Women’s Skin Care

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Are You Aging Your Face?

Think your complexion is the product of your genes? Your daily health and skin care habits can make or break your appearance. “Only about 10% of how your skin ages is genetic, so you have a lot of control,” says dermatologist Doris Day, author of Forget the Facelift. Seemingly small skin care mistakes can add up to a lot of premature aging and damage. Here are seven of the most common skin care blunders, and how to fix them.

Smoking Cigarettes

Like its effect on the rest of the body, smoking is toxic to your skin. “It is absolutely the worst thing you can do to your skin,” says Ellen Marmur, MD. “Smoking ages the skin and reduces its ability to heal.” The good news is that kicking your tobacco habit will undo the damage smoking has done to your skin. “If you smoked for 10 years and you quit for five, you can remove all the damage,” Marmur says. According to Day, all it takes is a few smoke-free weeks to see improved skin tone and clarity.

Not Wearing Sunscreen

Sinking all your money into expensive wrinkle creams? “Ninety percent of wrinkles are from the sun, so SPF is the best anti-ager,” Day explains. “Everything else is icing on the cake.” The biggest mistake people make is not using enough sunscreen and not reapplying it frequently enough. Use enough sunscreen to fill a shot glass, and grease up every 40 to 80 minutes when you’re in the sun, Marmur says. On days when you’re only outdoors before work and on your lunch hour, you still need SPF protection. “I have 90-year-olds with the most perfect skin where the sun never shines, while the sun-exposed skin is mottled, dry, and discolored, so daily exposure does add up,” Marmur says. The SPF you apply in the morning will get you to work, but it won’t protect you on your lunch hour. For touchups throughout the day, Marmur and Day recommend SPF mineral powder.

 

Image courtesy of sharecare.com

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