Your Biggest Beauty Dilemmas

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Each month I answer a few of your most pressing beauty questions in the pages of Latina. The questions I receive range from “what exactly is a serum?” to “what makeup does Jennifer Lopez use?” But there are a few questions that I hear over and over again. Here, the top three and my favorite solutions:

1. How do I get rid of dark under-eye circles?
Dark circles are a result of the blood vessels showing through the thin skin under your eye. When the skin sags (as a result of no sleep, a bad diet, or simply getting older), the circles worsen. The quickest solution: Apply an eye cream that has caffeine, which will get the blood flowing, then cover-up the circles with makeup. First use a yellow-tinted corrector (which is just like a concealer, but comes in a yellow color to counteract the bluish circles; try Physicians Formula Gentle Cover Stick in Yellow, $5.45, drugstore.com). Then layer your regular concealer on top, so the area matches your skin tone.

2. How do I stop my hair from getting so frizzy?
The most common reason hair frizzes is because it’s dry or damaged. So start doing a deep conditioning treatment once a week (I like Pantene Intensive Restoration Treatment, $6, drugstore.com), and always apply a heat-protecting spray to your hair before you blow-dry, flat iron, or curl it. If your hair still frizzes mid-day, apply a light, hydrating lotion or oil mist (like Kerastase Oleo Curl Mist, $27.50, amazon.com) to pat down flyaway strands.

3. What’s the best way to treat manchas?
First off, wear sunscreen. UV rays will make your dark spots worse, so it’s important to keep your skin protected whenever you’re outside. But to deal with the ones you have now, you have two choices. One is to see a dermatologist, who (depending on your skin tone) can give you a prescription for a cream that contains hydroquinone (which stops the skin from producing excess pigment) or zap the spot with a laser. The spot will scab and then fall off; the treatment costs at least a few hundred dollars.

The second option is to start using at-home products that contain an alpha hydroxy acid to exfoliate the top, dull layers of your skin (like Skin Effects Glycolic Cream Cleanser, $13, cvs.com), and an ingredient that will inhibit the production of pigment, like retinol, vitamin C, kojic acid, licorice, or niacin (one to try: Neutrogena Tone Correcting Targeted Treatment, $19, drugstores). Your spots should fade in a few months.

So what are your biggest beauty questions? I’d love to hear them—and answer them in a future issue of Latina. To send me your questions, click on this link: latina.com/askkate.

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