(BPT) - The chill, the dryness, the itch: As temperatures drop, winter can wreak havoc on your skin. Fortunately, you can fight winter's wrath by taking a few smart, proactive steps.
Winter skin woes are common, with 83 percent of Americans saying their skin feels differently during the winter than it does the rest of the year, according to a recent survey conducted online among 2,000 U.S. adults by Harris Poll on behalf of CeraVe. More specifically, 77 percent say their skin feels dry in winter and 41 percent even describe it as itchy.
"Winter weather can affect all skin types," says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Marchbein. "Even though people are aware that their skin is dry, they often unknowingly make mistakes that can cause their skin to feel worse. Being mindful of how you're treating your skin and adapting your skincare routine are two essential ways to help ease the skin discomforts that often come with the season."
To help fight dry and itchy skin brought on by winter, Dr. Marchbein suggests five simple skincare tips:
1. Stay warm, not hot
Everyone loves a long, hot shower in the winter. In fact, the survey found 50 percent of people take more hot showers during the winter. Unfortunately, hot water strips the skin of natural moisture that keeps it healthy, hydrated and protected. Take a short, lukewarm shower instead to avoid irritating the skin. Find that warm comfort by cozying up in a blanket afterward instead.
2. Fix the winter itch
That winter itch is most commonly caused by severely dry skin, so be sure to moisturize daily with products that contain ceramides to maintain hydration and fight dryness. Ceramides are naturally found in skin but can be regularly disrupted by factors like the environment and daily activities, leading to dry skin. Keep a tub of a ceramide-rich cream in your bathroom to slather on while your skin is still wet after showering to really seal in moisture and help restore the skin's protective barrier.
For added moisture and protection, use an ointment like CeraVe Healing Ointment, which contains ceramides and helps to heal dry, chapped skin, and immediately slip on socks, gloves and comfortable clothes to help it soak in.
3. Dress smart
When you're heading outside, be sure to bundle up! Always wear gear that protects your skin from the elements, like hats, scarves and gloves. Additionally, while winter makes us more inclined to bundle up in cozy sweaters, avoid any materials that may irritate your skin. If you feel itchy under your favorite wool sweater, wear a breathable shirt underneath or consider swapping it for a different material, like fleece or cashmere.
4. Maximize moisture
The colder winter air pulls moisture from the skin leaving it dry, itchy and lackluster, and heading indoors isn't helping. The rising thermostat in your house causes dry air that sucks hydration from your skin. Use a humidifier to add moisture back into the air in main spaces, like your bedroom. You should also be sure to adapt your skincare routine for the winter just like you would your wardrobe. Swap your light creams out for richer products that will add the extra moisturization needed during the winter and be sure to use them twice daily.
5. Drink up
However, adding moisture back into the air isn't the only way to hydrate yourself. You should also be moisturizing yourself from the inside out by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Water has a wide array of health benefits and the quality of your skin is one of them — especially during the winter months when we tend to lose moisture more often. Warm tea is another great way to get hydrated while comforting yourself during the colder months.
"Winter doesn't have to mean dry, itchy and uncomfortable skin," says Marchbein. "A few proactive steps and adjustments to your daily routine can help ease some of those winter worries so you can enjoy all the fun the season has to offer.
(BPT) - Figuring out what's best for your skin can feel like solving a difficult mystery — everyone’s condition is unique, there are countless treatment options and people will do almost anything for a clear complexion.
"When it comes to your skin, there are many elements to consider," says Dr. David Lortscher, board-certified dermatologist, CEO and founder of Curology. "Clogged pores, acne and other common issues can be a result of age, genetics, lifestyle and environmental factors. I often hear about common misconceptions that cause otherwise well-meaning people to make mistakes that trigger larger skincare problems."
To help people better understand skincare and take control of their daily regimen, Dr. Lortscher shares the top misconceptions about skincare and acne.
Misconception: Exercise and sweat can cause acne.
Fact: Sweating while exercising doesn't cause acne. The eccrine glands produce sweat and the sebaceous glands produce oil — so revving up the sweat glands doesn’t actually turn on the oil glands involved in acne breakouts. The truth is sweating and humidity can aggravate breakouts by giving the bacteria on the skin a better environment to grow.
Cleansing is key post-workout, but keep in mind vigorously cleansing your skin can also be a source of friction that aggravates acne. The best strategy is to splash comfortable-temperature water on your face and neck, then pat dry gently.
Misconception: Chocolate and greasy foods cause acne.
Fact: Many people have heard that chocolate and junk food are the worst foods for your skin, but modern science hasn’t found a direct link between acne and oily foods.
Diets are like acne treatments: highly individual. That’s not to say your eating habits can’t affect your skin. Eating simple carbs and sugar raises your blood sugar levels, causing your body to produce excess insulin, in turn stimulating oil production and leading to more inflammation and increased acne severity.
