Cascade Eye & Skin Centers Blog

The 4 Basics Of Any Skin Care Routine« Back

Taking care of your skin to improve the tone and texture can be confusing and at times seem overwhelming because of the numerous products, advertisements and conflicting information.  I personally believe “less is more” when it comes to most people’s skin care regimens as long as you are using the 4 basic product categories. Kimberly A. Wenner, M.D.

Sunscreen - Daily use is required.  UV light causes photo-aging (freckles, wrinkles and sallow appearance) and skin cancer.  UV light penetrates clouds and wind, so get into the habit of wearing it daily.  It is the most important step to protect the skin and maintain a healthy texture and tone.  The earlier in life sunscreen is used, the better your skin will age.

What type of sunscreen is best?

Like most things, it depends.  Sunscreen only works if you use it, so most importantly is should be something that you are comfortable in.  If it is sticky, discolors your skin or stings your eyes, you probably won’t wear it.  There are powders, sprays, lotions and creams ranging from light to moisturizing depending on preference.  Many make-up formulas also contain sunscreen.

Sunscreen ingredients are divided into physical/mineral sunscreen and chemical sunscreens.    Many sunscreens contain both types and multiple ingredients, so it is important to read the label. 

Physical (Mineral) Sunscreen:  Usual ingredients are zinc oxide, titanium dioxide and iron oxide.  They form a physical barrier on your skin, causing UV light to be reflected.  They work immediately on application and are not absorbed through the skin.  They can (and do) leave a white appearance on the skin, especially in darker skin types and are often mixed with pigment or tinted so they blend more easily with the skin.  These sunscreens are safe to use around coral reefs. 

Chemical sunscreens are absorbed into the skin and deactivate the UV light as it is absorbed.  There are many different ingredients.  These are the sunscreens that were recently in the news regarding absorption through the skin.  Though they are absorbed, it is not known whether they cause problems.  If you are worried about it, stick with mineral sunscreens.

Retinoids and Retinol - Retinoids are medications that help with skin turnover, decreasing fine lines, wrinkles and improving skin tone and texture.  Regular use often makes dull, sallow skin pink and vibrant and also decreases oil production.  It can cause irritation, redness and peeling in some people (especially with dry or sensitive skin), but that usually improves over time.  Retinols are slightly less potent and are available without a prescription.

Tricks to get the best out of Retinoids/Retinols:  Apply pea-sized amount to face at night.  Sometimes using a 5-7 dot method (small dots applied to forehead, cheeks, nose and chin) before rubbing in will help.  If sensitive use moisturizer immediately after use and consider waiting 20 minutes after washing face to apply.  When starting, using 3 times a week and gradually increasing can also help. 

Prescription- Tretinoin, Retin-a, Tazorac, Tazorotene
OTC:  Differin OTC gel
Retinols - there are hundreds of products.  I like Avene Retrinal for patients with sensitive skin and Skin Medica Retinol because it comes in different strengths and it can be increased over time for best effects.  Retinol purchased at a physicians office or online store are typically more potent than brands purchased at drug or beauty stores.
Alpha-Hydroxy Acids/Glycolic Acid - The secret to smooth, clear, non-bumpy skin!  It is like a mild chemical peel every day.  Available in creams or washes, I love SkinMedica AHA/BHA wash and Glytone Enhance Brightening because it also helps take the red out of skin.  Regular Glycolic Acid peels (every 3-6 months) will also help keep your skin smooth and bright.  Start out using once daily and can increase to twice daily as your skin tolerates it.

Moisturizer - Selecting a moisturizer depends largely on your skin type and personal preference.  As you age, your skin typically becomes less oily and more sensitive.  I love Avene, SkinMedica and Cerave.  If you do not wear foundation or make-up consider using a moisturizer with sunscreen in it.  I recommend applying twice daily unless your skin is oily.

These 4 types of products are the base of any skin care regimen,  Other products such as serums, Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid can be added as desired, but regular use of the above will keep you skin healthy, happy and bright!

Please contact us for a personal evaluation with one our amazing aestheticians or skin care specialists at any Cascade Eye and Skin Centers location!
Cascade Eye and Skin Centers
5225 Cirque Dr W #200, University Place, Washington, 98467 United States | Telephone: (253) 564-3365 $$$

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