Wednesday, April 14, 2010


From pesky pimples at 20 to droopy eyelids at 60, it seems there's no end to our complexion woes. Before you hand in the towel, check out our age-specific skin products. Our TCA, Glycolic, and Salicylic are sure to have you looking your best at every age.


It's never too early to think about wrinkle prevention. Twenty-year-olds often have problems with acne, sun spots and premature wrinkles. The reason for most of these issues is the sun exposure. Perfect Peel Solutions products are specifically designed to lessen the amount of wrinkles, shed off sun spots, and clear up acne!


Try non-oily products that contain green tea and a minimum of 30 SPF. Skin care at this age is all about prevention. Moisturizers nourish your skin and keep it smooth and healthy. Green tea may reduce your risk of cancer and added SPF helps protect you from this disease, as well as age spots and wrinkles. Oil-free products are your best bet at warding off acne. For best results, apply to damp skin.

Anti-aging creams

If you really want to start with anti-aging creams, look for products with alpha hydroxys (Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid), beta hydroxys (Salicylic Acid), retina or retinol and vitamin C. 

Peels and Exfoliants

Glycolic peels are exfoliating. When used on a regular, monthly basis, they can help to clear up Acne and Revitalize skin. Microdermabrasion and Salicylic Acid Peels, a more intense exfoliant, is an excellent way to remove dead cells and keep the skin looking fresh and healthy

Cosmetic procedures

Although not common in this age group, BOTOX® can be used as a preventative measure. By putting a stop to movements that cause wrinkles, they can be prevented in the future.
The most popular Cosmetic Procedures include Chemical peels, such as TCA (Trichloroacetic Acid), Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Jessner's Solution, and some others. These are all non-surgical procedures which allow for rapid results and realistic Goals of patients. Most chemical peels are safe with minimal side effects if any.


Chemical Peels, Breast augmentation, liposuction, lip fillers and rhinoplasty are the most common surgeries for this age group.


Generally the 30s is when you start to see things forming. You get a little bit of pigmentation, you get fine start to develop dark circles under your lower lids. This is the best time to start thinking about wrinkle prevention.


Try thicker creams that contain vitamin E to reduce sun damage and sunscreen to protect you from UV rays. You're not as prone to acne, and your skin is starting to become dry. Thicker creams are more beneficial for locking in moisture. Eye creams, if used daily for a month or more, can help reduce the appearance of dark circles.

Cosmetic procedures

BOTOX®, microdermabrasion, and intense pulse light (IPL) are common for this age group. BOTOX® is a preventative treatment, It works very well on young women [by preventing] repeated muscle contractions that lead to wrinkles. IPL is great for reducing sun damage and eradicating wrinkles. Since this therapy doesn't work well for deep wrinkles, it's good to catch them young.

Chemical Peels

TCA (Trichloroacetic acid) peels, Glycolic Peels, Salicylic Peels, Jessner's Peels, laser resurfacing, microdermabrasion, and light resurfacing with an Erbium laser. Smokers and those with sun damaged skin will be more likely to resort to Peels. TCA peels are great for eliminating associated wrinkles on the upper lip and around the eyes, nose and mouth. Others may want to maintain smooth skin with Glycolic peels.


Breast augmentation, liposuction, lip fillers and rhinoplasty are the most common procedures. Unless you're having a face-lift for genetic reasons, there are few surgeries that benefit a 30-year-old's skin.


In our 40s, we notice pigmentation and other damage from sun exposure in our teens. You'll start to see fine lines creeping in, pigmentation, and brown spots. Depending on genetics, you may have a bit of laxity in your neck and your eyelids hang. As if that isn't enough, rosacea, or red, blotchy skin, is also common.


Try anti-aging creams that contain glycolic acid, retinol and vitamins A and E. These ingredients have all been proven to help reduce signs of aging and increase the firmness of skin.

Cosmetic procedures

Sclerotherapy, microdermabrasion, Chemical Peels, laser vein removal, thermage, v-beam laser, fillers, IPL and BOTOX®. Veins are becoming more prominent on your legs and possibly your face. Sclerotherapy and laser vein removal can help get rid of these unsightly and often painful problems. Thermage is a successful and non-surgical way to tighten problem spots. Fillers can be used to reduce lines in the nasal labia folds and lips. IPL will reduce sun damage and help repair broken blood vessels and fine lines. V-beam laser can get rid of redness caused by rosacea.


