Full disclosure, I am not a dermatologist or aesthetician. I do have a background in chemistry and am a beauty enthusiast. At 59, I am frequently asked what I do for my skin and am writing this blog to share with friends or those interested.
In addition to the following skin care regimen, know that the food you eat and the lifestyle you follow makes a difference in how your genes express the information coded in your DNA. One of the strongest accelerators of aging is inflammation. A healthy diet and lifestyle combats the inflammation and subsequent damage. Focus on eating foods that are anti-inflammatory: fatty fish, fruits, vegetables, flaxseed, walnuts, almonds, and avoid fried foods, sugar, alcohol, refined carbohydrates. Eat six or more servings of produce since it contains lots of skin-protecting antioxidants. For a list of specific foods go to this blog.
Everyone’s skin is different. So I advise you to see a dermatologist or master esthetician to further guide in in choosing the routine that is best for you. My skin care regime is designed with the goal of antiaging. If you’d like to see what I recommend for acne issues, see this blog.
These are the steps I follow morning and evening. I even keep this list in my bathroom for reference:
In my research I have found that there are key ingredients that should be part of an overall skin care routine. My personal goals are to prevent acne, improve skin texture, discourage whiteheads and blackheads, get rid of and prevent hyperpigmentation and age spots, minimize wrinkles, reduce pore size and prevent further aging.
So here are some of the key ingredients that can help with those goals.
Proven acne treatment ingredients include: salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid, retinol, and zinc pyrithione.
Ingredients that help fight skin aging include: retinol, glycolic acid, green tea antioxidants and vitamin C, and broad spectrum sunscreens.
Ingredients that work for hyperpigmentation include: broad spectrum sunscreens, retinol, vitamin C, glycolic acid, hydroquinone, and some botanical lighteners such as kojic acid.
Moisturizers. The ingredients to look for: hyaluronic acid, ceramides, sodium PCA, glycerin, glycerol, silicones, petrolatum, salicylic acid, and alpha hydroxy acids.
Hydroxy Acids are compounds that exfoliate surface cells and encourage cell turnover, helping skin to look and feel younger. There are 2 main types: Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta-Hydroxy Acids (BHAs).
Salicylic is a BHA. Beta hydroxy acid penetrates into the pore which contains sebum and exfoliate the dead skin cells that are built up inside the pore. This helps minimize clogged pores. So, if you have blackheads and whiteheads, also referred to as noninflammatory acne, try Salicylic acid. It is often marketed for acne in general, but it usually works best on noninflammatory acne. It naturally exfoliates the skin, removing dead skin cells that can lead to blackheads and whiteheads. Look for it in cleansers, toners, and moisturizers. I use AlphaRet Clearing Serum.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids or AHAs exfoliate surface cells and encourage cell turnover. The AHA Glycolic acid is small and get into the skin. It boosts collagen production and elastin production; also removes waste and dead skin cells. AHAs are preferred for sun-damaged and dry skin because they exfoliate on the surface of skin. Sunscreen MUST be applied when using an alpha hydroxy acid product. I use Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic.
Just like we need to eat antioxidants to defend our bodies against free radicals we need antioxidants in skin care products to help protect the skin from deterioration and defend against environmental assaults that lead to signs of aging. Antioxidants: Green tea extract, ferulic acid, grape extract, resveratrol, quercetin, vitamin C, vitamin E, epigallocatechin-3 gallate, superoxide dismutase, willow herb) extract, feverfew extract, and licorice extract.
These are the products I am currently using. There are lots of great products and even more worthless ones. I trust Beautypedia.com for their reviews. Look there for recommendations or to research what you are currently using. Don’t rely on Amazon’s reviews which are just users and not skin experts. Look the product up on Beautypedia and there you will find expert reviews.
- Clean and Clear Foaming Facial Cleanser, Sensitive Skin
CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser | Moisturizing Non-Foaming Face Wash with Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides & Glycerin
Clarisonic’s Smart Sonic Brush (This is their latest version. Mine shown here is an older, not as good version)
- Thomas Roth 10% Glycolic Solutions Moisturizer AHA
- Paula’s Choice RESIST Advanced Pore-refining Treatment 4% BHA
- Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma Day Serum: large list of antioxidants, 15% vitamin C packaged in a way to keep ingredients stable.
Use an antioxidant serum under your sunscreen. Sunscreen ingredients like Octinoxate and Avobenzone produce free radicals when they absorb UV rays. and you need the serum to counteract them. Antioxidants IN sunscreen formulas don’t work as well as layering an antioxidant serum plus sunscreen.
- SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50
- Paula’s Choice DEFENSE Essential Glow Moisturizer SPF 30. Antioxidants, mineral titanium and zinc, based sunscreen, hydrating
- Clinique Rescue Antioxidant Moisturizer for Dry to Combination Skin
- Elta MD Sunscreen
- Algenist’s ELEVATE Advanced Retinol Serum: contains a mix of retinol and other beneficial anti-aging ingredients such as cell-communicating, antioxidant and replenishing ingredients.
- NEOCUTIS Nouvelle Plus Retinol Correction Cream
- Paula’s CLEAR Oil-Free Moisturizer
- Clinique Superdefense Night Recovery Moisturizer