Simple and Smart Skin Care Steps to Reduce Wrinkles
- 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.
- 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.”
- Avoid environmental pollutants. Ozone, smoke, and gasoline fumes are just a few of the pollutants that can age skin and cause premature wrinkles.
- 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.”
- 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
Our skin is constantly renewing itself, growing new skin cells to replace the surface skin cells that grow old, die, and fall, or slough, off. Every minute of every day, between 30,000 and 40,000 dead skin cells flake away.
Factors like age and dry skin can mean that dead skin cells don’t fall away as easily as they should. When these cells build up, they can make the complexion look rough and pasty and can also contribute to the clogged pores that lead to adult acne. The regular yet careful use of a skin exfoliant can help slough off dead skin cells and uncover fresh, more youthful skin.
There are two main types of skin exfoliants: mechanical exfoliants and chemical exfoliants. Both are commonly available, and both have pros and cons regarding their use and the types of skin conditions for which they are most appropriate.
Mechanical Skin Exfoliants
Mechanical exfoliants work by sanding off dead skin cells using mildly abrasive substances. These skin exfoliants typically are facial scrubs, creamy cleansers with tiny, rough particles. As you gently massage the exfoliant over the surface of your
Feel overwhelmed when you want to buy skin moisturizer for your dry skin? That’s no surprise, as there are dozens to choose from at the drugstore and hundreds more at high-end cosmetics and department stores — creams, lotions, ointments, some with sunscreen, others with an exfoliant. Choices range from the basic $1.50 jar of petroleum jelly to a $500 five-ounce tub of designer skin moisturizer. And all the options in between can make your head spin.
While choosing the right skin moisturizer may seem confusing, it’s actually very simple if you follow a few guidelines, says dermatologist Monica Halem, MD, of ColumbiaDoctors Eastside in New York City. Dr. Halem’s first rule of thumb? Don’t spend too much money.
How a Skin Moisturizer Works
Cleansers and moisturizers are the most important skin products, particularly for softening dry skin. A skin moisturizer works by sealing moisture into the outer layer of the skin and by pulling moisture from the inner layers of skin to the outer layer.
Key ingredients that seal in moisture are petrolatum, mineral oil, lanolin, and dimethicone. Glycerin, propylene glycol, proteins, urea, and vitamins help
The telltale symptoms of dry skin are easy to spot: Skin just generally feels drier and tighter. Other signs may include roughness, itching, severe redness, flaking and scaling. Sometimes pores become less visible or skin may look dull. In severe cases, skin may crack and bleed, especially on the hands and fingertips.
Why does it happen?
Sun exposure or cold, dry air can cause skin to become dehydrated. Dry skin is more common in the winter because the air contains less humidity. It can also be genetic or hereditary, or a natural effect of aging.
What are your options?
- Over-the-counter lotions, such as Eucerin and Curél, can relieve dryness and flaking. Or try a body cream that contains oil to help seal in moisture. Look for fragrance-free products with alpha hydroxy acids, which gently exfoliate to allow more water and moisture into the skin.
- Avoid antibacterial and deodorant soaps, which can be harsh and drying. Instead, use a gentle cleanser, such as Dove or Aveeno, or a mild shower gel with added moisturizers.
- Don’t take extremely hot baths, or shower or soak in the tub for more than 10 minutes. Doing so breaks down your skin’s
Winters here and with it come the harsh winds of irritated skin. The routine of cold and dry outside and hot and dry inside is wreaking havoc on our precious skin. So, what’s a girl to do? Thankfully, a lot according to Dr. Doris Day, MD, FAAD, New York dermatologist and author of Forget the Facelift (Avery Books) and Dr. Loretta Ciraldo Miami dermatologist and author of Six Weeks to Sensational Skin (Rodale) who share their winter-protecting secrets.
Be on a hot bath boycott.
In certain parts of the country, it’s chillingly cold. And it is precisely those cold temperatures that may lead many to a huge dry skin culprit:hot, long, baths. “Hot showers strip away your body’s natural oils,” says Dr. Day, leaving your skin dry and tight. Instead Dr. Day recommends taking not-so-hot showers, and then patting dry rubbing totally dry after so your body is a bit damp. “It’s about water retention,” says Dr. Day.
Still using summer products? Aint gonna cut it.
Using a rich cream instead of a lotion will make a huge difference in your skin,” says Dr Day, as lotions are thinner and not as emollient as
Acne conglobata: Type of acne in which interconnected nodules are located beneath the surface of the skin.
