Start by sloughing off your dry, damaged winter skin with a mild exfoliating scrub. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and uncovers the fresh, glowing skin underneath. Dermatologist Dr. Stuart Kaplan recommends using scrubs that contain date seeds, pineapple extracts or papaya enzymes two or three times a week. These all-natural botanical exfoliators provide a mild, yet effective alternative to harsh chemicals and irritants.
Don't forget your lips when exfoliating the rest of your face. Gently exfoliate in a circular motion to uncover plump, fresh skin. Then apply a creamy, moisturizing lip balm with a minimum SPF 20. Don't leave the house without your lip balm to replenish parched lips and recharge your sun protection throughout the day.
To further refine skin, remove dead skin cells and tighten pores, Kaplan recommends using a clay mask on your face once or twice a week. Look for one containing white kaolin clay, a gentle, but absorbent clay — perfect for refining pores. Don't use a mask on the same day that you exfoliate your face, as this can dry out your skin.
Essential oils, like acai, argan and passion flower, moisturize, soothe, hydrate and repair the skin, according to Kaplan. Just add a small drop or two of a natural essential oil to your favorite moisturizer and mix in the palm of your hand. Then apply to your face for an instant pick-me-up.
It's time for sunscreen. Be sure you know your facts before you step out in the sun. The ideal sunscreen provides broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection with an SPF of 30 or more. Broad-spectrum protection means the sunscreen protects against skin cancer and early aging in addition to preventing sunburn. Sunscreen that contains physical sunscreens such as titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide will provide the utmost protection, reports Kaplan. Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before you go out in the sun and be re-applied every three hours. Don't forget to don a hat and sunglasses to protect your scalp and eyes.
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