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Sun's up! Get a beach-ready bod from head to toe - July/August 2009

"Acne is caused by dead skin cells that clog pores and trap bacteria", says Dr. Diane Wong.

By Christina Caicedo

July/August 2009

Breakouts Acne on your face or body can make you feel like one of Monet's paintings-meant for admiring from afar, not close-up.

THE CAUSE: 'Acne is caused by dead skin cells that clog pores and trap bacte ria," says Dr. Diane Wong, a cosmetic physician and the owner of Glow Medi Spa in Toronto. Hormones, an improper cleansing routine and heavy cosmetics can all be factors too.

THE SOLUTION: Wong recommends chemical peels (the most common ones use a glycolic acid solution). Applied for three to five minutes, the peel gently exfoliates and removes dead skin cells, which releases debris and oil from pores.

SIDE EFFECTS: Although there's no downtime, you may experience temporary redness and mild flaking.Your skin is more sensitive post-peel, so Wong recommends using SPF 30 sun block and temporarily avoiding products containing retinol or glycolic acid.

RESULTS: You should see an improvement in acne within one to two weeks after a peel. For best results, a series of treatments may be required.

COST: $ 100 - $175