a number on our skin, causing dryness, dullness or irritation. But it doesn’t have to be inevitable. Trade in your warm weather moisturizer for a rich cream like Erno Laszlo Phelityl Night Cream. The unique moisturizing complex maintains fatty acids essential for skin function with a nearly identical pH and helps repair skin while you sleep, giving it a fighting chance against the elements. If you experience redness, Boots No7 Calm Skin Redness Relief Balm soothes and cools with Licorice Root and Horse Chestnut Extracts.

Sunscreen is a must, even if you can’t see the sun. UV rays penetrate clouds, making your unprotected skin vulnerable. Be sure to look for broad–spectrum, which protects against both UVA and UVB rays. La Roche Posay Anthelios 45 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid for Face light, fast–absorbing and effective.

Want a few more tips? Check out our Winter Guide to Gorgeous.

Winter Skin

I love using facial masques, but does my hair really need one?

Masques (also masks), or deep conditioning treatments may not be strictly necessary, but they can enhance just about anyone’s hair and treat a variety of concerns such as dryness, frizziness and dullness. Color–treated hair can also benefit greatly from the hydration and UV protection some masks, like Alterna BAMBOO UV Color Protection Rehab Deep Hydration Masque provide. If your hair is dry and unmanageable after a summer of surf and sun, Klorane Mask with Desert Date will nourish, repair and revitalize, leaving your locks stronger and more resilient. Between blow driers, curling irons and flat irons, hair can take a beating. Frederic Fekkai PrX Reparatives Intensive Fortifying Mask Reviews prevents and helps repair damage from everyday styling.

Hair Treatment

I have very brittle nails. How can I keep them from breaking and splitting?

Weak, brittle nails can be frustrating and even painful. In addition to keeping nails short and keeping your hands moisturized, be sure to wear gloves while doing dishes or yard work. Beyond those basics, there are various treatments that can help strengthen your nails and protect the cuticles. The Londontown kur Nail Treatment System was developed from a family remedy to protect nails from a harsh climate. The systems works to replenish and maintain nail protein and balance the natural oils, in addition to creating a hard barrier to protect against damaging elements.

Nail lacquer that is free from drying formaldehyde and other harsh chemicals can also protect your nails. butter LONDON has a wide variety of fun, sassy colors.

Brittle Nails

How can I get rid of razor bumps?

It’s tempting to want to do something to get rid of razor bumps or irritation, but the best thing to do is leave them alone and let your body heal. Avoid shaving the area for the next few days and the bumps should fade. A dab of your favorite salicylic acid-based acne cream can help reduce the redness.

Of course preventing razor bumps in the first place is ideal. Be sure to use a new razor with some kind of moisture strip or skin guard. A preventative product like Whish Flawless Bump Fighter helps inhibit ingrown hair growth and soothe skin. Decreasing skin sensitivity while shaving is key. Terax Hair Care Complete Shave contains horse chestnut and caffeine to help promote irritation-free shaving. Always allow skin to soften before shaving and shave in the direction of hair growth rather than against it.

Razor Bumps

I know I need to use sunscreen every day, but my skin is oily and I hate the feel of a heavy lotion on my face. Help!

Sunscreen has come a long way since the days of thick creams that left a tell-tale white smudge. Today’s formulas are sheer, light and effective. SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion SPF 50 provides broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection with all natural Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, plus translucent color spheres that enhance your natural skin tone. Oily skin types may prefer a matte finish product like La Roche Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid. The ultra-light, fast absorbing formula not only provides SPF 60 protection, but it contains Cell-Ox Shield to protect skin at the cellular level.

For anti-aging sun protection on the go, try Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Instant Mineral SPF 45. The translucent mineral formula immediately blocks harmful UVA and UVB rays plus peptides, neuropeptides and Vitamins A, C and E nourish the skin.

Non-Oily Sunscreen

How do those quick fix wrinkle reducing products work?

The look of fine lines can be temporarily reduced by smoothing, skin plumping ingredients like hyaluronic acid. HA holds 1000 times its weight in water, which it can actually draw from the environment, and increases the water content of the epidermis. Hyaluronic acid is one of the active ingredients in the Karuna Hydrating Treatment Mask. Relax for 10-20 minutes and let this hydrating wonder rejuvenate your skin.

Instant firming products such as the Rodial Glamoxy Snake Serum Pen and Peter Thomas Roth Instant FirmX Eye rely on peptides to instantly plump and smooth the appearance of lines and wrinkles, including expression lines. Gently apply the product to cleansed, dry skin. In minutes, you’ll see renewed, younger looking skin. While these products give you instant results, you’ll also see long-term benefits with continued use.

