The skin is the largest organ in the human body and people can spend a lot of time and money trying to improve its appearance. Dr. George Sanders regularly sees patients that have curated an expensive routine of skin care products and treatments, yet still struggle with lines, wrinkles, acne, age spots and discoloration.
The Los Angeles plastic surgeon has some good news to share: Beautiful skin does not require expensive serums or weekly spa treatments. With just a few product and lifestyle tweaks, nearly anyone can enjoy clear, smooth and radiant skin. Read on for his best skin care advice.
Apply Sunscreen Daily
The sun is one of the biggest threats to the health and beauty of the skin. Exposure to ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation damages the skin cells, causing the skin’s collagen supply to break down, pigment to increase and cell turnover to decrease. This leads to uneven pigment, lines, wrinkles and poor texture.
Applying a sunscreen to the skin daily is the best way to protect it from the sun’s harmful rays. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB radiation.
Use a Retinol Product
Vitamin A or retinol is another valuable product for anti-aging purposes. Also known as retinoids, retinoic acid and tretinoins, these products increase collagen content in the skin, promote cell turnover and treat acne.
However, retinol products should be used under the close supervision of a doctor. When used incorrectly, these products can irritate the skin and cause sensitivity to the sun. It’s critical to follow the instructions of your plastic surgeon or dermatologist in order to see the most benefit from a retinoid.
Avoid Over-Washing or Over-Exfoliating
It is certainly important to keep your skin clean, but some people go overboard. Dr. Sanders encourages you to wash your face no more than twice a day with a gentle cleanser and warm (not hot!) water.
Practice exfoliation in moderation; use a gentle scrub with an acidic exfoliant (i.e., glycolic or salicylic acid) or granules. Don’t exfoliate more than once a day, or, if your skin is sensitive, once or twice a week.
Identify any Allergy Triggers
There is a link between diet and skin conditions like eczema and acne breakouts. If you notice your skin is regularly irritated, you could be eating something your body is allergic to. Try to identify the trigger with an elimination diet: cut out the most common allergens (e.g., gluten, soy, dairy, peanuts and eggs) and slowly add them back into your diet to find the source of the reaction.
If you follow all of the advice in this post, but are still bothered by lines, wrinkles or other imperfections, Dr. Sanders can help. Schedule a consultation with the plastic surgeon today to discuss your specific skin care needs and goals.