“What is the best skin care?” is one of the most frequently asked questions in the dermatology world. It is also one of the most searched for terms online. Obviously a lot of people are interested in the subject.The answer varies widely depending on a person’s skin characteristics and their goals for their skin. The best thing, to do, is visit McGuiness Dermatology for a complimentary evaluation and discussion about your skin, with one of their highly trained professional estheticians. There are many options, ranging from the simple to complex, inexpensive, to more so. In general there are a few basic recommendations that will be very beneficial to most people.
First, and foremost, avoid ultraviolet radiation (this means the sun and tanning beds). Keep in mind that ultraviolet radiation damage is cumulative. Every bit of exposure adds up. The five minutes here and 10 minutes there, taken together, soon represent significant exposure. Sunscreen can block much of the sun’s rays from reaching your skin, but none of them block those rays completely. That explains why, even when using sunscreen properly, people can still tan and burn. So, number one on the list of important things for skin care, is simple – no sun or tanning bed use. If you need some vitamin D, take a pill. It is much safer and more effective for most people. There are a few rare individuals that seem to need exposure to ultraviolet radiation, or they have psychological problems. The acronym for the most common of these conditions is SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder. It is real, but not common.
Second, when you must be in the sun, use sunscreen. Always use a minimum of SPF 30, but something as strong as SPF 50 or 60 is preferable. There is no question that ultraviolet radiation (the sun and tanning beds) are responsible for the vast majority of all skin cancers. Much of the wrinkling, sagging skin, poor skin texture, and mottled skin appearance in humans, which makes us appear far older than we are, can be traced back to exposure. Dentists say, “You only have to floss the teeth you want to keep.” Dermatologists say, “You only have to avoid ultraviolet radiation exposure of your skin where you do not want skin cancer.”
Third, nightly use of a topical retinoid (Retin-A, adapalene, tazarotene) is recommended. These products have been around for many years and have many proven benefits for the skin. Among these are:
- Unclogging pores and decreasing the formation of acne
- Reversing photo-damage such as fine lines and brown spots
- Increased formation of collagen
- Sloughing of dead skin that dulls the surface
When starting the use of these products, they can be a bit irritating to the skin and may cause peeling. Sun sensitivity is a possibility also. Benefits may be seen after several weeks of treatment and will continue to improve for months. It is sometimes necessary to begin with a lower concentration or strength of the retinoid, and gradually increase the strength over time.
The final basic skin care recommendation is the use of a vitamin C product to the skin each morning. There are several recommended products used for this, and the most effective ones are sold in a doctor’s office. Look for L-ascorbic acid as the active ingredient, in a concentration of three to twenty percent. Benefits may be seen in weeks to months and include a decrease in wrinkles and brown spots. Vitamin C promotes the formation of collagen in the skin and is a nice antioxidant, too.
Those are some basic suggestions for everyday skin care recommended for all people at some point. There is much more you could do for skin care, and a visit with one of the expert estheticians at McGuiness Dermatology would be well worth your time.