Protect Your Skin From Free Radicals

If you’re a skin care fan, you’ve probably heard the term “free radicals.” Lots of products are formulated to “fight free radicals” — but what are free radicals and why do we need to protect ourselves against them? Let’s look at this enemy of good skin and how we can arm ourselves against it.

What are free radicals?

Free radicals are tiny reactive oxygen molecules that can cause damage to our skin. According to Dr. Diane Madfes, Garnier Consulting Dermatologist, free radicals can damage our skin cells, DNA, and collagen production. We produce some internally as cells turnover, but the rest come from external threats like UV rays and pollution. Over time, the effect in our skin shows up as wrinkles, sagging, and roughness.

How can we protect ourselves against free radicals?

Antioxidants are crucial in the fight against free radicals. One way to prevent surface skin damage from free radicals is through antioxidants because they can help neutralize the molecules and prevent them from potentially causing signs of aging in your body. Our bodies produce a limited amount of antioxidants, so it is important to try and apply antioxidants on a regular basis. Incorporate antioxidants into your diet and skincare routine for youthful-looking, glowy skin.

Where do we find antioxidants?

Antioxidants sound like a complex scientific term, but you actually encounter them on a daily basis. First let’s talk chemistry. Antioxidants are molecules that can prevent the oxidation of free radicals. In your everyday life you encounter oxidation, for example when you cut an avocado and it turns brown, it has oxidized.

Antioxidants in Skincare

Many skin care products contain antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E. Incorporating these products into your daily skin routine will help your skin fight free radicals.

Antioxidants in Food

Antioxidants are also found in many different types of foods. Your body can benefit from consuming these nutrient-rich foods several times a week. Vitamin A can be found in vegetables and fruits such as carrots, pumpkin and mango. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits or vegetables such as kale and tomatoes. Vitamin E can be found in nuts, seeds and oils. Selenium is found in proteins like red meat, chicken, pork and eggs. If you want to have an antioxidant-rich diet, try to incorporate these foods into your meals with a particular emphasis on fruits and vegetables. This skin-brightening diet will help your skin achieve its natural radiance. While you can’t do much about free radicals coming into contact with your skin, antioxidants can act as a protective shield by helping to neutralize them and damage our skin and bodies.

How To Choosing the Right Skin Care for You

Selecting skin-care products can be a daunting task, what with all the choices filling pharmacy aisles. You’ll find dozens of over-the-counter products with such labels as “maximum strength,” “clinical strength,” and “original prescription strength” — plus seemingly identical products that are available only by prescription. What do all these labels mean, and how do you know which product is the best one for you? Here are some answers.

How Much Active Ingredient?

The active ingredient in an over-the-counter product is often the same as the one found in its prescription counterpart, but at a lower dosage. Over-the-counter dandruff shampoo contains a lower dosage of the active ingredient ketoconazole (1 percent), while the prescription-strength versions contain 2 percent. In hydrocortisone anti-itch cream, the maximum over-the-counter dosage is 1 percent, while prescription-strength creams contain 2.5 percent. According to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, once a product’s active ingredient reaches a certain percentage — such as 1.5 percent for hydrocortisone, or 2 percent for salicylic acid in acne treatments — it requires a prescription from a doctor.

Sometimes It’s Just a Marketing Strategy

Because the FDA does not closely regulate over-the-counter skin-care products, a company can label a product “maximum strength” or “clinical strength” for any reason it sees fit — and the label is no guarantee that the product will actually be any stronger than others on the market. The best way to find out whether you are really getting the “maximum” strength of an ingredient is to check the ingredients label, says Robyn Gmyrek, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. “Compare the label with other products on the shelf,” says Dr. Gmyrek, and check the percentage of the active ingredient in each product.

Although an increase in the active ingredient in a product of 1 percent may not seem as though it would significantly affect the strength, it can, says dermatologist Doris Day, MD, director of Day Cosmetic, Laser and Comprehensive Dermatology in New York City and a professor at NYU Medical School. For this reason, it’s best to test a new skin-care product by applying a dime-sized amount on your forearm, to see if it causes a reaction.

