What are the secrets to radiant looking skin?
It is a great skin care regimen that both treats and minimizes the progression of photoaging.
Minimizing the damaging effects of the sun is the most important step in preserving the youthful appearance of your skin. Ultraviolet light is a known carcinogen, and chronic exposure has been linked to the development of skin cancer and photoaging. There are two main types of ultraviolet light that reach the surface of the earth and they include types A and B. Ultraviolet A light induces oxidative stress to the skin which plays a major role in photoaging. Ultraviolet B light induces DNA mutations within the skin and is a major contributor to skin cancer development. Given the deleterious effects of both ultraviolet A and B light, it is important to wear a broad spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30. Even on a cloudy day sunscreen should be applied since 40% of ultraviolet waves can still penetrate through the clouds. Sunscreen needs to be applied every 2 hours when outdoors and after swimming. Sunscreens contain either chemical blockers or physical blockers, or a combination of both. Sunscreens with chemical blockers need to be applied 15 minutes prior to sun exposure. For those with sensitive skin, sunscreens containing physical blockers such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide can provide broad spectrumcoverage without the skin irritation.
Doctor’s Favorite: EltaMD (excellent for sensitive, rosacea or acne-prone skin) or Journée by Neocutis (great for mature skin)
Retin-A, also known by its generic name tretinoin, is a vitamin A derivative. It is a prescription medication that has multiple effects on the skin including normalization of skin differentiation, reduction of acne, and improvement in fine wrinkling, mottled pigmentation, and rough skin texture.
Use: Only a small amount applied as a thin layer to the skin is needed. The cream should only be applied at night, since the sunlight deactivates the medication. If you are using the cream for the first time, begin applying the medication once every other night and then increase to nightly as tolerated in 2-4 weeks.
Side Effects: Retin-A may cause increased dryness, flaking, redness, and irritation. This can be reduced by applying the medication as a thin layer to a dry face (at least 10 minutes after washing) and using a non-comedogenic moisturizer.
Reactive oxidizing species are byproducts of various chemical reactions that take place within our body including the skin. Ultraviolet light induces oxidative stress contributing to photoaging and photocarcinogenesis. Studies have shown the benefits of topical antioxidants in protecting the skin from the oxidative effects of the sun. Antioxidant serums should be applied before and used as a supplement to daily sunscreen use. Some sunscreens such as Journée already include antioxidants.
Doctor’s Favorite: RéActive or Journée by Neocutis, C E Ferulic or Phloretin CF by SkinCeuticals
The type of cleanser to use depends on the oiliness of the skin and whether one is afflicted by skin problems such as acne, rosacea, or sensitive skin. If the skin is naturally dry, easily irritated, or affected by rosacea, one should use gentle soapless cleansers such as Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser, Cerave Hydrating Cleanser, or Neutrogena Ultra-Hydrating Cleanser. Foaming cleansers are a better option for those with oily skin. If you have acne-prone skin, medicated facial washes with benzoyl peroxide, salicyclic acid, glycolic acid, or sulfur-sulfacetamide are appropriate options. Face washes with glycolic acid (i.e. Glytone) offer the added benefit of improving skin texture and evening pigment irregularities which are helpful in those with aging and photodamaged skin, however, they can be irritating in those with sensitive skin.
The purpose of a moisturizer is mostly to hydrate the skin. Ceramides or hyuloronic acid are natural water-binding factors that are produced by the skin. With time, the concentration of these factors decrease making our skin look and feel more dry. Added growth factors in moisturizing creams also help in signaling normal turnover and replication of the skin cells.
Doctor’s Favorite: BioCream (dry to normal or mature skin) or BioGel (normal to oily or acne-prone skin) by Neocutis
Eyelids can be affected by the appearance of fine lines, puffiness, and dark circles. Creams containing caffeine can reduce puffiness and dark circles through its vasocontrictive properties. Fine lines can be improved with the use of creams containing water-binding factors such a hyaluronic acid which plump up the skin.
Doctor’s Favorite: Lumière by Neocutis