Improve Your Skin
We now know more than ever about how to care for our skin, but with a dizzying assortment of science-based solutions competing for a space on our bathroom counter, things can quickly get overwhelming.
This guide is for you if you’ve ever bailed on a shopping cart full of serums, moisturizers, exfoliants, and creams due to skincare routine overload. Keep things simple — and smart. Break down your routine into daily, weekly, and monthly chores instead of trying to maintain a 10-step pattern every day.
Every day, do the following:
1. Cleanse every night
It’s possible that your skin will be OK without an AM wash, perhaps with only water or a fast wipe with cleaning (aka micellar) water. Cleaning off the slurry of makeup, sunscreen, grime, oil, and germs seething in your pores during your evening regimen, on the other hand, is necessary.
Cleansing tip: Micellar water washes, removes makeup, and hydrates in one step, according to David Lortscher, MD, board-certified dermatologist and creator of Curology: “It uses small molecules — micelles — that take dirt and oil out of your skin.” After that, use a light cleaner to finish.
If you don’t want to use micellar water, use an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup and sunscreen before switching to a foamy cleanser. Use a moderate non-foaming cleanser if your skin doesn’t accept foaming cleansers. This is a thorough yet gentle approach to washing your skin without taking it off its natural oils.
Cleansers that are widely used every day
- Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser or Cosrx Low PH Good Morning Gel Cleanser are two gentle soap cleansers.
- Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water or La Roche-Posay Micellar Cleansing Water for Sensitive Skin are two options for micellar water.
- DHC Deep Cleansing Oil is an oil cleanser.
2. Protect yourself with sunscreen
Yes, we’ve all heard the warnings and are nevertheless tempted to do errands without sunscreen to avoid that greasy, heavy feeling — but sun damage is more than simply a tan: UV radiation causes photoaging, inflammation, and skin cancer, among other things. UV damage is thought to be responsible for “up to 80% of skin aging,” according to Lortscher, who advocates daily use of SPF 30 UVA and UVB protection.
SPF tip: Use a standalone sunscreen with a high SPF. Even if your regular moisturizer or cosmetics has an SPF, bear in mind that the SPF number is based on a far larger amount of sunscreen than most people believe. To be precise, 2 milligrams (mg) per square centimeter (cm) of skin are used by Trusted Source. On average, that’s 1/4 teaspoon. Consider how much protection you’d need if you used up an entire bottle of foundation in less than four weeks.
YOU CAN’T ADD UP SPF
Remember that even if you’re using various SPF products, you can’t “add up” the SPFs to get a total of 30. You must ensure that at least one of the items contains SPF 30.
3. If possible, skip a step
Don’t feel obligated to smear everything every single day. Instead, concentrate on what your skin requires. Is a moisturizer required to combat dryness? Is it possible that it’s dehydrated? Do you have a medication that needs to be taken every day? Climate, season, weather, and age may all affect your skin’s demands. If you can’t handle the notion of using your customary thick moisturizer on a humid day, don’t! Don’t feel obligated to repeat yourself every day; your routine should be pleasurable and relaxing.
Tip: The finest routine is one that you can stick to. It’s fine to quit once you’ve taken care of the fundamentals, or to add processes and items if you want to. If you’re not feeling up to a whole regimen, you may indulge your winter-dry skin with an overnight sleeping pack, soothe summer skin with a refreshing sheet mask, or just snuggle into bed with just-cleansed skin. You don’t have to do everything every day, though.
What should you do every week?
1. Use caution when exfoliating
Exfoliation isn’t necessary for everyone, but even with frequent cleaning, dead skin can accumulate on the surface, leaving your face feeling dirty, harsh, or dull. Exfoliating once a week will make your skin appear and feel smoother, brighter, and less prone to blocked pores.
EXFOLIANTS WITH MANUAL EXFOLIANTS SHOULD BE AVOIDED (AKA SCRUBS)
Microtears in the skin can be caused by scrubs with rough or sharp particles. Scrubs can also aggravate acne, as the “friction from hard scrubbing will backfire,” according to Lortscher. This irritates the skin, which leads to more acne.”
Consider using a chemical exfoliator, such as an AHA or BHA, instead of a scrub. Excess dead skin is dislodged by these, which may then be gently brushed away.
Pro-tip: Do not do both daily and weekly. Some chemical exfoliants containing AHA/BHA are intended to be used on a daily basis. If you currently use a daily exfoliator, you might want to skip the once-weekly exfoliation because your skin will be more sensitive. If not, a weekly exfoliation to slough off dead skin could be beneficial.
2. Remove clogs from your pores
Examine your pores: Are your pores clogged with blackheads and sebaceous filaments? Congested pores are irritating at best and invite acne at worst, even though you shouldn’t try to remove them yourself. A purifying face mask, such as one made of clay or charcoal, or a mild oil massage will help release blockages and reduce the appearance of your pores. Just remember not to pick at your skin!
What should be done once a month
1. Examine your expiration dates
You may not be able to use up all of your items before they expire, from face masks to serums. Check the expiration dates of your items once a month to see if anything has to be thrown out.
Even if you’ve skipped your heavier moisturizers due to the oppressive heat, leftovers don’t indicate it’s still fine to use – especially if it’s a product you scoop out with your fingertips. This procedure may bring germs or pollutants into the jar, allowing them to grow. After six months, consider tossing these items.
