We all know for beautiful skin a clean diet and drinking plenty of water is essential. But the products you use on your skin is also very important. Especially once you are in your 30s or older a regular skincare regimen is very crucial for maintaining a healthy glow and ageing gracefully.
Walking into a department store or your local drug store skin care aisle can be very intimidating. There is always a newer better product on the shelf that promises ageless skin. The thing is, a lot of these products are good quality and they work pretty well. But if you are not following a few basic skin care rules even the most expensive and great quality product will not give you the best results. For example say you bought a very expensive great quality cream such Creme de Lamer costing over $300 but you are not using good sun protection during the day, you still will end up with crappy skin.
So here I list the 3 pillars of skincare. Whether you use only these 3 products or decide to add other products of your choice, these 3 products will ensure a good healthy glow to your skin.
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Ask any dermatologist what is the secret to beautiful skin the first thing they say is use good sun protection. Sun damage will ruin the effect of any other product for your skin. Layers of makeup will not mask the underlying unhealthy skin. You have to put sunscreen on every single day , even on cloudy days, even if you are staying indoors all day (You are exposed to UV rays through the windows). Use a minimum of SPF 30. 2 sunscreens that work really well without causing too much greasiness to the skin are Cerave AM and Elta MD clear
Retinoid is Vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for skin cells to reproduce. Taking Vit A rich food will give a boost to your vision, your immune system and bones. But for skin it works best when applied directly to the skin.
When applied to skin it encourages cell turn over- which means the dead skin sloughs off removing any dry patches or clogged pores (black heads and acne) and leaving beautiful young fresh skin on the surface. It also stimulates collagen which leads to a firmer skin.
The best form of retinoid is tretinoin which is only available as a prescription. The weakest form is retinol which is present in several over the counter anti-ageing products. Differin (Adapalene) is as close to prescription tretinoin that is available over the counter. It used to need prescription as well but recently it became over the counter.
Differin is labeled as as acne gel but it is a Vit A product and works well for ageing skin as well. This tends to be gentler on skin compared to tretinoin. So this is a good place to start to get your skin used to the retinoid and over time you can graduate to a prescription strength tretinoin from a dermatologist if necessary.
Retinoids can be very irritating to the skin initially. There is a term retinoid dermatitis to describe this. It makes your skin dry and peeling initially. A lot of people give up at this stage and never persevere to see the magic of retinoid. Adapalene tends to be gentler on skin but even that can cause an initial shock to the skin.
Best way to get your skin slowly get used to the Vit A is using only a pea sized amount of product. Start using once a week and slowly over several months progress to daily use . It is very important to use the retinoid only at night.
Vitamin C, which has antioxidant properties, when applied regularly on your skin will boost collagen and even out dark spots or uneven pigmentation. It reverses sun damage and is skin brightening.
This is a product worth splurging on as a good quality Vit C product is essential for it to work. There are several cheaper Vit C serums available on the market but the Ascorbic acid in it is not very stable and hence inefficient.
Two products, that a lot of dermatologists recommend, are Skinceutical CE ferrulic serum (contains 15% L- ascorbic acid) and Revision vit C (Contains 30% THD Ascorbate). Both are very stable and neutral forms of Vit C and works very well.
So these are the three absolute essentials of a minimalist skincare routine that works. Now you can choose to add other low cost or expensive products to your skincare if you choose , but as long as you have these 3 essential components you will have a great skin. Your skin care drawer will look clutter free and also as a side benefit you can also minimize your expense on make up. Once you have a foundation of beautiful skin you will need only very minimal makeup to look put together.