Prescription Products Must Be Approved by the FDA

For the FDA to approve a product’s switch from over-the-counter to prescription-strength status, regulations require a company to show that even a slight increase in the amount of active ingredient (for example, 1 percent) “changes the structure or function of the skin.” All prescription products are reviewed by the FDA and have gone through numerous clinical trials, says Debra Jaliman, MD, a New York City dermatologist. The FDA also decides what dosage level constitutes a prescription. Some OTC products may be labeled “original prescription strength,” which means a prescription from a doctor was once required, but the product is now available without one.

Finding the Right Product for You

How do you know which product to try? Stronger dosages can have harsher effects on your skin, so it’s generally safer to start with a lower dosage. Try the basic OTC product for a minimum of two weeks to gauge the results, then move on to a maximum- or clinical-strength product, if necessary, or request a prescription, says Dr. Day. For acne, you should expect to wait a little longer — from four to six weeks — to see results. And if any product irritates your skin or makes symptoms worse, see your doctor immediately.

Know More About Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Skin care fads come and go, but alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) have been popular for some time.

AHAs are a collection of compounds made from familiar food products. Among the most widely known are glycolic acid (from sugar cane), lactic acid (sour milk), malic acid (apples), citric acid (citrus fruits), and tartaric acid (wine grapes).

The original seekers of younger-looking skin used these natural compounds many centuries ago, going back as far as the ancient Egyptians. In the United States, their popularity has skyrocketed in recent years. First, dermatologists used them for in-office facial peels, then they found their way into many skin care products after their FDA approval for over-the-counter use in 1992. Today you can find AHAs in hundreds of items, ranging from face and body creams to sunscreen, acne products, shampoos, cuticle softeners, and lightening agents.

“Alpha hydroxy acids are great exfoliators and increase blood flow to the skin, so they can help to minimize fine lines and wrinkles,” says Kenneth Beer, MD, a clinical instructor in dermatology at Duke University in Durham, N.C., who is in private practice in Palm Beach, Fla.

Other potential skin care benefits include lightening of dark spots and a reduction in the appearance of blackheads and acne.

AHA Skin Care Products: Making the Right Choices

“There is no ‘best’ concentration, nor ‘best’ preparation,” says Robin Ashinoff, MD, director of cosmetic dermatology at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, N.J. It all depends on your skin type and the amount of improvement desired.

The main difference among alpha hydroxy acid skin care products is their concentration and pH. At over-the-counter levels, alpha hydroxy acids are generally safe for many people, though those with sensitive skin, rosacea, or seborrheic dermatitis may be more likely to get a rash and need to halt treatment or try a different brand. Typically, over-the-counter skin care products, such as moisturizers or lotions, contain less than 5-percent glycolic acid; medical-grade “cosmeceuticals” (products that are a cross between cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, or drug-strength meds) have 8 to 14 percent. These products are designed for daily use, but it can take months to show improvement.

“Quicker, better results can be obtained with 20- to 30-percent glycolic acid peels, but results are temporary and need to be repeated frequently,” says Dale Isaacson, MD, an associate clinical professor at George Washington University Medical Center who is in private practice in Washington, D.C. These peels must be done by trained cosmetologists.

The best and longest-lasting results come from peels done at 50- to 70-percent concentrations, but they have the most risk of side effects and a doctor must apply them.

AHA Skin Care Products in a Nutshell

The pros:

  • Subtle improvement gives skin a fresher look.
  • With lighter peels, there’s fine-line reduction without any down time.
  • AHAs often lighten age spots and remove blackheads as part of the results.
  • Drugstore brands are inexpensive to try on your own.

The cons:

  • At-home products at low concentrations may take months to show results.
  • The most effective peels must be done in a doctor’s office and can be expensive.
  • Deep peels have a longer healing time; skin will look sunburned for a couple of days and then peel.
  • New skin is more sensitive to sun damage; you’ll need to be vigilant about sunscreen.