2. Self-examination of the skin
Lortscher advises doing a monthly skin self-exam to notice any areas that need to be seen by a dermatologist. The American Academy of Dermatology explains how to perform a comprehensive self-exam to identify skin cancer.
What you should leave to the experts
1. Chemical peels
Chemical exfoliation on a daily basis is one thing, but full-fledged chemical peels are not something you should do at home. Did you know that glycolic acid, one of the most regularly used alpha-hydroxy acid exfoliants, produces photosensitivity that can linger for up to a week, even at low daily concentrations? Chemical peels are best done in the office of a professional who can take you through post-peel care and precautions due to the high concentrations and higher risk of harm.
2. Clearing blocked pores by squeezing and popping them
We’ve all been there: you wake up the morning of a major event with an unsightly imperfection flapping about your face from every shiny surface. Don’t crush that zit to extinction, no matter how tempting it seems! See your dermatologist for an injection of a dilute cortisone drug called Kenalog directly into the cyst, which will generally diminish it within 36 hours.
Same with extractions
Those eye-catching blackheads and bumpy whiteheads that show up as moguls beneath makeup may appear to be ready to be emptied. However, resist the urge to embark on a search-and-destroy operation! Extractions are best left to the professionals.
3. Skin assessment and treatment
Self-diagnosis and DIY therapy, as appealing as it is to hunt for solutions to major skin problems in over-the-counter items and popular treatments, may be frustrating at best. In the worst-case scenario, you may end up damaging your skin.
“In the case of mild acne, over-the-counter medications combined with esthetician treatments may be sufficient,” Lortscher says, “but prescription medications are usually indicated for more inflamed, extensive, or unresponsive acne, and can only be obtained from a dermatologist or other licensed medical provider.”
Do you require the services of a dermatologist or an esthetician?
“You might call your esthetician if you want a facial treatment, need product recommendations, or have some mild breakouts or dry patches on your skin,” Lortscher suggests, but “stubborn acne and other skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, or skin growths” should be addressed by a dermatologist.
|Background||a licensed skincare professional||licensed medical doctors|
|What they treat||aesthetic skin concerns, to improve the appearance of your skin with surface treatments||skin diseases, disorders, and their underlying causes|
|Services||extractions, microdermabrasion, masks, hair removal, application of facial makeup, light chemical peels, facial massages,||eczema, psoriasis, and skin growths); prescribes prescription-based treatments including topical or oral medications; Makes diagnoses (including stubborn acne, dermal fillers, strong chemical peels, performs procedures including injections for inflamed cystic acne, Botox, and laser procedures; performs surgeries including excisions of skin cancers|
The latest, low-cost solutions to your skin-care concerns
Unless you have a significant skin problem or have had a cancer scare, you probably haven’t given a dermatologist a second thought. Most of us are hesitant to face the annoyance and out-of-pocket costs of skin disorders that aren’t severe enough to be called a “medical condition” (acne counts but not anti-aging concerns like hyperpigmentation), leaving us with few options.
Teledermatology, on the other hand, is altering the game. Curology links patients with qualified medical doctors through the internet, allowing you to obtain a dermatological assessment and treatment plan while staying in your pajamas. This simple online service allows your dermatologist to inspect your skin (limited to acne and anti-aging problems), talk about your objectives, and deliver you a personalized prescription therapy directly to your door.
Is it worked like traditional dermatology? Yes, since you’ll be consulting a Registered Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant at the Curology office, who will be working closely with board-certified dermatologists.
Before and After visits to the dermatologist
Before: My face burst with dry, spotty regions, pustules, excruciating cystic acne, and became bright red three years ago. I tried everything I could think of to get rid of the acne, or at the very least to reduce its severity. I tried birth control, as well as every drugstore face wash, mask, and lotion I could find, but nothing worked. Years passed, and I just learned to pretend on the outside that I was happy with my skin, [while] sobbing on the inside because I felt powerless to repair anything. My mother would cry as well, wishing she could do anything to assist.
I was surfing through Instagram one day when I came across an advertisement for Curology. I proceeded to the website and filled out the form. After considerable deliberation, Monica Sanchez (my magical unicorn), my Curology provider, chose to start with a month of antibiotics (doxycycline) to combat my acne from the inside out, as well as starting my Curology solution once a day after washing my face with a mild cleanser at night.
After: After two weeks, I began to see a difference. Even though my face was still red, it was smooth! You guys, I wept so many joyful tears. I was able to conceal the remaining flaws with cosmetics, and no one could tell that I had bright red skin with scarring behind it.
Even at that point, I was ecstatic, but a few months passed and things just kept getting better. My skin is now clean, silky, and tranquil. My self-assurance has skyrocketed. I no longer get pimples (I used to get at least three every day), and I can go out without wearing makeup.
Here’s a short version that you can print and pin on your bathroom mirror!
|Clean your face at night||Exfoliate||Check all of your product’s expiry dates|
|Wear sunscreen||Unclog your pores with a mask or massage (optional)||Do a skin cancer self-exam|
|Simplify your routine|
Your skincare regimen should be enjoyable for you, or at the very least something you feel good about doing. With these easy actions, you can be assured that you’re providing your skin with the care it needs, allowing you to enjoy beautiful, and healthy skin all year.
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