Misconception: DIY skincare and home remedies are good for your skin.
Fact: The DIY craze has extended to skincare routines, giving people ample ways to create their own remedies at home. However, it’s wise to be careful about the ingredients applied to your skin.
Some people try baking soda as a cost-effective scrub or mask. Baking soda is pH 9 and the pH of the skin is 4.5-5 or so. Therefore, scrubbing your face with a baking soda paste can be harsh and disturb your skin’s natural barrier, leading to red, raw and sensitive skin and leaving it susceptible to breakout.
Others suggest lemon juice as a home remedy for acne but it can cause significant dryness, redness and irritation. Lemon juice may have an exfoliating effect on the most superficial dead skin cells, but there are better ways to treat your acne.
If you're fed up with DIY remedies and over-the-counter products just haven’t worked for you, you have options. Try custom prescription skincare like Curology, a service that gets you expert dermatology care from the comfort of your home. Just take a few photos and a skin quiz to get a prescription formula customized to your individual needs.
Misconception: You can make your pores smaller.
Fact: Most people want smaller pores, but in reality, you can’t change the size or force them “open" or “closed."
Pore size is genetic; you can't shrink them or make pores go away. To keep large pores from worsening, treat acne breakouts, don't pick and use sun protection. Sun exposure breaks down collagen, which is the support structure surrounding the pores, so pores do appear larger as you age.
Misconception: You only need to wear sunscreen on sunny days.
Fact: It doesn't matter if it's sunny or cloudy; if you plan to spend time outdoors, wear sunscreen daily. It is estimated that damage caused by ultraviolet rays from the sun is responsible for up to 80 percent of skin aging.
SPF is a measure of a sunscreen's ability to prevent UVB from damaging the skin. Most sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher do an excellent job of protecting against UVB. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
(BPT) - According to a recent survey, nine out of 10 people with a tattoo have considered removing it at one time or another. While the reasons for removal vary, the increasing options available for tattoo removal are transforming the nature of tattoos from symbols of permanence to designs with a sell-by date. In a day and age when tattoos are more and more socially acceptable, even considered works of art, why are so many considering removal? Syneron Candela, the makers of PicoWay, a leading laser treatment that removes tattoos with less pain and fewer treatments, commissioned the survey which took a closer look at the motivations behind tattoo removal.
They want more!
The decision to remove a tattoo doesn't necessarily reflect a change of heart about having a tattoo. In fact, 83 percent of people who have removed a tattoo said they are considering getting a new one, sometimes in the very same place where they just had one removed, while only 8 percent said they would never get another tattoo. Additionally, the majority of tattoo removers were not swayed to remove their design for professional reasons, contrary to popular belief. Only 16 percent of tattoo removers attributed their decision to their professional lives and workplace environment, while an additional 5 percent of those contemplating removal saw their career goals as a deciding factor. Both tattoo removers (18 percent) and people with tattoos considering removal (29 percent) said a faded tattoo was the main reason to contemplate or complete tattoo removal procedures. So turns out, many just want a better tattoo!
It's only temporary.
Compared to previous generations, today's youth see tattoos as less permanent based on the availability and advancements seen in the removal processes, like the PicoWay laser, which shatters the ink into small particles to clear the tattoo faster than other devices. In fact, the majority of people who removed a tattoo received their first tattoo at a young age. While the average age of survey respondents got their first tattoo before they were 35, 61 percent of removers were between the ages of 18 and 24, compared to only 9 percent between the ages of 35 and 49. Women made up 62 percent of removers who got their first tattoo before age 25. With increased access to tattoo removal devices like PicoWay, people with tattoos can conveniently remove their design if they grow tired of it over time. And, nine out of 10 tattoo removers noted that they enjoyed having the option to remove their tattoo.
A pain in the butt, neck, arm, chest and back.
While tattoo removal has increased over recent years, the decision to remove a tattoo takes time. In fact, 76 percent of tattoo removers waited over a year before beginning the tattoo removal process. Although a variety of reasons contribute to a person's decision to remove a tattoo, pain and cost are two of the biggest factors that delay the tattoo removal process. The survey also found that 58 percent of people considering tattoo removal said cost was one of the main barriers they faced when considering treatment, while 45 percent of people regarded pain as their biggest hesitation. After removing a tattoo, however, seven out of eight people said their perception of the removal process was that it would be more painful than what they actually experienced.
So you've decided you're over it.
Good news, if you are interested in tattoo removal, options exist that are effective, less painful and cheaper than many believe. PicoWay removes tattoos in fewer sessions than other removal options due to its advanced technology, making it less painful and more cost-effective compared to alternative and competitive options. PicoWay's picosecond laser allows for the comprehensive removal and treatment of all colors of tattoos, including blue, green and yellow, and can safely treat all skin types.
Want to learn more? Visit www.picowaylaser.com to find a physician in your area and see if treatment is right for you.
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