Wrinkle Reducers

How can I avoid chapped lips this winter? Last year was miserable!

Of course the best way would be to avoid the conditions that cause them, but that just isn’t realistic for most of us. Cold, dry air, icy wind and indoor heat can all rob skin, and especially lips, of essential moisture. Besides being sure to drink plenty of water and investing in a humidifier, try to avoid licking your lips, as that removes natural oils. Restore moisture with naturally occurring moisturizers such as Shea butter, found in Caudalie Lip Conditioner, and sunflower seed oil, found in Philosophy Kiss Me Tonight.

One of the best sources of protection for your lips is sunscreen — regardless of the season. Choose a formula with an SPF of at least 15, (30 or more if you’re going to be outside for any length of time) such as Hampton Sun SPF 30 Luxe Sport Lip Balm.

Chapped Lips

I’m hearing a lot about BB Creams. What can they do for me?

Already hugely popular in Asian markets, BB, or Blemish Balm creams are gaining popularity in the U.S. Considered by many to be the ultimate multi-tasker, a BB Cream is a moisturizer, anti-aging treatment, concealer and foundation in one super-charged product. Besides providing hydration, they also even out skin tone, help to minimize dark circles, blemishes and other imperfections. Some even contain SPF. Dr. Brandt Flexitone BB Cream self-adjusts to suit most skin tones, thanks to Dr. Brandt’s new tone-blending technology.

Eliminating the need for a primer, BB Creams prep your skin, creating a flawless finish for makeup application, although you may decide you don’t even need makeup!

Blemish Balms

My summer tan is fading, but I’m left with dark patches and blotches — help!

Sun exposure is one of the main causes of excess pigmentation due to an increase in melanin (the pigment that gives skin its color) production. Prevention—using an SPF of 30 or higher and avoiding the sun during peak hours — is still the best treatment, but there are options if you find yourself dealing with what are commonly known as sun spots.

Botanical extracts such as Kojic Acid and Australian Kakadu Plum, found in Jurlique Purely Bright Day Moisturizer work to even skin tone and reduce the appearance of discolorations without the harsh effects of controversial ingredients such as hydroquinone. Exfoliation can also be effective. PMD Personal Microderm Tool Kit gently resurfaces superficial skin layers, revealing the radiance underneath.

Sun Exposure

I love summer weather but my skin doesn’t. What can I do to stay hydrated?

Summer fun in the sun is good for the spirit but not so much for the skin. Salt water, chlorine and long days outdoors can cause rough, dry skin. AHAVA Mineral Shower Gel gently cleanses and moisturizes, with a rich, luxurious lather. Follow that up with AHAVA Mineral Body Lotion, which hydrates, heals and locks in moisture with aloe and AHAVA’s own Osmoter compound. Warmer weather makes most of us reach for a lighter moisturizer. AHAVA Age Control All Day Moisturizer SPF 15 has a light, non-greasy texture that will keep you hydrated for 12 hours, plus protected with SPF 15.

Being on the go constantly can be rough on your feet. AHAVA Mineral Foot Cream soothes and revives tired feet with essential nutrients that soften and moisturize skin, even the rough, dry patches that can form on heels and soles. Cracked, split skin is healed and moisturized with antibacterial tea tree leaf oil.

Summer Hydration

With summer just around the corner, how do I keep my skin looking fresh and clear?

With hot summer days approaching quickly, the last thing you will probably want to do is cover up with heavy creams or foundations. That’s why now is the perfect time to clean up your routine and be ready for summer when it comes into full swing.

Humid weather can make an oily skin concern even worse. Look for an oil-free moisturizer that still hydrates without adding shine. Juice Beauty Oil Free Moisturizer is lightweight and contains a blend of certified organic white grape and pomegranate juices, soothing aloe vera and vitamin antioxidants for a beautiful matte finish. Now is also the time to treat any unwanted blemishes and start on the path to clearer, fresh skin. Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum has a powerful hydroxy acid complex of certified organic apple, lemon and salicylic acid from willow bark which unclogs pores, reduces breakouts and lightens scars. Summertime also means skin protection from the sun’s harmful rays. Protect yourself from free radical damage with Juice Beauty SPF Tinted Mineral Moisturizers, which provide chemical-free SPF protection, nourishing moisture and powerful antioxidants plus a mineral tint for natural coverage.

Summer Skin Care

How do I need to adjust my skin care regimen for spring?

