Separate fact from fiction
Sleep, exercise, DIY facial masks-are these things a soft-skin help, or hindrance? “Sleep and exercise are both great for the skin,” says Barankin. “When you sleep better, you have less dark circles, [for example].” As for exercise, being physically engaged aids the skin, too. “It increases circulation and gives a nice firmness to the skin,” says Barankin. “Exercise reduces cortisol levels-your stress hormones- and we know [they] age you as well.” He cautions, however, that homemade masks, as well as facial massages, only offer a temporary effect. “They feel nice, very natural and everyone loves ‘natural’ things, but there’s no real data to say they’re beneficial [long term].”
Consider a professional cosmetic treatment
Advances in cosmetic procedures have opened the door to many new soft-skin success stories. “There are now more chemical [facial] peels than ever: glycolic, salicylic acid, retinoic acid, Jessner-each is unique and gives more options, depending on skin type and how much downtime someone can tolerate,” says Barankin. “Microdermabrasion, and some laser-type devices can soften skin as well.” While these cosmetic quick fixes are tempting, they can also pricey and are not appropriate for everyone. Before proceeding with these treatments, a consultation with a dermatologist is recommended.
Your guide to healthy skin
Looking for more advice for healthy skin? From tummy tucks to chemical peels, skin cancer prevention to menopause, the best anti-aging treatments, to finding your perfect moisturizer, find all the answers in the Reader’s Digest Guide to Skin Care-a comprehensive, no-nonsense reference.