Acne mechanica: Acne caused by exposure to heat, covered skin, pressure, or repetitive friction.
Acne vulgaris: The most common type of acne, associated with blackheads, whiteheads, papules, and pustules, commonly referred to as pimples or zits.
Actinic keratoses: Precancerous growths that can appear red, thick, and rough; usually found on sun-damaged skin.
Age spots: Flat, brownish patches on the skin caused by sun exposure and perhaps aging; also known as “liver spots.”
Alopecia: Unusual hair loss, most often on the scalp.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs): Exfoliating ingredients derived from fruit and milk sugars and used to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and age spots.
Antioxidants: Vitamins A (including beta carotene), C, and E, thought to repair and protect skin cells by neutralizing damaging free radicals.
Atopic: When an antibody present in the skin makes someone more likely to experience allergic reactions.
Basal cell carcinoma: Type of skin cancer that forms at the base of the epidermis of the skin and usually does not spread to other parts of the body; associated
In today’s world of eco-conscious living, being good to the environment is a high priority, whether you’re buying light bulbs or a cream for dry skin and wrinkles. And cosmetics companies take advantage of that by offering natural skin care products with ingredients that are touted as being better for your skin and environmentally friendly.
“Natural skin care is more of a marketing term than a scientific one,” says Dee Anna Glaser, MD, a dermatologist and professor of dermatology at St. Louis University and president of the Cosmetic Surgery Foundation.
“Products that have botanical ingredients that come from plants or nature — think honey or beeswax — tend to be labeled as natural,”’ says Dr. Glaser. They may or may not have the same ingredients that other products do. And you can find them everywhere, from drugstores to department store makeup counters to boutiques and even at dermatologists’ and plastic surgeons’ offices. In fact, so-called natural skin care products are so ubiquitous that it’s hard to tell whether they’re any better for you than other products.
“‘Natural’ really doesn’t tell you anything,” Glaser says. “It’s a way of marketing [a product] to make you feel
Your body is wrapped in a blanket of skin — about two square yards of it. We all want hydrated and healthy skin, but that blanket can become dry, flaky, and rough. Learn what causes dry skin and how using a skin moisturizer and other treatments will help.
Understanding Dry Skin
The outer layers of your skin are put together in a type of brick-and-mortar system. Healthy skin cells are stacked with oils and other substances that keep skin moist. When those substances are lost, skin cells can crumble away, which leads to dry skin.
Itching is the No. 1 symptom of dry skin, says Francesca Fusco, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and a spokeswoman for the Skin Cancer Foundation. Your skin may look dull, flaky, or ashy (if you have dark skin), which can progress to skin being scaly or cracked. In the worst-case scenario, skin becomes thick and leathery, Dr. Fusco says.
Conditions Causing Dry Skin
Dry skin can affect anyone whose skin loses water or oil, particularly in climates with low humidity, or during winter months when low humidity and
Walk through any drugstore or department store aisle, and you’ll see dozens of skin cream options that promise to erase wrinkles, eliminate dryness, and bring back that youthful glow. Some creams are highly specialized, while others focus on treating a specific issue.
Most skin creams with a rich texture will soothe dryness, but there are many that say they can reverse the signs of aging — and that’s where you need to be careful. Fortunately, some skin creams do what they promise and deliver that healthy, youthful glow everyone wants.
But with so many to choose from, how do you know that you’re picking the best cream for your needs? Before you start shopping, learn more about the ingredients that you should be looking for on the labels.
Common Skin Cream Ingredients
- Retin-A and Renova. Some of the more popular beauty-counter skin creams include an ingredient called retinol, a form of Vitamin A. However, the only form of Vitamin A that has been proven to be effective as an anti-wrinkle agent is called tretinoin, and it’s only available as a prescription. It comes in two formulas: Retin-A and Renova.Scott Gerrish, MD, founder and CEO
If you have acne, you’re among more than 70 million people in the United States who have suffered from this skin condition at some time in their lives. It is so common that acne affects about 80 percent of Americans 20 to 30 years old. During the teenage years, acne is more common in boys than in girls, but in adults it’s more common in women.
Despite the fact that it’s so commonplace, there are many misconceptions about acne, says Guy Webster, MD, PhD, a clinical professor of dermatology at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and founder of the American Acne and Rosacea Society.
