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3/20/2003

The Skin You're In
THE SKIN YOU'RE IN:

As those hot, dry Santa Anas blow across the valleys, your skin gets parched. And then when the weather gets cold, you get chapped.

Drinking water, avoiding the sun and seeing a dermatologist for pricey procedures will all help, but there's a new generation of quick fixes as close as your beauty bar.

Once of the most celebrity-touted products is Dr. Fredric Brandt's Vitamin C body lotion, which the Miami dermatologist says is a favorite of Giorgio Armani, Faith Hill, Cher and Natasha Richardson. The velvety lotion with a grapefruit scent only promises to make your skin look better -- not remove wrinkles -- which is a refreshing change after years of alpha-hydroxy product promises.

Included in the collection is Poreless, a gel to help minimize the size of your pores, as well as a variety of exfoliators and cleansers. You can learn about Brandt's products and surgical procedures in his new book, "Age-less: The Definitive Guide to Botox, Collagen, Lasers, Peels and Other Solutions for Flawless Skin" (William Morris; $19.95).

For ultra-sensitive skin that rejects anything with preservatives, check out Boscia cleansers, creams and dietary supplements made with natural ingredients ranging from the anti-oxidant jojoba to the calming willow herb and green tea. For more information on the Irvine-based Boscia company, call (888) 635-8884 or see www.boscia.net.

Actress Robin Wright Penn has been moonlighting as a consultant to her brother Richard Wright to create Ethix, a line of oxygen-rich skin-care products. What immediately sets them apart is the application: You spray a mist on your face instead of applying a cream. Then apply foundation and finish with a second misting if your skin is extra dry -- or you plan on spending the day in an airplane.

The new products are being launched in the San Fernando Valley at beauty boutiques, priced at $35 and up. For more information, see www.ethixskincare.com.

OK, so you've now heard about citrus, water, oils and herbs, but wait, there's more. Kinerase is working its magic with No. 6 furfuryladenine, a laboratory-produced ingredient to slow down the cell aging process (which speeds up when you lay on the beach all day and spend hours in tanning booths). It doesn't require a prescription, but you have to ask for it at pharmacy counters, where you need to hold on tight so you don't suffer from sticker shock. It's $140 for a 3.8-ounce bottle.

When face cream alone isn't enough, try rolling it into your pores with a little roller made of real jade, which is supposed to increase circulation. The Cool Jade kit includes the jade massager modeled after one used by Empress Dowager, with refining tonic and collagen cream packaged in a decorative box for $70 from the New York-based Ling Skin Care Spas. To order, call (888) 815-5464 or log onto www.ling-skincare.com.

Or try heat. Wahl's new Warm Lotion Massager is an awesome little appliance that dispenses warm lotion as it massages your skin. It's meant to be used on almost all body parts, but it's exceptionally good for rough heels and sore feet. However, the cordless rechargeable massager doesn't have enough electrical oomph to relax tense neck and shoulder muscles. The cordless Warm Lotion Massager with a recharger is sold at Bed Bath & Beyond and WalMart stores for $39.99.

For more help, turn to Pure Beauty. It's a new Encino-based company with skin spas in Studio City, Encino, Northridge, Glendale, Santa Clarita and Newbury Park, and celebs Benjamin Bratt, Katie Sagal and Teri Hatcher already have been seen there. At Pure Beauty, they'll rub the creams and vitamins into your skin for you during luxurious facials. They also sell the supplies, including Dermalogica skin-care products and vitamin tonics, for home treatments.

Jo Malone, who first applied her signature philosophy of fragrance-combining skin care in England, is now at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills and she's brought all of her beauty tricks for depuffing, rebalancing and rehydrating with her. Her star product, priced at $90, is simply called Vitamin E gel, and it really is a standout. It melts into your skin and makes rough cuticles and heels instantly soft, although Malone says she uses the Vitamin E gel on her lips and face and even on her baby's bottom. Hopefully she washes her hands between applications.

-- Barbara De Witt.

BRAIN TUMOR INFO:

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's Maxine Dunitz Neurological Institute will host "Surviving With a Brain Tumor," a free conference on Saturday for brain tumor patients, their families and caregivers. Surgeons and researchers will discuss new treatments as well as methods for coping with emotions that follow diagnosis. To reserve a seat, call (800) 233-2771.

-- Mariko Thompson.

HEAL THYSELF:

The newest self-help trend is Ayurveda, the healing side of yoga that involves colors, sounds, aromas and herbs for optimal health. Actually, it's a 5,000-year-old healing tradition steeped in Eastern Indian culture and brought to the United States by Deepak Chopra, and you can hear all about it at 7 p.m. Friday at the Bodhi Tree Bookstore, 8585 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. The introductory program will be presented by Marc Halpern, founder and director of the California College of Ayurveda. Fee is $15 and the number to call is (310) 659-4428.

-- B.D.

GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS:

"Asana" is a yoga term that can be translated as "to sit with," yoga instructor and author Cyndi Lee. tells us. It's an appropriate term, as you'll enjoy sitting with Lee's book, "OM Yoga: A Guide to Daily Practice" (Chronicle Books; $19.95). The book's design is particularly impressive. "OM Yoga" is spiral-bound in order to lie flat on the floor, illustrated in bright, eye-catching colors; and divided into tabbed sections with a program for each day of the week. The stick-figure drawings for each posture are surprisingly effective. Lee's guide is a worthy alternative on those days when you can't make it to yoga class.

-- M.T.