I see it everyday… people who desperately want clear, healthy skin, and yet don’t know the simplest ways to ensure achieving it.
It’s easy to be over-whelmed or confused, as different sources constantly relay different information, and it’s hard to know what to believe versus what to dismiss.
Below are the simplified rules of what you need to be do in order to give yourself the healthiest skin possible. (Some of which you have probably heard, others you may have not.)
By just taking a few extra moments to read the list below, you can help prevent years’ worth of premature aging, wrinkles, brown spots, pimples, acne scars, and all of the other dreaded skin maladies that constantly plague my patients:
1. Always wash your face before bed!
Just as your body needs sleep to renew and refresh itself, so does your skin. Your skin uses this downtime to repair itself from the assualts it experienced over the course of the day, however the skin cannot properly rejuvenate itself if it’s still covered in a day’s worth of grime, pollution, oil, and dead skin cells.
“Sleeping with dirt, oil, and makeup on causes acne and enlarged pores,” says Audrey Kunin, MD, an associate clinical instructor of dermatology at the University of Kansas School of Medicine.
Realistically, it only takes a few minutes to wash your face, but if you absolutely cannot muster the energy to do so– at least keep some face wipes in your nightstand so that some of the gunk can be removed from your face at night.
2. SPF should be used everyday, regardless of season!
I wish I had a nickel for every-time I’ve heard, “I don’t need sunscreen, it’s winter!”
Granted, most people aren’t lying out and sunning themselves when the temperature drops, but just because you’re not wearing a bathing suit doesn’t mean that the sun’s rays are any less damaging.
UVA rays are present all year long, and they happen to be the primary culprit behind premature aging. Exposure happens constantly, whether you’re aware of it or not– walking, driving, even if you’re indoors the UVA rays can affect your skin through windows. (If you can feel the heat of the sun on your skin through a window, UVA damage is occurring.)
The #1 way to guard against this constant sun damage, and keep skin looking youthful for as long as possible, is to use a sunscreen with an SPF 30 that’s labeled broad-spectrum, EVERYDAY! For the best protection, choose one that contains either avobenzone, Helioplex, Mexoryl, titanium dioxide, or zinc oxide.(Everyone at my office is currently in LOVE with SkinCeuticals new SPF 50.)
3. You don’t need expensive skin care products
Many La Mer (a skin cream that costs $230 for 2 oz.) devotees come to us, seeking help for their various skin problems. After reviewing their recommended treatment plans, they are astounded to hear the prices of the skin care products they might want to use following a treatment. Once it’s all tabulated, it comes out to something like a year’s worth of great skin care products (face wash, moisturizer, sunscreen, etc.) can be purchased for about the same cost of one 2oz. jar of La Mer. After the make the switch, they cannot stop raving about how good the less expensive products are… and how good it feels to be saving that $230!
Lesson to be learned: you don’t need to believe all the hype– just because it’s more expensive does not make it automatically better. To that affect, you should perfectly confident shopping for good skin care products at the drugstore! Studies show that mass products are as effective as (and sometimes more so than) the super-expensive lines.
“Look for active ingredients, not fancy labels,” says David E. Bank, MD, an associate professor of dermatology at Columbia University/Presbyterian Hospital. And he’s 100% right– it’s what is in the product that determines it’s effectiveness, not it’s price-tag or packaging. The most effective ingredients to look for should include retinoids, AHAs, peptides, vitamin C, and hydrators such as hyaluronic acid.
4. Results may not occur immediately
In today’s age where the Internet has made it so that we can access anything exactly when we want it, our culture has come to be extremely result driven, and patience can be hard to come by.
Keep in mind that when you are trying something new, or incorporating an additional component to your skin care routine, it can take at least 8 weeks to see the results of many ingredients.
Give your skin care products time to deliver their benefits before discounting their effectiveness.
5. There are options even for the most unique skin types
A lot of times patients will be reluctant to try new products or treatments for fear of their skin being too ___________________ (fill in the blank; sensitive, dry, oily, etc.) to tolerate whatever is being recommended. However, with beauty technology advancing as rapidly as it is, these days there is a solution for any type of skin.
For example, something as common as “exfoliating” is a necessary part of maintaining healthy and clear skin, that a lot of people are hesitant about. A lot of sensitive-skin types are extremely wary of exfoliating due to unpleasant past experiences. For those with this type of skin, the more aggressive scrubs should definitely be skipped so as to avoid unwanted side-affects, and instead a gentle chemical exfoliator or cleansing beads could be used. (There are multiple varieties of both.)
It is a good idea to always keep in mind your skin’s unique attributes, and choose your options accordingly.
Naomi Fenlin, L.E., C.M.E., co-owner of Cosmopolitan Skin Care Solutions, has performed tens of thousands of skin treatments. She and her partner Adam Sobel, M.D., are leaders in the world of laser aesthetics, which happily allows them help people on a daily basis feel better about themselves through the successful implementation of these cutting-edge skin treatments.
Feel free to contact Cosmopolitan Skin Care Solutions with any acne, aging, or other skin-care related question, concern, or comment at [email protected]
Follow Cosmopolitan Skin Care Solutions on Twitter!
Follow Cosmopolitan Skin Care Solutions on Facebook!
Sign-up for skin care treatment coupons, savings, news and tips!