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Monthly Archives: April 2016

Fight Back Acne?, Here Its Tips

Backless outfits are in these days—but who wants to show off their backside if it’s covered in zits? This is one area on the body (like the face and chest) that has a hefty amount of oil glands. The friction forces a combo of surface sweat, dirt, and oils back into the pores, which clogs them and spurs those inflamed pesky bumps (known as bacne) that would make anyone want to cover up. Fortunately, there are a few ways to prevent pimples from erupting and to zap them goodbye if they do. Keep reading to find out just how to clear things up.

# Watch What You Wear

When you work out, opt for loose, white, 100 percent cotton T-shirts. Cotton will soak up all the sweat and oil produced on the back, trapping it in your clothes instead of your pores, says dermatologist David Bank, M.D., director of the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic, and Laser Surgery in Mount Kisco, New York. Plus, the loose fit lets your skin breathe, while sticking to white reduces the risk of irritation from artificial dyes.

# Ditch The Dryer Sheets

Throwing fabric softener sheets into the dryer seems like a harmless way to freshen up a load of laundry, but these sheets can also leave behind chemicals that aggravate the skin. “The fibers [from the sheet] come off in the dryer,” says Bank. “Those microscopic little strands can stay in the clothing that’s been dried and then get re-deposited in the skin, especially if you’re sweating. They’ll be leeched out even more and clog the pores.” Go for a liquid fabric softener instead, and be sure to use an extra rinse cycle to minimize any chemical residue that could be left behind.

# Scope out Your Scalp

Although scalp breakouts aren’t super common, “it can still have an overgrowth microscopically of yeast and bacteria,” says Bank. If you’re sweating, all the bacteria can then travel down your neck and onto the upper back, one of the most common spots for bacne breakouts. Use an anti-dandruff shampoo, which also has bacteria-fighting properties that will leave your scalp squeaky clean.

# Rock a Ponytail

Styling products like mousse, gel, and hairspray can actually betray you if you’re not careful. So consider this your chance to show off your face in a pretty updo. “Getting the hair up and off the back so it’s not resting against the skin depositing those chemicals in that area is optimal,” says Bank.

# Rinse off Sooner

The shorter the time between exercising and showering, the better for your skin.  “Even if you don’t have the opportunity to shower right away, just changing from the wet sports bra into a dry bra or dry loose fitting T-shirt will decrease your chances of breaking out,” says Whitney Bowe, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City and Briarcliff Manor, New York. So get out of sweat-soaked clothing as soon as possible to minimize bacteria-to-skin contact.

# Curb Your Carb Intake

“Diet can affect all forms of acne,” says Bowe. You may want to consider avoiding carbs like white bread, pretzels, and potato chips, which all have a high glycemic index (or a high impact on your blood sugar). Studies have linked low-glycemic diets with reduced inflammation and activity of sebaceous (a.k.a. oil) glands, which can help minimize breakouts, says Bowe. Low-glycemic foods include beans, most fruits, sweet potatoes, and 100 percent whole wheat bread.

Common Foundation Mistakes

foundation-mistakeNailing your foundation is key to pulling off any makeup look, yet this first essential step can be the trickiest of all to master. So we asked Sandy Linter, celebrity makeup artist at New York City’s Rita Hazan Salon and Lancôme beauty expert, where we most often go wrong, as well as how to make it right. Here, five ways you may be messing up :

#  Using the Wrong Consistency
Whatever kind you use, foundation should seamlessly blend into skin when you apply it, says Linter. That way, you get coverage without heaviness, and the finish appears natural. For dry types, powder formulations can settle into pores and lines, while liquids can look too wet on oily skin. Linter finds that creamy textures often hit the right note of providing flattering coverage with a natural finish on most. This takes some experimentation to find out what looks best on your skin type.

# Matching Color Exactly
“Many women get color matched right to skin tone and are unhappy with the results, since it can end up looking too washed out,” says Linter. In these cases, going for a bit warmer of a tone (one that has yellow or golden undertones)—especially if you’re very pale or have aging skin concerns—can actually look more natural and flattering. Topping with a warm shade of blush will also help with tone correction here. If you’re tan or deeper toned, stay away from pinkish hues that can look obvious on skin in natural light.

# Concealing with Heavy Coverage
Whether it’s discoloration, blemishes, or fine lines that you want to cover, heaping on heavy foundation will actually draw attention to the difference in skin texture. “Foundation is really meant to enhance what you have or to moderately even out your complexion,” says Linter. Instead, use primers and highlighters to improve the look of discoloration and fine lines, and spot-blend concealer on blemishes instead of caking on the cover-up all over.

# Applying Everything, Everywhere
The sure way to look like you’re wearing makeup is to apply a blanket of foundation and powder to the face and to over-conceal. Linter recommends working on foundation as needed, and then going into specific areas, like the under-eye and blemishes, with concealer. Blending with the warmth of your finger marries concealer more naturally into skin. Finish with powder only in the center of the face, where it’s truly needed; overdoing it can kill your whole look.

# Thinking Foundation Looks Aging
“Foundation has a bad rap because it’s been used incorrectly by so many, but don’t be afraid to wear it,” says Linter. The right formula evens out aging issues, like discoloration and pore size, to actually make you appear younger. Plus, other cosmetic helpers you apply—like blush, bronzer, and concealer—can blotch up and appear obvious without a good foundation as a base. The trick is to find a formula that applies smoothly and doesn’t settle into lines and pores.


Common Deodorant Mistakes

By now, you’d probably like to think you’ve mastered proper hygiene, especially something as simple as applying deodorant. But if you’re dealing with smelly or itchy pits, you’re probably doing something wrong. One common misconception: Deodorants don’t actually block sweat, says Mark Malek M.D., a cosmetic surgeon based in Arizona. Ready to get your pits back in fighting shape? Start by avoiding these common mistakes:

# You’re Using the Wrong Product
Like we said, deodorant and antiperspirant are two different products. If you’re just concerned about odor, deodorant is the way to go. The distinguishing difference between deodorants and antiperspirants is that the latter contains aluminum chloride, an ingredient used to block sweat, says Delphine Lee, M.D., Ph.D., a dermatologist and director of the Dermatological Center for Skin Health at Providence Saint John’s Health Center. “I think if you’re a heavy sweater, using antiperspirants is better way to go,” says Malek.

# You’re Not Putting on Enough
Sometimes a single swipe isn’t going to cut it. To avoid an unexpected sweat sesh (like, when you’re in the middle of a meeting), apply a generous amount of antiperspirant to your entire underarm area to ensure all sweat ducts are covered. “You have to cover the sweat glands thoroughly,” says Malek.

# You’re Using a Scented Stick
Got itchy pits? Women with eczema or other sensitivities should stay away from heavily-scented deodorants because they can irritate the skin, says Malek. Before using it under your arms, test the product on your wrist, says Lee. Or, try a fragrance-free deodorant.

# You’re Applying It at the Wrong Time
“Deodorant can be applied at any time during the day, but the evening time is usually best for antiperspirants, when you’re not sweating as much,” says Malek. While it’s not a set rule, this will allow it to bind better to your skin before you reach peak sweat levels during the day, he says.

# You’ve Been Using the Same Product Since Middle School
If you feel like you apply religiously and your pits still feel sweaty, it might be time to switch to a different stick. “It may be that your sweat glands have adapted,” says Lee. Your body can develop a resistance to antiperspirant, and if you’re not able to stop perspiration, you’re going to be left with moisture. And that leads to the growth of microbes, which contribute to unwanted odor, says Lee.