The next time you’re browsing for skin care products, look for those containing one of the alpha hydroxy acids. And be sure to buy extra sunscreen — not just because AHAs expose new skin to sun damage, but because a good sunscreen is also one of the best ways to prevent any further aging of your skin.

Learn More About The Types of Face Mask

Whether you’re looking for a boost of moisture or need a little brightening assistance, a face mask is a relaxing and fun way to amp up your skin care routine. With the wide variety of masks on the market, we wouldn’t blame you if you feel the urge to stock up on everything from sheet masks to clay masks to masks formulated with your favorite antioxidant. But before you fill up your beauty cabinet with every product in the beauty aisle, let’s take a look at some of the different masks that exist and how each can help your skin look its best.

Kaolin Clay Mask

Masks formulated with kaolin, or cosmetic clay, can help to minimize the appearance of pores and mattify oily skin. Mask that formulated with charcoal extracts to draw out impurities from the skin like a magnet. Use it one to two times a week as a five-minute mask, or let the purifying clay cleanse your pore daily as an everyday cleanser.

Sheet Mask

Masks made from paper sheets help your skin soak up a moisturizing formula by preventing excess evaporation. Dr. Diane Madfes, Garnier Consulting Dermatologist, confirms that sheet masks are appropriate for all skin types. She suggests looking for a mask formulated with hyaluronic acid or glycerin to help nourish your skin.

Eye Mask

Some masks are targeted specifically at the delicate eye area. Similar to a sheet mask, an eye mask is often made from a fibrous sheet soaked in a serum-like formula that helps it adhere to your skin. Eye masks typically target concerns specific to the eye area, such as fine lines and dull skin.

Antioxidant Mask

Sheet masks are often formulated with antioxidants and can help target specific skin concerns. Look for a mask formulated with antioxidants such as pomegranate or green tea if you’re looking to help boost the skin’s appearance of brightness and youthfulness. And don’t stop at choosing a targeted mask — once you’ve removed your mask, following up with a moisturizer or sleeping cream can reinforce its benefits.

Mattifying Mask

For oily skin types, a mattifying mask can help lift impurities, balance an uneven complexion, and soothe the skin. Look for masks formulated with ingredients that help mattify skin, such as green tea.

Avoid these Wrong Steps to Applying Moisturizer

Moisturizing is an essential part of skin care routine and should be something you’re doing every day. However even if you’re a fan of moisturizing and do it daily (twice!) you may not be getting all the benefits you could be.

Why?

Because you might be doing it wrong. There are many things to consider when it comes to moisturizing: what product to use, when to use it, how to apply it, and how much to use. If you feel confused by what you thought was the easiest part of your skin care routine, don’t worry, we’ve got an easy guide to explain how to optimize the use of a moisturizer in your skin care routine.

Mistake #1: You’re using the wrong moisturizer

This one is a biggie – make sure you are using a moisturizer that is designed for your skin type. For oily and combination skin, don’t skip using moisturizer because you think it will make your skin greasy. Look for oil-free, non-comedogenic products. Sensitive skin should try a product free of parabens and fragrance to avoid breakouts. Dry skin types should look for products that are more nourishing and stave off flakiness and tightness.

Mistake #2: You’re Waiting Too Long to Apply Moisturizer

Do you rinse or cleanse your face in the morning, have a coffee, then come back to moisturize? If so, that’s a big no no. It’s important to apply moisturizer ASAP after cleansing your face – we’re talking about within a minute to get optimal results. Once you dry off your skin after cleansing, it starts to dehydrate if there’s no protective layer of moisturizer to lock hydration in place. Keep this period of time as short as possible to avoid the feeling of tightness, dry patches and breakouts.

