Optimizing the appearance of your skin may not require pricey chemical peels or department store serums. Stock up on a few essential products, tweak your daily skin care routine and watch your skin transform from flawed to flawless.
Overwhelmed by the array of skin cleansers touting their “deep cleaning” and “exfoliating” power? For your body, opt for a gentle soap or body wash over harsh scrubs and scented soaps, which can be irritating to people with sensitive skin and allergies. Consider your skin type when choosing a facial cleanser. Gentle cleansers are great for normal skin. If your face is oily or acne-prone, look for a cleansing wash that contains alpha hydroxy acids or benzoyl peroxide. A gentle exfoliant or at-home microdermabrasion kit used once or twice a week may be also provide relief without causing excessive irritation.
Is your face showing its age? Products that contain alpha hydroxy acids can also help smooth the appearance of fine lines and improve pigment abnormalities by exfoliating the superficial layers of the skin. Products with Vitamin A as an active ingredient, such as Retinol, also treat the signs of aging by increasing cell turn over on the surface of the skin and boosting collagen production in the deeper layers
Much of what we perceive as the effect of aging on our skin has more to do with sun damage than the passage of time.
Application of a moisturizer that contains SPF 30 or greater sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection to the face, neck, upper chest and hands helps prevent damage to the skin from sun exposure. A moisturizer-sunscreen combination should be used daily, regardless of the weather.
Vitamins E and C, as well as green tea extracts contain antioxidants, which can also be helpful in reversing damage that occurs to the skin as a result of sun exposure. Avoiding of excessive sun exposure in the form of outdoor and indoor tanning is of the utmost importance. A healthy diet and adequate hydration are also essential to healthy-looking skin. Recent studies show that diets high in refined sugars and fats may worsen acne. Hormone-laden dairy products have also been associated with acne, especially in women. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains can promote blemish-free skin.
Kaiser Permanente’s Cumberland Medical Center