Avoid razor bumps by taking a hot shower before shaving with the grain and not stretching skin. Rinse with cold water and moisturize afterward.
Avoid moisturizers with paraben, alcohol or mineral oil. Look instead for humectants such as urea, glycerin, alpha hydroxy acids and dimethicone. Oily skin should be clean to avoid acne breakouts, but moisturized to prevent dryness and capillary damage caused by cold, sun and wind.
Vitamin A (no more than 10,000 IU/day) can help regulate skin cycles and prevent acne in men and women who are not pregnant or nursing. Food sources include sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, spinach and fortified cereals.
Hydrate by drinking roughly 13 cups of water a day if you’re male, nine cups if you’re female.
Invest in a bedroom humidifier; your central heating system dehydrates your skin.
Monitor your moles, or anything you think might be a mole. If moles change, have irregular borders, strange (black) or uneven coloration, bleeding or itching, visit a dermatologist. Remember the ABCs—asymmetry, border, color—when checking moles.
SPF: Learn the math. In simple theory, if 15 minutes in the sun is enough to burn you, SPF 10 would allow you to stay out in the sun for 10 times longer, or 150 minutes. Intensity (8 am vs 2 pm sun) and activity (swimming, sweating, etc.) make it nearly impossible for a 50-plus SPF to remain fully effective for 12 or more hours. Reapply every couple of hours.
Acne: Food technology may hurt your face. Processed, sugary foods spike insulin levels which causes a hormonal reaction that can lead to clogged pores. Some studies show hormone-filled dairy products can worsen some acne-sufferer’s breakouts. Foods with a high glycemic index including refined grains, sugary drinks and highly processed snacks can reduce the number and severity of breakouts.
Warts: Human papilloma virus vaccines are for both genders, sexually active or not. Most warts are caused by harmless strains of HPV, can be easily removed or go away on their own. Genital warts, however, can cause psychological damages related to anxiety and feelings of worthlessness. HPV vaccines last five years, protecting your 11-year-old in high school when even oral and protected sex pose an infection risk. Gardasil—approved for males and females ages 9 and older—is the only vaccine that prevents HPV strains 6 and 11, responsible for 90 percent of genital warts in both men and women.
“To keep your skin healthy, hydration is essential, and the best way to do that, in addition to drinking plenty of water, is to apply skin care products with a significant concentration of hyaluronic acid.” —Marianna, esthetician, Boulder
“Try not to spend a ton of the time under a warm shower. Too much hot water can dehydrate the skin. …Use a zinc oxide-based formula sunblock with SPF 30 or more, and reapply about every two hours.” —Steve Zakany, M.D., medical director, Lafayette
“Body wraps are great in the winter. There’s some heat involved with the wraps, so you’re going to get a lot of perspiration, which is great for detoxification…and you’ll increase circulation in the body.” —Cassie Meyer, lead massage therapist, Broomfield
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