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Moisturize 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— rearranging your toiletries— can help make moisturizing as automatic as brushing your teeth. Keep body lotion right in the shower. 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 vapor,” says Francesca Fusco, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in NYC. Choose a body lotion with a flip top, like Vaseline Firming Body Lotion or Olay Quench In-Shower Body Lotion: pump bottles allow water in, and that can lead to bacteria, says Fusco. Another way to save time is to pick up a multitasker— moisturizers with self-tanner, SPF, or anti-aging ingredients. Heidi Waldorf, a professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, likes NeoStrata Ultra Smoothing Lotion and AmLactin XL, with exfoliating alpha hydroxy acid, La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk, and Jergens Natural Glow with self-tanner.

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 Dr. Patricia Wexler. For convenience, group your annual appointments (physical, mammogram, dermatologist) a 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. Slow and steady may win the race, but hitting the accelerator will help the complexion. “A baby’s skin replenishes itself completely every 14 days,” explains Sobel, “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 luster— unless you jump-start the renewal process by exfoliating. Fusco tells patients to use a gentle scrub, like Bliss Pore Perfecting Facial Polish, once or twice a week, and a chemical exfoliant— she likes Philosophy Help Me cream, which
dissolves the glue that holds dead skin cells in place—on two other days of the week.

Clean your makeup brushes. Unless you won the school science fair, you probably don’t realize what can happen when good brushes go bad: Makeup 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. Weekly, spritz them with antibacterial Colorescience Pro Brush Cleaner Spray or Sephora Daily Brush Cleaner, and dry with a tissue.

Source: Allure. January, 2012.

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