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Naked, Sexy Skin- Tips From the Expert!

College life can be seriously detrimental to our skin…between walking to class in less than ideal weather conditions and lacking that last bit of energy to take off your makeup after a hard night of raging, it’s difficult to keep up with a foolproof skin care routine.

Well, ladies, Dana Ramos has come to the rescue. She’s a skin expert (the proof is on her face…literally) from Westchester, NY and she’s not afraid to tell it like it is.Her new book, The Skin Regime; Boot Camp for Beautiful Skin, has everything you need to know about getting a killer complexion, and how to avoid typical skin sins. Get ready girls – The Skin Regime is here – QU Edition!

1. We all have those nights where we stay out a little too late, and end up going to bed without washing our face. What’s the best way to remedy that morning-after makeup-mess?

Dana: First, wash with mild soap like Dove, in mild warm water, followed by a very, very cold rinse. Also, drink drink drink a ton of water as soon as you can. You see, alcohol really sucks the moisture out of your body and skin, and you need to rehydrate. Finally, moisturize and you should look a whole lot better! Keep eye rinses (you can find them in drugstores) or your favorite eye drops in the fridge for irritated eyes – nice and cold to help refresh, lubricate, and get the redness out really quick.

Oh, one more thing – if you don’t drink coffee but feel you need a little caffeine to get over – you know, the party last night – take ONE Excedrin Migraine tablet… it has just enough to help. But don’t drink coffee if you take the Excedrin, it will be caffeine over-kill.

2. Here in Hamden, we don’t have department stores or cosmetic shops near by. Do you have any product suggestions for the beauty aisle at Stop & Shop or the crammed walls of CVS?

Dana: I’m glad you don’t have department stores and cosmetic shops nearby because for the most part, those expensive skincare companies are full of bull. You will waste a ton of money for nothing when you can do just as well – or better – by going to the drugstore. If you have normal skin, just wash with Dove and moisturize with Lubriderm if you have normal to dry skin. If you have some breakouts, go with Cetaphil or CeraVe.

3. Can you tell us about the best homemade skin treatment you’ve ever used?

Dana: I’m not a fan of homemade stuff, because they really aren’t as effective as what you can get in carefully made preparations. However, for moisturizing, there is nothing – and I mean NOTHING! – like Coconut Oil. Coconut Oil actually comes kind of solid, like body butter, but it melts quickly on the skin. I like to spoon out a chunk and throw it in the bath – it’s like bathing in luxury! If you have dry skin, especially in winter, I do a final coconut oil dip in the bath, or I just rub it all over my body. It also makes a great cuticle cream, face oil (don’t use if you have acne), massage oil, everything. You can even cook with it!

4. One of the number one skin problems college girls have is acne. Shouldn’t it have left us alone once we made it through puberty? How do we scare it away?

Dana: Some people, like me, will have acne to some degree their entire lives. Even now, I still deal with some breakouts. Why? It has to do with heredity and hormones, period. For mild to moderate, acne, there are some wonder products noted in my book, The Skin Regime; Boot Camp for Beautiful Skin. For instance, Retin-A cream, glycolic peels, non-comedogenic (doesn’t block pores) makeup and moisturizers can work wonders. You need a prescription for Retin-A, but any doctor can write it for you. For more severe acne, there are lots of wonderful things that are being done with lasers in dermatologist offices (go to a good “cosmetic” dermatologist that has all these new machines – call and ask ahead). And the miracle drug isotretinoin, known as Accutane, Sobret, and such – can be a permanent and wonderful solution for severe acne. But you must also go to a dermatologist who will work with you on that medication, so call ahead and be sure.

5. Tommy’s Tanning Salon is right down the road from us, and free tan weekend comes around very often! Can you give us some motivation to steer clear of the fake & bake, even when it’s dangling in front of our faces?

