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Skin care secrets from the pros

Aly Walansky is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City. She lives with her two Shorkie-Tzus, Scarlette and Max, and a display of pink polka-dot-themed home decor -- not to mention a selection of flavored vodka. Check out he...

Not-so-secret skin care secrets

It is spring, the flowers are popping, the sun is shining and your skin routine needs to change with the season! During the winter months our skin suffers from dehydration and dryness.

Woman with cucumbers on the face

No matter how many times we've heard these tips, we get busy and stressed and begin to neglect our skin. Here's what skincare experts have to say about keeping your skin healthy and beautiful.

1. Always, always make sure that you wash your face at night

"The weather really does a number on our skin," says Carmen Gramajo, co-owner of Skyline Downtown Salon in Kansas City, Missouri. The residue from free radicals in the environment causes dryness, clogs pores, encourages blemishes and black heads to form, and contributes to the aging process. Since your skin is being assaulted by these little monsters every day, it's important to wash your face well each and every night. Gramajo recommends using something mild, like a moisturizing cleanser to add that extra moisture your skin needs from the dry days of winter. Jurlique Nourishing Foaming Cleanser is a cream-based cleanser that moisturizes while it cleans. You could also try Neutrogena Cream Cleanser -- a foam cleanser that delivers nourishing and moisturizing agents as it gets rid of makeup and dirt.

2. Watch your diet

Fatty acids like Omega 3s are great for luminous, luscious skin. You can find Omega 3s in salmon, flax seed and in plain fish oil capsules. Avocados also contain fatty acids that will help your skin stay supple. On the flip side, a greasy hamburger is only going to add grease to your skin! Before you eat something, consider if you would slather it on your face. If not, it's probably not going to be healthy for your skin, either.

Then there are your drinks. It's a no brainer: The more water you drink, the more hydrated your skin will look and feel. Find out if you are getting enough water. If you simply can't gulp down those eight glasses of water a day, remember that you get water from the other foods and drinks you consume, too. You can also perk up your water by adding cucumber slices or lemon slices and rosemary to a full pitcher of water and allowing it to chill overnight. These extra ingredients will give you a refreshing, tasty drink that's all water!

3. Wear your Sun block

Sunscreen gets a rousing thumbs up from the skincare experts we interviewed. "Sunscreen is the most important anti-aging product anyone can use," agrees Cindy German-Day of the Nuance Skin Boutique in Athens, Georgia.

"Always use a sun block. SPF 30 is a good measure. I know…. you are young and think you do not need it. Believe me! Once you get into your 30s you will be wishing you listened," recommends Gramajo.

Water-based sunscreens are a great alternative to traditional thick, greasy sunblocks. Try DERMAdoctor Body Guard with SPF 30. It is a mattifying solution that absorbs oils and is great for both use under makeup and for working out in the sun. Neutrogena also has a complete line of SPF 30s available at mass retailers.

 

Check out these sunblock application basics and find out if your sunscreen is working

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4. Trick those tired eyes

If your eyes need a pick-me-up, place chamomile tea bags or cucumber slices in water in the fridge overnight and apply to puffy swollen eyes in the morning - a great trick for allergies, too.

5. Incorporate exfoliation

"The biggest mistake men and women make is not exfoliating enough," says master cosmetologist Cindy German-Day of the Nuance Skin Boutique in Athens, Georgia. As we age, our skins cells turn over slower and make our skin look dull. It also makes our lines more defined. Like a ditch, if you smooth out the sides, the ditch doesn't look as deep. "Simply using a cleanser that offer an AHA or a light scrub every day allows the skin to absorb more moisture, leaving skin smoother, softer and more hydrated."

Gramajo adds, "You can use a face cleanser that has an exfoliation agent in it, either in a glycolic (for the more mature skin) or a scrub, at least once a week in your evening routine."

6. Treat yourself and your skin will thank you

After your DNA, environmental damage causes the most aging. "I recommend getting regular facials. It's maintenance like having your teeth cleaned! But if you can't, at least take the time to cleanse your skin at night. Your skin cell turn over at a faster rate at night than during the day. A good night's sleep is just as important to your skin as to your body," German-Day says.

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