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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Say Bye to Dry Skin

Say Bye to Dry Skin
By Erica Metzger

Suddenly as parched as the Gobi Desert. Sound familiar? We thought so. That's why we've come up with a simple, effective plan to keep your face and body healthy and hydrated till spring.

Foundation Flaws
Your favorite foundation starts caking, flaking, or creasing.
WHY: Without the right cleanser and moisturizer, the top layer of the skin becomes rough and bumpy -- hardly an ideal canvas for makeup. Plus many of us use products with anti-aging or anti-acne ingredients (such as retinol or benzoyl peroxide), which are themselves drying agents. Add indoor heat and exposure to the suddenly cold weather and you can see why a basic daytime moisturizer just won't cut it anymore.
TRY: You need a triple-pronged approach. Switch to a mild or cream cleanser that doesn't clog pores or leave your skin feeling tight. At bedtime slather on a richer cream to help your skin hold on to water while you sleep. Finally, use a creamy foundation with moisture-boosting ingredients that will blend into your skin more naturally than a matte formula.

Losing the Glow
You load on the blush, but it just can't refresh your tired-looking skin.
WHY: No, you're not imagining it: Your skin can definitely look dull and sallow in winter. "Water loss deactivates the enzymes that cause the outer layers of the skin to shed," explains Jeannette Graf, MD, a dermatologist in Great Neck, New York. "This means you've got to exfoliate regularly."
TRY: First, use a gentle scrub containing synthetic buffing beads (natural ingredients such as shells and seeds are far too abrasive) and immediately follow with moisturizer. "Exfoliated skin is even more vulnerable to the elements, so don't do one without the other," recommends Lydia Evans, MD, consulting dermatologist for L'Oreal Paris.

Major Crow's Feet
Those faint crinkles in the corners of your eyes suddenly look like serious crow's-feet.
WHY: The skin around the eye is super thin and produces very little oil, so lines that are barely noticeable in the spring can appear more pronounced in winter, when you're extra dry.
TRY: Most women don't use an eye cream when in fact they should be applying it twice a day to plump the skin and help it look less lined. Pick a formula that has anti-aging ingredients, such as peptides, which build collagen and firm the skin over time.

Hand Help
Your hands are like sandpaper, and your cuticles are ripping.
WHY: Your hands have a hard time hanging on to their natural protective oils in winter, leaving this thin skin more prone to tears and cuts.
TRY: "Wear gloves, even when it's not freezing out," suggests Dr. Evans. Also, keep tubes of hand cream in your purse, on your nightstand, and on your desk, so you can reapply throughout the day. Finally, toss your alcohol-based hand sanitizers. The high level of alcohol is way too drying.

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