TCA and glycolic peels rejuvenate the skin, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and help combat discoloration.


Blepharoplasty is a great way to tighten drooping eyelids and puffy bags under the eye. A feather lift is perfect for those with only minor sagging in their face. It's cheap, non-invasive and effective.


In your 50s, your dermis, the layer that supports your skin, begins to decrease. As a result, you're more likely to see jowls and bags under your eyes. Broken blood vessels and blotchy red skin are also common.


Anti-aging creams with high concentrations of glycolic acid (about 15%) can stimulate retinol, helping to rid your face of dark circles.

Cosmetic procedures

BOTOX®, microdermabrasion, fillers, thermage and IPL, feather lift. In addition to reducing facial wrinkles, BOTOX® can also improve posture, tighten a saggy neck, soften cleavage wrinkles and possibly lift your breasts. Filler along the lip border can help prevent lipstick bleeds, while making lips look fuller. Thermage tightens collagen without the use of sugary, while IPL can help eliminate wrinkles and skin discoloration.


TCA or Erbium peels and Laser resurfacing-these stronger peels are good for reviving aged skin, while laser or CO2 resurfacing around the eyes can be an effective treatment for more serious sun damage.


Brow lift, face lift and blepharoplasty; a mere feather lift probably won't be enough to make a big difference. These more involved surgeries are sure to shave off years, and wrinkles, from aging faces.

60 +

At this age, we're less likely to crave a boob job than we are a good night's sleep. We have drier, more blotchy skin and there's more falling with gravity and more wrinkles. The good news is, in comparison to the younger crowd, we get the best results from surgery.


Hydrating creams that contain soy, green tea, retinol and glycolic and alpha hydroxy acids. Our skin is even drier now. Applying a lot of moisturizer can reduce flakiness and dryness, helping our skin to look smooth. Glycolic and alpha hydroxy acids stimulate collagen, tightening droopy skin.

Cosmetic procedures

IPL, microdermabrasion, BOTOX®, photo rejuvenation, feather lift and thermage. All of these procedures improve skin's quality. Photo rejuvenation can eliminate sun damage, shrink pores and add collagen to keep skin tighter.


Glycolic, TCA peels and laser resurfacing. Glycolic and TCA peels can improve the texture of your skin, helping it to look more radiant. However, it won't make an improvement on deep lines. Laser resurfacing, which works best alongside a BOTOX® regimen, can help lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, especially around the eyes and mouth.


Sclerotherapy, laser vein therapy, face lift, blepharoplasty. Sixty-year-olds tend to care more about the parts of their body that people see every day, particularly the face.

Helping Your Skin


Sun exposure can cause cancer, wrinkles, discoloration and droopiness. The more you protect your skin from the sun, the less you age and the better your skin will be forever. Choose products with a minimum of 30 SPF. Apply at least a half-hour before sun exposure and reapply every two to four hours after.


Unless you suffer from overly dry skin, oil-free cleansers are best at maintaining a healthy complexion. Wash at least once a day and apply moisturizer while your skin is still damp.

Oral therapies

There is new evidence that proves taking vitamins can reduce your risk of skin cancer. Pop a good multivitamin or Vitamin A, C and E supplements for best results.


Microdermabrasion - a deep form of exfoliation. It is more invasive than a glycolic peel, but less effective at treating acne, sun damage and deep wrinkles.
Glycolic peel - a mild, or "lunchtime" peel, glycolic acid is applied to the skin to help fight wrinkles, sunspots and other signs of aging.
TCA peel - a Trichloroacetic acid peel is a more intense peel than the glycolic variety. Often used on the neck, hands, forearms and chest, it fights wrinkles, blemishes and pigmentation.
Salicylic peel - These mild peels are excellent for oily dry skin which is prone to acne. Salicylic peels can also help to firm and tighten the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
IPL - Intense Pulsed Light therapy is a type of photo-rejuvenation therapy. Light energy is gently pulsed through your skin to remove lesions, age spots and sun damage, restore pigment and treat veins and rosacea.
Feather lift - a minimally invasive face-lift, tiny hooks are inserted under the skin and thread is used to lift up dropping areas.
Thermage - this non-surgical procedure is an advanced method of skin tightening using a radio frequency device called Therma-Cool TC.
V-beam laser - a great way to reduce facial blood vessels, this laser offers little to no post treatment bruising.
Laser resurfacing or erbium laser - Also known as a "laser peel," this treatment uses a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser to minimize fine lines and remove damaged and wrinkled skin.
Did you know it takes 15 to 20 years to notice sun damage? When wrinkles and pigmentation problems occur in your 40s, they're likely a result of a few too many hours in the sun when you were 20.
Because there are different chemicals available for exfoliation, your individual needs will determine the type and specific formula for your peel
Chemical peels can help reduce the appearance of facial folds, wrinkles, and "crow's feet" by removing damaged outer layers of skin.  Because there are different chemicals available for exfoliation, your individual needs will determine the type and specific formula for your peel.  Peels of various formulas can be used for purposes ranging from the basic smoothing of dry skin to correcting sun blotches and removing pre-cancerous growths.

