10 tips for even more beautiful skin

Follow these ten principles of optimum skin care and make your skin as beautiful as it can be.

Group of hands

Having beautiful skin is not just a matter of heredity (okay, so genes do play a part). Join the gorgeously glowing set by following these simple - but often overlooked - skin care steps.

Scrub the right way. Extremes are bad for your skin. Scrubbing too little will leave you looking dull; too much is, well, too much. Use a mild exfoliating product (avoid ingredients like almond shells, which can be rough on skin). And resist the temptation to scrub too hard: A gentle massaging is all it takes to remove dead skin cells and improve circulation.

Seal in the good stuff. The best time to moisturise is when skin still feels damp - the moisturiser will act as a sealant and help hydrate your skin. So start a habit of moisturising every time you bathe, shower or even wash your hands.

Use sun block - from head to toe. Many people think that basking on the beach for days on end is what causes skin cancer. In fact, the short sun exposure you get every day can also make you susceptible. Use a moisturiser that contains both UVA and UVB protection, and be sure to cover all exposed areas, including hands, forearms, face and ears.

Pamper hands and feet. Your hands are continually exposed to sun and are one of the first areas to show environmental damage. Be sure to wash your hands with a mild cleanser like Dove Cream Bar, followed by moisturiser. To soothe dry, rough feet, slather on a rich moisturiser at bedtime and slip on a pair of socks for intense healing while you sleep.

Plan your next trip. Before stepping on an airplane, drench your skin with moisturising products since re-circulated air tends to dry skin out. And don't forget to bring a bottle of water (or two) on the flight.

Don't be water-resistant. While drinking water won't actually moisturise your skin, it will help your internal organs function properly, which affects your skin's health and beauty. Ditto with exercise. Find the fat. We're talking monosaturated fats here, which are found in nuts and olive, canola and safflower oils. It's easy to incorporate these fats (which are low in saturated fats) into your daily diet. One tablespoon of oil, a quarter cup of nuts or two tablespoons of peanut butter will do the trick.

Water your air. Just as winter air wreaks havoc on your skin, so does your summer air conditioner. Counteract the drying effects with a humidifier, which puts water back into the air and helps your skin stay moisturised. Well-hydrated skin looks plumper and more youthful. Be a sleeping beauty. Your skin reflects both your mental and physical condition, so skimping on shut-eye results in shallowness and more noticeable wrinkles. Listen to doctors, who recommend eight hours a night.

Take a break. A high stress level is bad for your mood and your skin. Treat yourself to at least one relaxing, pampering activity per week, be it a bubble bath flanked by candles, a facial or a movie rental marathon at home.

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