The change of seasons is always a reminder that it is time to look at your skin care products. As spring arrives and the air gets warmer, look for a moisturizer that is slightly lighter than your usual winter nourishing cream. The lightweight Alchimie Forever Yttrium Protective Morning Cream is ideal under makeup or sunscreen. Indeed, the arrival of spring also signifies the return of sunshine, so an SPF of 15 or higher is necessary every day. Finally, with the arrival of the warmer weather, we put away our turtlenecks and reveal more skin. This is the perfect time to treat our bodies and get in gear for the summer bathing suit season. Alchimie Forever Alexandrite Firming Gel for Neck and Bust and Alchimie Forever 532nm Antioxidant Relief for Hands and Feet are ideal problem-solvers to add to your skin care routine.

Spring Skin Care

My hair must have the winter blahs — it’s dull, limp and totally unmanageable. Help!

Our skin is not the only thing at the mercy of the drying effects of indoor heat. Hair also reacts to a lack of moisture and a chill in the air. Give your lifeless locks a boost with Frederic Fekkai ADVANCED Salon Technician Rapid Results Moisture Mask. Rich in humectants and plant extracts, it locks in moisture and will also extend the life of your color. A healthy scalp is essential to a lustrous head of hair. Rene Furterer Complexe 5 Regenerating Plant Extract stimulates microcirculation and strengthens hair from the root with orange and lavender essential oils.

Is your hair suffering from over-styling? Eliminate frizz and protect it from heat styling tools with Alterna BAMBOO Smooth Kendi Oil Dry Mist. The weightless, nutrient-rich formula contains pure Organic Bamboo and organic Kendi Oil to enhance shine, protect color and boost your hair’s health.

Healthy Winter Hair

How can I keep my skin looking healthy all winter?

The challenge during the winter is to keep skin hydrated (the air is cold and dry), minimize redness (changes in temperatures, wind burn, snow all induce redness), and maintain brightness (ever heard of the “winter blahs”? it also affects our skin!). For the face, look for nourishing products such as Alchimie Forever Kantic Plus Intensely Nourishing Cream, anti-redness ingredients such as blueberries, and brightening treatment products such as the bestselling Alchimie Forever Kantic Brightening Moisture Mask. Let’s not forget our bodies, which also need some extra TLC. To keep hands soft, use Alchimie Forever 532nm Antioxidant Relief for Hands and Feet, and wear gloves, which will protect extremities from the elements. And remember to drink a lot of water!

Healthy Winter Skin

My teen years are far behind me yet I’m still battling breakouts — what can I do?

Adult acne can be especially frustrating to deal with. The same factors that cause teen acne are involved: hormonal activity, which affects oil glands, blocked pores, inflammation and acne bacteria. However, the challenge is that skin in our 30s, 40s and beyond is different from teen skin in that it may be dry, sensitive or showing signs of aging. Multi-tasking products target breakouts as well as aging and other skin issues.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo penetrates into clogged pores, using micronized Benzoyl Peroxide and LHA to exfoliate and reduce inflammation while minimizing irritation. It is fast-absorbing, non-comedogenic, oil and paraben-free. La Roche Posay Effaclar Toner Astringent Lotion eliminates impurities to prevent pores from blocking. Harsh acne treatments can take their toll on skin texture. La Roche Posay Effaclar K reduces blackheads, controls breakouts and improves skin texture, leaving it clearer and softer.

Battling Breakouts

How can I keep my skin from becoming oily throughout the day?

If you have oily skin, you want to hold on to that feeling of freshly cleansed, shine-free skin all day long. Even combination skin has areas that will become shiny and oily by the end of the day. The sebaceous glands in your skin continue producing oil all day and all night — that is their job. So what can you do to maintain a fresh look and feel that lasts until the time when you wash your face at night?

First of all, do not make the mistake of washing your skin with a harsh cleanser at the beginning of the day in hopes that this will keep the oil away for the day. It will only prompt your sebaceous glands to produce even more oil. Stick to an oil-free, soap-free gentle cleanser like the JUARA Rice Facial Cleanser or the Eau Therame Avene Cleanance Soapless Gel Cleanser.

Similarly, do not follow the cleanser with a harsh toner. Rather, use an oil-free moisturizer that contains humectants like hyaluronic acid to keep skin properly hydrated without adding any oil, e.g. JUARA’s Sweet Black Tea & Ginger Mattefying Moisturizer. The trick is to spot-treat your skin for its specific needs. If you have any dry areas, e.g. around the eyes or mouth, dab a slightly richer moisturizer—that does contain oil—on those areas. For particularly oily areas, e.g. your T-zone, use a shine-absorbing lotion like the OC Eight Professional Mattifying Gel.

