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Top 10 Ways to Transform/Improve Your Skin Now (with tips from Paula Begoun)

If you’re like me, your skincare needs are always changing. Stress, pollution, ever changing weather, and maybe bad habits can leave your skin dull, lifeless or feeling like rough file paper.  We recently had the chance to consult with Paula Begoun, a skincare expert, and best selling author of “Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me” and asked her for her best secrets for keeping your skin in tip top condition.
Boots Highlights
Before you read on, here are some of ours: 

1. Try adding a few drops of illuminating lotion to your everyday foundation for a youthful pick me up. One to try: Boots High Lights (it’s hypo-allergenic-wont make your skin break out) by Boots #7 $12.99 Available at Target and shopbootsusa.com;

2. Sensitive skin can get red or blotchy. Try using a color corrector in green to even skin tone. My pick? Make Up Forever’s HD Microperfecting Primer $32. We also love Fusion Beauty’s Correcting Primers. Available at Sephora, Sephora.com

3. Wake up tired eyes by lining the waterline (inner rim) with a light blue or white pencil. You can even just outline the inner “V’ of the eye to get the same effect. Try NYX Cosmetics Slide On Pencil in Platinum, Pure White, or Azure $8.00 (at www.nyxcosmetics.com,Bartells, and retail stores) 

Here are Paula’s 10 Ways to Transform Your Skin-Now list:
1. Exfoliate with BHA or AHAs (Not with a scrub!) – AHAs and BHAs gently get rid of the built-up dead skin cells, unclog pores, reduce breakouts, rebuild collagen, smooth out wrinkles, and allow dry skin to heal.
Some to try include  Olay Regenerist Night Resurfacing Elixir ($29.99 for 1.7 fl. oz.) Paula’s Choice RESIST Daily Smoothing Treatment with 5% Alpha Hydroxy Acid ($24.95 for 1.7 fl. oz).  Cosmedicine Speedy Recovery Acne Treatment Daytime Blemish Lotion SPF 15 ($40 for 2 fl. oz.) Paula’s Choice Exfoliating 2% BHA Liquid ($18.95 for 4 fl. oz.).
What’s wrong with scrubs? Many scrubs contain particles with a rough, coarse, or uneven texture that can damage the skin as it abrades away the surface, causing tiny tears that damage the skin’s barrier.

2. Eat Right – A diet rich in antioxidants can help skin look astounding! Dark berries, fresh salmon, avocados, butternut squash, and green tea are just a few of the anti-aging super foods you should add to your everyday grocery list. Avoid too much sugar or salt.

3. Wear Sunscreen Every Day- Sun protection is by far the most important tool in preventing skin damage and helping in the anti-aging fight. You must wear sunscreen 365 days a year! Even on cloudy days, and even if you’re inside. The sun’s damaging rays do penetrate the clouds and they do come right through the window. Just because you’re inside, doesn’t mean your skin is protected. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day and your skin will thank you in the years to come.
Best picks include: Peter Thomas Roth Ultra-Lite Oil-Free Sunblock SPF 30 ($26 for 4.2 oz.); RESIST Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer with SPF 25 & Antioxidants; Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sunblock Mineral Protection, Fragrance Free SPF 30 ($9.95 for 4 oz.).

4. Remove All of Your Makeup: Left on overnight, any amount of makeup can clog pores, prompt skin-damaging irritation, and cause puffy eyes. Start with a gentle, fragrance-free, water-soluble cleanser, and then remove the last traces of eye makeup with a colorant-free, fragrance-free, irritant-free makeup remover. Suggestions: Paula’s Choice Gentle Touch Makeup Remover ($12.95 for 4 oz.), Mary Kay Oil-Free EyeMakeup Remover ($15 for 3.75 oz.). Sonia Kashuk Remove, Eye Makeup Remover ($9.99 for 4 oz.).

5. Don’t Rely on Only One Product- There is no single magic bullet ingredient or product for your skin; it takes more than one product to provide the full range of results. Some products do perform multiple tasks, but your skin needs more than just one product.
Must Haves List include:  Gentle cleanser; Toner loaded with antioxidants and skin-healing ingredients; Sunscreen loaded with antioxidants for daytime; Moisturizer—in serum, gel, lotion, or cream form—loaded with antioxidants for night
AHA or BHA exfoliant. Treatment products for skin discolorations, blemishes, oily skin, or blackheads

6. Don’t Pull at Your Skin- Repeatedly rubbing, tugging, and pulling at your skin stretches the skin’s elastin fibers, causing sagging and drooping. Be gentle.

7. Consider a Foundation with Anti-Aging Ingredients- Today’s foundations new foundations are formulated with state-of-the-art ingredients (e.g., sunscreen, antioxidants, and cell-communicating and skin-identical ingredients) that really can improve your skin. This is an easy way to get extra benefit without adding another step to your routine.
Favorites:
Clinique Even Better Makeup SPF 15 ($24.50)
Estee Lauder Resilience Lift Extreme Radiant Lifting Makeup SPF 15 ($36.50)
M.A.C. Studio Sculpt SPF 15 Foundation ($29.50)

8. Antioxidants, Antioxidants, and More Antioxidants! – Antioxidants prevent some of the free-radical damage that causes skin-destroying inflammation over time. They also help skin heal and produce healthy collagen. What’s not to love about that?
Paula’s List:
Paula’s Choice RESIST Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum ($24.95 for 1 oz.)
MD Formulations Moisture Defense Antioxidant Hydrating Gel ($45 for 1 oz.)
Avon for Goodness Face Antioxidant Skin Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 ($18 for 1.7 oz.)

9. Save Up for a Dermatological Treatment- Just remember, skin-care products have limitations, no matter what the ads tell you.

10. Give Up Bad Habits- Don’t underestimate the role your lifestyle plays when it comes to the condition of your skin. You could do everything else right, but if you’re smoking, tanning, or irritating your skin with bad ingredients, your skin will show it.

Elaine Hamilton

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