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The path to radiant skin begins with your commitment to developing a proactive approach to caring for your skin. With a regular skincare routine, an annual visit to your dermatologist, and your dedication to improving your diet, you can improve the health and appearance of your skin. Below are ten cost-effective steps to achieve more radiant skin.

1) Commit to Take Great Care of Your Skin

Radiant skin usually does not magically develop on its own. Gorgeous skin is more often the result of a person’s dedication to developing a proactive approach to skincare. Rather than waiting for skin problems to emerge, resign yourself to always being on the lookout for ways to improve your skin.

2) Create a Skincare Routine and Stick to it

Failing to properly cleanse your skin and over-cleansing your skin are two poor habits that can detract from your skin’s beauty. The foundation of radiant skin is a regular skin cleansing routine that occurs once each day. Be sure to choose a skin cleanser that is formulated to match your skin type and plan to spend approximately 30 seconds cleansing your skin.

3) Apply Sunscreen Before Going Outside

Without fail. Every day. Protecting your skin from the sun is vital to achieving a radiant glow. Never assume that you can forego sunscreen because you have dark skin or because you are too young to worry about skin cancer. People of all ages and skin types should apply a broadband sunscreen every morning to help protect their skin from premature aging and melanoma.

4) Schedule a Trip to Your Dermatologist

An annual visit to the dermatologist is a vital part of a proactive approach to skincare. In addition to screening your skin for cancer, a dermatologist can provide valuable recommendations on skincare products and treatments. If you do not have a regular dermatologist, ask your primary care provider for a referral.

5) Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

Make hydration a top priority by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Choosing a moisturizer that is formulated to your skin type is another best practice that will enhance your skin’s radiance.

6) Add Skin Enhancing Foods to Your Diet

Foods that are rich in potassium and vitamins B, C, E, and K are excellent choices. A few examples include bananas, olive oil, tomatoes, yams, and kale. Try to limit your intake of sodium-rich foods, as they can contribute to a puffy appearance around the eyes.

7) Invest In a Good Pair of Sunglasses

Wearing sunglasses can help prevent squinting and the development of fine lines around your eyes. As you shop for sunglasses, choose a pair with UV400 or greater for maximum protection against damaging rays.

8) Apply Foundation Sparingly

Wearing too much foundation or powder can sometimes detract from your skin’s radiance and give your skin an aged look. You should also choose a shade of makeup that is the proper match for your skin tone for ideal results.

9) Exfoliate Your Skin Regularly

Many people believe that exfoliation is a costly skin service that you receive at a med-spa or dermatologist’s office. On the contrary, exfoliation is a skincare procedure that you can undertake on your own with affordable drugstore products. You can use a skin scrub, washcloth, skin brush, or exfoliating gloves to achieve comparable exfoliation results from the comfort of your home.

10) Don’t Forget Your Vitamins!

A number of vitamins are lauded for their anti-aging properties. Vitamins B, C, E, and K are all examples of vitamins that can have a positive impact on your skin’s health and appearance. You can increase your intake of these vitamins by eating more foods that contain them, or by taking a multivitamin.

Healthy, radiant skin can be yours if you make a commitment to establishing a proactive skincare routine. By following the steps above, you can improve the health of your skin and achieve a radiant glow.

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Winter Gardening: Pruning Your Fruit Trees

What a delight fruit trees like apple, pear, cherry, and plum are to the beginning gardener. They come in all sizes and varieties and provide colorful blossoms in the spring and delicious fruits in the summer and fall.

The most important care you can give your fruit trees is an annual pruning. This will boost your harvest of top-notch fruit, keep your tree healthy, and manage its size. You’ll need a good set of hand clippers or “shears” and a set of long-handled “loppers” for higher branches. Your first pruning should come when you plant your bare-root fruit tree, most likely in the spring or the fall. After that, late winter is the best, when the tree is dormant and the leaves are gone so you can see where to cut. You should never prune in the spring, when the fruit tree is growing actively and its sap is running. You are likely to cause bleeding and open the tree to infections.

When pruning, you want to avoid flat cuts or the stubs will collect water and invite disease. Cut at a slant about one-quarter inch (a little under one centimeter) above a promising bud (that is, a bud that will produce a branch headed in the direction you want), a promising side branch, or a main branch.

When you are pruning your fruit trees, you are aiming for producing a tree in a spreading shape, without branches too close to the ground, and thinned so the sun can get through the leaves and ripen the fruit. For trees that bear heavy fruits like apples and pears, you want to encourage what is called a “central leader,” a strong middle branch from which other strong branches grow. Thin the branches along the center trunk by cutting right at the trunk so there’s plenty of space between them. Do the same for each secondary branch and so on until you get to the outermost branches. When choosing where to thin, look to cut away branches that are mostly vertical or too close to other established branches. For trees that bear lighter weight fruits, such as cherry and plums, prune for an open center. You want to encourage three or four branches along the lower part of the trunk spreading out to form a vase. The secondary branches can then be treated as they are in apple and pear trees. Whenever you’re doing your pruning to shape, also remove damaged wood back to a live branch, take off a few older limbs before they become too big, and cut off branches that have crossed and might rub.

The one exception to the rule about pruning only in the colder months is the case of suckers. These are fast-growing shoots that grow along the roots of a fruit tree. These will not grow into healthy fruit trees but will compete for resources with your tree. Suckers should be treated as weeds and lopped off at the base or mowed over as soon as they appear.

Pruning your fruit trees once a year is an easy chore that will keep your trees blooming and attractive and help ensure a robust crop.

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