Top 10 skincare resolutions

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Top 10 skincare resolutionsHow are those New Year’s Resolutions going? In the spirit of the new year, Allure asked some top dermatologists for their advice on the most important skincare resolutions you should make – and keep – this year.

MOISTURISE AFTER SHOWERING

We all know a warm shower strips skin of oils. Face creams and body lotions are excellent substitutes, as long as you apply them correctly. But how tedious. One easy fix: keep body lotion right in the shower. Seeing it will remind you to apply it when your skin is damp, within ten minutes of turning off the water. "If you wait, skin starts losing water vapour," says Francesca Fusco, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. Choose a body lotion with a flip top; pump bottles allow water in, and that can lead to bacteria, says Fusco.

WEAR SUNSCREEN EVERY DAY

Doctors have long advised wearing sunscreen daily (at least SPF30) and reapplying it often. The challenge is finding a cream that offers enough protection and doesn’t feel like a lead blanket. Look for "nongreasy" or "sheer" on the label.

TAKE OFF YOUR MAKE-UP AT NIGHT

You’ve known since high school that make-up can mix with skin oils and dirt to cause zits. Cosmetics can also trap skin-damaging free radicals that float in the air (think: bus exhaust) against your skin, according to Zoe Draelos, a professor of dermatology at Duke University School of Medicine. But you’ve had a long day, and the bathroom sink is so far away….

Avoid the situation entirely by washing your face as soon as you get home. At the very least, remove your mascara.
Patricia Wexler, a professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, advises keeping face wipes, on the bedside table. Tear open, swab, slumber.

CLEAN UP AFTER THE GYM

Don’t let your skin take a hit just because you’ve discovered an amazing new workout. "A lot of women are switching from big gyms to studios that focus on Spinning, boot camps, yoga, or Pilates, and often they don’t have showers," says Karyn Grossman, chief of dermatology at St. John’s Medical Center in Santa Monica, California. As a result, she says, more patients aren’t washing right away—and have the acne (and bacne) to show for it. She advises hard chargers to wear moisture-wicking clothes and to pack facial wipes, or even nappy wipes in their gym bag. Swipe the face, back, and chest after class, and change into a clean, dry T-shirt. Back home, hop into the shower as soon as possible.

BOOK A YEARLY MOLE CHECK

Having a dermatologist survey your body once a year is crucial, even if you’re diligent about monthly self-exams. "We look in more nooks and crannies than you ever will," says Wexler. For convenience, group your annual appointments (physical, mammogram, dermatologist) at a time of (relative) quiet – after the holidays, or when the kids go back to school. "Before you leave the doctor’s office, make an appointment for next year, put a reminder in your phone, and ask the receptionist to follow up," says Wexler.

EXFOLIATE REGULARLY

"A baby’s skin replenishes itself completely every 14 days," explains Howard Sobel, a clinical attending physician in dermatology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "But by age 30, an adult takes a full 28 days to replenish." With all that extra time, skin cells have a chance to dry out and lose lustre – unless you jump-start the renewal process by exfoliating. Fusco tells patients to use a gentle face scrub once or twice a week, and a chemical exfoliant on two other days of the week.

HAVE MERCY ON YOUR HANDS

For starters, stop treating your nails like tools. "Tearing open boxes leads to chips and peeling," says Grossman.

To keep both nails and hands from dehydrating, forgo plain antibacterial gels and instead choose moisturising versions and do the same with soaps.
More advice: Keep SPF hand cream throughout your house. "Like the face, hands are exposed and need coverage," says Grossman. She keeps some in the glove box. "Even with UV-protective auto glass, damaging rays penetrate, and they will age your hands," she says.
For night time care, rub hands with a rich alpha hydroxy acid lotion—it’s too thick for day—and if the skin is chapped, use shea butter. For deep rehab, add cotton gloves after application to wear overnight.

CLEAN YOUR MAKE-UP BRUSHES

You probably don’t realize what can happen when good brushes go bad: make-up and skin oils build up, creating a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause irritation. "In an ideal world, you would clean your brushes once a week, but most of us don’t," says Fusco. Instead, wash your tools monthly with a liquid hand soap or baby shampoo and lukewarm water (hot water can cause bristles to fall out), then rinse well, squeeze out the excess water, reshape, and allow the brushes to dry thoroughly by balancing them over the sink.

KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF YOUR FACE

Yes, it’s tempting to squeeze a pimple, but just the act of touching your face with your fingers brings pore-clogging oil and dirt to the skin. How not to pop? Get rid of magnifying mirrors, put "Don’t touch" Post-it notes around the house, and grab a squeeze toy to keep your hands busy, especially if certain times of day (morning drive?) trigger the urge. When you do give in, applying over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream right away can help calm inflammation and prevent long-lasting marks, says Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, a professor of dermatology at Yale University School of Medicine.

STICK WITH THE PROGRAMME

Waiting for a new skin treatment to show results can be a test of patience. "A good anti-ageing cream can take six weeks, so don’t give up," says David Bank, a professor of dermatology at Columbia University/New York-Presbyterian Hospital. That goes for skin lighteners and acne products, too. "But if nothing has changed by week six, the product will never work for you," says Bank. Time to move on.

