As we welcome 2023 with excitement, a hint of anxiety, and some wonder, how about this year you commit to doing your skin some good? Dr. Laila Hassan – an aesthetic physician and anti aging expert for the last ten years, shares how to get the most benefit out of a daily skin care regimen, no matter what your skin type, and how it should start with three simple steps:
Cleansing means washing your face and moisturizing means hydrating your skin. What does “treating” involve? Well, in addition to keeping your complexion in tip-top shape, the goal of any good skincare routine is to target problem areas. So, treating means incorporating serums or creams packed full of beneficial skin ingredients like vitamin C, retinol, alpha hydroxy acids, and others, depending on your skin type and the results you want to see. Adding a middle step in between the cleansing and moisturizing components is really important. It can make a huge difference over time in the health, appearance, and aging of your skin. Even the best skincare products take time to work, so don’t expect results overnight. If you stick to a consistent, daily routine, you can likely expect to see some benefits within six to 12 weeks — and it can often take at least three to four months to know if your new routine is really working. Here, the best dermatologist-approved daily skincare routine for morning and night, including the basic steps that should be in every at-home regimen for oily, dry, combination or acne-prone skin.
THE WINNING 6 STEPS:
Face cleansing should be the first step in any skincare routine, as it clears away impurities and excess oil that can clog pores and dull skin. But be gentle. Too many people cleanse too much or too often or with a cleanser that’s too harsh, which will actually break down your skin’s protective barrier. If you have dry or sensitive skin, try washing only at night and rinsing your face with water in the morning. The best formulas will gently cleanse your skin without stripping it of healthy oils.
For everyday cleansing, here’s how to shop for the best facial cleanser depending on your skin type:
* Oily skin: A foaming or gel cleanser will ensure adequate removal of excess dirt and oil from your skin; ingredients like niacinamide and salicylic acid can help regulate and remove excess oil.
* Acne-prone skin: A gentle foaming cleanser with acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid, glycolic acid benzoyl peroxide or sulfur is your best bet.
* Dry skin: Look for a cream or balm formula with hydrating ingredients like ceramides, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and botanical oils.
* Sensitive skin: Try micellar water, an ultra-gentle cleanser that includes tiny particles called micelles that trap impurities and lift them away without drying your skin in the process.
Toners are a water-based skin care liquid that’s applied to dry skin after face cleansing using fingers, a cotton ball or cloth, and before using other leave-on skincare treatments like serums and moisturizers. A good toner can help make sure your skin is totally clean and gunk-free, plus give it an extra dose of active ingredients. You don’t need a toner but swiping one on can be a great way to refresh skin, remove any residual debris, and balance pH. If you’re looking for additional complexion-purifying and brightening benefits, today’s toners are much more advanced than the drying alcohol- and astringent-based formulas of yore, packed with skin-boosting benefits that can leave you glowing. Here are the ingredients you’ll want to look for, based on your skin type:
* If you have acne-prone skin, look for a toner with hydroxy acids including salicylic acid and lactic acid, which increase cell turnover.
* For dry or sensitive skin, seek out a hydrating toner (or its sister, an essence) made without parching alcohol and with ingredients like glycerin and hyaluronic acid to soothe.
* For combination skin, look for gentle exfoliants, hydration boosters, and antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and green tea, which can combat free radicals and prevent skin damage
* For oily skin, look for astringents, such as alcohol or witch hazel, that tighten pores.
One serum everyone can benefit from is an antioxidant serum which will prevent the formation of free radicals and lessen signs of aging over time. And the gold-standard antioxidant serum is vitamin C with ferulic acid. Vitamin C helps reverse a lot of the skin damage we get from the sun and pollution. For darker skin tones, hyperpigmentation can be a common issue, and using a vitamin C serum can also help mitigate dark spots. In addition to antioxidant serums, you can try anti-aging serums.
* Hyaluronic acid serum to draw moisture into the skin, combating dryness and dullness, plus plumping skin.
* Niacinamide,a form of vitamin B3 that brightens and evens skin tone, boosts collagen production, and calms inflammation.
* Retinoids to stimulate cell turnover to increase collagen production, reducing wrinkles and hyperpigmentation (best used at night!).
* Peptides, made of amino acids, are the building blocks of collagen and can boost its production to smooth lines and increase skin firmness.
4. EYE CREAM
Eye creams are different from face creams because they’re formulated specifically for the delicate eye area, which ages faster than the rest of your face — and therefore it falls into the “treat” category, too. If you’re concerned about fine lines, wrinkles, a lack of firmness, dark circles or undereye bags, an eye treatment product is definitely worth it. To target dark circles, seek out niacinamide or vitamin C; and for puffiness, use a formula with caffeine. For wrinkles and sagging, look for formulas with peptides and retinol. Vitamin K can help with dark undereye circles and hyaluronic acid with hydration.
Next, come face moisturizers which keep your skin soft and hydrated and help strengthen its barrier. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, opt for a lighter moisturizer, such as a lotion or gel that will soak in quickly and won’t pill under makeup. If your skin is drier, try a thicker formula, like a cream. Moisturizers are for all skin types, year-round since hydrating is crucial for keeping skin youthful and healthy. Look for ingredients like ceramides or hyaluronic acid, since these ingredients are the building blocks of moisture retention in the skin. Here’s how to pick a moisturizer formula, based on your skin type:
* Dry skin: A rich cream packed with emollients, humectants, ceramides, and occlusives is key to quenching dryness.
* Oily or acne-prone skin: Look for light lotions or gel-based formulas labeled “non-comedogenic” or “oil-free.
* Sensitive skin: Seek out formulas that are hypoallergenic and free of potential irritants, like fragrance and alcohol.
Besides the 5 steps, Sunscreen is the most important step in any skincare routine. If you don’t wear sunscreen, you might as well not do any of the other steps. There are two main types of sunscreen formulas:
* Chemical sunscreens are made with chemical ingredients like avobenzone and homosalate, which absorb the UV light that comes in contact with the skin.
* Physical sunscreens (a.k.a. Mineral sunscreens) contain mineral ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which reflect UV light off of the skin.
Some SPF formulas include both chemical and physical ingredients. If you have sensitive skin, its generally recommend to use mineral and pure zinc oxide sunscreen for sensitive skin