I am 28 and I use a moisturizer, in fact I have used the same moisturizer for about 10 years. A friend suggested that I should try another and also that I don’t have to use it all the time. What do you think?

The skin is a constantly changing organ and its needs may change on a daily or seasonal basis. Also, as we age, our skin changes, so we do need to update and change our skin-care routine. Here are some reasons for skin changes and the need to change cosmetic routine.

One’s general physical condition can affect both the flow of sebum to the skin and the skin’s ability to retain moisture.

Your diet could lack essential nutrients especially fats, carbohydrates and water and this could lead to dryness and other skin problems.

The Ph of the skin (the acid and alkalinity level) will change with heavy perspiration during vigorous exercise, or as the result of medication, spicy foods or alcohol.

There are seasonal changes: in summer, the skin can feel oilier, in winter, skin if often tight and drier.

Tension and stress can bring about reactions such as acne breakouts, rashes, or flaky conditions. Sometimes eczema, hives or psoriasis can occur.

Alcohol, smoking, drugs, etc. can create dryness, dullness, loss of tone in the skin and can affect the penetration of creams or lotions. Depending upon your skin type, the condition of the skin and the season, you might not need moisturizer all over your face, but only in areas such as the neck, top of your cheeks, mouth and eye area. Your T-zone during the hot, humid summer may not need as much cream.

Since I have had a baby, I seemed to have more hair in my bikini area. Shaving and cream removers are very irritating to my skin. I would like to try the waxing method. Can you tell me what it involves? Does it hurt? How long does it last? And what is the cost?

Waxing with warm or cold wax is an easy and efficient way to remove the hair on a temporary basis. Generally, the results last four to six weeks, but this can vary with the individual and the season. During the summer, hair grows very quickly. If you are taking medication, hair growth can vary. For waxing, allow the hair to grow at least one-quarter to one-half inch to get a better waxing job. Most women wear their swimsuit or a pair of panties with a cut similar to their suit to define the area they want waxed. The esthetican will apply a light dusting of talcum powder or rubbing alcohol before applying the wax. She should test the temperature of the wax first. She applies it in the same direction as the hair growth and then lets it dry. Then she applies cotton strips to the wax and pulls it off in the direction opposite to the hair growth. The hair is caught in the wax along with the root, leaving the area smooth and clean. Yes, it does smart, but it is usually momentary and can be somewhat eased by immediate application of a hand pressure to the area.

Everyone’s pain tolerance is different, you will have to be the judge of how much you can stand. The skin will be slightly red for a couple of hours, a hypersensitive skin may be reddish for a day. A soothing lotion or cream, or rubbing alcohol may be used afterward.

Some people experience ingrown and inflamed hairs, but these can be minimized if rubbing alcohol is applied to the inflammation. Can you tell me about a type of massage that is said to help acne on the face and back?

The type of massage you are probably asking about is a specialized form called lymphatic drainage. When applied to the face and neck by an expert or with a machine called vacuum suction, it can be of benefit in the treatment of acne. The lymphatic system is a secondary circulatory system. It drains wastes and potentially harmful substances from the body’s tissues and filters them out. Poor lymphatic circulation may occur because of poor blood circulation, lack of exercise, excessive intake of alcohol and various other conditions that tend to add toxins to the body. Lymphatic drainage massage, when properly applied, helps to improve the lymph flow and blood circulation and increases the elimination of waste products. It’s not a massage of the muscles, but a treatment that cleanses and regenerates the skin via the lymph system. When applied in a series of treatments, the result should be a clearer complexion.

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