Written by Mary Rose Almasi, with additional reporting by Elizabeth Siegel, this article originally appeared in Allure

Image: Valua Vitaly/Shutterstock.com

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  1. Adele

    Great article, thanks! So much inspiration.

    5 years ago •

  1. Miss Sibisi

    its going to be very hard to keep my hands off my face! but I have to try, it’s a must!

    5 years ago •

  1. KimmyC

    I really enjoy this article! Amazing tips! And I am proud to say, I follow most of these already. Now to follow the rest!

    5 years ago •

  1. Zellikinz

    Like the make up brushes tip. I apply my foundation and most of my make up with brushes.

    5 years ago •

  1. steenkamp

    some new tips i didn’t even know. thanks

    5 years ago •

  1. fourieliandi

    i never check my moles,It actually scares me.I really should.

    5 years ago •

  1. Miss Tee

    Wow I love this…am definitley going to try all of them

    5 years ago •

  1. Kris

    Note to self: Must. Use. Sunscreen. Always forget!

    5 years ago •

  1. NicoleLom

    The most difficult ones for me are to remove make-up at night and book a mole testing! Should stop being so lazy! :)

    5 years ago •

  1. StephanieM

    Thank you for the informative advice…especially regarding the “sheer” sunscreen…

    5 years ago •

  1. Carlene

    Excellent article – I’m guilty of forgetting to regularly clean my make-up brushes – going to sort them out right now!

    5 years ago •

  1. **Pixieminx**

    A lot of bad habits that I need to trash in the bin. Thanks for this helpful article :)

    5 years ago •

  1. kunene

    Thanks for the advise lets see how hard or easy it is going to be to break years of bad habits!

    6 years ago •

  1. Lumkwana

    Washing the brushes is something I neva thought of, I’m happy to know that. I like the advice of not losing water vapour, I always guide myself as well.

    6 years ago •

  1. Funindawo

    I love this article, I couldn’t leave a paragraph, I had to read it all. I have gained from this, and it was just interesting. I liked, “If you wait, skin starts losing water vapour”.

    6 years ago •

  1. Ayesh

    Vital tips for healthy skin. Never ever go to bed with make-up on. Nevermind that it’s really bad for your skin, your poor pillows will be soiled by the morning! Your skin needs to breathe… I make a habit of washing make-up off the moment I enter the house. Neutrogena foam wash works wonders! Also, when you take your shower, it can’t hurt to give it a another little rinse with a dab of fashwash…. The steam will help to get the last of the residue off.

    6 years ago •

  1. Mimi

    I have a great tip for skin prone to Acne I have had a huge problem with my skin for a couple of years No contraception or creams and acne treatments helped me .So i went and did a little research myself and I discovered Zinc help clear up acne and I bought zinc tablets and Fissan paste bum cream you use for baby’s bum It works miracles i don’t apply it to my entire face only where I am prone to getting brake outs and my skin is all cleared up and 5 of my friends are using it to but if you have dry skin I wont recommend it put for oily skin it does miracles.

    6 years ago •

  1. Anni*

    Very good article, I often touch my face and very rarely clean my brushes. I will rectify these matters right away.

    6 years ago •

  1. Riekie

    Great tips thanks, will try to follow them all :)

    6 years ago •

  1. Hess

    Nice tips! Especially hard to always moisturizer out of shower – just have to make time!

    6 years ago •

  1. Ras

    I’m definitely trying hard to stick with the programme!

    6 years ago •

  1. Pseudo_kate

    Another tip, stop frowning so much. Be aware of the way you pull your face when you are outdoors.

    6 years ago •

  1. Harte-Joubert

    Super reminders! I forget suncreen often, but I do make sure my moisturiser has an spf in any case.

    6 years ago •

  1. Pseudo_kate

    I am obsessed with staying out of the sun and still wearing sunscreen all the time, I’ll still be rocking smooth and clear skin when I’m older like my mother so it’s worth the effort.

    6 years ago •

  1. Simone

    I am prioritising these techniques today… So helpful, thank you!

    6 years ago •

  1. Charne

    Ah, very handy article. I will definitely make this part of my beauty routine.

    6 years ago •

  1. Hajira

    definately have to start doing these

    6 years ago •

  1. RJ

    I can see that a lot of us have the same problem, ‘keeping our hands off our face’, but I am definately going to try.

    6 years ago •

  1. Anita

    A few of these i definitely need to be doing

    6 years ago •

  1. Lah

    I’ve been moisturizing every day after showering! What a difference!

    6 years ago •

  1. Vermeulen

    this is some golden tips for every woman . even though after a long night i must admit i hate it to remove my make up before going to bed.

    6 years ago •

  1. Azraa

    Thanks for the article! Great resolutions, starting from today!

    6 years ago •

  1. Firefly

    awesome!!! I need to “Keep my hands off my face” :-/

    6 years ago •

  1. G

    Quite a few things on here that I shouldn’t do. I am horrible at looking after my hands.

    6 years ago •

  1. Pannack

    Some great tips here! Really interesting.

    6 years ago •

  1. Lady-T

    I’m struggling with keeping my hands off my face :(

    6 years ago •

  1. GoldenShimmeringCloud

    Super helpful article! Going to make a to do list.. LOL.
    SO have to buy sunscreen.

    6 years ago •

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