I am a 26-year-old man with acne and am presently seeing a dermatologist. I would like to know if facials would help in treating my condition.

Acne can now be controlled in approximately 75 per cent of all acne sufferers. You and your dermatologist can work together to determine the cause of your acne. There are approximately a dozen or more causes, such as irritation caused by resting a hand on the side of the face, heredity or adolescent acne or the kind that can be caused by sunbathing, medication, overuse of cleansing agents or scrubbing or the use of dandruff shampoos or coal tars, constant exposure to insecticides or other substances. You will have to try some treatments until you find the right combination for your skin because there is no one treatment program for everyone.

A facial is a treatment intended to improve the appearance and natural function of the skin. A facial involves a light cleansing and deep cleansing which will help liquefy the sebum and remove impurities that may be trapped in the surface skin. If the skin is very oily, a light surface peeling may be used to get rid of the keratinized waste and dead skin cells so that the skin can more easily absorb the penetrating products.

You will probably receive a misting of warm vapor (not hot steam) to prepare the skin for extraction of blackheads, the mist will have a very mild moisturizing effect. Then serums are applied which will have a nourishing or healing effect. There may be a lift massage and a mask.

This year for the first time I used a sunscreen product SPF 4 and I still got quite pink. Does that mean that it is not the right product for me? Can you recommend one?

There are too many sunscreen products to list. To avoid “getting pink,” you should realize that: Most of the suncreen preparations should be applied at least a half hour before going into the sun. And they should be re-applied after swimming.

Different products stay on the skin for different length of time so read the labels.

Do not rub the sunscreen into the skin like a moisturizer, apply it liberally.

If you are taking some medication, or use a deodorant soap or a perfumed body cologne or cream, the chemical reaction may make the skin more sensitive to the sun. Your SPF may not be high enough for you skin type (there are sunscreens up to SPF 34).

If you have followed all the rules, I would suggest that you first purchase a higher protection product or consult a dermatologist, esthetician, or pharmacist for recommendations.

My skin is very sensitive and a dermatologist has suggested that I stick to hypo-allergenic products, but the one I tried gave me a reaction. Now what can I use?

Hypo-allergenic means that most of the well-known allergens have been left out of the product, but that does not mean that you won’t have a reaction to the product. It just means that your chances of reaction are less than with other products. Test the product first or ask the salesperson for a sample. Also check to see if you can return the product if it does react on your skin, the majority of cosmetic companies do allow for this. When you take the product home, test a little on your neck or inside of your elbow first. If there is no reaction after approximately 18 hours, try it on your face. If you have a slight reaction, do not apply it for another three days and then try it again on part of the face. Sometimes it takes a couple of applications before the skin accepts it. But, if it continues to irritate after that, return it and start keeping a list of the products that give you trouble; you may find that the lanolin base is causing the problems.

I have tried every kind of mousse on the market and they just make my hair limp. I have very fine hair and want some height and fullness. Are the gels any better?

A mousse is designed to be worked into the hair starting at the roots, it should not be just applied on top of the hair. To get extra volume, dry your hair when bending over and use a small dryer on a low setting. If you want to have a wet look or a sculptured look, then the gel can be used.

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