Mistake #3: You’re Not Getting SPF Where Your Need it

Most people apply the majority of their SPF to their face and then smooth any leftovers over their neck, décolletage,and ears. These areas shouldn’t be an afterthought; you should apply an equal amount of at least the size of a quarter to each area to avoid sun damage. As you get older, the skin on your neck will start to sag and one way to avoid this is by always protecting the area with a broad spectrum SPF. You should use at least an SPF 15 if not higher on all areas.

Routine Treat to Reduce The Appearance of Wrinkles

We have a big secret to share with you, are you ready for this? Here it goes; the best way to fight wrinkles is to try to avoid as best you can what causes wrinkles such as UV rays and smoking. While it’s inevitable that your skin will lose elasticity and moisture over time, by continuously repeating certain steps and avoiding harmful habits you will ensure that your skin is aging as slowly as possible.

Find out how to take care of your skin for a future of smooth, glowing skin.

Protect Your Skin From The Sun

Sun exposure is the number one cause of wrinkles so if there is anything you should be doing to prevent them it’s to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. Ideally you should avoid exposing your skin to the sun when it’s directly above us and at its peak in terms of the rays’ strength. If that’s not always possible, since we all eventually leave the house, always make sure to wear a broad spectrum SPF. At the minimum, wear SPF 15, but if you are fair opt for SPF 30 or higher. If you’re spending a prolonged amount of time in the sun, make sure to re-apply every 30 minutes; if you go for a swim, make sure to re-apply as soon as your skin dries, as much of your sunscreen will dissolve in the water (even if it says water resistant).

Wear SPF even if it’s cloudy outside. UV rays are present even if the sun isn’t shining, so don’t be fooled!

Watch What You Eat

Diet is a factor in how your skin ages, so you it’s important to eat the right stuff. A diet rich in antioxidants, which protect you from free radicals, molecules that damage your skin’s cells and have been associated with accelerating the appearance of aging, are one way to help stave off the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Keep your sugar and fat intake low and try to eat leafy greens, fruits such berries, mangoes, oranges and pineapple, as well as fish which is full of Omega-3 fats.

Make Hydration a Priority

We may take water for granted but without it, your skin can’t function properly. Without moisture your skin looks dry and can become flaky. Every day you should drink plenty of water, so your skin can have optimum hydration, which will help you in the fight against wrinkles.

Exercise Away Potential Fine Lines

You’re well aware that exercise is good for your body but research shows that it’s incredible for your skin as well. Just make sure to clean your face after working out to prevent breakouts.

Invest in Your Sleep

While you might not be doing a lot when you’re asleep at night, your skin is going into overdrive. Try to get at least 7-8 hours a night to optimize skin renewal and wake up with glowing skin.

Start Adding Retinol  or Acids to Your Skin Care Routine

As you get older your skin cell turnover decreases, which can cause duller looking skin and potentially wrinkles. Retinol, a Vitamin A derivative, can chemically exfoliate your skin and help new skin resurface. Acids that can help new skin resurface are glycolic acid and alpha hydroxyl acids. Over time this can reduce the appearance of wrinkles

Follow these steps and you should be able to stave off aging for as long as possible. Enjoy a youthful look beyond your actual age!

Tips to Protect Your Skin

Your skin plays a vital role in protecting your body, so it’s important to take steps to promote skin health. Caring for your skin doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming, and can quickly become second nature, like brushing your teeth.

You can keep your skin looking and feeling great by guarding against a slew of skin woes, from chapped skin to premature aging to skin cancer. “We’re talking about things that happen over decades,” says dermatologist Samantha Conrad, MD, in practice at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

That’s why it is important to develop healthy skin habits —and it’s never too late to start. Here are five skin protection tips you can incorporate into your routine right away.

