What’s the secret to great skin? I get it- skin care can seem overwhelmingly complicated. But having great skin doesn’t have to be hard! Today I’m going to outline the basics of a good skin care regimen, and give you three secrets to great skin.
A skin care routine starts with 3 key products:
You’ve gotta wash your face every night. No really- every night! Please wash off that makeup and the dirt and oil that accumulate over the course of a day. All that grime is hard on your skin, so washing it daily is key. And this leads us to…
secret to great skin #1: Don’t stick with the same cleanser for 20 years!
I saw a patient recently who had been using the same benzoyl peroxide cleanser she’d started using in her teens. She was now 40, and suffering from dry skin. Your skin changes throughout life, and you may need to change products to adjust.
Everybody needs moisturizer! Moisturizer helps keep skin in the happy zone of not too dry and not too oily. In fact, avoiding moisturizer because you have oily skin is another common skin care mistake. Applying a moisturizer formulated for oily skin will actually prevent your skin from over producing oil.
Secret to great skin #2: Don’t use the same moisturizer year round! Dry winter air usually requires a heavier moisturizer. In the warm summer months a light hydrating serum may be enough to keep your skin happy.
Just like everybody needs moisturizer, everybody also needs sunscreen! Sunscreen is the first line of defense to prevent wrinkles and brown spots.
Secret to great skin #3: Don’t assume the SPF in your makeup is enough! I see this skin care mistake all the time! But you just don’t use enough foundation to protect your skin. Pick a moisturizer with SPF 30 or higher and apply it every day before you put on makeup.
What about other products?
Toner can be a great addition to your routine, especially if you have acne-prone skin. Toner can add a little extra cleansing power to your routine, or be used as a delivery vehicle for retinoids, vitamin C, or other active ingredients.
Serums deliver antioxidants such as Vitamin C, which prevents future damage. Apply to clean skin, followed by moisturizer.
Retinoids are my go-to product for anti-aging. Apply retinoids to dry skin (they absorb more in damp skin, and since retinoids are irritating, this can be an issue). Retinoids are very irritating, so you may have to play around to find a formulation and frequency that works for you.
Skin lighteners (hydroquinone and lytera) prevent melanocytes from forming pigment. This gradually lighten skin over time, or can also be used to maintain the results from a laser treatment. But hydroquinone-containing products should only be used for three months, then your skin needs a break. If you use it too long your skin can become resistant to its effects, or become irritated.
I hope you find skin care a little simpler after reading this article. And if you still don’t know where to start, go see an aesthetician! Our office offers complimentary skin care consultations, so you can ensure you’re using the right products for your skin type. Call us at (440) 974-8577 to schedule.
Dr. Greer is a Plastic Surgeon who practices in Cleveland, OH. Her passion is helping moms regain self-confidence by getting rid of sagginess, wrinkles, and stubborn fat. Read more about her at www.greerplastics.org.