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Skin care dos and don'ts

A celebrity gossip junky, Caroline Goddard has been writing entertainment news for longer than the world has known Kim Kardashian's name. Follow her on Twitter at @GoddardCaroline.

Loving your skin

The first thing we notice about a beautiful woman is her skin -- smooth, soft, clear and glowing. Your skin can be gorgeous whether you are 20 or 60 by following a simple skincare regimen. Here's what to do -- and what to avoid.

Loving your skin


Wear makeup with the most natural ingredients possible. Mineral makeup provides flawless coverage while allowing your skin to breathe. Fewer ingredients often means the makeup's better for your skin.


Smoke. Smoking prematurely ages your skin at a rate second only to sun damage. Nicotine constricts blood vessels, blocking the flow of oxygen to your skin.


Exfoliate regularly. Once a week works for most. If you have oily or combination skin, use a chemical exfoliator like glycolic or salicylic acid. Those with normal or sensitive skin will reap the greatest benefit with a microdermabrasion formula exfoliator -- the kind with little beads that scrub your face.


Forget to wear sunscreen! Make your moisturizer do double duty and wear one with an SPF of at least 30, even in the winter, and even if you are only outdoors a few minutes a day.


Use eye cream every day! The skin around your eyes is very thin and fragile. Protect it with an SPF 30 eye cream.


Forget your neck, chest and hands. These areas age the fastest and are all but ignored in our skincare routines. Sunscreen, exfoliation and moisturization are just as important in these areas as they are on your face. Look for anti-aging ingredients like vitamin A, kinetin, copper and vitamin C.


Eat and drink healthful foods. Great skin starts on the inside. Drink lots of water to keep hydrated, and ingest lots of antioxidants like those found in green tea and foods high in vitamins A, E, C and beta carotene. Antioxidants fight free radicals, which can cause cell damage. (Bonus: Antioxidants also help protect against cancers and heart disease!)


Overdry your skin. Many women make the mistake of staging a full-scale drying assault on their entire faces when confronted with a pimple. This only makes the problem worse. When skin is stripped of all its natural oils, it produces even more sebum to make up for it. This substance is what clogs pores, causing pimples. A gentle cleanser and regular exfoliation is kind to your skin, yet effective enough for most women -- but do see your dermatologist if you feel you have an acne problem.


Follow a regimen regularly. Caring for your skin should be a twice-daily occurrence. Don't be slapdash about your regimen or follow it only sporadically and expect to see any lasting results.


Forget that your skin is the largest organ in your body. Treat it well!

Check out more skin care tips and tricks

10 Steps to firmer, smoother skin

Skin care secrets from the pros

Reboot your skin care routine

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