To protect your skin from damaging UVA and UVB rays, apply an oil-free broad-spectrum sunscreen all over your face and neck. Unfortunately, many sunscreens, even oil-free ones, will make skin look and feel oily. Try a sunscreen that is not only oil-free but has a “dry” finish, e.g. Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock SPF 55 or Peter Thomas Roth’s Uber Dry Sunscreen SPF 30.

For a flawless, matte finish, apply a mineral face powder foundation with a natural sun protection factor like Jane Iredale’s PurePressed Base Pressed Mineral Powder SPF 20.

Often, despite a meticulous skincare program, skin can start looking oily towards the end of the day. Rather than dusting more powder on top to mattefy your complexion, use an oil-blotting paper first, e.g. Boscia’s Fresh Blotting Linens, and then apply powder afterwards. This will help prevent clogged pores, and the mattefying effect will also last longer.


Oily Skin Woes

I’m hearing a lot about stem cells in new products. What can they do for my skin?

What you’re hearing about is technology that enables companies to use plant stem cells in skin care formulations, with the aim of protecting or stimulating skin stem cells. The objective of adult human skin stem cells is to maintain, repair and replenish new skin tissue. Aging and environmental factors affect the ability of the cells to continuously renew tissue, resulting in dehydration and eventually the formulation of lines and wrinkles.

Stem cells in plants function similarly to human epidermal stem cells: They maintain, repair and replenish tissue. The first (and still most-common) plant stem cell to be utilized in skin care is that of a rare Swiss apple that was found to keep for months without withering. Apple stem cells can be found in EmerginC Protocell Bio-Active Stem Cell Combat Cream and Goldfaden Stem Cell Skin Serum. Dermelect Resilient Stem Cell Regenerating Treatment uses stem cells extracted from the Swiss Alpine Rose — remarkable in its ability to flourish in harsh environmental conditions — to boost facial skin stem cell activity and help stimulate protein production. Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair Moisturizer uses a proprietary blend of organic fruit stem cells along with Vitamin C to help decrease damage and accelerate cell turnover.

Stem cells for my skin?

Are muscle-relaxing peptides really a good alternative to injections?

Muscle-relaxing peptides (SYN-AKE®, tripeptide) relax facial muscles, helping to correct and prevent expression lines, such as those around the mouth — often referred to as “marionette lines” — or the “11” lines between the eyebrows. As the name suggests, SYN-AKER® is modeled after snake venom (that of the Temple Viper) but without the paralyzing effects. Found in products like Rodial Glamoxy Snake Serum and Peter Thomas Roth UnWrinkle, it is often combined with other peptides.

GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) also works as a muscle relaxer when applied topically. It can be found in products such as Dr. Brandt Crease Release with GABA and Dr. Michelle Copeland Rewind Advanced Day Serum with Matrixyl 3000.

While topical treatments can’t produce the same results as injectables, clinical trials show promising results, making them an excellent alternative for anyone looking to save money, a trip (or trips) to the dermatologist’s office or anyone squeamish about needles.

Alternatives to injections

My skin has the winter blues — what can I do?

If your skin has lost some luster, you’re not alone. Many of us experience dryness and dullness after a few months indoors with the heat turned up. If you’re still using your favorite summer moisturizer, you might want to switch to a glycerin-based face cream such as Jurlique Moisture Replenishing Day Cream, which will help attract moisture to your skin.

Don’t forget the sunscreen—yes, even if you don’t see the sun! UV rays go right through the clouds, leaving your unprotected skin vulnerable. A broad-spectrum sunscreen like SkinMedica Environmental Defense Sunscreen SPF 30 applied daily (don’t forget the backs of your hands) will guard against environmental aging as well as snow glare.

A moisturizing masque is a great way to perk up tired skin, plus a good excuse to put your feet up and relax for a bit. June Jacobs Cranberry Pomegranate Moisture Masque is not only luxuriously creamy but the scent is delicious

Check out our guide to Winter Skin for more tips on putting your best face forward this season.

Winter Skin Woes

Can Omega-3 Oils benefit my skin?

Omega-3 fatty acids have been touted as dietary super-stars for the past 10-15 years. The so-called “good fats” are credited with lowering cholesterol and keeping our hearts healthy. But can they benefit our skin as well?

