A dozen derm-approved tricks for smooth, soft, sexy skin all season.
By Dori Katz
Dr. David Bank, dermatologist in Mount Kisco, New York
Dr. Doris Day, dermatologist in New York City
Dr. Howard Murad, dermatologist in Los Angeles and founder of Murad, Inc.
1. Skip the bubbles. Foamy lather feels luxurious but tends to strip away natural oils. Opt for a mild, fragrance-free cream cleanser with less than 1% sodium lauryl sulfate.
2. Exfoliate gently. Use a facial wash with no more than 5% salicylic or 10% glycolic acid two to three times weekly. For sensitive skin, dilute with an equal amount of water.
3. Soothe your scalp. Banish dryness and prevent irritation with a five-ingredients-or-less hydrating shampoo and conditioner. Fewer ingredients means less chance of inflammation. If dandruff is an issue, switch to a shampoo containing either zinc pyrithione or selium sulfide.
4. Take a power shower. Cleanse with a hydrating body wash and loofah. Rinse with lukewarm—not hot—water for five minutes, max. Afterward, pat until almost dry and immediately apply lotion.
5. Pick good hydrators. Look for hyaluronic acid, as well as ceramides. Both seal in moisture.
6. Winterize your regimen. Start with a facial serum, which penetrates more deeply than regular moisturizers. Finish with a lotion or cream to combat extreme dryness.
7. Seek out redness reducers. Licorice extract, niacinamide and caffeine are great topical options for taming ruddy complexions. Shea butter alleviates blotchiness on arms and legs.
8. Use retinoids year-round. In the winter, a pea-size amount is enough for the entire face. (If you experience irritation, mix it with your everyday moisturizer.) Follow with a rich night cream.
9. Try a weekly mask. A penetrating formula gives hair and skin an extra boost of moisture. Pumpkin, green tea and antioxidants are all exceptionally hydrating.
10. Pucker up. Swipe a clean, dry toothbrush gently across lips to wipe away flakes, then apply a balm with vitamin E.
11. Tweak your diet. Cut back on caffeine and alcohol and nourish from the inside out by increasing your intake of water and antioxidant-rich raw fruits and veggies.
12. Treat your feet. Soften soles with an intense treatment—check the ingredients for either lactic acid or urea—that removes built-up dead cells, allowing moisturizers to sink in.
Anti-Aging Bonus: Hyaluronic acid plumps up skin, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
Dove Gentle Exfoliating Body Wash
Mild granules remove dead skin cells and flakes.
Available at drugstores, $7.
Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Cream for Dry Skin
Lightweight, luxurious and fast absorbing—an ideal trifecta.
Available at drugstores, $6.
St. Ives Naturally Soothing Body Lotion
Oatmeal and shea butter relieve itchiness instantly.
Available at drugstores, $5.
Olay Age Defying Instant Hydration Night Cream
Marine botanical extracts repair while you sleep.
Available at drugstores, $13.
Mario Badescu Cream Soap
A super-mild wash for even the most sensitive skin.
Available at mariobadescu.com, $10.
Curel Intensive Healing Cream
Ideal for chapped and cracked areas.
Available at drugstores, $12.
Blistex Revive & Restore
Works 24/7 to keep lips soft day and night.
Available at drugstores, $2.
Mary Kay TimeWise Repair Volu-firm Day Cream
Protects with antioxidants and SPF 30.
Available at marykay.com, $50.
Michael Todd True Organics Pumpkin Nutrient Rich Facial Mask
This tingling treatment gently exfoliates.
Available at michaeltoddtrueorganics.com, $34.
Kerasal One Step Exfoliating Moisturizer Therapy
A twofer: Salicylic acid exfoliates feet while urea hydrates.
Available at Walmart and Walgreens, $6.
Originally published in the January 2013 issue of Family Circle magazine.
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