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4 Steps to Healthier Skin

healthy-skinSkin needs a yearly physical just like the rest of your body. Howard Murad M.D., a dermatologist in El Segundo, Calif., tell us ways to assess your skin’s health – and simple solution for getting a radiant complexion.

The Basic Facts

Skin – the body’s largest organ is only about the thickness of a sheet of paper. One of its top jobs; to shield us from external factors like sun exposure, pollution and smoke. “If the skin is unhealthy, its ability to protect itself is compromised,” Murad explains.

What To Look For

We know healthy skin when we see it: its radiant, almost flawless. Less-healthy skin has a definitive characteristic too:

  • It feels dry and/or rough.
  • Its flaking/peeling.
  • It looks sallow.
  • It’s irritated or red (from acne, eczema or psoriasis).
  • It’s showing signs of premature aging (excessive fine lines, age spots or broken capillaries).

Simple Solutions

Getting your skin its healthiest will make all the difference in how you look – and feel about yourself. Beauty Rx:

1. Exfoliate several times weekly. “Exfoliate with alpha or beta-hydroxy acids or scrub can get rid of the dull, rough outer layer of skin,” Murad explains. (Try St. Ives Medicated Apricot Exfoliating Daily Cleansing Cloths with salicylic acid).

2. Add hydration. Look for products with ingredients (like hyaluronic acid and sodium PCA) that help the skin absorb water. (One favorite: Cellex-C Hydra 5 B Complex serum with hyaluronic acid)

3. Prevent/reduce irritation. Apply skin-soothing products with ingredients like aloe and chamomile. If you’re acne prone, products with salicylic acid can also help. (Try Neutogena Clear Pore Soothing Gel Astringent with aloe and chamomile)

4. Protect/treat skin with antioxidants. A recent study published in Dermatologic Surgery found that topical vitamin C works to diminish visible signs of aging. Other topical antioxidants that may also help, vitamin E, green tea, grape seed extract and pomegranate. (And don’t forget to wear a daily SPF to prevent further damage.)

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