A growing body of evidence shows that indeed they can. Specific skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis are reactions to inflammation and thus can benefit from the anti-inflammatory properties of Omega-3 fats. Supplements such as Nordic Naturals Omega 3 make it easy to get a daily dose. In addition to treating your skin from the inside, you can also see improvements with topical applications of serums or creams like Sundari Omega 3+ And Algae Day Serum and CelluliteRx LipoTherm Contour Cream by Institut DERMed Body.

In addition to specific conditions, Omega-3 fats can improve overall texture and firmness, as well as help with excessive dryness or flaking. While the skin produces its own oils, it can suffer from a lack, due to sun, wind or overly-harsh cleansers. Chronic lack of hydration can lead to premature aging. Omega-3 can also improve the health and appearance of hair and nails.

Omega-3

What is glycation and how does it affect my skin?

The term glycation refers to the bonding of a sugar molecule to a protein or lipid. While that’s not a bad thing for crème brulee, it’s another matter when it comes to our skin. Excess sugar molecules in the blood bind to collagen and elastin fibers making the skin more vulnerable to sagging and wrinkling. Glycated tissue is tough, inflexible and produces Aged Glycation End-products, or AGEs, which produce damaging free radicals and contribute to collagen breakdown and inflammation. During digestion, carbohydrates are broken down into sugars and absorbed by the body, bringing the harmful end products to skin cells.

A sensible diet that avoids processed sugars, especially fructose, the strongest glycation agent, will help your skin look better longer. You can also counteract the glycation process with the topical application of a serum such as La Roche Posay Derm AOX or Dr. Brandt Collagen Booster.

Glycation

I keep reading about skin care supplements, but haven’t yet tried any. Am I missing out?

Supplements have come a long way since many of us were told to “take our vitamins.” You can now find targeted formulations to address specific concerns such as aging, like GliSODin Skin Nutrients Advanced Daily Formula, or acne, like Murad Pure Skin Clarifying Dietary Supplement.

If you hate taking pills, a liquid might be your best bet. Liquids contain no fillers or binders, and are easily digested and more quickly absorbed into the system. Dr. Brandt Water Boosters are a convenient and tasty way to treat your skin from the inside out. Made from 100% natural ingredients, including green and white tea, Water Boosters are caffeine, sugar and calorie-free.

Skin Care Supplements

How can I be sure I'm getting adequate protection from my sunscreen?

With the incidence of skin cancer on the rise, it’s more important than ever to include broad-spectrum sun protection in your daily regimen—regardless of the season. If you’re going to be outdoors for any length of time, be sure to choose an SPF of at least 30 and reapply every two hours.

To increase public awareness and education, La Roche Posay a worldwide expert in UV protection, has launched their SOS — Save Our Skin campaign. The campaign was created not only to educate and inform Americans about the dangers of UV radiation and the importance of sun protection, but also to incite true behavioral change such as including sun care in daily routines and visiting dermatologists for regular skin checks.

The Anthelios line provides the most complete broad spectrum protection with face and body products designed for different skin types and levels of exposure.

SOS — Save Our Skin

What can I do to freshen my look during the day without having to redo my makeup?

Mid-afternoon touch-ups are a snap with a few simple tricks. Looking for a lift? SkinMedica TNS Line Refine instantly smoothes fine lines, tightens and lifts skin. It comes in an easy-to-use twist pen and can be applied over makeup. If you need a moisturizer boost, Kinerase Hydrating Antioxidant Mist will re-energize, re-hydrate and relax your skin. Brighten your eyes and minimize dark circles with Colorescience Eye Treatment – My Favorite Eyes Cream. The light-reflective cream nourishes and hydrates. Finish your look with Fusion Beauty LipFusion Micro Injected Collagen Color Shine, a moisturizing treatment gloss that plumps lips instantly. Now you’re ready for your close-up!

Freshen your look

I love the look of mineral foundation, but by mid-day, my nose and forehead are shiny — what can I do

Even if you don't have oily skin, you still might find yourself with a shiny t-zone as the day wears on. A mattifying primer such as Philosophy Never Let Them See You Shine Primer will dramatically reduce oil and shine while providing a velvet finish for your foundation. Speaking of matte, bareMinerals MATTE SPF 15 Foundation is a ground-breaking formula that absorbs excess oil and eliminates shine without drying skin for a flawless, natural matte finish all day. Seal the deal with Skindinavia No More Shine Makeup Finish. The weightless mist contains an oil control system that not only controls surface shine, but disperses light particles for a clean, matte look for up to 16 hours.

Dramatically reduce oil and shine
  


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