(BlackDoctor.org) – While the way we look may be only one part of who we are, it is still a part of us. Feeling that you look your best can be a real confidence booster. And it’s important to note that looking your best doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Experts say most of us really only need to pay attention to a few basic beauty secrets – essentials that can help you look and feel great without spending a lot of time or money.
To help you find the beauty tips that really work, here are some tips for looking great:
Beauty Tip 1: Never Underestimate the Power of Moisturizer
Whether your skin is dry, normal, or even oily, if you can only afford one skin care product, experts say, your dollars will be well spent on a good moisturizer. If you’re in your 20s or 30s, moisturizers will give you some of the protection you need to keep skin from prematurely aging. A good moisturizer and a mild cleanser can literally take the years off of your face – When skin is dry, every wrinkle is highlighted, making you look older.
A good moisturizer is a product that will do anything from gently adding moisture, to sealing in the moisture you’ve achieved, to helping your skin produce more moisture — and which type you choose should be based on your skin’s individual needs. If skin is normal to dry, look for moisturizers containing alpha hydroxy acids. They can help skin produce more moisture on its own. If skin is very dry, use products with vesicular emulsion.–This technology uses microscopic spheres that are alternating layers of moisture and water that slowly release throughout the day, so you get continual moisturization. If skin is oily, look for a light, gentle moisturizer – but don’t skip this step.
Beauty Tip 2: Sunscreen Is Your Best Antiaging Product.
While most of us know that sunscreen reduces the risk of skin cancer, did you also know it’s an amazing beauty secret that can help keep skin looking young? The reason, say experts, is that when sunscreen blocks out the sun’s damaging rays, it also blocks their aging effects. The sun impacts collagen production in the skin, and without collagen, skin won’t naturally maintain that plump, moist, youthful, wrinkle-free look. Get enough sun exposure and skin will wrinkle long before it’s time.
Without the protection of sunscreen, just a few minutes of daily sun exposure over the years can cause noticeable changes in how skin looks and feels, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Not only will you see more wrinkles and fine lines, but also more freckles, age spots, and spider veins. Skin itself can look rough and leathery or loose and slack – all thanks to the sun. Sunscreen can protect your skin from these damaging rays, so that even if you do spend time outdoors, your face is less likely to give away your age.
Choose a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. Because sun breaks down its effectiveness over time, if you’re going to be in direct sunlight for an extended period, reapply every hour or two. Another option: Use your regular sunscreen before putting on makeup (it should go on first, before anything). Then, for touch-ups, use a light, translucent mineral powder to add extra protection throughout the day.
Beauty Tip 3: Choose Your Cleanser Wisely
If you’re a “soap and water” girl (or guy), you may want to rethink your cleansing strategy. Dermatologists say that one of the best beauty tips around is to use the gentlest cleanser you can find – and use it sparingly. While the temptation may be great to wash your face several times a day (or more if skin is oily), not only will over-cleansing not help you, if you’re using a harsh product — particularly soap — you could be harming your skin.
Wash your face too often – more than twice a day – and you can damage the natural lipid barrier, the protective mantle of lubrication that keeps skin looking and feeling healthy. Once that protection is lost, and the integrity of the skin barrier disrupted, skin becomes dry – which means it can crack, peel, itch, burn, sting, or any combination. It also means you can look older than your years.
The solution: Wash skin no more than twice a day and choose your cleanser wisely.
Beauty Tip 4: Use the Right Tools for the Right Job
You can have the best eyeshadow money can buy, the world’s most luxurious foundation, a bronzer straight from the cosmetic bag of a supermodel. But if you don’t have the right tools to apply them, their benefits will be lost. Brushes should be soft and feel gentle on the skin, but also have substance so the product can be moved to the surface of your skin. If you dip a brush in shadow or blush and the color falls off before you make it to your face, that’s a bad brush.
Beauty Tip 5: Update Hair and Makeup Every 2 Years
Experts say that if you can’t even remember the last time you changed your hair and makeup, it’s way overdue. Your image – including hair and makeup – should be updated at least every two years, and sooner if the styles change dramatically. By keeping your look current you also look younger and more modern. Nothing dates a woman more than outdated hair and makeup. If it’s been a while since you’ve had a change, visit the makeup counters at your favorite department or beauty store, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
By Felicia Vance, BDO Staff Writer
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