Five Easy Rules for Choosing Skin Care
Imagine a dentist who cleans your teeth twice a year but never suggests that you brush or floss in-between visits. The dentist would have more cavities and gum disease to treat, but you as the client would be paying the price. The same can be said for skin. We love to enhance your skin with lasers, fillers, peels and facials. But if you don’t take care of yourself between treatments, you won’t have the perfect skin you deserve.
One might say that selecting a toothpaste is not as tricky as choosing the appropriate skincare products. And right you are! All of the options available can be overwhelming. I consider it a part of my job to help you make the right choices. After all, I am a cosmetic dermatologist and giving you flawless skin is my goal in life.
Brush! Actually don’t brush, “Clarisonic brush”. The Clarisonic brush is currently the coolest thing in skin cleansing. From the same creator as the Sonicare toothbrush, there are no scrubbing or rotating bristles with the Clarisonic. With its revolutionary technology, the brush actually oscillates in order to create a vibration. This vibration allows cleansers to penetrate pores, stimulate circulation and ultimately, make your skin feel happy! There are a variety of models to choose from (from the cute little MIA, all the way to the physician-grade model that we, the professionals, use in the office).
It’s unavoidable, dead skin is constantly building up on the surface of our skin. The buildup is a natural consequence of constant skin cell growth. When new cells form, the old tired cells get jettisoned. Often the dead cells loiter on the surface of our skin too long and the skin begins to look “dull”. Removing the dead cells has been an age-old challenge. Traditionally scrubbing was advised, with products like the Buf-Puf (made by 3M) or creams containing abrasive particles like peach pits. On the surface level, these products get the job done but they are not very effective for cleansing clogged pores. They also tend to irritate the skin, especially in the hands of an overzealous (but good-intentioned) person. An alternative to “scrubbing” are chemical exfoliates such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid (for those that are acne prone, it penetrates oily pores well) or retinoic acid (better known as Retin A and its kinder cousins: retinoids). Healthy skin cells slide out gently as the active ingredients dissolve the glue that keeps old cells hanging on. Retinoids have the advantage of also increasing cellular turnover causing cells to look and act younger.
Not only do we want increased cellular turnover; we would like to stimulate new collagen and elastin that will create firmer and more youthful skin. In recent years, research has pointed in the direction of peptides and skin growth factors which provoke the skin to increase collagen production. Including one of these products in your regimen is a must.
Mom always said “Drink your orange juice; it is chockfull of Vitamin C!” You know, she was right because Vitamin C is the most well known antioxidant. It has the ability to neutralize damaging molecules in the body that are produced by toxins, pollution, stress and dangerous sunrays. Science has given us many ultra-potent antioxidants (hundreds of times stronger than Vitamin C). Make vitamins on the inside and outside part of your regimen!
What can I say that you don’t already know – ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN! Since the sun is the biggest culprit when it comes to skin aging, take steps to protect yourself. Large brim hats and consciously choosing shaded areas can also help the cause.
Still need help with your skin? Come to our Beauty Bootcamp on September 26th, sponsored by SkinMedica, Colorscience and Clarisonic. The whole Van Dyke Laser & Skin team will be there to guide you in the direction of skincare success. TEN-HUT!