? Of course at the top is: use Sunblock. Notice, that personally, I prefer sunblock, not a sunscreen. Most sunblocks provide a broad spectrum of coverage for the skin against the two types of harmful ultraviolet rays (UVR)—UVA and UVB. UVA has been most closely correlated to the development of melanoma skin cancer and age related changes of the skin, such as age spots (liver spots) and wrinkles. UVB on the other hand causes delayed tanning changes and non-melanoma type skin cancers such as basal cell and squamous cell cancer.
? Use mild soap cleansers. No matter what skin type you are, oily, dry, in between, you should choose a soap that is mild and non-abrasive to your skin to preserve the natural pH of the skin which is around 5.4. Excessive scrubbing, astringent use, and over-cleansing the skin are a huge cause of hard to control complexions. Soaps that have a higher or lower pH can change the natural milieu of oils and bacteria found on our skin causing acne and excessive dryness that result in inflammation of the skin (irritant dermatitis).
? Moisturize daily. Applying the proper moisturizer to your skin will keep the luster high resulting in beautiful skin with great tone. Finding a moisturizer that works best for your skin can be challenging. In brief, if you have oily skin, go with a lighter lotion moisturizer, while for those of you with dryer skin truly need a cream-based moisturizer. The greatest secret of all—some of the best moisturizers have generic equivalents available right in your pharmacy on the bottom shelf and not at some high-end make-up counter.
? Get on board with an anti-aging cosmeceutical. Retinols, peptide complexes and antioxidants are a few of my favorite things right now to look for to assist with the battle against time. Most importantly is to use these sparingly and routinely. Patience is a virtue for the optimum results. Most of the effects of these compounds are not observable until six months or so.
? Regularly exfoliate your skin. Our skin is composed of several layers of cells, the outermost of which is a dead skin cell layer that holds in moisture, but at the same time, reduces our skins appealing texture. Most exfoliating products and techniques utilize a variety of fruit acids or artificial glycolic, lactic, salicylic, or trichloroacetic acids. Mechanical modalities have been reviewed and include microdermabrasion or aggressive resurfacing with lasers. Routine use of simple over the counter exfoliants will facilitate the regenerative process beneath the skin surface causing youthful collagen to develop time after time. Be careful to use these products as directed by the companies, or only have the “advanced” procedures done under direct supervision of a Board Certified Dermatologist to avoid potential unwanted side effects including scarring. In the long run it may cost more out of pocket, but the end result is beautiful every time.
Dr. Richardson currently practices in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Visit their website at www.NaturaDermatology.com