Limit Sun Exposure

You’ve heard the message a zillion times, but there’s good reason — ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun cause many types of skin damage, including:

  • Skin cancer
  • Wrinkles
  • Freckles
  • Age spots
  • Discolorations
  • Benign growths

Using skin care products that offer ultraviolet protection is one of the best ways to help keep your skin looking fresh and youthful. Try these tips to help protect your skin from the sun:

  • Use sunscreen every day and reapply regularly whenever you’re outdoors for extended periods. “I encourage people to use sunblock that is more mineral- or physical-based,” says Dr. Conrad. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
  • Cover up. “It’s really about protection — that means wearing hats and protective sun clothing,” says Conrad. Long sleeves and pants or long skirts give you more coverage.
  • Stay indoors when the sun is at its most intense, usually between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., according to the AAD.
  • Combine sun protection strategies. A study published in January 2017 in JAMA Dermatology found that beachgoers using an umbrella alone for sun protection were more likely to get sunburn than those using sunscreen alone — but neither strategy completely prevented sunburn. The researchers concluded that combining multiple strategies offers the most protection from the sun’s harmful rays.

Keep in mind that tanning beds are just as harmful as direct sunlight, as they also emit ultraviolet rays, according to the AAD.

Stay Hydrated

“Drinking enough water/fluids is important for your general health,” says Karyn Grossman, MD, a dermatologist in private practice with Grossman Dermatology in Santa Monica, California, and spokesperson for the AAD. She recommends starting the day with a cup of green tea for hydration, caffeine, and antioxidants.

In addition to drinking enough fluids, keeping your skin moist is essential to skin protection.

“Dry skin can have small gaps in the skin barrier that allow entry of bacteria and fungus,” says dermatologist Michael Lin, MD, medical director of the Advanced Dermatology and Skin Cancer Institute in Beverly Hills, California.

Skin that is properly hydrated retains pliability and is less likely to become chapped, scaly, or flaky. Try these tips to keep your skin hydrated:

  • Use the right moisturizing cream or lotion for your skin. “Look for moisturizers with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, or coconut oil,” says Dr. Grossman. “Always apply on damp skin. This keeps the moisture in the skin.”
  • Take warm (not hot) showers or baths and limit them to between five and 10 minutes. It seems counterintuitive, but exposure to water actually dries out your skin, Grossman explains. If dry skin persists, consider cutting back on the number of baths you take.
  • Invest in a humidifier. “If your skin tends to be on the dry side, using a humidifier in your bedroom at night and in your work space during the day can help keep the air hydrated, which can prevent the air from zapping moisture from your skin,” says Grossman.

Take Health Precautions

Cold sores are caused by a viral infection of the skin bordering the lips, while bacteria can contribute to acne and other skin conditions. Paying close attention to what touches your skin can help lower your chances of exposure to germs. Start with these tips:

  • Don’t share any personal items, such as lip balms or toothbrushes, with others.
  • Don’t share drinks with other people.
  • Avoid touching your face with your fingers, and avoid facial contact with objects that have been used by other people, such as telephone receivers.
  • Don’t pick at cysts or splinters. Instead, ask your doctor to help you with these skin conditions, says Grossman.

Being prompt with first aid is also important, she says. If you get a bug bite or a scratch, “get on it right away.” Grossman recommends cleaning the site, applying antibiotic ointment if there is a break in the skin, using a clean bandage, and cleaning the site twice daily as it heals.

Use Gentle Skin Care Products

Washing your face is important to remove dirt, oils, germs, and dead cells from your skin. However, scrubbing your face can cause irritation and lead to chapped skin that can become vulnerable. “I find that people often over-rub, over-scrub, and over-peel,” says Grossman, who recommends avoiding abrasive exfoliation skin care products.

The AAD recommends:

  • Washing your face twice daily with warm water and a mild cleanser.
  • Gently massaging your face with your fingers, using a circular motion.
  • Rinsing thoroughly after washing to remove all soap and debris.
  • Patting — not rubbing — your skin dry, then applying moisturizer.

Know Your Skin

“Check your skin regularly for changing moles and other signs of possible skin cancer,” says Grossman.  Talk to your dermatologist about what kinds of changes should concern you.

