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Dermatologist Tells What to Buy and Skip

How many times have you stood in the beauty aisle, overwhelmed at all the options? Dr. Melissa Bogle says that the drug store has all the skincare products you need -- and many you don't.

Cleansers

  • Purpose -- liquid face wash effective for all skin types (oily, sensitive, dry)
  • Cetaphil -- another liquid option, particularly good for those with dry or very sensitive skin
  • Dove -- cleansing bar that's win-win for the face and body
  • - All are gentle and soap-free
    - Acne sufferers should instead choose a fash wash containing salicylic acid.
Acne Treatments

- Read the ingredients carefully.
- Products made by the same company can have a significant variation in additives.

  • Clearasil Rapid Action Treatment Cream -- contains 10 percent benzoyl peroxide
    Benzol Peroxide can irritate the skin, but if you can take the strength, Dr. Bogle says it's the best overall, over-the-counter acne fighter
  • Clearasil Rapid Action Treatment Gel -- contains 2 percent salicylic acid.
    This product works best as an overnight spot treatment.
  • Clearasil Stay Clear -- contains sulfur, which is very gentle and especially good for very dry or sensitive skin.
Treatments for Brown Spots
  • Ambi Fade Cream -- contains 2 percent hydroquinone, a bleaching agent that helps lighten spots.
  • - A hydroquinone 4 percent product is available with a prescription.
    - The 2 percent version requires more time before you see an improvment, but with twice-daily application you should notice a different in about two months.
Sunscreen

- Helps prevent brown spots

  • Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer Day Touch Sunblock
    - Look for a broad-spectrum blocker with UVA and UVB.
    - SPF indicates how much UVB rays or burning rays it's blocking.
    - A sunscreen with helioplex provides extra sunblock protection.
  • For women, Aveeno Active Naturals Daily Moisturizer is also a sunscreen, so there's no need to buy two separate products.
  • For men, Bullfrog Water Armor Sport Quik Get is a nice, clean, water-based, sweatproof sunscreen.
Anti-Aging Treatments

- Pick out products that contain alpha and beta hydroxy acids.
- These will increase cell turnover and build collagen.

Save Money, Skip These:

  • Toner - just an additional cleansing step
  • Pore Strips - remove surface dirt without cleaning the whole pore
    - The benefit won't even last 24 hours
  • Anti-agers that promise results in minutes or hours
    - Most of the effect is due to hydration, with can plump up skin or even out wrinkles, but the result is very temporary

Final Tips:

  • As tempting as it is to experiment, only buy the essentials.
    "The biggest mistake that people make with skin care is, If one thing is good a bunch of stuff must be better,'" says Bogle. "But what we really can do is just causing inflammation which in the end can age us more than if we hadn't been using anything at all."
  • Settle on a skincare routine, and stick to it.
  • Be proactive.
    Dr. Bogle cites an analogy about identical twin sisters. If one used face products and the other did not, you might not be able to tell a difference over weeks or months, but after years the difference will be dramatic.

    For more information:
    Melissa A. Bogle, M.D.
    Laser and Cosmetic Surgery Center of Houston
    lasercosmetic.com
    713-622-1720

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