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Beauty IS Skin Deep

Everybody’s face hits a few rough patches at some time in their lives. Here are five ways to smooth yours over.

By Ernie McCraw
Looking your best starts with taking the best care of your skin, and it doesn’t take drastic measures to get radiant skin. As we age, our skin begins to lose that healthy appearance due to environmental dirt and chemicals, smoking, sun exposure, and loss of moisture. These factors can cause blemishes, wrinkles, and rough and dry skin. Sticking to a few essential steps in your daily skin-care routine will put you on the right track for beautiful skin your entire life.
Keep It Clean
Keeping your skin clean is an absolute must for great, glowing skin. There are many different cleansers available for sensitive skin, oily skin, or dry skin. But what if you have a combination — that is, your skin is part normal-to-dry (usually on the cheek area) and part oily (typically, the T-zone: forehead, nose and chin)? If so, the objective is to control oiliness without drying out the dryer areas of your face. Choose a mild cleanser such as Beyond Belief Vitamin C Splash-Off Foaming Facial Wash. It deep-cleans without drying and removes all traces of makeup, oil, and impurities.
Washing Your Cares Away
WASHING YOUR CARES AWAY: The first line of defense when it comes to your beauty is your skin-care regimen. Choose the correct products for your type of skin, and make them part of your routine each morning and night.
Exfoliation is the process of removing the dead cells on the top layer (stratum corneum) of your skin. To a lesser extent, exfoliation can help dislodge blackheads. The procedure is referred to as "exfoliation" because when a mild abrasive is used on the skin, the top layer of dead skin cells is shed or exfoliated. Exfoliators include everything from washcloths, buffing sponges, facial brushes, and loofahs to cleansing grains, sloughing cleansers, scrubs (cleansers or moisturizers that contain abrasive particles or ingredients), and alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid formulas that exfoliate chemically. In moderation and performed gently, exfoliating can be beneficial for most skin types. Exfoliating stimulates circulation and leaves skin looking smoother and clearer. A newer form of exfoliation is called microdermabrasion. A micro-fine abrasive is suspended in a hydrating, moisturizing base that is used to polish the skin's surface. Once only offered as a salon service, microdermabrasion is now available (in products such as i-Skin Intelligent Microdermabrasion System) for home use.
Clarify & Tone
Toners and fresheners are intended to give skin a fresh, invigorated feeling, and to restore the skin's natural acidity. Toning products are generally used after cleansing and before moisturizing. One option, Beyond Belief ABH Shine Control Mattifying Toner, contains oil-absorbing mineral powder that provides an instant matte finish and refines pores.
Moisturize & Protect
Most skin types benefit from using moisturizer, but not all moisturizers are alike. Although people with oily skin may not think they need a facial moisturizer, environmental factors — heat, cold, wind, sun — as well as indoor heating and cooling deplete moisture, leaving skin dehyrated even if it's oily. The principal ingredients in most moisturizers are water and emollients — the latter act as a barrier to moisture loss. Oil-free moisturizers contain humectants such as glycerin, propylene glycol, and lactic acid that work by drawing water into the outermost layer of the skin. Some moisturizers contain both emollients and humectants. Facial moisturizers designed for daily use are usually of a lighter consistency than facial night creams or eye creams. Moisturizers are also formulated by skin type: more emollient formulas for dry skin, oil-free formulas for oily skins. Moist Hemp Facial Moisturizer is meant for dry skin, Beyond Belief Vitamin C Daily Moisture + SPF 15 (which also contains sunscreen) is meant for normal or combination skin, and Beyond Belief Oil Free Moisturizer is for oily skin.
Renew & Repair
Free radicals or oxidents are unstable oxygen molecules that can damage skin cells. Free radicals are caused by pollution, ultraviolet light, and environmental conditions. Antioxidants, including vitamin E, betacarotene (vitamin A precursor) and vitamin C may help prevent free-radical damage when taken orally as vitamins. Antioxidants can also be beneficial when applied topically. Vitamin C skin-care products are formulated by professionals to promote skin renewal by using the power of viamins to energize and clarify the skin. Beyond Belief Vita C+ Day Antioxidant Crème and Beyond Belief Vita C+ Antioxidant Serum are two such topical skin conditioners.
Ernie McCraw is director of beauty education for Sally Beauty Company, the world’s largest distributor of professional beauty products. A licensed cosmetologist for more than 30 years, he is a frequent contributor to fashion and beauty publications nationwide.

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