Skin care 101
Taking care of your skin is one of the most noticeable ways to prevent signs of aging and sun damage. It can also reduce dark spots and acne. To be your best self, it is important to start taking care of your skin early and managing any chronic issues with it. But there are so many skincare products to choose from! Which ones are most important for you to feel most comfortable in your own skin?
The first step, before buying any products, is to know what type of skin you have. There is no “one size fits all” for skin or skin products. Dry skin is flaky, scaly, or rough, and may often occur on surfaces such as elbows or heels. Oily skin is shiny, greasy, and may have large pores. This can predispose you to acne. Some people have sensitive skin that may itch, burn, or sting or develop a rash after using most skin products. Others have “combination skin” that is dry in some spots and oily in others. If you don’t know your skin type, you can look for cleansers that are dermatologist recommended or known to work for all skin types, such as CeraVe or Cetaphil products.
From morning to night
A skincare routine should ideally occur once in the morning and once at night, and begin with a simple face wash. Consider only doing this step once a day if you have drier skin, though. When you wash your face, use a gentle soap or cleanser, and do not scrub. This will take away the natural oils that your skin needs to thrive.
Different types of topical treatments
In the morning, a serum with Vitamin C growth factors will work well under sunscreen to prevent inflammation, while at night, retinoids are recommended to lower the risk of developing wrinkles. From there, apply moisturizer. Even oily skin needs moisturizer, but make sure to choose one that is labeled “non-comedogenic” and gel-based for these types. For drier skin, a thicker cream may be more useful. Finally, apply sunscreen with at least 30 SPF (sun protection factor) at least 15 minutes before heading outdoors so that your skin has time to absorb it and reap the benefits later. For dark-skinned people, this step is actually more important than you might think, because hyperpigmentation is harder to correct.
If skin condition persists, then consultation with a health professional is needed. They can treat abnormal skin conditions with prescription grade medications such as Tretinoin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatories.
This article reviewed by Dr. Jim Liu, MD and Ms. Deb Dooley, APRN.
There’s nothing more important than our good health – that’s our principal capital asset.
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April 8, 2023