Skincare Routine

Picture of Sarah Chan, PA-C, in a lab coat

Author: Sarah Chan, PA-C

Taking care of your skin doesn’t have to involve 10 steps or a medical degree – though it certainly can! A solid skin care routine involves knowing how to take care of your particular skin type (everyone is different!), what certain skin care products do, and how to use those products properly. Great skin is not simply a matter of DNA — your daily habits, in fact, have a big impact on what you see in the mirror. But depending on which product reviews you read or doctors you consult, there is a dizzying number of opinions on everything from how to moisturize to how to protect yourself from UV rays. Ultimately, caring for your skin is simply personal. Here’s what you should keep in mind to sort through all the noise.

Be Gentle – Use a gentle face wash that won’t strip your skin of its natural oils. Massage the face wash on your skin using just your fingertips with light to medium pressure.  As we age, our skin tends to get less oily and more sensitive, even if you are still prone to adult acne and breakouts. Cleaners that are made for ‘acne-prone’ skin tend to cause more breakouts and leave your skin dry.

Upgrade Your SPF – Applying sunscreen after washing your face, with an SPF of 30 or higher is a great way to keep your skin healthy and will prevent age spots and discoloration from the sun.  Using sunscreens with active ingredients like zinc or titanium dioxide are great ways to help protect your skin from the sun’s harsh UVA and UVB rays. Get a daily moisturizer that contains SPF!

Watch What you Eat – Much of what happens on the outside of your body is the result of what you put into it. It’s important to eat foods that nourish the skin like high protein meats and fatty fish. Avoid alcohol and foods high in sugar which can dehydrate the skin and make it appear dull. Processed foods and refined sugar also increase inflammation which may break down the skin’s natural collagen and elastin.

Exfoliate Weekly – Our skin sheds dead skin cells regularly, creating a new layer every 28 days. But that process can slow over time as we mature, leading to a dull-looking complexion with rougher patches that are more noticeable. Help your skin by removing that buildup and exfoliate at least once per week. Try using a facial scrub with round particles so they are less irritating and always use your fingertips in a gentle circular motion with light pressure. Your skin will thank you!

Hydrate – Dull skin may be caused due to a lack of water in the body.  Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and limiting diuretics like alcohol, tea, and coffee. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is: about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men and about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women.

Quit Smoking – Nicotine decreases oxygen and circulation of nutrients to the skin. This may cause long term skin damage. When the skin is compromised, it can’t act as a barrier to protect against sun damage, pollution, and everyday skin irritants.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

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