Tips for a soft, smooth look

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 November, 2010, 12:00am

Whether you're a boy or girl, follow these tips for picture-perfect skin.

1 Moisturise more: You may have a moisturiser that worked for you during the hot humid summer months. But as the weather changes so should your moisturiser.

For your body, find a lotion that's oil based rather than water based - the oil will create a protective layer that will help the skin retain more moisture. For the face, it's best to choose something that doesn't clog teenage pores, so avoid oil-based ones that just sit on the skin and makes your face look like a greasy burger. Choose a facial moisturiser that says 'non-comedogenic' or 'non-acnegenic' on the label to keep pores clear.

Don't neglect your feet - banish scaly, dry and cracked feet by using heavy-duty petroleum jelly. Rub a generous amount into your heels, ankles and top of your feet just before you go to bed, then pop some cotton socks on. In the morning, your feet will be soft and shiny smooth.

2 Extra exfoliation: Exfoliating helps to clear out the follicles, preventing them from getting clogged. Teenage skin is sensitive, so make sure you don't scrub too hard, especially if you're prone to acne breakouts. Exfoliating beads can spread bacteria over the skin on your face and aggravate the problems. Use a mild exfoliating lotion that contains alpha hydroxy acids. If you have less oily skin, then look for phytic acid on the label.

3 Slap on the sunscreen: Winter sun can still damage your skin. Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 to your face and your hands (if you're not wearing gloves) about half an hour before you need to go out. Do this even if it's cloudy!

4 Go gloves: The skin on your hands is thinner and contains less sebaceous oil glands, so keeping them moist is a challenge at the best of times. If you want to avoid dry, itchy and flaky hands, don those gloves before you go out; choose cotton ones if it's not too cold, because woolly ones might irritate your skin.

5 Banish hot baths: Super-hot showers or baths might be relaxing after a chilly outing or stressful day, but the intense heat breaks down the natural oil barriers in the skin, leading to moisture loss. A lukewarm bath is better. If your skin is dry and itchy, add a handful of oatmeal or baking soda to relieve itchiness. If you really must have a hot bath, reduce the amount of time you spend soaking in it.

6 Luscious lips: To prevent dry and chapped lips, regularly slather lip balm or petroleum jelly all over your lips, especially before you go to bed and after you've eaten or had a drink. Exfoliate them once in a while. Take a soft toothbrush, dip it in warm water (NO toothpaste needed), then gently brush your lips, followed by a good smear of lip balm.

7 Care for cold sores: These blisters or sores on the lips are caused by a virus that is contagious. This virus stays in your body forever, unfortunately, so once you get a cold sore, you'll get outbreaks now and again throughout your life. Do yourself a favour - avoid getting cold sores in the first place by not sharing stuff like lip balm, lip stick, toothbrushes, or drinks with other people who have blisters. If you do get a cold sore, don't pick at it, or it will bleed or become infected with bacteria. Instead, ask the doctor or pharmacist for a medication like Zovirax or Denavir, which alleviates symptoms and shortens the duration of a cold sore.