Getting to the Root of Acne
Whether you call it acne, pimples, or zits, in order to treat the condition, it’s important to understand the causes:
- Clogged pores and bacteria: In your teens, the glands in the skin begin secreting sebum, an oily substance. This normally comes out through the pores, but in some people, sebum clogs up in the pores, allowing a bacterium, called P. acnes, to begin to grow.
- Hormones: In your teen years, hormones start changing and affecting your body, including causing acne. This also happens during pregnancy,
You need to protect your skin because of the vital role it has protecting your body. Skin care doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming, and can quickly become second nature, like brushing your teeth.
These five skin protection tips can keep your skin looking and feeling great, by guarding against a slew of skin woes, from chapped skin to prematurely aging to skin cancer.
1. Limit Sun Exposure
You’ve heard the message a zillion times, and there’s good reason for that unrelenting repetition. Ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun cause many types of skin damage:
- Skin cancer
- Age spots
- Benign growths
Using skin care products that offer ultraviolet protection is one of the best ways to help keep your skin looking fresh and youthful:
- Use sunscreen every day and reapply regularly whenever you’re outdoors for extended periods.
- Cover skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, and wide-brimmed hats.
- Stay indoors when the sun is at its most intense, usually between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Keep in mind that tanning beds are just as harmful as direct sunlight, as they also emit ultraviolet rays.
2. Stay Hydrated
Keeping your skin moist is essential
A scratchy wool sweater may make your skin itchy and sensitive during the cold months, but winter weather itself poses a special threat to your skin. There’s little humidity in the air and revving up the heat indoors makes it even worse. The result:Dry skin in need of moisture, says Francesca Fusco, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and a spokeswoman for the Skin Cancer Foundation.
When you have dry, sensitive skin, it itches, appears dull, and may be flaky. Darker skin tones may look ashy, Dr. Fusco says. Dry skin can become cracked and even split. In an extreme case, dry skin can look thickened and leathery, she says.
Before you decide to relocate to a warmer, more humid climate, take these steps to sea in the moisture and repair winter skin.
Your Moisturizer: Go From Thin to Thick
While you might only need a thin lotion on your body during summer months, Fusco suggests switching to a thicker skin moisturizer, such as an ointment or cream, in the winter. Apply it when your skin is still damp from a shower.
Certain hairstyling practices can result in serious hair and scalp diseases for some black women, an expert warns.
“Hair is an extremely important aspect of an African American woman’s appearance,” Dr. Diane Jackson-Richards, director of Henry Ford Hospital’s Multicultural Dermatology Clinic in Detroit, said in a hospital news release. “Yet many women who have a hair or scalp disease do not feel their physician takes them seriously. Physicians should become more familiar with the culturally accepted treatments for these diseases.”
Black women tend to shampoo their hair less often than other ethnic groups, and about 80 percent of black women use chemical relaxers, Jackson-Richards said.
She also said frequent use of blow-dryers and hot combs, combined with popular hairstyles such as weaves, braids and dreadlocks, cause physical stress to the hair and contribute to scalp diseases such as alopecia, or hair loss.
Proper hair care can help prevent diseases such as alopecia and an inflammatory skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis, Jackson-Richards said Monday during a presentation at the American Academy of Dermatology’s annual conference in San Diego.
She said dermatologists need to become more aware of the hair and scalp issues that can
Skin cell transplants can restore pigment to the skin of some patients with the disorder known as vitiligo, new research finds.
Vitiligo is a skin condition in which melanocytes, or the cells in skin that produce pigment, are destroyed. The result is the skin loses color, often in patches. Vitiligo affects about one in every 200 people in the United States.
In the study, researchers from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit removed a postage stamp-sized sample of skin from the upper thighs of 23 patients. Participants ranged in age from 18 to 60 and included whites, blacks, Asians and Hispanics.
Researchers then isolated melanocytes and keratinocytes, another type of skin cell, into a liquid solution.
Next, researchers used a device called a dermabrader to scrape off the white patches of skin, and sprayed the liquid containing the skin cells onto the skin, allowing it to disperse over the entire white patch. The area was then covered in dressings for about a week.
Gradually, the transplant, including the melanocytes, took hold and began to grow. Over the course of one to six months, color gradually returned to the white patches.
On average, the
If only summer hair were as easy as those magazines would have you believe!
Instead of “beachy waves” we’re left with greasy, frizzy, brittle strands that have seen far healthier days.
