At 48, I have dry skin. Could you suggest the best brand of cosmetics to use? Also I am considering having some plastic surgery done on my eyes and need your recommendation for a doctor.

There are so many products available that it is very difficult to know which one is best for your skin. Each product should be evaluated on a basis of individual needs, skin type, costs, seasonal requirements, etc. Some products are so much alike that selection of one brand over another depends on the preference of the individual. Since there is no way of scientifically evaluating the products, I am not in a position to recommend specific brands of cosmetics. Have your skin analyzed by an esthetician and try some of his or her recommendations.

There are many highly qualified plastic surgeons and again I feel that it is unfair to recommend only the ones I know. You have to feel confident with your choice. You should get recommendations from friends, family physician, estheticians, hospitals.

I have very oily skin and have used soap for years, but my skin becomes oily within the hour after I wash. Are facial cleansers better to use?

Most soaps, being very alkaline, can strip the skin of its natural oils and greatly alter the skin’s pH levels. This disturbance interferes with the healthy functioning of the skin and it can take up to three hours for the skin to return to normal. This can lead to an over-production of oil (sebum) as the skin attempts to re-establish the acid mantle and this may be why your skin is oily and shiny within an hour of washing. Your soap may be too harsh and drying. Facial cleansers designed for your skin type can dissolve stale oils, dirt, pollution, excess secretions and dead skin cells without greatly disturbing the acid pH balance of the skin. Your cleanser should be used with water; apply water first to the skin and then apply the cleanser and massage it into the skin for at least one minute. Use a clean washcloth or facial sponges. Rinse well with lukewarm water and then apply a toner. Toners usually follow the use of a cleanser and are intended to maintain normal pH level and to prepare the skin for treatment cream or moisturizer.

I would like to use eyeliner without it looking harsh or thick. Are the liquids easier or harder to use? Can you give me some tips?

Eyeliners are available in pencil, liquid or the dry-cake form. The most popular colors are black and brown or charcoal, but they are also available in bright green, plum, teal, gold or silver, navy blue, copper, etc. They can define or accentuate the shape of the eye or alter it and make the lashes appear thicker. Use a fine, pointed eyeliner brush or a sharpened pencil and draw a thin line across the upper lid, as close as possible to the lash line. Make sure the eyelids are dry and free of oils or cream. If drawing the line is difficult, try dotting the liner in between the lashes. When you begin to do the bottom lid, limit the line to the outer half. The open space will make the eye look larger and the look is more subtle and softer.

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