Your Skin, All Figured Out

Should you pop? Scrub? Inject? You are always hearing different answers to these tough questions, so we got experts to go head-to-head on your six most confusing skin issues – and the best advice won!

Of course you’ve heard of team Conan versus Team Leno, and Wall Street versus Main Street, but what about Team Pop a Pimple versus Team Let It Be? Or shaving cream versus good old-fashioned soap? Hey, in beauty land, those are legit conflicts too! So we asked experts on both sides of your most baffling skin-care debates to step up to our imaginary podium and clear things up once and for all. Read on so you can spend your time worrying about all that more serious stuff instead.

Should you splurge on face cream?

YES!
Experts on one side swear by the high-tech ingredients in modern anti-aging creams. They’re designed to keep skin youthful and radiant. And if they’re expensive? It’s because they work.
NO!
But other skin gurus argue that there’s no reason to switch from the basic cream you’ve been using forever. If it still keeps your skin happy, no matter how non-fancy, why mess with a good thing?

What The Pros Agree On
Products have come a long way since cold cream. “Now we have peptides that produce more collagen, and molecules that can prevent deep wrinkles”, says Lydia Sarfati, a New York City Aesthetician and founder of Repechage. But the best regimen is one that’s tailored to your skin’s needs – and that doesn’t always mean you have to upgrade. In fact, the three things that experts agree can help fight aging are pretty basic: Apply sunscreen daily, moisturize and get enough sleep!

Is moisturizer with SPF enough?

YES!
On the one hand, who wants to remember two separate products when you can get SPF in a moisturizer (or just use moisturizing sunscreen)? Save the extra steps for the elliptical machine, some experts says.
NO!
On the other hand, some experts warn that combo sunscreen-moisturizers tend to dilute the SPF. It’s hard to apply enough face lotion for adequate protection. Why risk sun damage just to save two minutes a day?

What The Pros Agree On
Whether your sunscreen is mixed into your moisturizer or not, you’ve got to use enough to cover your entire face. If you’re at a desk all, a healthy dollop in the morning is fine. Reapply every couple of hours if you’re outside and sweaty, says Fredric Brandt, M.D., and NYC and Miami dermatologist. Prefer the two-step approach? “Apply moisturizer first; then put sunscreen on top”, says ayurvedic skin-care specialist Pratima Raichur. The barrier works best if it’s on the surface.

Botox in your 20s? Really?!

YES!
Some docs are giving younger and younger women Botox injections to prevent wrinkles, or to deal with small line they got using tanning booths or lying out on the beach one too many times during high school.
NO!

Other docs say that’s crazy. The long-term effects aren’t fully known, but we do know the results don’t last. If you start getting shots in your twenties, that adds up to a whole lot of the potent stuff injected into your face – and a whole lot of cash.

What The Pros Agree On
The prominent derms we consulted agreed using Botox to prevent wrinkles doesn’t make sense – after all, you never know where or when you’ll get them. If you have line from sun exposure, relax. “I tell patients in their twenties that they have time for interventions later. Focus on sunscreen,” says Dr. Brandt. Avoid other premature skin agers like stress (do yoga!), excess alcohol and smoking – and enjoy young skin while you’ve got it!

Is it smart to cleanse with oil?

YES!
Some experts say cleansing oils are the new miracle workers when it comes to dissolving makeup and gunk. They leave behind moisture and they’re gentle – so you don’t get stripped.
NO!
Other derms says cleansing with oils don’t necessarily lead to breakouts, but oil, is well… oily. Even though it breaks down dirt, at the end of the day, you ‘re smearing your face with grease.

What The Pros Agree On
If you need extra moisture cleansing with oil is a surprising Do. But experts believe that these oils are problematic for acne sufferers. “They remove impurities, but you always have a light film left over, which you have to tissue off or use another cleanser to remove”, says Dr. Brandt. If you have chronic breakouts, foaming formulas with salicylic acid are a better option – they’ll help unclog pores.

Should you pop that pimple?

YES!
What? You’re going to walk around with a huge white head on your face? Most women give in to the urge to pop, and many facialists say leaving blackheads alone can actually stretch out pores.
NO!
Lots of docs say that no matter how much you’re obsessing, popping a pimple isn’t worth it. Bacteria might creep in an make the infection worse. And there’s the risk of scarring!

What The Pros Agree On
Leave the pinching to derms or licensed aestheticians. “They know how to get rid of the [gunk] without damaging your skin,” says Kelly Barrett, skin specialist at Mario Badescu Skin Care salon in NYC. If you must pop, use a sterile instrument. And help prevent zits with a topical retinoid cream and salicylic-acid cleanser like Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Purifying Gel Cleanser ($10, burtsbees.com) – the combo is kryptonite to acne.

Is shaving cream necessary?

YES!
That layer of cream between your skin and the blade helps prevent nicks and make the annoying chore much more pleasant – that’s worth a few cents a day, some experts say.
NO!
But fragrances in some of those shaving creams can be irritating, other experts argue. The lather from a moisturizing soap works just fine for shaving, thank you very much.

What The Pros Agree On
Most say that shaving cream is an invention that work. “It’s nicer, smoother and easier on your skin,” says Howard Murad, M.D., a derm in Los Angeles. Sarfati agrees: “Shave cream allows the blade to glide without leaving you bloody.” Got sensitive skin? : “Perfumes [in either product] can irritate you if you’re allergic, says NYC derm Ellen Gendler, M.D. Try a mild, slippy soap-free cleanser like Cataphil.

Source: Jessica Baumgardner at Glamour Magazine

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