Luckily, there are easy and natural ways to tame your tresses. Here are some of the most common hair problems you’re likely to encounter this season, and how to fix them.
It’s not just an old wives’ tale — too much time in the pool really can change the color of your locks, especially if they’re very light, Jessica Wu, M.D., author of “Feed Your Face” tells The Huffington Post.
But it’s not due to the chlorine. Instead, it’s likely because of copper lurking in poolswhere the chemical balance isn’t quite right, according to WebMD. “The chlorine molecules get trapped in the hair and oxidize the metals found in trace amounts in the water,” Jessica J. Krant, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, writes to HuffPost in an email. “It’s the oxidized copper that is actually the cause of the green color.”
Chlorine can still damage hair, though. “The outer layers
Forget over-the-counter acne potions and antibiotics. Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh and University of California, Los Angeles have just identified a type of virus that can infect and kill the bacterium that causes acne.
In a study published in the September 25 issue of mBio, researchers say the findings could help them develop a cream that contains the virus to more effectively ward off those pesky pimples.
There are many prescription antibiotic treatments on the market for acne, but antibiotic-resistant strains of acne-causing bacterium have emerged, highlighting the need for better therapies, the study authors wrote in a press release.
Researchers used over-the-counter pore-cleaning strips to peel off samples of phages — viruses that attack bacteria — from the noses of both pimply and unblemished study participants.
They found the viruses were genetically similar from patient to patient, sharing more than 85 percent of their DNA. The lack of genetic diversity suggests that resistance to phage-based antimicrobial therapy is less likely to develop, study authors said in a press release.
“We believe that these phages display numerous features that would make them ideal candidates for the development of a phage-based therapy for acne,” the
Dry, itchy skin is no joke. Because skin is the body’s largest organ (weighing about nine pounds), the frustration and discomfort that go along with dehydration can affect your daily existence, from your wardrobe to your social life. And if you happen to have a skin condition like eczema, you know from experience that flaky skin is no laughing matter.
However, you can fight flakiness and itchiness with a few important tips. Here, skin experts share their best advice for keeping your skin soft and supple.
Find the Right Exfoliator
Exfoliating can be beneficial for those who have dry skin because it helps the dead surface layers of skin cells to be shed, layers that can prevent moisturizers from being absorbed, says Doris Day, MD, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at New York University Medical Center.
The key is to find the exfoliator that works best for your skin. Scrubs and alpha-hydroxy and beta-hydroxy acids are best for those who don’t have sensitive skin. Those with sensitive skin can exfoliate with a home remedy that consists of a paste made from baking soda and water. “It’s great for your face or for rough
You brush your teeth and hair every day, so why not your skin? Advocates of something called dry skin brushing — literally taking brush bristles to your birthday suit — enthusiastically say you should. “Dry skin brushing is a simple but effective way of not only improving health, but also beauty,” says Tracy Piper, founder and owner of the Piper Center for Internal Wellness, a holistic health care facility in New York City.
Dry skin brushing tones the skin, reduces the appearance of cellulite, opens pores to release toxins, gets rid of dead skin cells, and aids in the circulation of blood, Piper says.
Beyond healthy skin, “dry brushing stimulates the lymphatic system, which is also known as the broom of the body,” explains Jovanka Ciares, a holistic wellness coach and nutrition consultant practicing in New York City. “One of the lymphatic system’s primary functions is to clean toxins and debris out of your blood and help your body run more efficiently. It also helps your body absorb nutrients better, eliminate residues from the outer skin layers, help redistribute fat deposits, and push toxic matter into the colon” — a claim that has not been substantiated
About half of patients take herbal and other supplements beforeundergoing cosmetic facial plastic surgery, according to a new study.
Many of these supplements can put patients at risk during surgery and they should stop taking them at least two weeks before their procedure, Dr. Bahman Guyuron and colleagues at Case Western Reserve University advised.
The investigators examined the medication lists of 200 patients scheduled for cosmetic facial plastic surgery — such as a facelift or nose job — and found that 49 percent of the patients were taking at least one type of supplement.
Overall, the patients were taking 53 different types of supplements. The average number of supplements was nearly three per patient, but one patient was taking 28 different supplements, according to the study in the July issue of the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Older patients and women were most likely to be taking supplements, according to a journal news release.
One-quarter of the patients were taking vitamin and mineral supplements only, most commonly multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium and vitamin B. Twenty-two percent were taking animal- and plant-based supplements — most often fish oil — in addition to vitamins and
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