Certain skin conditions merit a visit to the dermatologist, including frequent acne, inflamed or irritated dry skin, and skin rashes and irritations that don’t go away, as these could be signs of one of the many types of dermatitis, or skin inflammation.

However, should you ever notice any other skin problems, it’s important to get medical attention to resolve them quickly and avoid putting your skin at risk.

Treat Winter Dry Skin

A scratchy wool sweater may make your skin itchy and sensitive during the cold months, but winter weather itself poses a special threat to your skin. There’s little humidity in the air and revving up the heat indoors makes it even worse. The result: Dry skin in need of moisture, says Francesca Fusco, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and a spokeswoman for the Skin Cancer Foundation.

When you have dry, sensitive skin, it itches, appears dull, and may be flaky. Darker skin tones may look ashy, Dr. Fusco says. Dry skin can become cracked and even split. In an extreme case, dry skin can look thickened and leathery, she says.

Before you decide to relocate to a warmer, more humid climate, take these steps to sea in the moisture and repair winter skin.

Your Moisturizer: Go From Thin to Thick

While you might only need a thin lotion on your body during summer months, Fusco suggests switching to a thicker skin moisturizer, such as an ointment or cream, in the winter. Apply it when your skin is still damp from a shower.

An ointment such as petroleum jelly is the thickest skin moisturizer you can buy and will work well for treating dry skin, Fusco says. Although it can be greasy, if you put it on when your skin is damp, the greasiness will go away. “But don’t put it on the bottom of your feet because you could slip and fall,” Fusco cautions.

Creams are also thicker than lotion and are great for winter skin. If your skin is very, very dry, you may want to try one that contains alpha hydroxy acid, or AHA, to exfoliate dead skin, Fusco says.

Winter Complexion Protection

Be sure to use a separate moisturizer specifically designed for your face, Fusco says. The skin on your face is thinner and more sensitive, so always choose a moisturizer that’s labeled “non-comedogenic” because it won’t clog your pores or lead to pimples. If you have sensitive skin, it’s a good idea to look for a hypoallergenic moisturizer, adds Fusco.

Go with a lighter moisturizer such as a lotion if you have oily skin and a heavier formula if you have dry skin. If you have a combination of oily and dry skin on your face, use a lighter lotion overall and dab the areas of dry skin with the thicker cream, Fusco says.

The sun’s damaging rays can still reach your skin in the winter. Fusco recommends using a face moisturizer with an SPF, or sun protection factor. In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology suggests using a sunscreen all year round, with an SPF of 30 or higher that protects against ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays.

Switch Up Your Shower Strategy

It may be hard to resist a long soak in a hot bath when it’s cold outside, but it doesn’t do your skin any favors. “Sitting in hot baths has a drying effect on the skin,” Fusco says. A better idea: Take a short, warm shower.

Keep showers under 10 minutes and apply your skin moisturizer within three minutes of stepping out. Also, avoid soaps with deodorants, fragrance, or alcohol because they can strip your skin of its natural oils.

Other Ways to Add Moisture

Using a humidifier in your home will help put moisture back into the air and keep your skin from getting dry, Fusco says. No humidifier? Fill a bowl with water and put it near the source of your heat, suggests Fusco.

Getting good-for-you fats into your diet from unsaturated sources like oils and nuts will also help skin look healthy and stay supple during the winter, Fusco says. Drinking plenty of water helps to moisturize your skin from the inside out.

Winter doesn’t have to mean itchy, flaky dry skin. Choosing the right skin moisturizer and taking some simple steps can help you look your best all season long.

Learn More About The Dry Skin Diet

“The most important part of the skin barrier is lipids, including phospholipids, free fatty acids, cholesterol, and ceramides,” says Amy Newburger, MD, an attending physician in the Dermatology Department at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Medical Center. “Skin without enough fat in it has a protein predominance and is kind of like a mess made just of twigs with no glue between them.” Water easily escapes through a barrier without lipids, allowing skin to become dehydrated.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids are necessary for the production of intercellular lipids — the “glue” between the “twigs” in the stratum corneum, or surface of the skin. They also have an anti-inflammatory effect on irritated skin. Two types of fatty acids that are “essential” — that is, they must be obtained through the diet — are omega-3s, and omega-6s.

Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish like salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines, as well as flaxseed oil, some types of eggs, and grass-fed beef. Evening primrose oil and borage seed oil, which are high in omega-6s, help hydrate the skin and prevent water from evaporating, says Leslie Baumann, director of the University of Miami Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute. “If you don’t like fish or are pregnant and can’t eat it, omega-3 supplements are a good option.” Most Americans get enough omega-6s through their diet because they’re contained in corn and safflower oils.

While anecdotal success of fatty acids for alleviating dry skin has not been conclusively bolstered by research, several studies have shown significant positive effects: In a 2006 study of 50 patients with atopic dermatitis, 96 percent of those given capsules of evening primrose oil for five months showed notable reduction in intensity, itching, and dryness of the skin. In another study, of 29 elderly patients, borage seed oil supplements taken in pill form helped reduce water loss from the skin by 10.8 percent. And in a study of 118 infants with high risk of developing atopic dermatitis, those who were given borage seed oil and went on to develop the condition experienced a lower severity of the disorder than those in a placebo group. On the other hand, a 2006 meta-analysis of 22 studies that tested the effects of essential fatty acid supplementation found that no significant benefit was conferred on people with atopic dematitis by plant and fish oil supplements. More studies must be conducted before conclusions can be reached.

Vitamins and Minerals for Dry Skin

“Vitamin C is necessary for the function of the enzyme that causes collagen to form,” says Dr. Newburger, “and collagen acts as a sponge for moisture.”

Newburger adds that copper and zinc are also necessary. Together, vitamin C, zinc, and copper keep collagen denser, which in turn allows for plump, hydrated skin. “Any good multivitamin with trace minerals in it contains zinc and copper,” says Newburger. Zinc has also been found to have anti-inflammatory effects, which is vital for maintaining smooth skin.

Caffeine, Alcohol, and Dry Skin

While consuming caffeine is unlikely to dehydrate you, it does make the blood vessels constrict, which is why it’s used in eye creams (to reduce puffiness). “Long term, this means a reduced amount of blood flow and nutrients though the tissues,” warns Newburger. “And if you don’t have healthy circulation, you won’t have age-appropriate cell turnover.”

In the case of alcohol, Michele Murphy, a registered dietitian at NewYork Presbyterian–Weill Cornell Medical Center, explains that although it’s a diuretic, you’d need to be severely dehydrated to experience any noticeable changes. “The average person having a glass of wine with dinner every night and maintaining adequate fluid intake is unlikely to see any real difference,” she says. Contrary to popular belief, drinking large amounts of water does not affect skin. “The water we drink that’s processed internally isn’t going to impact the external look or feel of the skin,” Murphy says. Instead, it’s the skin’s outer layer that is essential for keeping moisture in.

Don’t Overdo It

If you’re already eating a balanced diet with sufficient fats, adding more fats or taking supplements is not necessarily a quick fix for dry skin. “If you’re deficient in fat or certain vitamins, it does have the potential to affect the look or feel of your skin,” says Murphy. “But supplementing beyond what the body needs has not been shown to improve skin.”

How to Getting The Right Eye Shadow

When it comes to choosing which eye shadow to buy, I am huge advocate of one simple truth: get the shade that makes you feel amazing. But to feel amazing, you need to feel confident. And when it comes to makeup, nothing gives you more confidence than a good understanding of color theory and how it applies to your natural eye color, hair color, and skin tone.

So, let’s give you some color theory basics so you can purchase with power. Below are some factors to consider when buying an eye shadow — whether you want an everyday look or instant drama.

