Skincare Wisdom from an Internal Medicine Physician: 6 Essential Lessons for Healthy Skin

June 1st marked Skincare Education Day, a perfect occasion for me to reflect on the journey of skincare, both professionally and personally. I’m excited to share my top six skincare lessons that I’ve learned through my career and from my own experiences with various skincare products and ingredients,

Lesson #1 Consistency is Key
No matter how amazing a product is, its benefits are limited without consistent use. Stick to a simple daily routine that you can follow without fail: cleanse, moisturize, and protect with SPF. Consistency turns good habits into great results.

Lesson #2 Sunscreen is Non-Negotiable
It doesn’t matter if you have a 10 step skincare routine or routinely visit your dermatologist for fillers and botox, if you are not protecting your skin from the sun you’re wasting your money. Protecting your skin from harmful UV rays is crucial in preventing premature aging, hyperpigmentation, and skin cancer. Make it a habit to use a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher every day, regardless of the weather. Remember to reapply every two hours if you’re outdoors. I suggest running errands either in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid direct sun exposure between 12 PM and 4 PM. For more on my favorite sunscreens, check out my blog article “My Top 6 Sunscreens” on this topic.

Lesson #3 Listen to Your Skin
Everyone’s skin is unique, so what works for one person may not work for another. It’s important to pay attention to how your skin responds to different products. If you experience irritation or breakouts, adjust your routine accordingly. I tell all my patients not to follow friends or trends. Do what’s right for YOU!

Lesson #4 Embrace Skin Cycling
Giving your skin a break from certain products can be beneficial. This method allows your skin to adapt to different ingredients, promoting better overall health. For instance, over the past three weeks I’ve paused my use of retinol, opting instead for a combination of glycolic acid with snail mucin. While Vitamin A derivatives like retinol are highly effective, it’s important to use them in a way that suits your skin, whether that means buffering, sandwiching or cycling.

Lesson #5 In-Office Treatments for a Boost
In-office treatments like chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and laser therapy can provide an intensive boost for your skin, laying a strong foundation for your skincare routine. When combined with at-home care, these treatments can enhance your skin’s recovery and overall appearance. Remember make sure these are administered by a board-certified professional.

Lesson #6 Effective Doesn’t Need To Be Expensive
Skincare innovation has come a long way and today skincare doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective.  It’s important to educate yourself on ingredients, their effective percentages, and choose products that suit your skin type and skin problem. Sometimes, the best skincare solutions are found at the drugstore rather than in luxury brands.

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