Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Ways to Get Smooth Healthy Skin

Ways to Get Smooth Healthy Skin Ways to Get Smooth Healthy Skin

Cleopatra may not have been that far off the mark when she bathed in milk and honey to keep her skin smooth and young. Milk contains lactic acid, a common ingredient in cosmetic skin peels. Honey has antibacterial properties that may kill Staphylococcus aureus, a skin infection that often accompanies acne outbreaks. You don't need to fill a bathtub to enjoy healthy skin, though. Use simple prevention strategies and interventions for smooth skin.

Keep It Clean

Clean skin is healthy skin. Wash your face once a day with mild, non-detergent soap, recommends the book "Total Skin" by dermatologist Dr. David Leffell. In addition, rinse your face once a day with plain, lukewarm water. Avoid strong soaps that strip your skin of its natural oils. Use warm--not hot--water for showers and baths, and keep them short to avoid drying out your skin.

Hydrate

Moisturize after showering or washing your face. Select a moisturizer that contains natural emollients and humectants. Emollients, including petroleum jelly, olive oil and other natural oils, prevent your skin's natural moisture from evaporating into the air. Humectants, such as glycerin, attract moisture to your skin. If you have naturally oily skin, use water-based humectant moisturizers, recommends the University of Maryland Medical Center website.

Skin Creams

Skin creams that contain alpha-hydroxy acids, or AHAs, can make your skin look smoother and younger by minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. Scientists derive AHAs from fruits. They include ingredients you might know better as citric acid, from oranges and other citrus fruits; malic acid, from apples; and tartaric acid, from grapes.

Creams and serums containing AHA may work by encouraging gentle exfoliation, according to "Total Skin," making them a sort of chemical skin peel. In fact, in stronger concentrations, the same acids may be used in a skin peel procedure. The acids also may cause skin irritation, and the resulting swelling decreases the depth and appearance of fine wrinkles. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers products containing AHAs safe as long as they contain concentrations of 10 percent or less, and as long as the pH balance is 3.5 or greater.

Products containing acids can increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun. This includes AHAs and lactic acids, as well as such home remedies as yogurt facial masks and fruit-based skin treatments. The FDA requires that products containing AHAs carry a warning label about the increased danger of sunburn, or to include sunscreen to help protect skin. If you use AHA skin creams or products, cover up in the sun to avoid sunburn and skin damage. AHA creams also may cause dermatitis, itching, rashes and scarring, especially at concentrations higher than 10 percent. However, these effects have been seen at concentrations as low as 4 percent, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center website.

Resurfacing

Dermatologists offer more drastic means of erasing wrinkles and making skin look younger and smoother. These methods include collagen fillers, Botox injections, chemical peels, dermabrasion and laser resurfacing. Each procedure has its own advantages and risks, and each must be performed by a licensed dermatologist. Discuss your options for chemical and physical surgery with an experienced, licensed surgeon to help you decide which is right for you.

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