This is the time of year when we all review our New Year’s resolutions to look and feel our best. The question is, what really makes a difference in our skin care and anti-aging routine? We have so many choices as to where we purchase our products — the drug store, department store or dermatology offices. So what works and what is just not worth the shocking “sticker price” for some of the anti-aging remedies out there?
I have to admit, I was the worst offender of lotions, potions and creams flowing out of my bathroom drawers in search of the ever-elusive “fountain of youth in a jar”! After specializing in dermatology, I was thrilled to read the medical literature and realize that there are three simple items that really make a difference in skin care and anti-aging. In general your cleanser, moisturizer and eye creams can be purchased at your local drug store, depending on your skin type. Products such as Cetaphil and Neutrogena are good choices and allow you to invest your anti-aging money in dermatology products and treatments that really allow you to turn back Father Time when it comes to your skin.
These are the three “Back to Basics” for good skin care and anti-aging that will leave you looking fabulous for years to come:
Sunscreen: Yes, even in winter months a good sunblock/sunscreen is the number-one anti-aging and prevention you should use on a daily basis. It is the UVA/UVB rays that contribute to age spots, wrinkles, texture changes and laxity in the skin (not to mention skin cancers). The question is, which one is the best for your skin type? You want your sunscreen to block both UVA and UVB with a minimum of 5 percent zinc and/or titanium, especially for your face, neck and chest. Your dermatology office should carry a variety of options to suite your skin type. If it says Broad Spectrum and is SPF 15 or higher, then it actually helps to prevent premature aging and skin cancers. Use the less-expensive sunscreens for your body, such as Neutrogena with helioplex.
Antioxidant skin care products: A good antioxidant with Vitamin C and E helps reduce the appearance of pesky wrinkles and makes your skin look smoother and more youthful overall. Apply your anti-oxidant to your face, neck and chest in the morning after your wash your face. Follow with your moisturizer and a good sunscreen and off you go!
Vitamin A derivative such as Retin-A, Renova or Retinol: This is still the gold standard in anti-aging skin care. As we age, our skin cell turnover slows down and our skin becomes dull (which we simply can’t have). Tretinoin causes natural exfoliation and has an anti-wrinkle and anti-skin cancer effect, so start early and use nightly. You may want to start prescription Tretinoin every other night until your skin becomes acclimated or try an over-the-counter retinol if you have sensitive skin.
Your skin care routine should not be complicated – it should be as simple as 1, 2, 3, allowing you plenty of time to accomplish your other amazing New Year’s resolutions!
Denice Schwind, PA-C has specialized in medical and Cosmetic Dermatology since 2004 and is an industry leader in skin care and anti-aging. Denice will provide monthly expert, unbiased information to you about skin care products, top trends, medical issues and anti-aging advice in her Edmonds skin care and Anti-Aging column with MyEdmondsNews. Feel free to submit questions directly to Denice at firstname.lastname@example.org.