I feel that some skin-care product claims are not true. Some even say a face cream can take wrinkles away. Do any of the creams do anything?

It is difficult to answer your question without knowing the condition of your skin. Usually, even on well-conditioned skin, it could take up to four to seven weeks for a product to work. Do be wary of any products that promise to banish wrinkles or make you look five years younger. Many manufacturers will include the newest fashionable ingredient in a new line and tout its magical properties (eg. collagen, vital cell repair etc.). These ingredients may in some cases be of benefit to the skin but that doesn’t mean that every product containing them is a good product, and that it will benefit all skin types. Many products show long-term results. If you are just beginning to take care of your skin, you may have to wait awhile to see results. Also, most people do not know their skin type and often choose products that are inappropriate. Skin does change as we age, so the products that you used in your 20s may not be good in your late 20s or early 30s. The most sensible approach is to have your skin properly analysed by an esthetician or skin specialist.

How do you keep a manicure looking good for longer than two days? Any tips? My nails seem to chip on the second day.

To correct chips, don’t remove all the polish from the nail. Just buff the chip smooth with a buffing disc, or smooth side of the emery board and then paint the chip with just a touch of polish, let dry and apply a coat of clear polish. If the polish is badly chipped, do the same, but before the clear polish you may have to apply polish to the entire nail once again. Apply one thin coat of clear polish every day.

I got a very heavy tan last summer, but now that fall is here, my skin is very mottled and dry. Is there any way to bleach out the tan?

There is no safe and effective way to remove a suntan. In time your skin will gradually shed the dry skin cells and will therefore “bleach” out. So that your skin will not look so dry and wrinkled, try using a body slougher cream, loofah, or other exfoliants to help remove this surface dry skin. Then apply body moisturizers to keep the skin soft. In the future, your best approach is to avoid a deep tan that can persist for months. In addition, such overexposure to the sun contributes greatly to premature aging of the skin.

How can I get rid of a sandpaper feeling on the backs of my upper arms. I use a mild glycerin soap and lots of hot water to scrub the area.

This is known as Keratosis Pilaries and it is often a result of a deficiency of vitamin A in your diet. The surface skin dries and thickens around the hair follicles creating the bumps. You can slough off the bumps in time (three to five weeks) by using a rough facecloth, loofah, a mild soap and water, followed by a body moisturizer. Hot water can further dry the skin and increase the problem of the bumps. Food sources of vitamin A include carrots, apricots, broccoli, dairy products, melons and cabbage. If this condition persists, consult a professional.

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