This week we are unveiling the best skincare strategies for different stages in your life. Today, we focus on the career-climbing years. Check back tomorrow for tips on how to tackle your busy, family-oriented thirties and forties.
You’re no stranger to impossible deadlines and regular red-eyes. In other words, you live for your job. But being married to work can mean your skincare regimen takes a backseat. Here’s how to put your best face forward.
FREQUENT FLYING Cabin air has only 20 percent humidity, which can cause tight, dry “airplane skin.” It also has lower air pressure so your body absorbs less oxygen, which can make you look and feel tired. And since you’re closer to the sun, the UV rays shining into the cabin are more powerful than when you’re on the ground. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 before you board, recommends Joel Schlessinger, M.D., an Omaha dermatologist and founder of Lovelyskin.com.Then apply a rich moisturizer (he likes Neocutis Bio-Cream) during the flight. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and steer clear of alcohol and salty snacks.
HYPERPIGMENTATION & FINE LINES Sun damage can show up as early as your teens, but by the time you hit your late 20s and 30s, you’re likely to see some unevenness and fine lines. Now is the time to kick-start an anti-aging regimen—namely, retinoids like over-the counter retinol or prescription tretinoin (like Retin-A), which smooth wrinkles and brighten skin, recommends Dr. Schlessinger. Prescription hydroquinone is also very effective in lightening up dark spots and, to a lesser extent, products containing soy and licorice do, too. And don’t be fooled by the statistic that most sun damage occurs during childhood: “It’s never too late to prevent future damage—wear at least SPF 15 every day, even in the winter,” says Dr. Schlessinger.
WORKING OVERTIME Late nights at the office and pressure at work can wreak havoc on your skin. Stress causes your body to release inflammatory hormones and chemicals like cortisol, histamines and neuropeptides. This can trigger acne (especially if you’re not getting enough sleep) and also hurt your skin’s protective barrier, making skin more sensitive. Treat occasional breakouts with products containing salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide; if your skin suddenly acts sensitive, switch to fragrance-free and hypoallergenic products and head to a dermatologist. Get a grip on stress levels by finding ways to blow off steam: “Exercise may not directly impact the skin, but it’s an excellent way to reduce stress and your complexion will benefit,” explains Dr. Schlessinger.
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