How It's Done

After the face is thoroughly washed to remove any excess oil, the chemical solution is painted on.  The peeling agent is left on the skin for several minutes.  All patients experience a stinging sensation, the severity of which is determined by the type of peel used.  A fan is set up and pointed toward the patients to help alleviate some of the discomfort.
For the deeper, more intense peels, a mild sedative can be administered, but in general, and especially for mild and superficial peels, no special preparations are necessary.  Peels usually last 15 minutes or less except for the most intense type which can last 1 - 2 hours.


There are 4 different categories of chemical peels.  Increasing in strength and epidermis penetration, they are alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta-hydroxy acids, trichloroacetic acid (TCA), and carbolic acid (phenol).  When choosing a peel consider the following:
AHAs and BHAs
Mildest peels
Corrects minor problems like rough or dry skin and sun damage
Great for Acne control and keeping the skin smooth and firm
Is sometimes used to pre-treat skin before TCA peel
Multiple treatments may be necessary
Smoothes wrinkles, removes blemishes, and corrects pigmentation
No anesthesia is necessary, but mild sedatives are often used
Requires pre-treatment with Retin-A or AHA
Works well on dark skin tones
Results are less dramatic and shorter in duration than with phenol
Formula can be adjusted for desired results
Must avoid sun exposure for several months following peel
Correct blotches, smoothes coarse wrinkles, and removes pre
cancerous growths 
Not recommended for darker skin tones
Full recovery may take several months

Recovery / Post Op Expectations

The type of peel that a patient undergoes will determine the recovery process, however, after any peel it is necessary to limit sun exposure and wear sunscreen with a high SPF when outside.  AHA peels can offer a quick recovery with little or no time away from work and normal activity, but most patients experience some redness, irritation, or flaking as the skin adjusts to the treatment.
After phenol and TCA peels a crust or scab will form over the treated areas, and will remain for a few days according to the physicians instructions.  With TCA peels, patients experience some swelling an irritation and should subside enough within 7 - 10 days to allow patients to return to normal activity.  With phenol peels, swelling is usually severe and skin takes on a red hue that gradually fades to pink. Return to work after phenol peels can take 2 weeks or more. 


Complications with AHA peels are minimal and include irritation, excess flaking and soreness, which can be treated with medication.  Complications for TCA and phenol peels include scarring, cold sores, fever blisters, and change in skin color.  Some patients with phenol peels develop a lighter skin tone in treated areas and may need to wear make up to disguise lines of demarcation.

Am I a Candidate?

Chemical peels are used mainly for cosmetic reasons.  Patients with a history of herpes, or with a predisposition to brownish discoloration of the face may be at a greater risk for postoperative complications.


The national average of surgeon fees for chemical peels was $607 in 2003 according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), but can range as high as $6,000 for full phenol peels.   
Oily Skin and Acne: Keeping In Control

