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Skincare 101

Dermatologist-Approved Skincare Tips

You want great skin, but with a glut of skincare fads, diets, and substances, the internet is a minefield of bad skincare advice. 

Consider these dermatologist-approved skincare tips to help guide your skincare journey and give you the healthy, youthful skin you deserve.

Use Sunscreen Every Day 

“Daily sunscreen use is the single most effective tool you have in protecting and improving your skin,” says Nava MD’s Dr. Lilliana Ramírez García. “By protecting your skin from damaging ultraviolet rays, sunscreen decreases those signs of aging, such as wrinkles, fine lines and age spots, in addition to the protection it gives you from skin cancer and sunburn.” 

If you do one thing in your life for your skin, she says, it should be regular sun protection.

The best sunscreens are broad-spectrum, meaning they protect skin from UVA and UVB rays. Look for those that are water resistant and are SPF 30 or above. If you want to save a step in your skincare routine, consider a moisturizer that has sunscreen built in.

It isn’t enough to use sunscreen on your face alone, either. Any skin that’s not covered and can receive radiation from sunlight can benefit from sunscreen, applied and reapplied regularly if you’ve been engaging in athletic activity or are otherwise sweating. 

Still, your face is often where it shows first.

Even using sunscreen as recommended, some UV rays will inevitably affect the skin. Take care to minimize time spent in the direct sun and wear hats and other protective clothing when possible. The sun’s rays are most intense during the late morning and early afternoon when the sun is at its apex, so avoid extended exposure during these hours.

Avoid Cigarettes and Cigarette Smoke

You know the dangers of smoking to your lungs and heart, but it can also have serious consequences for the health of your skin. Premature aging is quite common among smokers.Collagen and elastin are damaged by smoke, causing the skin to be weaker and less elastic. Smoking increases the production of molecules that degrade important matrix proteins, and reactive oxygen species are involved in smoke-induced skin aging. People who smoke often have dull complexions, more wrinkles and older-looking skin than they otherwise should for their age. The repetitive movements associated with smoking, such as the sucking motion, can even contribute to wrinkles. 

“If there’s any one, single thing you shouldn’t do for your skin,” says Dr. Ramírez García, “it’s probably smoking. It basically accelerates aging, and of course it’s bad for health in general.”

Those who smoke are also more likely to suffer from skin cancer.

Be Gentle With Your Skin

Take care of your skin by simply treating it kindly. Be gentle in every way, like limiting time spent under excessively hot water, which can remove natural oil that are healthy for your skin. Properly lubricate skin before shaving using creams or gels, which help limit the damage caused by a blade. Use clean razors with sharp blades and don’t shave against the direction of hair growth.

When you get out of the shower or bath, don’t scrub your skin dry -- gently pat it so that it retains moisture. Directly after bathing is an excellent time to apply moisturizer or lotion to the skin as it can help to lock in healthy oils and moisture that contribute to skin’s softness, appearance, and overall health.

Choose the Right Skincare Routine and Follow It Consistently

Following a consistent skincare routine can have long-term results, protecting your skin and fighting signs of aging, which helps your skin to appear healthier and younger. If you want healthy skin, it's important to establish a routine and stick to it. The more consistent, the more impressive your results will be.

Your dermatologist may recommend products specific to your skin's needs for morning and nighttime cleansing and care routines.

Morning Routine

In the morning, you’re preparing your skin for the day. You’ll likely encounter sun and possible pollutants, and you need to protect your skin. A typical dermatologist-recommended morning routine might look something like this, surprisingly simple:

  1. Gently cleanse your skin 
  2. Apply moisturizer
  3. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen 
  4. Put on your makeup

Nighttime Routine

Sleep is a time for rest and regeneration. It's also an excellent time to let skincare solutions work their magic as the face isn’t in motion and is usually away from sunlight and harmful pollutants. While the body rests, your skin is already repairing itself, and the right skincare routine can make it even more effective. A nighttime routine suggested by a dermatologist might look something like this:

  1. Cleanse your skin 
  2. Moisturize
  3. A nighttime routine might also include prescription add-on products specific to the needs of your skin and indicated for overnight use.

Different Skin Types

The outline of these routines looks similar, but the details vary between skin types. Different skin types have different needs, and they respond to treatments and care differently. Understanding your skin allows you to choose products suited to your skin type.

Dry Skin

Dry skin may be rough, flaky or dull in appearance. It lacks the elasticity of many other skin types and is more prone to show fine lines and wrinkles.

Don’t use products with drying agents, such as benzoyl peroxide. Retinols can also be drying, so your dermatologist may recommend staying clear of very strong formulas that can irritate dry skin. Avoid using harsh washcloths as they can strip the skin of natural moisture.

Oily Skin

Because of the excess sebum produced, oily skin appears almost wet and can feel greasy, particularly through the T-zone. Oily skin is more likely to host acne and have large pores.

For those with oily skin, foaming cleansers may work better than moisturizing cleansers, which can contribute to an over-abundance of oils on the surface. Products with alpha-hydroxy acid may be good since they help clean out pores and reduce oil.

Although it may seem counterintuitive, using cleansers that dry the skin can be too strong and lead to even oilier skin than before as the skin races to catch up with its parched surface. Topical retinoids such as tretinoin make great options for those with oily complexions, and gentle cleansers are a good solution. 

Aging Skin

Aging skin is mature skin. It’s more likely to show fine lines and wrinkles.

Prescription-strength retinoids like tretinoin can be a powerful tool in combating the signs of aging, and niacinamide, a vitamin B-3 derivative, can strengthen the skin and minimize wrinkles and fine lines.

Acne-Prone Skin 

Acne-prone skin is more likely to develop blemishes and comedones. Choosing the right cleanser for your skin is important. A cleanser that’s overly harsh, will add additional irritation, and those that are too mild won’t clean those oily or clogged pores.

For most people, acne treatment is most effective with the help of prescription-strength ingredients.Clindamycin, an antibiotic intended to clear up bacteria, works for many patients who have acne. Tretinoin, with its promotion of new cell growth, and niacinamide, with its natural anti-inflammatory properties, can also be used to help treat acne effectively.

Healthy skin is within reach with the right choices and a consistent skincare routine - one that's right for you. Nava MD helps men and women get custom prescription skincare treatments from home, with a virtual consultation process and direct shipping. With prescription ingredients trusted by dermatologists, you can be on your way to a healthier glow in no time, and with solutions that you know are tailored to your skin type. Check it out and learn more by clicking here.

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This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
Consult a healthcare professional or call a doctor in the case of a medical emergency