Skin Tone

Today, skin tones tend to be categorized into two columns, warm and cool. It doesn’t help that some makeup brands will categorize pink tones as warm and yellow tones as cool while others will do just the opposite, because the color wheel is divided down the center and yellow can be considered cool or warm.

But if you are aware of your undertone, you can navigate through all this product with decisiveness. To find out your undertone, check your veins. Our veins are naturally blue, so a yellow skin tone will have veins that appear more green. A pink skin tone’s veins will appear more violet.

If you have a warm skin tone, any warm eye shadow color will look more natural; if you are cool toned, any cool color will look more natural. Selecting shades further to the opposite sides of the color wheel will give you more drama.

Warm skin tones should try colors like bronze, vanilla, ivory, taupe, light and dark brown, pink, and coral. If you have a cool skin tone, play with pale blue, lilac, teal, gray and turquoise.

Eye Color
Using your own eye color to choose your shadow palette is a perfect way to put the focus exactly where you want it. Using an eye shadow shade that is complimentary to your eye color (one that is opposite on the color wheel) is an easy way to draw attention and make the eye pop or look more prominent. Choosing a shadow that lies close to your eye color (we call this analogous) will give a soft and easy effect that looks beautiful. Here is a simple breakdown.

Blue eyes – We know that orange is opposite blue, so anything in that color family or on either side of orange will create a lovely, dramatic effect. Try shades and tints of orange, red and yellow to get a ‘wow.’ Think copper, gold, peach, coral, pinks, and warm browns. For a more subtle look, something that is next to blue on the color wheel like violets, purples, or greens can create an unexpectedly natural look. Lilac, lavender, deep purple, plum, khaki, and olive are all excellent choices.

Green eyes – Eye shadow with red undertones like burgundy, maroon, and pink, or close colors like violet, lavender, peach, plum, and red are ideal complements to the green of the eyes. Warm metallics like red-based copper and bronze tend to bring out not only the green, but often accentuate the beautiful grey and brown flecks that green-eyed people tend to have.

Brown Hazel eyes – Brown is not boring. In fact, brown-eyed people are able to experiment with the widest variety of colors. Brown-eyed makeup wearers are lucky to have their pick of the lot — from warm, rich amber, copper, and gold tones to cool, slate-grey, charcoal, and lavender hues.

Remember that the three primary shades (red, yellow and blue) combine to make brown, so essentially the world is your oyster. Decide what effect you want to achieve and be creative.

Hair Color

Black/ Brown – Brunettes have more fun when it comes to choosing makeup as many eye shadow colors suit them well. Deep, dark colors like black, browns, and purples are perfect. And for a more natural look, neutrals like gold, beige, cream as well as lighter, softer shades of green, red and yellow all work well with dark hair.

Blonde – Blondes traditionally tend to have a fairer skin tone, meaning a softer palette will be more flattering. Color tints work well for fair skin, so try tints of your favorite reds (pink), oranges (peach) and violets (lilac) for a look that is sure to work.

Red – For a long time, red heads were limited in their options because of fashion norms, but these days, anything goes. Neutral shades will give a more natural look, but strong and bold greens are gorgeous for drama. Let your personality be your guide here and make your own rules.

Bold Color – In this “anything goes” age for hair color, people are wearing bright shades and mermaid-inspired looks. An easy tip to choosing eye shadow: complementary shades are for drama and similar colors are for a softer look.

Still feel a little nervous? If you are a beginner, you may want to buy a color wheel from your favorite art supply store — a great way to feel more secure with color theory.

Finally, one overall rule: matching your eye shadow with the color of your eyes will look dull and diminish the impact of both colors. This does not mean that blue-eyed people should not try blue shadow, or that brown-eyed individuals shouldn’t brush on a rust color. It just requires blending in complimentary colors to make the appearance more captivating.

Matching your shadow choice to your outfit can look a little outdated as well, but, then again, there are no strict rules to follow with today’s makeup ethos of individuality. Don’t be afraid to experiment! The nice thing about makeup is you can just wash it right off.