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We’re all human. We all have desperate days when we look at our skin in the mirror and cringe (yes, even dermatologists). Your first instinct might be to immediately get online and try to be your own expert – or, worse yet, run out to the department store and let someone at the counter (who often knows very little) sell you $ 200 worth of skincare products. But don’t do it! There are better ways to spend that money, and finding the right skincare products takes time and effort – it can’t be done in a spur-of-the-moment shopping frenzy.

Three reasons you shouldn’t make knee-jerk skincare purchases:

• There really is no quick fix. This is sad, I know; but it’s also reality, unless it’s just dehydration, for which the cure is a ton of water and some moisturizer. Most serums, creams, and oils cannot cure problems in a day or two that have been brewing for weeks, months, or years. Accepting this will save you money and disappointment.

• Samples are a trap! Why? Because they persuade you spend money on skincare that won’t help you. All you can really tell from a sample is that you don’t hate the fragrance, and you’re not immediately and horribly allergic to it. As I said in the first bullet, you won’t get a quick fix from a few uses of a sample. It tells you practically nothing and yet women and men try samples all the time and make a purchase based on that. Don’t get sucked in!

• The skincare your friend swears by (and promises you’ll love, too) probably won’t help you. That is, unless your friend has skin exactly like yours. But how often is that the case? Your friend may have drier skin, oilier skin, acne, more or less sun damage, larger pores, more wrinkles or less sagging, and on and on. The best skincare is customized to you.

Instead, here’s a better approach to choosing and using skincare:

• Take inventory of your existing products (you might already have some something that works). Here’s how to start. Sit on your floor, with a garbage can handy, and dump all of your skincare products out next to you. Go through the products one by one. Throw a product out if the expiration date is over one year. For sunscreen, you can go two years, maybe, if it hasn’t been in a hot car somewhere since last summer. Be ruthless. If it’s over a year, it’s probably degraded or contaminated with bacteria. Get rid of it!

• Identify 2 main problems and choose products that target those issues. Start with baby steps. What bugs you the most? Now, what bugs you second most? Pick only two. Acne? Wrinkles? Blotchy skin? Brown spots? Start reading up on these. The idea is to customize your basic products as much as possible to what you are trying to fix. If you have a dermatologist, ask them for their input. I highly recommend finding a cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen, and if you’re over 30-35, a repair/anti-aging serum that suits your specific goals. Examples of repair/anti-aging products are vitamin-A cousins (like Renova and Retinol), vitamin-C serums (not creams), a few other antioxidants, and cell growth factors.

Remember that there are some problems you really cannot fix with a cream – like sagging. I get asked so often about how to treat sagging chin and jawline skin that results in the appearance of a double chin, jowls, or “turkey neck” as some call it. These are issues that a topical product cannot fix. But there are many great non-surgical treatments and filler options that can help (you can read more about these here).

• Develop a skincare regimen. Get into a habit and stick with it. Develop a skincare regimen with the product lineup I mentioned above. Start with your cleanser, repair/anti-aging product, moisturizer, and sunscreen in the morning. Same at night minus the sunscreen. For example, if you have acne, for morning: pick an acne cleanser, a bezoyl peroxide gel, a non-comedogenic light moisturizer, and a sunscreen formulated for acne. At night: the cleanser again, the same moisturizer, and then a vitamin A cream like retinol or prescription Retin A (generic is tretinoin). If you have severe acne, cysts, or scars, you need to see a doctor. If your problem is sun damage, your products will be different, but the basic categories are the same.

Once you find products that suit your needs and budget, use them for 3 months to give them time to reveal results. Then, if you want, change 1 product at a time (for 2-3 months) to see if you can improve it even a little more.

So when you have those scary mirror moments (as we all do), don’t panic. Even if you don’t have the money for expensive professional help, don’t live in Hollywood, or don’t have a best friend who’s a good dermatologist, you can get healthy, beautiful skin. It just may take a little trial-and-error – and patience.

Source : https://blogs.webmd.com/healthy-skin/2016/12/how-to-avoid-skincare-purchases-youll-regret.html

Although proper hydration is important for your overall health, it’s not clear whether drinking extra water affects skin hydration in healthy people.

Skin is made up of three layers — the outer layer (epidermis), the underlying skin (dermis) and the subcutaneous tissue. If the outermost layer of the epidermis doesn’t contain enough water, skin will lose elasticity and feel rough. Despite this connection, however, there’s a lack of research showing that drinking extra water has any impact on skin hydration or appearance.

If you’re looking to maintain hydrated skin, there are steps you can take:

Avoid exposure to dry air.
Avoid prolonged contact with hot or chlorinated water.
Use a gentle cleanser instead of soap.
Avoid using skin care products that contain alcohol.
Moisturize immediately after a bath, shower or washing your hands and regularly throughout the day.
Use a humidifier.
Wear a scarf and gloves when going out in cold weather.

If you’re concerned about dry skin, contact your health care provider or a dermatologist.

Source : https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/hydrated-skin/faq-20058067

Don’t have time for intensive skin care? You can still pamper yourself by acing the basics. Good skin care and healthy lifestyle choices can help delay natural aging and prevent various skin problems. Get started with these five no-nonsense tips.

1. Protect yourself from the sun

One of the most important ways to take care of your skin is to protect it from the sun. A lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, age spots and other skin problems — as well as increase the risk of skin cancer.

For the most complete sun protection:

Use sunscreen. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if you’re swimming or perspiring.
Seek shade. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
Wear protective clothing. Cover your skin with tightly woven long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats. Also consider laundry additives, which give clothing an additional layer of ultraviolet protection for a certain number of washings, or special sun-protective clothing — which is specifically designed to block ultraviolet rays.

2. Don’t smoke

Smoking makes your skin look older and contributes to wrinkles. Smoking narrows the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin, which decreases blood flow and makes skin paler. This also depletes the skin of oxygen and nutrients that are important to skin health.

Smoking also damages collagen and elastin — the fibers that give your skin strength and elasticity. In addition, the repetitive facial expressions you make when smoking — such as pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep out smoke — can contribute to wrinkles.

In addition, smoking increases your risk of squamous cell skin cancer. If you smoke, the best way to protect your skin is to quit. Ask your doctor for tips or treatments to help you stop smoking.
3. Treat your skin gently

Daily cleansing and shaving can take a toll on your skin. To keep it gentle:

Limit bath time. Hot water and long showers or baths remove oils from your skin. Limit your bath or shower time, and use warm — rather than hot — water.
Avoid strong soaps. Strong soaps and detergents can strip oil from your skin. Instead, choose mild cleansers.
Shave carefully. To protect and lubricate your skin, apply shaving cream, lotion or gel before shaving. For the closest shave, use a clean, sharp razor. Shave in the direction the hair grows, not against it.
Pat dry. After washing or bathing, gently pat or blot your skin dry with a towel so that some moisture remains on your skin.
Moisturize dry skin. If your skin is dry, use a moisturizer that fits your skin type. For daily use, consider a moisturizer that contains SPF.

4. Eat a healthy diet

A healthy diet can help you look and feel your best. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. The association between diet and acne isn’t clear — but some research suggests that a diet rich in fish oil or fish oil supplements and low in unhealthy fats and processed or refined carbohydrates might promote younger looking skin. Drinking plenty of water helps keep your skin hydrated.
5. Manage stress

Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems. To encourage healthy skin — and a healthy state of mind — take steps to manage your stress. Get enough sleep, set reasonable limits, scale back your to-do list and make time to do the things you enjoy. The results might be more dramatic than you expect.

Source : https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/skin-care/art-20048237