I am a man who cannot decide which to use – an electric razor or shaving blades. My skin is very sensitive, but I need a close shave as my beard grows quickly. Which would you suggest?

The important thing about getting a close shave with a blade is to make sure the hair is very wet. Shaving creams reduce the risk of cutting yourself by lubricating the skin so that the blade glides on the face.

Blades that are available now have coatings such as teflon or silicone to help the glide and reduce the irritation. Shave with the grain of the hair, exerting as little pressure as you can manage. If you shave against the grain, you may develop ingrown hairs. This is a problem with the coarse, black curly hair.

Electric razors do not give as close a shave as the razor, but they are not as irritating. They work best when the skin is free of oil and also dry. Use a pre-shave lotion – they usually contain a form of alcohol or degreaser to remove the excess oil. Then the shaver glides over the face more easily. If your beard grows quickly, you may want to keep a cordless shaver on hand to shave during the day for touch-ups, if that is convenient.

Is using wrinkle creams with ingredients such as hormones or estrogens good for the skin?

Creams that contain estrogens or hormones will cause a slight swelling of the skin making the wrinkles appear less noticeable, but these and other ingredients that claim to take the wrinkles away will not eliminate them, they only camouflage and diminish the wrinkled appearance temporarily.

I am in my early 50s and need to change my makeup routine. Could you suggest some products to use? I am now using pancake makeup, red rouge and blue eye shadow and red lipstick. I have pale skin and white hair, which used to be brown.

As we age, many functions of the body and skin slow down and change us physically. One of the changes is in the texture and color of the skin, so we need a beauty re-assessment to re-think our style of makeup, hair etc. Since the skin is aging, it needs lots of nourishment day and night. Foundation should be sheer and will improve your natural skin tone if it contains some pink or peach. Avoid the cool beiges/porcelains unless you have a naturally high color. Apply a little translucent powder (neutral color) on the face and avoid the eye area. Cheek and lip colors should be in shades of soft pinks, apricots/corals, delicate rose. A good tip is to take the foundation and powder over the lips, outline them with a lip pencil to help maintain a clean outline. Blot lipstick and re-apply for staying power. You might try colors such as soft peach, mauves/lilac, grey/mauve, warm browns for eyeshadows. Avoid the iridescent shadows as they will just draw attention to everything you are trying to minimize. Choose mascaras such as soft brown, grey, plum, and navy rather than hard black. Eyebrows need to be kept neat – neither too thin or too prominent. If the brows are thinned out, don’t use a hard, dark pencil, instead have them professionally tinted or use some eyeshadow in soft grey or brown. If you use a pencil, make light feathery strokes and brush gently to blend them. Before you make your investment in new colors and makeup, you could try having your makeup done several times until you feel more comfortable with the change.

Are the floating soaps any better to use than the regular ones? Are they milder?

The floating soaps are no milder than many on the market, just an all around soap. It floats because of the air trapped inside it and because of the unusually high percentage of water in its formulation.

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