When people complain of oily skin, they are most often referring to the skin on their face. Oily skin is also the largest contributor towards acne. This page will give a little information on the causes and treatments of oily skin and acne.
The Cause of Oily Skin
The oil is produced by oil glands known as sebaceous glands. These glands are bigger and more active in the region of the nose than any other areas of the face. This is why the nose tends to be a trouble area for even those with normal skin. The pores in this area are also larger, in order to accommodate the large flow of oil produced. Other areas on the body where sebaceous glands are most heavily concentrated are the neck, chest, and back-areas where body acne can be common.
The amount of oil that an individual makes is determined by genetics. It is affected by hormones and what is called an "end organ response". The oil gland is considered the end organ because it is this gland that is acted upon by hormones. Many people have the same level of hormones, but make different amount of oil because their oil glands respond differently. During adolescence, a surge in the level of sex hormones, known as androgens, creates a problem of oily skin where sometimes there was none. The reason is that androgens enlarge and stimulate the sebaceous glands, causing them to produce more sebum. While this stimulation is not directly responsible for acne, the extra sebum for which they're responsible produces more fatty acids when a comedo plug closes off a pore opening. The additional fatty acids increase the amount of inflammation, and more severe acne occurs.
Despite all the trouble that sebum causes, it is very important to the maintenance of the skin. When the system is working properly, sebum performs the important job of helping to lubricate your skin. Sebum also carries with it dead skin cells shedding from your hair follicle walls. For someone with oily skin, the best thing to do is to take measures to keep pores from getting clogged and forming acne lesions.
Caring for Oily Skin
Remember, there is no way to completely prevent oily skin from occurring, but hopefully these tips will help keep the oil and acne under control:
  • Although dirt and oil on the surface of the skin do not cause acne, excessive oil on your skin may exacerbate the clogging of pore openings, so proper washing is often a good way to keep the situation from becoming worse. Washing with very hot water, harsh soaps or cleansers will not improve existing acne or prevent future flare-ups. In fact, these methods can dry and irritate your skin so badly that you will not be able to use effective acne medications in cream or gel form. Most topical acne medications have a drying effect on oily skin.
  • Try a mild cleanser that cleanses without drying or try a Salicylic Acid based wash or peel.
  • Do not use any oil-based cosmetics, which will only aggravate oily skin and create further blemishes.
  • Use water-based, non-comedogenic cosmetics.
  • Always remove your makeup before going to bed, but avoid cold creams and lotions, which may leave a greasy film on your skin.
  • Watch your diet. However, it is not chocolate or sweets that you need to watch, some doctors believe that an increased consumption of iodine aggravates acne, and they suggest reduction or elimination of fish and iodized salt.
  • Relax! Doctors have seen a connection between stress and acne for a long time. Studies have shown that the body produces more androgens when a person is under stress. The increase may trigger acne flare-ups by stimulating the sebaceous glands to pump out more sebum. Even physical stresses, such as colds, allergies, surgery, or menstruation, can trigger break-outs.
Skin Care and Topical Treatments for Acne
First of all, there are the topical acne medications that most people with oily sin or acne have tried. Here is a brief description of those:
Benzoyl Peroxide- This medication works in two ways. First, it goes after bacteria, which are crucial in the development of acne. Without bacteria, the sebum trapped under the skin would not become the fatty acids that cause all the swelling and inflammation in and around acne blemishes. Second, some studies show that benzoyl peroxide may also peel the dead skin cells from inside your hair follicles, to keep plugs from forming.
Sulfur, Resorcinol, and Salicylic acids- These are older and proven methods which start mostly on the surface of your skin and work themselves deep down into the follicles where bacteria originates to help heal existing blemishes by unclogging pores. Salicylic acid is particularly effective on blackheads.
Topical antibiotics- These medicines are used by doctors to treat certain kinds of acne, such as pustules and papules, but they may not be strong enough to have an effect on larger cysts. Topical antibiotics work by attacking the bacteria that are strongly linked with acne problems. Like other topical treatments, these tend to dry and irritate the skin, so be sure to use proper cleansing and moisturizing.
Retinoic acid- Also known as Retin-A, this is another topical medicine used by doctors to treat acne. Like benzoyl peroxide, retinoic acid works by peeling skin cells from the hair follicles so that plugs do not form. Be warned that at first it may aggravate your acne, and that it can take two to three months for any real improvement. 
Aging Skin

When a person pictures an example of aging skin, what does one usually think of? The most common skin conditions associated with aging skin are things like wrinkles, age spots, and leathery skin. However, these symptoms are not the symptoms of aging, but rather the consequence of sun exposure. Changes that are attributable to aging include increased dryness, decreased sweating, and changes in hair growth and facial contours.
Moisturizers and Myths
Despite popular belief, dry skin does not cause wrinkles, though it can make them appear worse. Most moisturizers simply make existing wrinkles look better temporarily; because lubricating the skin plumps it up and makes light bounce off it better, creating the optical illusion of smoother skin.
One common mistake of users is the assumption that if moisturizers can "fix" wrinkles temporarily, they can also prevent them. Unfortunately this has not been proved. Moisturizers only plump up the outer layer of skin. You can moisturize your skin until it glows, but gravity, aging, and sun exposure will do their work anyway.

