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Ten Habits for Flawless Skin

1. Don't go to heavy with the use of cosmeceuticals. With more and more beauty products containing alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), salicylic acids, antioxidants, and retinoids, mixing a cleansing solution from one line with a scrub or daytime moisturizer from another and finally a night cream from yet another, may lead to over-exfoliation and skin irritation. This can start a real problem, especially for women with darker complexions, who are more susceptible to discoloration when their skin is irritated.

2. Exercise. Just twenty to thirty minutes of any aerobic exercise will give you a beautiful glow. Exercise does increase blood flow, which brings more nutrients to the skin. But beware though -- the buildup of oil and sweat can result in sweatband acne, folliculitis, and prickly heat. What's your solution? Take a shower as soon as possible after your work out.

3. Exfoliate. Mild skin abrasion with exfoliating agents will help you remove the surface layer of dead cells which will result in less visible fine lines. Your complexion will glow. A microdermabrasion cloth can do the trick.

4. Body check. Check your body for spots. Go and see a dermatologist if you notice any sudden or suspicious-looking bump, mole, or other growth. With skin-cancer rates on the rise, having a full body check by a professional is essential - especially for those of us in the pre-sunscreen generation. People, who are in a high-risk group - having a personal or family history of skin cancer, a lot of moles, fair skin, light eyes or hair, may need regular checkups starting in their teen years, and probably no later than age 35. Even if you are not in a high-risk group, the American Cancer Society recommends  a cancer-relate checkup, including a skin exam, to people between the ages of 20 and 40, every 3 to 4 years. Once you hit your 40s, you need to begin having a cancer-related checkup, including a skin exam, every year.

5. You Are What You Eat. Eat Healthy Foods. Antioxidants (vitamins A, C, and E), which help reduce sun damage and fight certain cancers, including skin cancer,  are essential to your health. A balanced diet filled with at least five servings a day of fruits and vegetables, plus a multivitamin that meets RDA standards.

6. No makeup to bed. We all know it, but unfortunately we do it sometimes anyway. Layers of makeup: foundation, powder, and blusher left on overnight can clog your pores and lead to acne or folliculitis. Take it off before bed with a mild non-soap cleanser.

7. Be careful when you handle pimples. Poking, prodding, and popping can, however tempting, prolong a pimple's life and make the problem worse. Two possible consequences are scarring and the spread of infection. To speed up healing, cleanse your face first, then apply a warm compress, such as a clean, damp washcloth. Next, use an over-the-counter cream or lotion containing a drying agent, such as sulfur, salicylic acid, or benzoyl peroxide.

8. Sleep. Get plenty of it. Most of us don't get the 8 to 9 hours we need to avoid sleep deprivation. The effects aren't hard to detect - hello under-eye circles. What is your solution? Budget in sleep time, try a short afternoon nap whenever you can manage it.

9. Drink plenty of water. Drinking water keeps you hydrated, which helps skin look and feel better," Get in the standard 6 to 8 eight oz glasses throughout the day, more if you are a heavy exerciser. Many of the new sugar substitutes have dehydrating properties, so remember to drink more water if you're into low-cal liquids.

10. Use Natural Cosmeceuticals. Try to stick with one line of natural products which are formulated to work together. If you use prescription products, ask your dermatologist to advise you on how to combine prescription treatments with over-the-counter natural products.

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