Your face, your skin, your mug. Like it or not, it’s among the first messages you broadcast to the world. Keep it fresh with these dermatologist-recommended tips and radiate a youthful, inviting glow. Shine on!


“Drinking a great deal of water is the best solution for keeping skin hydrated and naturally glowing,” says San Francisco-based dermatologist Vic Narurkar, MD. Although little evidence supports the age-old theory that drinking eight to 11 glasses of water daily prevents or treats signs of aging, not drinking enough water or drinking dehydrating bevies (including alcohol and caffeinated drinks) will definitely result in a mottled glow, adds Adam Friedman, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at New York-based Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dehydrated skin, similar to old-age skin, has a lowered ability to return to normal when stretched. Tip: The ideal beverage is antioxidant-rich without artificial sugars. Think: Green tea. “It protects the cell membrane, has anti-inflammatory properties, and may even reduce skin-cancer risk,” says Friedman, citing a Archives of Dermatology study that showed green tea (oral or topical) may reduce damage from ultraviolet light, thereby possibly reducing skin-cancer risk.


“I recommend exfoliating two to three times per week,” says Janet Lin, MD, a dermatologist at Baltimore-based Mercy Medical Center. Exfoliation is the removal of scales or flakes from the skin’s surface. Dr. Lin uses an in-office product called Replenix Facial Warming Scrub, containing green tea, but also suggests Olay Regenerist Thermal Mini-Peel.


“Moisturizing is paramount to healthy-looking skin, so preventing dry skin is key,” says Dr. Friedman. The secret: Applying an emollient before drying off, he says, to wet skin. “Think of moisturizer as a moisture blocker. If skin is dry, what’s the emollient blocking?” Tip: Use sparingly. Slathering on too much goopy, thick emollient can leave skin feeling greasy.

Newer moisturizers block moisture and provide barrier repair. Designed to fix defects in eczema patients’ skin barrier, they’re effective on all skin types. Prescription barrier repair products include MimyX, EpiCeram, and Hylatopic Plus, some of which contain ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids along with proprietary ingredients intended to up hydration and cut inflammation. (Always consult your doctor before applying prescription meds.) By replacing key fats, these repair barrier function, reduce skin water loss, and raise moisture content to brighten skin. Similar OTC products: CeraVe, Aveeno Eczema Care, and Cetaphil Restoraderm.

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