Dana: Yeah, check out my website (TheSkinRegime.com) and look at the “before” photos of Tanning Mom, Patricia Krentcil. She’s only 44, but looked 84. Even occasional tanning adds up, and someday after age 30, you’ll be sorry. Instead, go with self-tanners. I also like Neutrogena for face, and the new L’oreal sunscreens called “Sublime Sun.” Jergens also has good inexpensive ones, and I use them on my legs.
Or think this: Nicole Kidman is considered one of the most beautiful women in the world and she never tans. Does anyone think she needs one? No one needs one! Having great skin is what defines beauty – not what color your skin is!

6. Winter is around the corner….and so is dry, flaky, skin! What do you suggest that us QU girls do to keep a fresh face?

Dana: Again, this is where Coconut Oil can come in handy. Use moisturizers as often as you feel you need it – you cannot “over-moisturize.” Keep a little tube of your favorite stuff (or get a travel container you can fill), and keep it in your pocket or bag. I always, always, always have moisturizer on me. If I don’t want to carry a bag, I fill an empty lip-gloss jar with some and stick in in my jeans pocket.

And hey, I know you like a tan, and think you’ll look 19 or 20 forever, but you won’t unless you protect yourself with sunscreen. So put on a moisturizer with sunscreen – my current fav is CeraVE a.m. It doesn’t block pores, and has the sunscreen built right in.

7. With fast food restaurants near by and limited options in the cafe, it’s hard to watch what you eat around here. What’s the number one food, in your opinion, that’s messes up our skin the most? What’s the best food for our skin?

Dana: It is a myth that greasy foods or chocolate will give you acne or bad skin. That was debunked long ago (be sure to sign up for my next newsletter, which will have a nutritionist writing about this exact subject. There is a link on my website where you just click and sign up). Vitamin A is known to be good, but in general, eating a balanced diet with fruits and vegetables, exercising, and drinking enough water is good not only for your skin, but your entire body. Remember: What you put in your body will show outside your body.

8. Living in dorms, we never know when the cute boy next door may just pop on over – and we may not even be wearing makeup! What’s your number one tip for glowing skin, minus the makeup?

Dana: Most boys aren’t big fans of makeup, and will tell you they love a fresh, clean face and fresh, clean smell (and a nice personality). Naked skin is sexy skin, even on the face. If you follow The Skin Regime, it teaches you how to have fresh, glowing skin all the time, so you don’t have to worry about being caught sans makeup. So, keep your skin clean and exfoliated, moisturized, and don’t overlook those lips – dry caking lips are such a turn-off – who wants to kiss dead snake skin? Best thing I ever discovered is the basic in-the-tube Blistex (most drugstores have it). And remember the coconut oil I mentioned eariler? It is great for the lips, too. Keep those lips in good shape, protect them with Blistex or gloss in the winter. Do not use Vaseline – it actually blocks moisture from reaching into the lips.
Here is the biggest tip you can have, ever, to make a guy like you: Smile! Guys like happy girls. A simple smile turns them on.

9. Eyebrow waxing is a staple in college-girl culture. Is the hot wax a bad influence on our skin, or can we keep our weekly ritual?

Dana: Waxing is fine, just don’t put it on too hot, and don’t use on face if your skin is sensitive or just after exfoliating. And keep your thick eyebrows groomed – no need to over-do! Remember, eyebrows frame the eyes, and are a great asset; skip the “skinny” look. Just ask yourself: What do guys like? Victoria Secret models, not Vogue models (it’s true). Victoria secret models always have a fresh look, nice hair, never anorexic, and they never have those pencil-line eyebrows. Think about that!

10. Do you have a number one skin regret? How’d you fix it?

Dana: I’ll say it again, but it is the truth and any doctor will tell you: Sunbathing is the single worst thing you can do to your skin (smoking is the second worst). Period. I regret growing up in Los Angeles and hanging out at the beach with my boos and broiling myself. But I got smart soon enough, and realized that no one has ever said, “Ewww…. you need a tan,” even though I am naturally very fair. Instead, people are shocked when they found out how old I really am, and constantly ask how I got such great skin. And that, my dear, is why I wrote the book!

Anyone else have a new found motivation to jump into The Skin Regime? Your skin tells your story – so be sure to keep that story glowing, fresh, and clean!

Special thanks to Dana Ramos for taking the time to be HCQU’s skin care pro!

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