"Be prepared" may be the Boy Scouts' motto, but it's also great advice for us girls.
That's why I keep an arsenal of helpful problem solvers like these. They come to the rescue when you run into troublesome skin, split ends and other beauty pitfalls.
Baby Your Complexion
Crave healthy, younger-looking skin? Try OLEHENRIKSEN's delicious The Whole Truth collection. This age-fighting trio is loaded with vitamin C, an antioxidant board-certified dermatologist Dr. Rebecca Baxt says can help reverse signs of aging. Use this threesome on your face and neck daily after cleansing to firm, lift and brighten your complexion:
On the Shelf: $45 at Sephora stores. The Whole Truth set includes 0.5 ounce Truth Serum, 1 ounce Truth Crème and 0.1 ounces Eye Crème
Go to Work on Wrinkles
Start by rethinking your morning ritual. Dr. Baxt says caffeine-laden drinks like coffee cause a dehydrating effect on your body and your skin that can make wrinkles appear deeper. (They can also cause rosacea breakouts for some Boomers.)
Her recommendation: Try decaf coffee and steer clear of sugar and cream. Use nonfat milk instead of whole milk, and don't indulge while your drink is scalding hot.
Makes me glad I traded in my coffee for green tea several years ago. I'm also thankful bangs have become trendy. Of course, I'd wear them regardless. They hide my worst wrinkle worries while I'm on the lookout for serious help correcting and avoiding other creases. Three daily treatments to try:
Although it's designed to be gentle, I began trying this top-rated beauty bargain on a weekend when Bob and I had no plans ... just in case my sensitive skin showed some ugly side effects. That was two weeks ago and so far, so good. I've had no red flare ups and my complexion looks bright and even-toned. Nice job!
I'm not sure if this fluid will help the cracks on my forehead but studies have shown most women (94%) see an improvement in the look of fine crow's feet after using it five weeks. That's something to look forward to! ($38 for 1 ounce from Avon representatives or Avon.com)
Already a big fan of Algenist's Overnight Restorative Cream, I didn't think twice before trying their skin-friendly serum. Besides fighting crinkles, it's fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested. What's more, it contains no parabens, sulfates or other harmful chemicals. Now, that's reassuring!
So you won't be surprised to learn that I saw absolutely no signs of irritation from this little workhorse. In fact, two months using it morning and night after cleansing kept my skin feeling smooth and looking healthy. Even better, I still have half a bottle left. ($95 for 1 ounce at Sephora, Sephora.com and Algenist.com)
Unlike traditional sunscreens, it shields skin from UVA, UVB and IRA rays. In addition, this Boomer-rific buy helps correct existing sun damage (fine lines, wrinkles, age spots and uneven skin tone).
I love that the elegant tube includes a built-in brush to make application easy. Plus, the super, lightweight formula has a soft, yellow tint that gives me a matte finish. It works well alone, over your moisturizer, even under makeup. And, bonus, Elizabeth Arden products are long-time favorites in my family. In fact, they're one area where my mother and I NEVER disagree. Guess what I always put under her Christmas tree? ($79 for 1.7 ounces at Macy's and other department stores)
Break Up with Break Outs
Acne & Wrinkle Reducer - Curbs breakouts while minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. Part of Murad's Anti-Aging Acne line made for adults, this clinically proven treatment works quickly to control existing acne, prevent new breakouts and restore collagen to more youthful levels. ($58 for 2 ounces)
Acne Overnight Soothing Gel - Reduces tenderness and redness caused by acne while you sleep. You gotta love that! Loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, this skin friend soothes with a blend of anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidants and natural cooling agents like peppermint oil. Besides combating redness from acne, it can help calm painful sunburns. ($30 for 1.7 ounces)
Both are available at Murad Inclusive Health Spa, Murad.com, Sephora, Ulta, and leading spas and salon locations.
Say "So Long" Redness
Although my skin has behaved itself lately, embarrassing red blotches can crop up without warning. I had a horrible bout after completing chemotherapy in 2009. And periods of high stress, like always, often bring them out. That's when I want an effective, quick fix like one of these:
Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Soothing Lotion - Combats redness, dryness and sensitivity in just one week. This daily moisturizer includes a chamomile and feverfew blend that helps calm irritations as well as broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 15 to shield skin from the sun's damaging rays. The soothing blend also comes in a rich cream formula great for night use. (4-ounce Soothing Lotion and 1.7 ounce Soothing Crème $16/each at Neutrogena.com)
Atopalm Intensive Moisturizing Cream - Calms the symptoms of eczema and rosacea as well as skin recovering from facial treatments such as microdermabrasion. Made for dry, sensitive skin, this rich, hydrating formula nourishes skin with a gentle vitamin, antioxidant blend that visibly renews dry skin. ($30 for 3.4 ounces at Atopalm.com)
emerginC d-red Daytime Emulsion and Nighttime Strengthening Balm - Soothes and strengthens skin, reducing redness due to rosacea, broken capillaries or other reasons. This potent pair contains key vitamins, plant extracts, enzymes and a special repair complex to mend and improve the appearance of angry skin. ($69.50 each at leading spas and emerginC.com)
Miracle Skin Transformer Heal Everything Balm - Hydrates sensitive skin, helping it recover from irritation. This hard-working beauty balm contains more than 30 moisturizers and emollients such as Manuka Honey to enhance skin's natural repair process.
