Reader Q&A: "What's the Best Way to Undo the Damage My Skin's Suffered this Summer?"

Posted 08/04/11 at 05:11AM by Audrey Fine

Like a lot of us, Minda from Michigan has been slacking on the skin care this summer. She's often forgotten the sunscreen, gone to bed with her makeup on, and over-imbibed on more than a couple of occasions. Hey, it's summer, right? However, those transgressions have taken their toll on her complexion and she's written to us asking, "What's the best way to undo the damage my skin's suffered this summer?"

Never fear, Minda. Here's a foolproof plan of attack that'll help your skin get the TLC it's craving

First, start by taking care of the skin on your body by using a multi-tasking body wash like Olay Total Effects Body Wash Exfoliate and Replenish, $6.99. It will slough off dry, dull skin (which is important to produce younger, fresher skin) and delivers wrinkle-fighting antioxidants like vitamin E to your skin while it moisturizes (saving you that extra step after the shower).

For your face, swap that harsh cleanser for a gentle one and use it every morning. Then find yourself a deeply hydrating moisturizer that contains antioxidants, which help fight free radicals caused by the environment and too much sun. You can also use a serum after you wash and before you moisturize to get your antioxidant fix. Last, (especially since you've been slacking), apply SPF to your face daily (get it in a face moisturizer like Olay Complete All Day UV Moisturizer, $11) and to your body -- particularly the parts that will be exposed. After all, it's the only way to prevent damage from harmful UV rays.

At night, start by removing your makeup, and once a week follow that step by exfoliating. It will remove dull layers of skin and help your products absorb into your skin. Most importantly, invest in a good topical retinol product. It's the only ingredient that's been proven to actually stimulate skin cells and make skin look younger and firmer. And don't neglect your neck and chest in this entire regimen since those areas were abused all summer too.

If you want help camouflaging super-tired skin, these emergency fixes will surely come in handy.
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