In this life, we’ve all got skin in the game -- literally. And because our body’s largest organ also happens to be exposed to the elements, it’s important to take protective measures. Experts in cosmetic dermatology have a variety of ways of keeping the skin healthy and beautiful, but you don’t have to be a skincare professional to give your skin the love and attention it deserves. Indeed, virtually all the products you need to begin your skincare journey can be found on the shelf or online -- the key, of course, is knowing what to look for and choosing the right versions for your skin type.
Before we get too in the weeds, though, let’s outline some of the essential products everyone should have in their skincare arsenal.
If you want healthy, gorgeous skin, you’ve got to keep it clean. This is the primary directive of a skin cleanser. Most cleansers should be used at least once a day (often twice: once in the morning and once before bed), and some people use two cleansers for a deeper clean. When properly applied, your cleanser(s) will help get rid of dirt, oil, and leftover makeup on your skin. Your dermatologist may recommend different cleansers for different times of year (e.g., summer and winter) to provide the best results in relation to seasonal changes in your skin.
While quality cleansers can go a long way in removing impurities from your skin, sometimes you need to go the extra mile via exfoliation. An exfoliant actually removes the upper layers of skin, shedding those dead skin cells that clog pores and worsen your skin’s texture. Some exfoliators are stronger than others, and it’s good to start with a gentler product to get a read on what is or isn’t working for your skin. Finding the right exfoliation for your skin and sticking to a daily routine will improve your skin’s overall texture, increase absorption of other skincare products, and help mitigate acne outbreaks.
Toners may be viewed as a more optional product in a given skincare routine, but they can help you achieve a more balanced skin tone, especially if you have an oily skin type. These products, which contain acids (such as lactic or salicylic), help eliminate any remaining dead skin cells that didn’t get picked up by your cleanser or exfoliator.
You’re probably well aware that your body needs vitamins, and so does your skin. Skin serums can be composed of a wide range of ingredients, but they’re all designed to provide the skin with nutrients it needs to remain healthy, bright, and beautiful. Many people seek serums rich in antioxidants, vitamins C and E, and collagen, to name a few, which benefit the skin in different ways.
Even those largely unfamiliar with skincare have likely heard about the importance of moisturizing on a regular basis. Indeed, maintaining hydration in the skin is essential for tissue repair, texture, elasticity, protection, and overall appearance. Before choosing just any moisturizer, however, note that there is a wide variety of products out there, some better suited for specific skin types than others. Moisturizers containing ceramides, for instance, are best for dry skin but should be avoided by those with oily skin. Retinol (vitamin A) is another common ingredient found in moisturizers, and it is best for those with mature skin. As for hyaluronic acid, this key ingredient that helps the skin retain moisture is found in most moisturizers and is beneficial for virtually all skin types. The list of potential ingredients goes on -- talk to your dermatologist about which moisturizer(s) might be best for your skin type.
Read our blog, “What’s the Best Moisturizer for Your Skin?”
The sun affects us all, for better and for worse. When it comes to skincare, too much sun can do serious damage, causing burns and rashes, accelerating aging, increasing one’s risk of skin cancer, and more. Applying sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 is key for keeping your skin protected from sun damage year-round. You should wear sunscreen each and every day but especially when stepping outside. It’s worth noting that some moisturizers also contain SPF, but it’s good to have a dedicated sunscreen at the ready, too.
Preventing sun damaged skin is a great way to reduce visible signs of aging, but there’s no way to completely halt the natural aging process. That said, starting an anti-aging skincare routine as early as your 20s can prevent wrinkles and fine lines from forming as your skin matures. These retinol-rich creams increase skin cell turnover rates, allowing your skin to hit the refresh button more frequently, so to speak. While these products aren’t necessary for those in their teens and early twenties, anyone approaching their thirties should ask their dermatologist about making anti-aging creams a part of their nighttime skincare regimen.
The products listed above point to the general items worth bringing into your skincare routine if your goals are healthier, more youthful skin. As mentioned earlier, though, there are many varieties of each type of product, and your dermatologist, along with the experts at Premier Dermatology Partners, can help you select the best options for your skin in particular. To learn more about our providers and all the services we offer, contact us today.