How to regain that youthful glow

  • By Sara Bauknecht Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • Friday, May 2, 2014 8:01am
  • Life

As we’re emerging from hibernation here are some remedies to follow to rejuvenate cold-weather-weary skin.

Place a steam or mist humidifier in the bedroom to put moisture back into the air, suggests Dr. Suzan Obagi, director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Health Center.

Cutting back on lengthy hot showers is another option to keep skin from getting dried out.

Removing the dead layer of dry, excess skin also is essential to enabling the face and body to reclaim a youthful glow.

People — especially those with sensitive skin — should avoid granular body scrubs and washes, which can create small tears in skin and lead to irritation and blotchiness.

Instead, opt for products with nonbead exfoliants or ones that have ingredients like papain, an enzyme from papaya and pineapple that naturally dissolves old skin cells.

Gentle acids in lower strengths are other exfoliating options.

Dr. Dominic Brandy, founding medical director of The Skin Center Medical Spa &Cosmetic Surgery Center, recommends products containing low concentrations of alpha hydroxy acid, beta hydroxy acid (salicylic acid) or glycolic acid applied with a cotton pad.

To help boost cell turnover, gradually incorporate an over-the-counter retinol cream (or the more potent, prescription-required Retin-A) to your skincare routine.

And don’t forget old shower standbys such as a luffa sponge or glove or even a washcloth. They, too, can target dry patches.

Daily moisturizing is a must. It’s best to apply lotions and moisturizers immediately following a shower while the skin still is damp.

Drinking “lots and lots of water” is one way to hydrate the skin from the inside out, Obagi says.

Start the day with a green juice — kale, spinach, cucumber, half a lemon and apple — but stay away from juices that have been pasteurized and go for freshly squeezed.

Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals that damage skin, so eating a high-antioxidant diet (meaning lots of fruits and vegetables or even a multivitamin) is another way to make skin more resistant to environmental elements and signs of aging.

Products to try

  • Pedi-in-a-Box ($20.95; simplesugars.myshopify.com) by Sharpsburg-based Simple Sugars: peppermint foot scrub and pumice stone.
  • Emjoi Micro-Pedi battery-operated callus remover ($30; www.qvc.com).
  • Josie Maran’s pure organic Argan oil ($48 for 1.7 fluid ounces; www.josiemarancosmetics.com) helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and adds moisture. Put a few drops on your fingers and run it through your hair for extra softness and shine. It’s suitable for people with sensitive skin.
  • Microdelivery exfoliating body wash by philosophy ($26 for 16 fluid ounces; www.philosophy.com) exfoliates soothes with natural oils and botanicals. Not intended for use on the face.
  • Clarisonic cleansing brush (available in an assortment of colors and sizes at www.clarisonic.com).
  • Organic roasted dandelion root tea (at Whole Foods and most major grocery stores). Dandelion has been claimed to naturally detox the body, cleanse the liver and aid in digestion.
  • Personal microdermabrasion units by Olay, PMD and Riivia tend to run $100 to $300. The DermaWand (three monthly payments of $39.95, plus shipping and handling; www.dermawand.com) employs radio frequency technology to warm tissue and stimulate skin.

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