However, that does not mean that there is no hope for your skin. the first thing that one can do is to start using sunscreen all the time. This is the best defense against time. But what if time has already taken its toll? There are a few therapeutic substances that act on wrinkles and age spots, actually improving the skin condition and appearance. These work by affecting you skin's physical structures so the changes caused by normal aging and sun damage will be somewhat reversed, leading to fewer wrinkles.
Hope for Aging Skin
Retin-A, Alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids are the three best known topical substances studied for their effect on wrinkles. One thing that should be carefully looked at before a particular substance is used, is the possible side effects. Retin-A can cause skin to become red and irritated, as well as extremely sensitive to the sun. Most alpha hydroxy acids can be irritating to sensitive skin, and if the acid percentage is too high, they can cause burns or hyperpigmentation. As for sensitive skins, there is an alpha hydroxy acid that does not irritate, and is actually stronger than most AHA's at lower percentage levels. This AHA is known as Mandelic Acid. Mandelic Acid can also help with adult-onset acne, rosecea, melasma, and liver or age spots.

Also, new research has shown that vitamin C may be beneficial in restoring skin's vitality. Vitamin C serums have shown to improve the overall tone and texture of aging skin. Citrix C has effective vitamin C formulas, available in a serum or cream. 
Skin Care Tips

1. Sun Protection

More than anything else, sun protection will help to prevent the aging of your skin, The sun is largely responsible for wrinkling, blotchy pigmentation (Lentigines, also called "liver spots"), thinning of the skin, broken blood vessels (telangectasias), dryness, texture changes, uneven color and some sun related skin diseases that make the skin look older. Daily use of sunscreen products with at least an SPF of 15 along with protective clothing such as full-brimmed hats, long sleeved blouses and shirts, and slacks instead of shorts will greatly reduce the aging of the skin and the possibility of skin cancer. Sunglasses will also protect the eyelids from aging and will help reduce crows feet by reducing the squinting which comes from sun exposure without eye protection.
2. Avoid Smoking
Melasma has been considered to arise from pregnancy, oral contraceptives, endocrine dysfunction, genetic factors, medications, nutritional deficiency, hepatic dysfunction, and other factors. The majority of cases appear related to pregnancy or oral contraceptives. The infrequency of melasma in postmenopausal women on estrogen replacement suggests that estrogen alone is not the cause. In more recent experience, combination treatment using estrogen plus progestational agents is being used in postmenopausal women, and melasma is being observed in some of these older women who did not have melasma during their pregnancies. Sun exposure would appear to be a stimulating factor in predisposed individuals.
3. Fitness

With age, extra weight can accumulate in areas under the chin, the neck or cheeks, giving the skin an older look. Other areas of skin such as the abdomen, thighs, buttocks and calves look older if they are carrying excess fat. A combination of balanced nutrition and exercise can greatly improve the appearance of the skin. Drinking enough water is also important. Improved muscle tone and improved circulation also help to keep that younger looking skin we would all like to maintain. Some excess fat can be removed by liposuction; however, it is much better not to accumulate that excess weight in the first place.

4. Smile!
Your face tends to conform to the position or expression that you carry most of the time. If you often frown or scowl you skin is more likely to develop lines or wrinkles between the eyes, down turning lines at the corners of the mouth, or other lines or furrows that conform to the frowning facial expression. A smiling, pleasant, relaxed expression is goof for your face and will help keep you looking younger.

5. Sleeping Positions

Sleeping on your face can cause sleep wrinkles. Sleeping in the same position most of the night for years can permanently crease your skin. With a small pillow under the lumbar (lower) spine, it is possible to sleep on your back comfortably without causing wrinkles on your face.

6. Skin Care

Consistent skin care is important in maintaining younger looking skin. In recent years, several products appear to cause an improvement in aged skin. Although Retin-A? has received a lot of publicity and does seem to improve the appearance of skin over a period of time, it can cause skin irritation, sun sensitivity, peeling, and requires a medical prescription. Alpha hydroxy acids also appear to achieve remarkable results in giving the skin a younger look, and lacks most of the irritating side effects seen with prescription products.

7. Moles

As young children, most people have few, if any moles. Most moles appear as we grow older. We may look older than we are if we have numerous or unsightly moles, especially on the face. Moles can be easily removed by a skilled dermatologist or plastic surgeon. This can greatly improve the appearance of the skin and give it a younger, smoother look.

