10 Skin Care Tips that Dermatologists would Agree Upon

In the current scenario, when pollution and stress levels are high, and unhealthy eating habits are hard to give up, it’s highly likely that most of us suffer from one or more skin issues; acne, blemishes, hyperpigmentation, melasma, being just a few of them. We often tend to consult with dermatologists to solve skin issues and to get clear and flawless skin. Most dermatologists agree upon some common skin care tips and in this post, we list down 10 skin care tips that dermatologists would agree upon.

1. Sunscreen is a Must in all Seasons:
Yeah, this is the foremost and probably the best advice we can get for our skin. Dr. Nowell Solish, MD, Toronto says that if you are using a sunscreen of mild SPF, apply a thick layer of it. But since most of us shy away from layering ourselves with SPF, he recommends a minimum SPF of 30. Also, always look out for UVA and UVB protection as these are usually not provided by SPF alone. Also, I read online that we should apply a spoonful of sunscreen on face to protect it from being damaged. Tip: While travelling in a plane or a car, avoid window seat as it is more prone to sun exposure due to the glass on the window.

2. Dry the dry out:
Moisturize and moisturize. Famous cosmetic physician of Mumbai, Dr. Rashmi Shetty says dehydration leads to dry, rough and hypersensitive, inflamed skin that looks aged and weared.  She suggests that we should pay special attention to delicate areas like eyes, lips, neck and décolleté and pamper them with a thicker and creamier moisturizer. She also points out using ingredients like AHAs, lineolic acid, pheromines, peptides and hyaluronic acid as they help in maintaining the right hydration levels. Tip: Once a week, lavish your skin with a honey and banana face pack.

3. Do not use Soap on your Face – Switch to Face Wash:
Instead use a mild cleanser, says Dr. Cynthia Bailey, Dermatologist, California. She warns “if your skin feels tight and dry after bathing, then your cleanser is too tight for you.”  She points out that cleansers should be washed completely off the face using warm water. Avoid hot water as it strips off natural oils from skin more than the cooler water which is why we use hot water to clean dishes. Tip: You must apply moisturizer within 3 minutes after toweling off.

4. Use Natural Ways to Treat Acne:
It is probably the most common skin problem yet so difficult to deal with. Dr. Aparna Santhanam suggests going the natural way to treat acne. Her favourite acne treatment is sandalwood paste which has astringent, cooling and healing properties. Just apply the paste directly on the zits and see them disappearing. Tip: Use oil-free products and use mild products if you have sensitive skin.

5. Less is more:
When applying makeup, always follow this tip. A NYC dermatologist says the best beauty advice she ever received is less is more and this is also the advice she passes on to all her clients. She says we should follow “less-is-more” approach not only in makeup but also in skin care too. When we use a lot of different products, the combination of irritants and fragrances can do more harm than good. Tip: If you think a cream or a product has worked well for you, stick to it. Do not keep going after finding that elusive ultimate, best product. But change your products according to the climate you live in.

De-Stress your Skin:
If you ask me, I would say this is the best advice I have read in a long time. I remember how my skin used to glow when I was this simple, carefree kind of a girl but thankfully I am again getting back to my early self. Annie Chiu, MD, a derm in L.A., says keeping your skin stress free is the best way to make it look great. Taking a 10 minute time-out to apply face mask and relax on her bed works for her. Tip: Bury the berry. The doc says she turns off her mobile after 8 pm at night. Every bit helps, she says and we can’t disagree.

7. Keep it cool:
Frozen veggies, cool ice packs, chilled water bags or chilled tea bags soothe itchy, irritated eyes, says Dr. Jeanie Downie, MD, NJ. She says as soon as she gets home, she keeps a bag of frozen peas on her eyelids for about 5 minutes. The cold helps in reducing swelling and pigmentation. Tip: If not ice, treat your eyes with natural cucumber or aloe vera gel. Do this at least thrice a week.

8. Rub it off:
Exfoliation is the key. Apart from eating healthy and keeping healthy, this is one advice that is common across all dermatologists. Katie Rodan, MD, says exfoliation makes skin radiant. She advises “physically sloughing off dead skin cells loosened by Vitamin A will help your moisturizer better penetrate the skin and your make up go on much more smoothly.” Tip: Use a mild exfoliator for daily use. A scrub with beads is the best for daily exfoliation as it sloughs away the dead skin but does not cause irritation to skin.

9. Include AHAs and BHAs in skincare Routine:
More and more people are realizing the importance of including AHAs like glycolic acid, lactic acid in achieving flawless skin. AHAs loosen the bonds between dead skin cells and sebum and BHAs extract impurities from deep within the skin. They also remove dead skin cells and that’s why dermatologists also recommend the use of salicylic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid for skincare.

10. Say no to Sugar:
Cutting down sugar is great for your skin because insulin spikes caused by consumption of high refined sugar in the body leads to inflammation of skin which leads to premature ageing, wrinkles, acne, and uneven skin tone. If you want to look 10 years younger, then the first thing you should do is eliminate sugar from your system. Sugar in the bloodstream leads to a process called “glycation,” in which sugar molecules damage the collagen and elastin (responsible for suppleness and firmness) in our skin. Cutting down glucose will eliminate insulin spikes which will eventually lower down inflammation of the skin and you can get your youthful glow back within two weeks. So, when you cut back on sugar, you can say bye bye to acne and wrinkles for as long as you want.

I hope you all find this article quite useful. I won’t say this is something that you are reading for the first time, but many a times we have to be reminded of some basic things. This article intended to do just that.

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