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If your skin is dry, dull or dotted with acne, do not pass go, do not collect $200 -- take a break and exfoliate! Those skins cells your body has been shedding have built up a crusty wall on your skin, and they need to go. Skin care products containing alpha hydroxy acid, a man-made version of acids naturally occurring in fruit, are exfoliants. They get rid of the top layer of your old skin and sweet talk your body into sprouting new, smooth, soft-to-the-touch skin with an even tone. No matter what type of skin you have, use alpha hydroxy to score a fierce and fabulous face.
Wash your face with your favorite cleanser in both the morning and evening. If you have normal to oily skin, apply an astringent or toner to zap those embedded impurities. If you have dry skin, skip that step.
Each time you cleanse, follow with a thin layer of an alpha hydroxy product such as a cream or lotion. The form doesn't matter as much as the alpha hydroxy content. Look for a product with at least 8 percent alpha hydroxy. Simply spread it across your face and neck as you would any lotion. Don't rinse it off -- it needs some time to work its magic.
Hydrate your skin with your moisturizer of choice. If you use an acne product, apply it to your blemishes prior to moisturizing. With regular exfoliating with alpha hydroxy, your skin cells will begin to turn over quicker, resulting in fewer clogged pores -- and clearer skin.
Dab an alpha-hydroxy product on that pesky zit and watch the inflammation ease. This acid not only sloughs off old skin cells, it helps reduce swelling.
Alpha hydroxy not only calms acne-prone skin, it helps aging skin retain moisture. Not a fan of itchy and scratchy? Give this flake fighter a try.
If your skin becomes irritated with daily applications of alpha hydroxy, cut back to two or three times per week.
Sensitive skin ladies should do a patch test before applying alpha hydroxy products to their delicate epidermis. Apply a tiny bit just below your jaw line for two to three days to be sure your skin doesn't react negatively to the product.
Using alpha hydroxy acids on your skin makes it more vulnerable to sun damage, according to the Mayo Clinic. So don't forget to slather on your sunscreen before heading outdoors.