|Updated: 4/16/2007 3:43 pm
||Published: 4/16/2007 3:43 pm
Taking proper care of your skin at home can reduce the need for professional treatment or enhance the results of such care, should it be required. It's important to wash your face each morning and night with a cleanser that's appropriate for your skin type. Just don't rub too hard; this can irritate the skin. You can buy many products over-the-counter to improve your skin, such as facial scrubs, clay masks, and undereye moisturizers. When buying scrubs, choose those with artificial grains, as they polish the skin more evenly. Lotions with alpha-hydroxy acids, or AHAs, (A-H-As) can help slough off old cells and may soften fine lines or age spots. However, if you want to try one, look for products containing at least 10 percent AHA. Weaker strengths aren't thought to be effective. End your routine by applying a good sunblock on your face and hands to slow the development of new wrinkles and age spots. Sunblocks that contain zinc oxide, titanium (tigh-TAY-nee-uhm) dioxide, or avobenzone (ah-voh-BEHN-zohn) in addition to UVB-blocking (U-V-B) ingredients give the broadest protection. For stubborn conditions, you may need special products prescribed by a dermatologist. These include retinoic (reh-tih-NOH-ihk) acid products, AHA lotions, and fade creams with more active ingredient than types sold in stores.