Perfect for your face and body, this intensive therapy helps reduce redness caused by sun or wind burn, waxing, shaving and other minor irritations. What's more it reduces stinging and moisturizes dry skin. Whew! ($26 at Sephora stores, Bergdorf Goodman NY, Nordstrom.com, Sephora.com, and Miracleskintransformer.com)
Already planning how you'd use this multi-purpose healer? Share your idea for a chance to win a year's supply of Heal Everything Balm (up to a $300 value). Enter the Facebook contest here through Aug. 31.
Smart Cover Cosmetics Red X Stick - Helps hide discolorations. Tap this cool green-tinted concealer over rosacea, scars, birthmarks ... any problem area and blend to knock down their color before putting on your normal makeup. Another winner from the folks who developed one of my favorite dark circle cover-ups, this fragrance-free formula works for most skin types and comes in a lipstick-like case that you can toss in your bag for easy touch-ups on the go. ($15 at Smartcover.com)
Repair Rough Patches
Besides battling redness, I sometimes struggle with bumpy patches on my upper arms. Growing up, I really hated those areas. They never seemed to tan so summers usually left me with horrible white, bumpy spots that I did everything possible to hide. Ugggghhh! 100 degrees and I couldn't go sleeveless!
Today, instead of suffering, I can reach for CeraVe's new SA Renewing Lotion. It exfoliates, smoothes and softens extremely dry, rough, bumpy skin. Developed with dermatologists, this new formula features ceramides to help restore, repair and maintain the skin barrier plus salicylic acid and ammonium lactate to help loosen and exfoliate dead skin cells.
On the Shelf: $14.99 for 8-ounces at drugstores and mass retailers; Cerave.com for more information.
Besame Sweetheart Lip Balm
in Sweet Rose, Cherry, Tangerine and Peach.
Love Your Lips
Stress and hot, dry Texas weather often combine to bring out the worst in my lips. They chap and, if I'm not careful, erupt with terrible fever blisters. Talk about a beauty nightmare!
So I'm crazy for antioxidant-packed lip quenchers like Besame Cosmetics new Sweetheart Lip Balm. It moisturizes and conditions lips with good-for-you ingredients: aloe leaf extract, shea butter and jojoba for a start. Plus, this sheer gloss comes in four gorgeous, long-lasting colors (Sweet Rose, Peach, Tangerine and my favorite Cherry) so your lips can look as good as they feel.
On the Shelf: $18 for .45 ounces at Besamecosmetics.com and select retailers
Steer Clear of Bad Breath
If you're anything like me, you usually fight bad breath by popping a mint or swishing mouthwash. But according to Dr. Pankaj Singh, Clinical Director of NYC's Arch Dental Associates, that's not always the best answer. Mints may temporarily mask the problem but they wear off quickly.
I thought things might slow down when we moved our office to our home but we're as busy as ever ... even without our son Cole around. (He's living the dream in Brooklyn now ... what a change from Big D!) So I try to stretch my time and my budget by going three months between trims.
I cut my own bangs and, if the ends start to look frayed from drying, curling, straightening -you know the drill - I can fix them up with a treatment like Nexxus ProMend Split End Binding Overnight Treatment Crème.
This little money-saver's a no-brainer. You squeeze a quarter-size amount into your palm, rub it onto the ends of your hair and go to bed. Don't worry, there's no mess. I used it, brushed my teeth and my hair had dried before my head touched the pillow.
The next morning, the ends looked nice, healthy and almost salon-cut fresh ... not greasy as I had feared. Coconut oil, keratin and jasmine flower extracts combine to bind damaged ends back together. You can see up to a 94% improvement with continued, once-a-week use. And it helps strengthen tresses against future damage.
On the Shelf: $14.99 for 2 ounces at mass retailers, select drugstores and supermarkets
Now, I could go on and on about my beauty nightmares but I'd rather hear from you. Do you have these or other issues? How do you manage them? Please share your tips in the comments section below.
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