Daily Skin Care

Daily Skin Care

Daily Skin Care
Develop a daily skin care routine that cleanses, moisturizes and protects your skin. All skin types can benefit from a gentle, non-drying cleanser, an exfoliant and broad-spectrum protection from sun damage. Choose cleansers that will remove dirt and bacteria while moisturizing the skin with emollients and humectants. Even if you’re not prone to breakouts, a topical exfoliant such as a lotion with alpha hydroxy acid will remove sun damage and keep skin supple as you age. Finally, using a sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays daily will prevent wrinkles and skin cancer.

Recently Answered

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    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires manufacturers of skin care products to list ingredients in order of greatest to least abundance on the label.

    Additionally, if a product contains ingredients that prevent or treat a condition, the product manufacturer must list the active ingredients first on a separate line. This would apply to skin care products defined by the FDA as drugs, as well as to products that have both cosmetic and drug properties, often marketed as "cosmeceuticals."
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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    Sunscreens should not be used on infants younger than 6 months of age, as the risk of side effects is greater for children so young. Infants younger than 6 months should not be exposed to the direct sun. Children older than 6 months should have their exposure to the sun limited.
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    A , Dermatology, answered
    To treat flakey skin, look for petrolatum, salicylic acid, mineral oil, squalane, and safflower oil. For oily skin, look for salicylic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, and witch hazel.
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    A , Dermatology, answered

    If you tend to have a dry complexion most of the time, a creamy cleanser and an emollient-based moisturizer will be friendlier to your skin than an alcohol-based gel cleanser and a light water-based lotion. But if your complexion gets oilier during the humid months of summer, you might want to give the water-based moisturizer a try and put the richer cream away for the season.

    When you are picking a product, think about your lifestyle. Do you spend a lot of time outdoors? (You'll need a stronger sunblock if you do.) Do you live in a humid climate? (You should try water-based or gel formulations and perhaps skip moisturizer altogether.) Think about what you're already doing regimen-wise.

    Generally, the lighter a product's formulation (a liquid, lotion, gel, or foam), the better it will be for oily or acne-prone skin. Usually these vehicles are water- or alcohol-based. They tend to evaporate from the skin and provide a little less hydration and staying power. Creams, balms and thicker lotions are usually oil or wax-based. These are the best bets for dry skin because they occlude it, creating another barrier over the skin's surface with ingredients such as mineral oil, shea butter, lanolin, or petrolatum. It's a good idea to double-check the ingredients in any product to make sure they're compatible with your skin. For example, a cleanser containing a detergent such as sodium laureth sulfate will probably irritate dry skin, but oily skin may need this stronger surfactant, the "surface-acting agent" that breaks down oil and washes it away.

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    A , Plastic Surgery, answered
    Some wrinkle creams decrease wrinkles by causing skin swelling. Any drug that promises immediate results achieves them by causing swelling. The swelling temporarily decreases wrinkles. While this may sound fine, I worry about long-term use of these drugs. Because swelling stretches the skin, repeated use can actually cause wrinkles and extra skin. The result is similar to the medical condition known as blepharochalasia, where allergies cause eyelid skin to swell repeatedly. The skin stretches and eventually needs to be removed.

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    A , Dermatology, answered
    Glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), is used in milder strengths in over-the-counter exfoliants and moisturizers, at 20% or 30% at spas for a more intense peeling effect, and at 70% solution for physicians who do skin peeling.
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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    The air inside airplane cabins is very low in humidity -- much lower than air in houses or office buildings. In fact, humidity can get to be as low as 1% on long flights. That dry air can dry your skin and your hair. To protect your skin, replace lost moisture internally and externally. Drink plenty of water during the flight and be sure to apply moisturizer (yes, men too), to trap moisture in the skin. Ask your primary care doctor or dermatologist about other ways to protect your skin while traveling. 
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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    If you have sensitive skin, strong colognes, fragrances, scented cosmetics and facial products may irritate you after contact with any of those just mentioned. The irritation may present symptoms similar to those of eczema or rosacea. Sunlight may even make these symptoms worse for those who are "photosensitive" and therefore might develop a sunburn-like rash as a result of a combination of exposure to sun and the aforementioned products.
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    Alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids both smooth skin’s outer surface and speed up cell turnover, which slows with age. AHAs (also called glycolic or lactic acids) are water-soluble and come from fruit and milk sugars; BHAs, such as salicylic acid, are oil-soluble, so they help to clean out clogged pores. BHAs are made from willow bark and sweet birch trees. In high concentrations, both AHAs and BHAs can help fade brown spots and fine wrinkles, but they also make skin extra sun sensitive, so sunscreens are mandatory when you’re using them.

    Although lots of products, from face washes to toners, scrubs, and masks, include AHAs, the concentration is often too low to do much. If you find a label that gives the percentage, try not to go above 8 percent. In all honesty I’m not a huge fan of AHAs and prefer my patients to use BHAs. Alpha hydroxyl acids tend to be more irritating and stinging than BHAs, so I recommend experimenting with them first before loading up on a month’s supply. I find that BHAs are not only less irritating, but also can be better for acne. One brand in particular that I like is Clinique, which sells a great toner made with salicylic acid, a classic BHA. (Clinique calls them clarifying lotions, even though they are in liquid form; they come in four different strengths. The most popular strength is 2, which is for combination skin—oily in the T-zone but dry in other areas.)

    Contrary to conventional wisdom, you don’t need to use these products every day, especially if you’ve got sensitive skin. Start by using them once every other day, or simply a couple of days per week. You can expect some initial stinging at first, but this may subside as your skin gets used to it. If it never seems to warm up to hydroxy acids, don’t panic. There are other ways to trigger cell turnover.

    From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered

    Always shave with the grain of your hair, and avoid shaving the same area more than once. Also, always use a clean, sharp razor blade. Dull blades can irritate your skin and cause nicks, cuts and razor burn.