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Back to School: A Girl’s Guide to College Skincare

Back to School ’08: A Girl’s Guide to College SkincareYou may already have a favorite cleanser, but the stresses of school and the rigors of an active social and nightlife can wreak havoc on your skin. As is always the case, preventative measures work best. Before you need it, find an acne-fighting cleanser that works for you. Salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and alpha hydroxy acids are all ingredients to look for. You may already know which acne-fighting ingredient is most effective in preventing and clearing up your breakouts. See if you can find it in a face-friendly cleanser that won’t over-dry your skin. And be sure to stock up on it. You never know when you may run out and not have time or transportation to get to the store.

 

Don’t Forget the Moisturizer

While many girls probably could not fathom the idea of being caught without moisturizer, stranger things have happened. Long days of classes, late nights of studying and weekends spent in any number of strange (and smoky) places can have an adverse effect on your skin. If you find that your skin is becoming too oily at school, you will probably start washing it more (or with harsher cleansers). While it is important to get those impurities off your skin, you need to remember to replenish the moisture that you are stripping away with your cleanser. Whether you have oily skin or not, an oil-free moisturizer can be a safe bet for light, non-greasy hydration.

 

Sunscreen’s Not Just for Summer

Just because summer is officially over and classes have begun, don’t forget the importance of protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Whether you’re studying on the quad, tailgating a football game or getting off campus for a mountain bike ride, remember the sunscreen. Look for an oil-free or noncomedogenic (non pore-clogging) variety with an SPF of at least 35. Depending on your level of activity, a waterproof or sweat-proof variety may be best. Also, if you’re planning on being out in nature, a fragrance-free brand can keep you from attracting unwanted insect attention.

 

Emergency Kit

Even the best skincare regimen cannot be prepared for everything your collegiate career will throw at it. So pack an emergency kit. Keep some rice paper blotters in your purse or backpack for quick touchups between classes or before going out with friends. Always have some lip balm somewhere close. It can help with chapped lips as the weather gets colder and can help dress up your lips and give them some plump and shine when you’re in a jam (or when that cute guy decides to sit next to you in that 8 AM class).

 

Keep Good Habits

No matter how late you’re out or how early you need to get up, there is no substitute for a consistent skincare regimen. Your skin will know what to expect and how to respond. It’s the uncertainties and wildcards that we throw at our faces that often lead to those breakouts. So be sure to cleanse and moisturize in the morning and at night – no matter what. Your skin will thank you for it. And be sure to get your rest – even if you have to use afternoon naps to catch up.

 

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