What Is the Best Skincare Routine for Me?
A good skincare routine is the foundation of antiaging treatment. After all- why spend hundreds of dollars on Botox and fillers if you aren’t taking great care of your skin? A good skincare routine keeps skin healthy, prevents future aging, and even reverses some of the damage that is already there. But how do you know what skincare routine is right for you? Today I’m going to explain why having a professionally created, customized skincare plan is important, and go through some of the common mistakes I see people make with their skincare routine.
Why are there so many skincare products available?
The skincare business is a huge industry. Facial cleansers alone accounted for over $1.5 billion in sales in 2019, with anti-aging products bringing in another billion dollars. With that kind of money on the table, it’s no surprise there are so many options available. But the enormous variety of products available is frankly overwhelming at best, and confusing at worst. How do you know which products are right for your skin?The skincare business is a huge industry. Facial cleansers alone accounted for over $1.5 billion in sales in 2019, with anti-aging products bringing in another billion dollars. With that kind of money on the table, it’s no surprise there are so many options available. But the enormous variety of products available is frankly overwhelming at best, and confusing at worst. How do you know which products are right for your skin?
Seek professional help!
Having professional guidance with your skincare plan means no more guessing games in the skincare aisle. I do recommend sticking with a medical professional for your skincare recommendations, which means a board-certified Plastic surgeon or Dermatologist, or a licensed aesthetician. Avoid that neighbor down the street who started selling skincare products as part of a multi-level marketing program! And don’t think professional advice equates with costly products. It’s possible to put together a solid skincare routine from products available at your local pharmacy, with the addition of a couple prescription-strength products to reverse damage.
Why is professional help so important?
- If you don’t know the problem, you can’t find the solution. Many skincare conditions look very similar. I’ve seen patients throw everything in the book at an acne breakout without success. And when I see them in person it’s clear they’re actually suffering from orofacial dermatitis, which gets worse with more products. Correctly diagnosing the problem is the first step.
- We know the common pitfalls that make your skin look worse. So if you have a reaction to one of the products you’re using, it’s not a big guess game to figure out which one. See the common skincare mistakes below for more info on that.
- We have access to prescription-strength treatments. Sometimes over-the-counter products just won’t cut it. And although an aesthetician cannot provide you with a prescription, she will likely know when you need to be seen by a doctor.
- We know when skincare isn’t enough. A solid skin care program is important, but it’s not magic. Sometimes I need to pull out the big guns and treat people with Botox or laser treatments to get the results they’re looking for.
And if you don’t have time to make an in-person visit for a skin care consultation, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a customized plan created just for you! Right on our website you can give us some info about your skin, upload a few photos, and receive a customized plan through your email!
Common skin care mistakes
Now that you know why a customized skin care plan is so important, let’s go through a few of the mistakes I commonly see:
- Assuming the SPF in your makeup is enough.
Most foundations on the market now contain SPF for sun protection. But unless you are caking on the makeup, you simply aren’t applying enough product to provide adequate protection. I recommend applying a mineral sunscreen underneath your foundation. Chemical sunscreens break down throughout the day, but a sunscreen with zinc or titanium dioxide provides consistent protection throughout the day. My favorite? AlumierMD broad spectrum sunscreen*. It absorbs nicely instead of leaving your skin looking pasty, and the tinted version means you don’t need as much makeup.
- Over exfoliating.
When I think back to high school I remember the bottle of St. Ives Apricot Scrub that was ever present in our shower. It always felt so good to give my face a good scrubbing! But over-exfoliating will actually make your skin break out more. The apricot scrub is especially harsh- way too rough for the face. I recommend a gentler product, like the AlumierMD lotus scrub*, and don’t use it more than once or twice a week.
- Using body soap or hand soap to wash your face.
I know many of us grab whatever is handy to wash our faces at night. And while this is marginally better than leaving makeup on overnight, hand soap or bar soap are rough on delicate facial skin. Using a cleanser meant for the face, and washing your makeup off every night, is the first step to better skin. Cleansers are one area where you don’t have to spend a lot of money, either. Cetaphil or CeraVe are available at your local pharmacy, and will get your makeup off without drying your skin.
- Not removing makeup at night.
It’s hard when you’re tired and just want to crawl into bed. But taking that extra three minutes to wash your face at night will have your skin thanking you. Not only will leaving your makeup on cause your skin to break out, but it can also speed up the aging process.
- Using over the counter when you really need prescription strength.
The most common anti-aging product available is a retinoid like tretinoin or retinol. But the over-the-counter versions come in very low concentrations, meaning you may not see a huge improvement in fine lines and uneven complexion. Your retinol is one area where I recommend a prescription-strength product. I love the AlumierMD retinol*- it comes in three different strengths, so you can find the one that works best with your skin. And the product is micro-encapsulated for slow release, meaning it’s more gentle than other retinols while still being effective.
- Not changing products as your problem areas change.
At least once a month I’ll have a patient tell me she’s been using the same skin-care products for the past twenty years. But skin changes over time, and so should your skin care routine. Skin that was oily when younger may become dry with age. Or you may develop new problem areas like uneven pigmentation and fine lines that your current skin care regimen doesn’t address. It’s worthwhile to re-evaluate your skin care regimen every few years, and especially after major life changes like pregnancy, or moving to a new climate.
What’s the bare minimum I need to do for my skin?
If you’ve stuck with me this far, you may be confused on exactly what products should be in your skin care routine. You can request a customized treatment plan right on our website, but I didn’t want to end this post without giving you at least the very basics of a good skin care regimen. The good news? You only need three products to get started:
- Facial cleanser
- A facial moisturizer
- Mineral sunscreen
Apply your mineral sunscreen in the morning and put makeup over it. At night, wash the makeup off and apply moisturizer. It’s that simple!
Great skincare doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. But with so many products on the market, it’s critical that you have professional input on which products are the best for your problem areas. This will save you time and money in the long run!
*I’m sure by now you’ve noticed that I’ve mentioned several products from the AlumierMD line. AlumierMD is fairly new on the US market, but it’s been available in Europe for several years. The product line is very clean, with no parabens, phthalates, or sulfates, and no dyes or fragrances. And it contains clinically-proven concentrations of active ingredients, meaning it’s effective, but gentle. It’s also cruelty-free and vegan. If you’d like to purchase AlumierMD products simply visit www.AlumierMD.com/join and use our access code: J83JDRP6.