For areas that are darkened by sun damage or hormonal conditions (such as melasma), Dr. Rebecca Baxt, a dermatologist with CosMedical in New Jersey and New York City, urges against doing spot treatments on just the areas themselves. "They can create a halo effect where there are areas of lightness on a dark background," she says. Instead, use a full-coverage face brightener with Vitamin C or a product with retinol, which also targets hyperpigmentation. Also, be diligent about applying sunscreen daily unless you want those spots to return, says Baxt.
For those "fun in the sun" days that didn't include as much shade as they should have, Baxt suggests starting with a cool bath or shower for 10 to 20 minutes and avoid all soap and bath oils. Gently apply aloe vera to the sunburned areas of the face, taking care not to rub it in thoroughly. "Leave it a bit goopy on top of the burn, which helps prevent the skin from drying out and becoming more irritated," says Baxt. Repeat as necessary. Also, drink plenty of water to rehydrate your skin (at least 8 glasses daily) and generously apply an unscented moisturizer to the sunburn over the next few days or even weeks to minimize peeling.
For instant results, Baxt typically offers cortisone injections to her parents with very diluted cortisone, which can bring down the inflammation rapidly, she says. Other options include a prescription for Valtrex, Famvir or Acyclovir. Or, for an over-the-counter remedy, try a cold compress and Tylenol or Ibuprofen, she says.
A fitful night of sleep may not be easily disguised when it comes to your energy level. But the good news is that it can be hidden on your face. To counteract any puffiness around the eyes, cool down the area. " A cool compress or cooled cucumber slices applied for 5 to 10 minutes can constrict blood and lymph vessels," says Baxt. "You can also use cool tea bags, which contain tannins that will help reduce swelling. And since puffy eyes can be caused by a high-salt diet or alcohol, try to cut out both before an important occasion."
Wrinkles may be inevitable, but that doesn't mean you can't delay their onset or diminish their appearance. And you don't even need Botox to do it. Try WorryLess—a topical dermal filler that uses medical-grade silicone to fill in wrinkles and lines. (Bonus: It works on scars, too.)
As anyone with rosacea can attest, being red in the face isn't reserved for blushing and workouts. Depending on the severity, you may just have to consult your dermatologist for a prescribed medication or for intense pulsed light treatments. Another option is to see if a change in diet or lifestyle might do the trick—such as eliminating alcohol, spicy foods, caffeine, strenuous exercise, extreme heat, stress, excessive sun exposure or medications containing steroid hormones. "An anti-inflammatory diet can also help as well as ingesting anti-inflammatory tea and herbs such as Rooibos (red tea), turmeric and ginger," says Goldfaden.
Moisturizer is about to become your best friend if dry skin is plaguing you. Peredo recommends using a moisturizer twice a day, preferably a formula that contains shea butter, petrolatum, glycerin and hyaluronic acid in one product. One of Peredo's recommendations is Skinmedica's Dermal Repair Cream. Also, try hydrating masks twice a week, she says, such as Laneige Water Sleeping Mask.
No one wants daily reminders of their adolescent skin woes. To fix acne scars, your quickest option is to visit a dermatologist, says Peredo. "There are various lasers such as Clear + Brilliant, which is more like a baby fraxel that requires several treatments. Or the Harmony Laser which is more intense and can help diminish the scars," she says. Dr. Gary Goldfaden, dermatologist and founder of GOLDFADEN MD, notes that microdermabrasion treatments can be effective as well, such as using Doctors Scrub Advanced one to two times per week or as needed. Another at-home treatment option: ScarAway, which involves applying sheets of medical-grade silicone to the scarred areas to encourage skin rejuvenation.
Before trying the latest product claiming to clear up your acne once and for all, take a close look at your lifestyle, says Goldfaden. "Stress shows on the face in more ways than just adult acne. Exercising and sweating can help as it gets circulation and blood flow going," he says. If the acne is a cause of hormonal changes, Goldfaden recommends doing everything you can to avoid inflaming skin. For starters, wash your face with cool water (warm water causes blood vessels to open which triggers more inflammation), and avoid products with silicone and mineral oils, which can clog pores. Goldfaden also suggests looking for products that contain red tea or arnica—effective ingredients for treating adult acne—that can be found in his Radical Difference Antioxidant Serum.
The best trick for diffusing any oily skin issues is to take preventive measures. This involves using an oil-free face wash, especially one that contains enzymes or glycolic acid, which keeps oil under control, says Dr. Marina Peredo, a dermatologist with Skinfluence NYC. Peredo also recommends using witch hazel as a toner and astringent as well as an oil-free hydrator and hyaluronic acid, which adds hydration without heavy oils.
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