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The Basics of Hair Removal

In addition to plucking, your options include waxing, bleaching, and chemical depilatories. Waxing keeps hair at bay four to six weeks. Plucking, bleaching, and depilatories last about two to three weeks or less. Each method has pros and cons. Waxing removes hair quickly and smoothly but can be painful and expensive if you get it done in a salon. You also run the risk of damaging your hair shafts and gettingingrown hairs. Bleaching is pretty easy, but it can burn and sting if you leave it on too long. Be sure to use a product made especially for the face, not the arms or legs. It’s a good option if your hair color contrasts with your skin color. The day before, test a patch on your inner wrist to make sure you don’t get redness or swelling. You should do a patch test with depilatories as well. These products, which come in aerosol, lotion, cream, and roll-on preparations, contain a chemical that dissolves the surface of the hair, separating it from the skin.

Read instructions very carefully; leaving a depilatory on too long can irritate your skin. Also, make sure you get a preparation made specifically for the part of …

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Diet for Dry Skin

If you have dry skin, you know that lotions and moisturizers help. But can certain dietary choices combat dry, itchy, scaly skin?

“The most important part of the skin barrier is lipids, including phospholipids, free fatty acids, cholesterol, and ceramides,” says Amy Newburger, MD, an attending physician in the Dermatology Department at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Medical Center. “Skin without enough fat in it has a protein predominance and is kind of like a mess made just of twigs with no glue between them.” Water easily escapes through a barrier without lipids, allowing skin to become dehydrated.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids are necessary for the production of intercellular lipids — the “glue” between the “twigs” in the stratum corneum, or surface of the skin. They also have an anti-inflammatory effect on irritated skin. Two types of fatty acids that are “essential” — that is, they must be obtained through the diet — are omega-3s, and omega-6s.

Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish like salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines, as well as flaxseed oil, some types of eggs, and grass-fed beef. Evening primrose oil and borage seed oil, which are high in omega-6s, help hydrate the skin …

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