6 Secrets to Gorgeous Skin (cont.)

Overuse of products is the biggest mistake people make in their skincare regimens, says Jeanie Leddon, MD, PhD, a dermatologist in Boulder, Colo.

"Some patients come in with a grocery bag full of products and wonder why their skin doesn't look or feel great," Leddon says.

Bombarding your skin with a host of different ingredients can be irritating, Leddon says. What's more, used in combination, some ingredients will cancel out each other's benefits.

For example, the acid in salicylic or glycolic acid breaks down ingredients like retinol, hydroquinone, or Vitamin C. "More," says Leddon, "is not necessarily better."

Friedman agrees: "The products necessary for beautiful skin aren't glamorous, and include a simple cleanser, sunscreen, moisturizer, and a retinoid or retinol."

What's more, the simpler your skincare regimen, the more likely you are to stick with it.

No. 5: Give Products Time to Work

Just as using a half dozen or more products at any one time can overload your skin with too many ingredients, so can changing the products you're using every couple of weeks.

Sure, you might want to adjust your beauty regimen seasonally; swapping, say, the oil-free moisturizer you use in the summer for one that's more emollient during the winter, when frigid temperatures and indoor heating can rob your skin of moisture.

And if your skin is reacting with swelling, redness, or burning to a new product you've tried, stop using it immediately.

But in general, Leddon says, finish the entire tube or bottle of a skincare potion before you write it off as ineffective.

No. 6: A Balanced Life Leads to Your Best Skin

Campbell says, "I don't have a secret" when it comes to her traffic-stopping gorgeous skin.

But then she reveals a host of healthy daily habits: She's a vegan who starts her day with a mango, blueberry, and spinach smoothie, shuns processed foods and buys organic fruits and vegetables at her local farmers market; teaches yoga part-time; practices a vigorous form of yoga daily, and gets a solid seven or more hours of sleep a night.

All these elements of a healthy lifestyle undoubtedly help keep Campbell's skin looking its best.

Regular sleep, Friedman says, optimizes the natural secretion of human growth hormone to promote cell turnover and collagen production while exercise increases circulation and the flow of nutrients to your skin.

Activities like yoga and meditation help keep stress in check, which in turn reduces the release of stress hormones that worsen conditions like acne, eczema, and rosacea.

Meditating regularly may even make treatment more effective. In one study, people with psoriasis, a condition that causes itchy, scaly skin, listened to meditation tapes while they received ultraviolet light treatments. The results: They healed four times as fast as nonmeditators.

The key to gorgeous skin turns out to be a mix of science, common sense, overall good health habits, and a simple stick-to-it skincare regimen. The spinach smoothie is strictly optional.

SOURCES:

Kelly Campbell, public relations consultant and yoga teacher, Los Angeles.

Paula Bourelly, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology, Georgetown University.

Guyuron, B. Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, April 2009; vol 123: pp 1321-31.

Jeanie Leddon, MD, PhD, dermatologist, Boulder, Colo.

Baumann, L. Cutis, July 2005; vol 76; pp 69-73.

Reviewed on October 20, 2010

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Last Editorial Review: 10/20/2010 2:59:34 PM