Skin Care Tricks
Caring for your skin well helps you maintain healthy, youthful-looking skin and avoid or manage problems like acne, dryness and the effects of too many late nights. While you have already established a skin care routine that suits your skin, learning lesser-known tricks can make your routine easier or more effective. Even a small change may make a significant difference in your skin's health or appearance.
Taking short baths in tepid water helps preserve your skin's natural oils, while long, hot soaks can strip out these oils and overdry your skin. After a bath, pat your skin almost dry, leaving it slightly damp. If you have dry skin, wash with a light cleanser containing an exfoliant to remove flakes. For oily skin, an oil-free lathering cream or bar with alpha-hydroxy acid cuts excess oils and deep cleans pores.
Instead of applying the same daily moisturizer year-round, choose a heavier moisturizing cream for cold, windy weather and a light, water-based moisturizer for hot weather. To prevent wrinkles in the delicate skin around your eyes, apply a product containing both cream and serum, advises Ranya Fattouh at the "Glamour" magazine website. Sunscreen is a must for protecting your skin from sun damage, but loose fitting clothes made of tightly woven fabrics are also an option.
Ingredients from your kitchen and garden can also do the trick when you run out of a store-bought product. To treat puffy eyes, dab the juice of a mashed raw potato under your eyes. For a natural skin-toning astringent, boil 2 or 3 tbsp. geranium or sunflower leaves, pine needles or oak bark in water. A blend of olive oil and sugar makes an effective at-home body exfoliant, and oil-absorbing corn starch can substitute for face powder.
Managing Skin Flaws
For persistent dry patches anywhere on your body, opt for body oil rather than cream moisturizer. To treat dry hands or feet, try applying moisturizer before bed and wearing cotton gloves or socks while you sleep. A cortisone injection from your dermatologist is one option for quickly eliminating a large pimple, but applying over-the-counter cortisone cream or plain ice may also help. If lack of sleep has your skin looking dull, try an at-home face mask or peel.
Because some skin problems require medical attention, get a correct diagnosis from a health care provider before you treat any severe or chronic skin condition. Moderate-to-severe acne may require oral antibiotics. Mask-like facial redness indicates rosacea, rather than acne. Itchy, red, scaly rashes may be an infection of tinea, or ringworm, the fungus that causes athlete's foot. Chronic dry, flaky skin could be eczema, or atopic dermatitis.
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