Five Essential Steps for an Optimal Skincare Regimen

As promised I'm back with more about skincare. If you didn't get a chance to check out my post on Skincare 101: All About Skin make sure you check it out and see not only how amazing your skin is as a protector and signal to your body. According to Dr. Lisa Ginn, a licensed dermatologist, all it takes is 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night to have amazing skin. Remember your skin is very forgiving and the only organ system that can get better over time, only if you take care of it.

The first step to flawless makeup is a great skincare regimen. Read below for the 5 Essential Steps to an Optimal Skincare Regimen.

1. Cleanse

The first step is a no brainer. Wash your face! Take all the impurities and makeup, dirt and oil from the day off of your face. With dry skin you want to use a cleansing cream or oil. With oily skin, you may want to use an oil free cleansing gel. Note, whether your skin is dry or oily, it should never feel tight and dry immediately after cleansing your face. If so, you are more than likely using something too strong for your needs.  

2. Exfoliate

After you cleanse your skin, get rid of all the dead skin cells . Methods you can use are mechanical or chemical. Examples of common exfoliates are: microderm abrasion; dermaplaning and scrubs.  For dry and more sensitive skin, exfoliating one to two times a week is sufficient.

With scrubs, Dr. Ginn suggests when using scrubs to use them while you're in the shower. The steam from the shower has helped the skin and opened the pores, and you can wash all the dead skin cells down the drain. Makes sense right?!?

3. Hydrate

Always moisturize your skin with either barriers or humectants. Barriers, as the name suggests traps the moisture already present in your skin and keeps it there. Common barrier products are Vaseline and Cocoa Butter.

Humectants draw moisture from the atmosphere to your skin. When using a humectant, look for the following ingredients: glycerin, hyaluronic acid (holds 1000 times its weight in water) and collagen (holds 40 times its weight in water). 

4. Repair

When repairing your skin you want to focus on the blending of complexion and texture. This is the stage where you combat acne, fine lines, wrinkles, and/or dark spots.

When repairing acne, look for B5 complex which will soothe and unclog pores. Some foods that you want to avoid are cashews, soda and skim milk.

When repairing dark spots, look for antioxidants and Vitamin C. Vitamin C likes to stay in fruit or powder form, not a serum. So if you are using a serum, make sure it is in a brown bottle. If not, it will oxidize and break down, losing its effectiveness. Dr. Ginn suggests using Vitamin C serums/products at night.

When repairing fine lines and wrinkles you want to look for retinol (over the counter) and retinoid products (prescription). 

5. Protect

You always want to protect your skin from the sun and free oxygen radical damage. You want to make sure that you're protecting your skin from harmful agents that cause cancer and other skin ailments.

Depending on the severity of issues with your skin, you may need to see a specialist. Over the counter products only penetrate to a certain layer of the skin, where prescription products go a little deeper, and dermatological laser and chemical treatments can go even deeper. 

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