8. Blood Vessels

As we age, extra blood vessels appear on the skin. Three types of blood vessels are most common.
  • Telangectasias are blood vessel lines and blotches that occur on the face, neck, and upper chest. These are caused firm sun damage, flushing or blushing, some skin diseases such as adult acne (acne rosecea) and excessive use of cortisone-type skin creams. Other activities which greatly increase the blood flow to the face such as vigorous exercise, hot spicy foods and drinks, alcohol, hot tubs, etc. may aggravate this problem. It may be possible to prevent telangectasias due to flushing by using a cold damp towel on the face during vigorous exercise, during use of hot tubs or at other times when there is marked facial flushing. Sun protection with sunscreen products and a hat can also help to prevent this problem. Telangectasias are best removed with Krypton, KTP, copper vapor, continuous wave dye, or flash lamp pulsed dye lasers.
  • Cherry angiomas are small bright red, mole-like spots on the skin. These spots are easily removed with laser, electrocautery, or surgery. Getting rid of these lesions will remove one of the tell-tale signs of aging.
  • Spider and varicose veins appear on the legs with age. These are most often caused by heredity, hormones, and pregnancies. Sclerotherapy (injections) and new simple surgical techniques can easily remove most of these vessels giving the legs a younger look.
9. Brown Blotches

Brown blotches occur on the skin with age. These include freckles, liver spots (lentigines), and uneven pigmentation (melasma) which usually occurs in women because of a combination of sun exposure and estrogen type hormones either naturally or in birth control pills. Laser treatment, dermabrasion (skin sanding), chemical peels, and liquid nitrogen freezing can improve these pigmented blotches. These procedures are performed by dermatologists and plastic surgeons.

10. Other Skin Blemishes Show Your Age

Waxy scaling yellow, brown bumps (seborrheic keratoses) and fleshy tags (skin tags) occur with age and make the skin look older. Enlarged oil glands and small cysts commonly appear on the face with age. These small skin lesions are easily removed by a dermatologist using simple office surgical procedures, liquid nitrogen freezing or lasers. A clear complexion without all of these little distractions, gives a much younger look to the skin.

11. Wrinkles and Lines

Wrinkles and lines that appear gradually are caused by sun damage, gravity, and repeated folding of the skin, as well as by many other genetic and environmental factors. Protection from the sun can greatly reduce the wrinkling process. Use of alpha hydroxy acids can improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles within a matter of weeks.

Chemical peels can be performed by dermatologists and plastic surgeons. These peels are usually divided into light, medium, and deep peels. Light peel can help fine lines and wrinkles and improve the texture and smoothness of the skin. These can usually be done without missing work. Medium peels can remove fine and some medium depth wrinkles and lines. Usually a 7 to 10 day recovery period is necessary after a medium peel. Scarring, although rare, can occur from medium depth peels. Deep peels are quite effective in deeper wrinkles such as those that appear over the upper lip called lipstick lines. These peels have a higher risk of scarring and usually require two weeks for recovery. Laser resurfacing is also very effective at removing wrinkles, and if used by skilled hands, have a lower risk of scarring, and can achieve more even results.
Dry Skin Care

Dry skin, in its severest forms are known as Dermatitis, Ichthyosis, or Eczema. Both of those conditions are helped best by prescription strength products, and should be seen by a dermatologist. This website contains basic information for those with mild to moderate dry skin. Some of this information may be helpful to those with more severe problems, but those problems are not touched upon.
What Causes Dry Skin?
Dry skin is recognizable by its tight, rough feel and its dull appearance. Dry skin is apparent in its upper-most layer, the epidermis. Roughly 80% of the body's epidermal cells are made of keratinocytes, composed of soft protein keratin. The epidermal cells are born in the lowest layer of the epidermis, the basal layer. As these cells rise toward the outer (horny) layer, they undergo many changes, including the increase in the amount of keratin they produce. By the time the cells reach the top, they are no longer alive, and are formed entirely of keratin. If the cells contain too little keratin, the appearance begins to look cracked and flaky as cells slough off. Keratin needs water to keep it pliable and healthy; when there is not enough water, the keratin crumbles and the cells can't stay together. This is what happens when the skin becomes dry. In order to keep this from happening, a way must be found to keep water trapped in the skin, keeping the keratin healthy.
Moisturizers and Soaps for Dry Skin
Moisturizers are a very important part of dermatology since keeping the skin moist is one of the key factors in healthy skin. Most moisturizers available are composed of some formulation of oil and water, with added ingredients that may or may not help to combat dry skin. However, moisturizers are only capable of keeping moisture from escaping out of the skin, not putting moisture back into the skin.

