Shoppers frequently spend fortunes on high-end facial products as they strive to improve the quality and look of their skin; this may be to treat acne, wrinkling and general aging, etc.
Consumers vary in age from early teens to late adulthood. Dermatologists (skin specialist doctors) say that the routine in which these medications are applied really matter for optimum effectiveness.
Dermatologist Susan C. Taylor, MD, FAAD affirms this by saying that medications or treatments should be applied immediately after washing your face. This will ensure that it is absorbed properly. If you do not apply the product straight after washing, it may not do what its manufacturer claims.
Dr. Taylor recommends the following four steps to maximize your skin care:
- Wash your face with a gentle cleanser. When drying, pat the skin, don't rub it dry.
- Apply medication. Use your ring finger when applying cream around the eyes; it is the weakest finger and will not tug at this very delicate skin.
- Apply sunscreen or moisturizer (or both).
- If desired, apply makeup.
Apply skin care product immediately after washing your face
Multiple products may cancel each other outConsumers need to understand that many products lose their effectiveness if they are utilized in combination with others - one might negate the efficacy of the other. In some cases, a "cocktail" of different medications may irritate the skin.
Dr. Taylor said:
"Using too many products may cause redness, stinging and dryness of the skin, especially if an anti-aging product is included. The signs of aging may then be more noticeable. A dermatologist can address any questions or concerns that you have about caring for your skin."
Tips for healthy skin
- Sun exposure - protecting your skin from exposure to too much sunlight is one of the best ways of maintaining good skin health, say experts. This involves applying a good sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, reapplying every two hours (or more if you are swimming).
Between 10am and 4pm try to stay in the shade.
Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and a wide-brimmed hat.
The American Academy of Dermatology informed last month that sunscreens are safe and effective and protect us from skin damage. They also reduce our risk of developing skin cancer, including deadly melanoma. (Link to article)
- Do not smoke - smoking ages the skin and alters its healthy look and color. Smoking narrows blood vessels, including the small capillaries that feed the outermost layers of skin. Smoking damages elastin and collagen, both fibers that give skin its elasticity and strength. Quitting smoking is vital for skin health.
Researchers from the University of Nottingham reported from a study that smoking may be linked to a higher risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma skin cancer. (Link to article)
- Be gentle with your skin - cleansing and/or shaving skin every day can eventually damage it. Do not have long, hot baths or showers, as this may remove essential oils from skin. Bathe in warm (rather than hot) water. Use gentle soaps, preferably neutral ones or mild cleansers - strong soaps and detergents can rid the skin of essential oils. When shaving, apply shaving cream, gel or lotion beforehand - make sure the razor is clean and sharp. When shaving, follow the direction of your hair, don't go against it. Pat your skin when drying it, rather than rubbing.
If you have dry skin, apply a moisturizer .
- Diet - a healthy diet contributes significantly to healthy skin. Eat five portions per day of fruit and vegetables. Go for lean proteins, and increase your intake of whole grains, rather than refined flour products.
Researchers at St. Andrews University, Scotland reported in the American Journal of Public Health that people who increased their fruit and vegetable intake experience better skin tone within weeks. (Link to article)
- Stress - some studies have suggested that uncontrolled stress can make the skin more sensitive and the sufferer more susceptible to certain conditions, such as acne. Managing stress properly is most likely to benefit skin health.
For more ideas on skincare, see our article containing tips for healthy and young looking skin.