The Most Out-of-the-Box Beauty Tips from Dermatologists
By Brittany Ferrendi |
When it comes to beauty, we've tried it all—from cryotherapy to applying gems directly on our skin. But what do dermatologists think about these less-common beauty solutions? We’ve asked top doctors about some of the most unusual skin care tips they recommend for various issues.
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Dark Under-Eye Circles
The Problem: Many of us have dark circles under our eyes, but we tend to get them for different reasons. For most, the main factor that contributes to dark circles is a lack of sleep. For others, they can be caused by sun exposure and a loss of collagen caused by aging or contact dermatitis.
The Solution: Luckily, you don’t need to run to the drugstore for this problem-solver—try the produce aisle instead. Potatoes already have a wealth of health benefits, but Dallas dermatologist Elizabeth Houshmand, MD, swears by applying them to your under-eye area. “They help decrease water retention and they contain an enzyme, catalase, which helps lighten dark under-eye circles,” she says. “First, wash and peel a potato. Then cut a slice per eye and put them on for 10–15 minutes.”
The Problem: Anyone who's ever worn shoes knows that sweat can build up on their feet and cause an unpleasant odor. The worst part? Warm moisture can produce fungi that can become athlete’s foot around the toes and soles of your feet. And, if you’re not careful, it can spread all the way to your hands and body.
The Solution: According to New York dermatologist Diane Madfes, MD, sweaty feet can occur at any time of the year, not just the summer. “To alleviate sweaty feet and reduce moisture, apply Drysol anti-perspirant solution (aluminum chloride) to dry, clean soles before bedtime.” We like Drysol Regular Strength ($24) for the ideal maintenance solution. (It’s made specifically for the underarms, but can also work wonders on your feet.)
Unfortunately, perspired feet may not just occur while you’re on the go. “If your feet are constantly moist, use a hair-dryer first to get your skin nice and dry," says Dr. Madfes. "Apply your anti-perspirant solution, then allow it to dry for two minutes before bed. In the morning, your feet will be less moist.”
Dry, Dull Locks
The Problem: If your post-summer hair feels dry and completely stripped of moisture, you can attribute your woes to a myriad of causes. Spending your day out in the sun can cause damage to your locks, stripping your hair of moisture. Using too many hair products can cause a buildup of residue that opens up the outer layer of your hair, leaving it vulnerable to light absorption, which makes your hair look dull. It seems like these days everything has a negative impact on your hair. So what can you do about it?
The Solution: Instead of pouring on more sprays and chemicals to boost shine, Dr. Houshmand recommends rinsing your hair with vinegar. It revitalizes your locks, loading them with plenty of moisture to protect them from further damage. “Soak your hair for a few minutes, then rinse with cold water,” she advises. We recommend raw apple cider vinegar, which contains naturally occurring bacteria and nutrients that boost hair health.
Dark Spots on Your Legs
The Problem: You may have seen them before—dark, uneven spots on your legs that keep your skin from looking smooth. “Most of the spots are from the sun,” says Beverly Hills, CA, dermatologist Rhonda Rand, MD. “They are like freckles, but they don’t fade in the winter.” These spots are difficult to remove and they can mean any number of skin concerns, from lentigines to seborrheic keratosis. While both are non-harmful skin conditions, Dr. Rand advises you to have all spots checked by a dermatologist every year, as they could develop into skin cancer.
The Solution: For most, self-tanning creams and sprays work as a temporary solution, but Dr. Rand advises against it. “As they wear off, my patients say they resemble Dalmatian legs." Instead, she recommends EltaMD Moisturizer ($10). To apply, spread a thin layer on your skin. Combine this with a small amount of Exuviance CoverBlend Concealing Treatment MakeUp SPF 30 ($40) to get a completely clear complexion from the thighs-down. “The result is natural-looking, doesn't get on your clothes and lasts two to three days without the increase in color of your existing spots. You get a light, moisturized, even finish without that makeup look!”