The most effective moisturizing emollient available is petrolatum or Vaseline, which provides a coating over the skin through which water cannot escape. Unfortunately, because it is greasy, not many people like to use it. Ointments are usually like petrolatum, since most have an oily base. They are also very greasy and are usually used at bedtime rather than during the day. Moisturizing creams contain more oil than water and, as a result, are also very effective. These also may feel a little greasy, but less so than ointments or petrolatum. Lotions are the most popular moisturizer, but because they contain more water than oil, they are not as effective. Humectants are a class of moisturizers which do not contain oil and may be classified as oil-free. These contain glycerin, propylene glycol, urea, hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, and lactic acid. Humectants are also extremely effective, some, such as alpha hydroxy acids, actually improves the skin's ability to retain moisture.

Other ingredients that are often added to moisturizers are lanolin (which may cause an allergic reaction), vitamins, essential fatty acids, collagen, elastin, and keratin. Things such as collagen, elastin, and keratin may add a little to the moisturizer, but they also drive the price of the moisturizer up more than it is worth. Vitamins may be of benefit (please refer to the vitamin page for more info), and many moisturizing products with a fair price contains vitamins. One important tip in the use of moisturizers is to apply to damp skin. This helps trap more moisture in the skin, keeping it better lubricated.

Those with dry skin should stay away from deodorant or antibacterial soaps, since they can be drying to the skin. If the odor-fighting capabilities of these soaps are desirable, than it is recommended that they be used only on areas such as the armpits, etc...Cleansing creams and lotions are the most useful for particularly dry or sensitive skin. They leave behind a layer of oil that helps lubricate the skin much as moisturizers do, but they are only moderately effective at cleansing the skin. Mildly moisturizing soaps are probably the most useful for general use since they clean adequately without stripping the skin of it's natural oils.


Tips for Dry Skin
If you're like most people, your personal cleansing and bathing habits probably grew out of your childhood and teenage years. For most of use, that means frequent baths and showers, deodorant soaps, and a variety of facial cleansers. But if you have dry skin, those very habits and products may be one of the main reasons why your skin is in such bad shape. These habits can strip your skin of the scanty amounts of moisture and oil that it has. Here are some steps to take, which can restore moisture and suppleness to your skin:

  • Cut back on baths and showers, even facial cleansing
    Scale back showers or baths to at least every other day or less. In between, you can perform sponge baths on odor-causing parts of your body. Where you face is concerned, dry skin sufferers should wash with a cleanser only once a day, preferably in the evening. In the morning, just splash cool water or use a moisturizing toner and apply moisturizer. Because cleansers can strip away sebum and natural moisturizing factors from your skin, washing at night gives your skin time to replenish itself, before you need to face outside elements, such as wind, cold, and sunlight. Morning scrubs don't give your dry skin time to recover its defenses before you go outside.
  • Rinse off thoroughly
    Soap can leave a film on your skin that is drying. Wash off all residues of soap carefully. Some doctors recommend that you rinse your face carefully-from fifteen to twenty-five splashes-to remove all soap.
  • Approach towels with care
    Washcloths can further irritate your skin, so you should avoid using them. When drying off, pat your skin, rubbing can irritate dry skin.
  • Avoid using astringents and clarifying lotions on your face
    These products contain alcohol and can irritate dry skin.
  • Keep your house cool
    Overheated houses are one of the main reasons dry skin seems to occur more often in the winter. The less hot air that circulates, the better chance you have of keeping some humidity in the air.
  • Learn to love plants
    Plants perform much the same job as a humidifier, keeping more moisture in the air. Keep them watered and see what a difference they can make.
  • Avoid steam baths and saunas
    Saunas and steam baths can make you sweat, and sweat can leach out natural moisturizing factors in your skin, leaving your skin drier than it was before.
  • Protect your hands by wearing gloves
    Chapped and irritated dry skin on the hands is a common problem for people with dry skin. Try rubber gloves to protect them from hot water and detergents. If you are allergy-prone, wear a cotton pair underneath. You could develop contact dermatitis from the rubber in the gloves.
  • Exercise
    Exercise increases blood flow and thus the supply of oxygen and nutrients to your skin. These factors help skin look dewy and firm, undermining dry skin's brittle stiffness

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