Shorten Your Shower And Other Skin-Saving Tips

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Your long, hot shower may be just what you need to wash away the stress of the day, but did you know it may be damaging and even (gasp) aging your skin? Here are four things you can do every day to keep your skin looking great-some of which may surprise you:

Take a shorter shower: “Hot water sucks the life out of skin, promoting water and electrolyte loss,” says Beverly Hills, CA dermatologist Zein Obagi, MD. “When your skin is dehydrated, it becomes taut and irritated and looks older. Cleanse with tepid water, and shower only once a day. Keep showers speedy-10 minutes, max-and apply a good body lotion while your skin is still damp.”

Get a little rough with yourself: “To keep skin cells active and awake, gently slap your face all over. It improves circulation, which helps remove toxic wastes,” Dr. Obagi says. “Your skin is pretty resilient-it can handle more than a little pinkie tap.”

Get your beauty sleep: “Getting fewer than seven to eight hours of sleep will cause premature aging, as well as dark circles and puffiness under the eyes,” Dr. Obagi says. “Your skin will look much more relaxed and healthy if you’re well rested.”

Produce more collagen and elastin: “At age 30, skin cells start to become dormant,” explains Dr. Obagi. “You need to wake them up and encourage them to produce collagen and elastin. It’s important to keep those skin cells in the dermis functioning well to maintain a healthy, youthful appearance. Look for products that contain high concentrations of retinol-it’s the most effective ingredient for anti-aging. My Zo Skin Health Ossential Radical Night Repair Plus ($195) is formulated with 1.0 percent retinol-the highest over-the-counter level available.”

“Women are bombarded daily with beauty advice and information, much of it conflicting or just plain wrong,” says Dr. Obagi, who developed the medically based Obagi skincare line. “With 30 years of skincare experience and access to the leading research and technology, I know firsthand what really keeps skin young and radiant.”

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