Why is it that the advice our mothers gave us about caring for our skin is what tends to stick in our minds as the only beauty advice we need to know about? “Wear sun protection. Don’t pick your face. Drink more water.”
These are all good pieces of advice, but sometimes it’s the lesser-known, who-would-have-thought skin care tips that can be the real game changers. Here are three healthy skin tricks you might not have heard of–until now.
Wash Your Face Last
When you are in the shower, the last order of business should be to wash your face. Beverly Hills, CA, dermatologist Monika Kiripolsky, MD, says that you should always shampoo and conditioner your hair before reaching for your face wash. “Shampoos and conditioners can contain ingredients that cause acne flares,” she says. “Washing your face after you finish with your hair is a simple way to prevent this.”
Say “No” to the Loofah
Unless you are diligent about throwing your loofah in the washing machine after each use (who has time for that?), don’t bother using one. “Loofahs are essentially ‘cesspools’ for bacteria, as they provide a warm, moist environment for bacteria to grow,” says Kiripolsky. “When you then rub them on your skin, you create tiny ‘microtears’ in your skin, which serve as easy entry points for bacteria, leading to skin infections.” To slough off dry or dead skin, use an exfoliating body scrub instead.
Keep Your Sunscreen Application “Clean”
“Sunscreen is super sensitive, delicate and unstable,” says New York dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, MD. That means you shouldn’t mix your sunscreen with lotions, creams, or other skin care products that can dilute the active ingredients and reduce the SPF below what the labeling reflects. If you want to apply, say, lotion and SPF to your legs, apply the SPF first on clean, dry skin. Let it fully dry and absorb, and then apply your body lotion. The same goes for makeup on your face.
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