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Your Skin: The College Years

School your skin and perfect your complexion with these smart moves (even if you just party like a college student)..

August 15th, 2011

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Your Skin: The College Years

This week we are unveiling the best skincare strategies for different stages in your life. Today, we focus on the college years. Check back tomorrow for tips on how to tackle your career-climbing twenties and thirties.

Managing midterm-induced breakouts and surviving your party years with minimal damage is no easy feat. With some smart skin-saving strategies, you can tackle common trouble zones like acne and get the flawless complexion you’ve dreamed of (while nodding off during class, naturally).

ACNE Whether you’re freaked out about exams, pulling all-nighters or subsisting on a diet of pizza, Doritos and candy bars—stress, lack of sleep and a high-glycemic diet can all exacerbate acne. Pounce on the occasional pimple by using products that contain salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, suggests Joel Schlessinger, M.D., an Omaha dermatologist and founder of Lovelyskin.com. If your acne is severe, head to a dermatologist who might prescribe you retinoids like Differin or topical antibiotics to help clear up your complexion. Also, don’t crash in your makeup: If you’re too tired to wash your face at night, keep makeup remover wipes on your night stand for a quick, pre-snooze swipe. Wiping down your cellphone with a disinfectant like Lysol, washing your pillowcase regularly and cleaning your makeup brushes also help reduce breakouts.

MORE: Decode Your Acne

PARTYING TOO HARD Newsflash from the Institute of Obvious: Alcohol and cigarettes are bad for your skin. “Even if you can’t see the damage right away, make no mistake that drinking and smoking are accelerating the aging process,” Dr. Schlessinger says. “There’s really no way to offset the damage while you’re doing it—and it’s so much easier to prevent premature aging in your teens and 20s than to reverse the signs later in life.” (Interesting irony: A recent study at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland found that college students who are most likely to binge drink are also the most afraid of aging.

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