Healthy Skin is Beautiful Skin: 3 Basic Steps
I am asked daily by my patients what they can do to make their skin look better. Since education is one of our core values, I’m pleased to be able to share what I consider to be the basic requirements of all skin care for men and women.
For facial skin of all types, there are 3 basic steps that must be followed twice a day, every day. This will allow for proper exfoliation of the dead skin cells that build up on the surface of the skin, removing pollutants from the day’s exposures while also restoring the proper pH of the skin. When we are very young, our skin accomplishes this renewal process naturally. With the passing of time, our skin loses the ability to fulfill this basic step on its own. Some of this is due to a natural decline in the cells exfoliating on their own. However, some of this is due to things we DO to our skin, such as:
- Use of non-physician strength moisturizers that consist of large molecules that sit on top of the skin and do not get absorbed
- Exposure to temperature extremes
- Using occlusive make-up foundation.
All of these can add to aging of the skin and loss of natural exfoliation, causing irregular texture of the skin with inflammation, dryness, fine lines and wrinkles and irregular brown spots.
Therefore it is critical to follow these three basic steps twice a day to allow your skin to be healthy.
Cleanse with a physician strength cleanser twice a day. Apply the cleanser to your hands and add warm water to lather over your entire face. Wash in circular motions using your hands for one minute. Rinse with warm water and a washcloth to totally remove. Repeat a second time if there is any residue on the washcloth.
Using a Clarisonic Brush for cleansing has been proven to be more effective in removing pollution from the skin. When using the Clarisonic, splash your face with warm water, apply the cleanser to the bristles and then move it along the face for a timed minute to cleanse the entire face.
Toning is the next critical skin care basic. A toner allows for chemical exfoliation and restores the pH of your skin and allows for adequate absorption of any skin care products applied following this step. The type of toner used depends on skin sensitivity as well as tendency towards acne or rosacea. This product should be a physician strength toner as well. Toners are usually available as toner pads or in a liquid form that can be applied with a cotton round or cotton ball. A toner should be applied twice a day after cleansing.
The third step of basic skin care provides for mechanical exfoliation and consists of using a scrub. The type of particles in the scrub must be very fine to prevent breaks in the skin. Some of the scrubs on the market will actually damage the top layer of the skin if they contain too large or jagged edged particles. A scrub is important to use, typically twice a week, in the mornings, between cleansing and toning. After cleansing, while the skin is still moist, take a small amount of the scrub on your fingertips and massage into your skin with small circular motions for one minute. The skin will tingle and turn a little pink. That is what you want to happen. This is an indication that the blood vessels are dilating, bringing more oxygen to the skin surface and allowing it to look and be healthier. Rinse those particles off of the skin and follow with the toner.
Once the basic steps of proper skin cleansing, toning and fine particle scrub prepping of the skin are in place, there are multiple other options to add that can treat additional skin issues such as inflammation, redness, fine lines and wrinkles, and brown spots. However, these three steps must be the daily routine and the foundation for all other treatments. There are many healthy options of physician-strength skin care products that contain retin-A or retinol, hyaluronic acid, collagen boosters, enzyme repair and proper hydration. In addition, treatments can be added on a monthly or quarterly basis that enhances the daily skin care routine. The Hydrafacial is a wonderful treatment to renew the skin on a monthly basis. It allows for exfoliation, deep pore cleansing and infusion of advanced serums into the skin. In addition, micro needling, such as DermaPen allows for enhanced healthy collagen production to occur. Whatever else you decide to add to your routine, just first remember the 3 Basic Steps! Cleanse • Tone • Scrub!