I hope everyone had a fantastic Holiday season. Now that the New Year has begun it is resolution season and what better resolution to have than to take care of your health and skin. Here are some tips to take care of your skin simply that can serve as a foundation to a healthy regimen:
- SUNSCREEN – this is the most important item in any skin regimen. This not only serves to decrease the risk of skin cancer but also decreases the risk of wrinkles and brown spots. It is important to wear sunscreen every day particularly peak hours of 10-2, and also to reapply every 2 hours. Photoaging occurs from a variety of factors one of which is collagen degeneration and free radical formation which are triggered by the sun. Also, DNA changes can occur resulting in skin cancers as a result of UV exposure. UV exposure increases certain inflammatory processes which can negatively affect your skin as well. In terms of which sunscreen to select, I favor PHYSICAL BLOCKERS which means that they only contain zinc and titanium. These are naturally occurring metals and this means less allergic reactions and less burning of the eyes. Also look for OIL FREE, this is essential with sunscreen as this will reduce acne break outs that can occur from occlusive sunscreen.
- YEARLY SKIN CHECKS – this is important to prevent skin cancers from being neglected. Skin cancers are very common and typically easily treatable if caught early. It is therefore very important to have a skin check yearly as it is often hard for patients to identify what spots are of concern. Melanoma in particular if caught early is far easier to treat than later in the course.
- GENTLE CLEANSERS – another critical element to a skin care regimen is using gentle, non-scented cleansers. Fragrance is a major cause of skin irritation and allergy. Even natural products can cause problems. Think of poison oak, though natural it causes severe skin irritation in most people. For this reason, I recommend fragrance free cleansers that are formulated for sensitive skin.
- MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE – this is an essential staple to any skin regimen. Moisturizer helps to repair skin barrier and prevent eczema. Our skin forms a natural barrier between the environment and our bodies. If this is broken down, it will allow the environment to cause eczema and allergies. This is the reason it is essential to moisturize at least once to twice daily particularly after bathing. This will help replenish your natural barrier and prevent dry skin and eczema. Also moisturized, hydrated skin will show less wrinkles.
- AVOID THICK MAKEUPS – many make-ups and cover ups are thick and filled with oils that occlude follicles triggering acne. It is important to minimize thick cosmetics as this can form a vicious cycle where you are developing acne as a result of the very thing you are using to cover it up!
- RETINOIDS, ANTIOXIDANTS – if you have done all of the above and want to give your skin an extra boost speak to your doctor about retinoids and antioxidants topically. This can help maintain your skins collagen and keep it young and healthy longer.
If you would like to learn more about skin health or have any questions about your skin you can contact us here at California Dermatology Specialists. Have a happy and healthy New Year!