Back to Skincare Basics
- Posted on: Jun 19 2017
With so many different anti-aging and cosmetic products on the market, the path to finding the perfect skincare regimen can oftentimes be a bumpy and confusing one. However, it doesn’t have to be a mystery. Let’s dive and see what all the skincare fuss is all about.
We know that the world of skincare may seem overwhelming, but by incorporating a few basic skincare building blocks, you will be on your way to the best you that you can be. Your skin can be brighter, more refreshed, and more youthful looking just by taking care of your skin. Isn’t that amazing? It is as simple as incorporating some foundational products like some smart serums, lotions, and creams that will get you on the road to a better you. Although to maximize the effectiveness of your products, your regimen should be customized to your skin type and specific skin needs (and that’s were Dr. Honet and her staff come in), your skincare regimen can make all the difference in the world. There is no question that your daily skincare can boost and maintain any office treatment or procedure. Just ask Dr. Honet. She’s been doing skincare since she was in her late twenties.
So what’s so special about skin, and why bother to slap and slather on all these lotions and potions? Let’s keep it simple and say that your skin is the largest organ in the human body, and although it’s self-repairing, it’s also very easily damaged. Because it is constantly bombarded by external environmental elements such as sun and pollutants, as well as internal challenges to your body, such as air pollution, diet, and lifestyle nasties like smoking, your skin is constantly and continuously repairing, refreshing, rejuvenating, and doing damage control. Your skin not only reflects its own integral health, but also reflects the health of all the other organ systems in the body, and efficiently and effectively maintains status quo for the body. And yes, your skin is truly one tough organ, but the cumulative damage over the years will definitely show in the form of wrinkles, sagging, bagging, sallowness, and leathery texture over the years. So it probably comes to no surprise that it is extra important to keep your skin healthy and protected, right? Think of taking care of your skin as an investment in yourself and your wellbeing. Isn’t your skin worthy of the time, energy, and money needed to look and be the best you that you can be? Doesn’t it deserve a break and get some R&R?
Before diving into your products, you must be aware of one of the most important components of a perfect skincare regimen, which is namely compliance. It’s imperative that you follow all parts of the routine closely, which means cleansing twice daily, applying your products in the correct order, and using the optimal amount of each product. A twice-daily regimen means that you must cleanse your face and apply your products both in the morning and at night. Your morning application really serves a preventative purpose; products formulated for morning use commonly contain antioxidants, peptides, and other therapeutic agents that protect your skin from oxidative damage of the day that lies ahead. Evening applications are essential because the products formulated for overnight use work to repair, restore, and rejuvenate your skin while your body is resting. Compliance with knowing how to layer your products while using the correct amount is just as important as using them regularly.
Let’s go over the general rules and basics of skincare. First, cleanse twice a day, every day, and always. Never ever skip cleansing. Second, everyone needs a good day moisturizer with an SPF of 45 to 50. The sun is possibly the most harmful of all factors in our environment that can damage the skin. Plus, if you have drier skin, then a good night moisturizer may be needed as well. And let’s not forget the prescription gels and creams, which always go on first before all the other cosmeceutical ones. Finally, the all-important order of skincare products is as follows: toners, gels, serums, oils, lotions, and then finally, creams. SPF always goes on last before makeup. And night creams can go on first or last, depending on how dry your skin feels after cleansing. Got it?
Facial cleansers reign king as the first step in your skincare routine, because cleansing is absolutely essential, like flossing and brushing your teeth. There are a plethora of cleansers out there and generally speaking, you’re free to use a cleanser of your preference whether it’s foamy, creamy or oil based. A gentle, non-stripping formulation is what is most important, unless Dr. Honet has prescribed differently, depending on your skin health or skin condition. Remember, you don’t have to strip the skin and be “squeaky clean” to be thoroughly cleansed. It’s only necessary to use a nickel-sized amount of cleanser when washing your face. A little bit of cleanser goes a long way. A staff favorite is our tried-and-true Restorsea™ Reviving Cleanser. This powerhouse cleanser not only washes away the day’s makeup, dirt, and oil, but its enzymatic exfoliant and bio-extracts also lighten and brighten your skin with every wash.
Toners are all the rage right now as well, commonly placed after cleansing as a second step and providing an extra nourishing boost to your skin. Toner however is not always necessary, although many love using a toner because it “feels” refreshing. It is really only worth incorporating into your routine on a clinical level when it contains active ingredients such as antioxidants, peptides, or acids. Our new Arcona® Triad Pads contain amazing antioxidants that prep your skin for the layers of products to follow, while simultaneously hydrating and refreshing your skin. These Triad Pads are becoming a fan favorite.
The next layers after cleansing is when your regimen begins to get personal and customized. If you are prescribed any topical medication, this first step post-cleansing is the time to apply your medications. Remember your prescriptions contain powerful, medicated amounts of the active ingredient, where a small pea-sized amount for your entire face is sufficient. More is not better here. If you are not using any prescription medication, your favorite serum should be applied as this layer. A fan-favorite serum here at HDC is Citrix® Vitamin C Pro-Collagen Brightening Serum. This light, liquid serum has the most refreshing citrus scent and is loved by patients of all ages. But remember just a few drops is more than sufficient. Another amazing serum is the brand new SkinBetter Science® Alto Defense Serum™ that was just launched last week in our office. It is a powerhouse of antioxidants that effectively protects your skin from oxidative damage throughout the day. Dr. Honet uses both on her own face every morning. The two together create a powerful armour against the sun’s damaging rays.
After serums, comes the moisture component, the foundational element in any skincare regimen. Beautifully hydrated skin is often great looking skin, because the hydration plumps and revitalizes the overworked skin cells on the surface, much like drinking a tall, glass of water tanks our bodies up. Moisturizers come in many different forms, such as oils, lotions, and creams. Oils are self-explanatory and have become quite popular in today’s skincare market, but you should exercise caution and care regarding oils, especially if you are prone to breakouts and acne. Lotions are thinner and lighter in consistency and should be applied after your serum. Creams, which are heavier and more emollient, get applied last. Moisturizers are interchangeable and need to be adjusted according to the season and the external environment. Generally speaking, a thicker cream like SkinCeuticals® Triple Lipid Restore is recommended during the cold winter months, which can be swapped out for a lighter lotion moisturizer like our favorite Restorsea™ Rebalancing Lotion when the temperatures and ambient humidity start to rise. Another good option to try when an extra hydrating boost is needed is to layer moisturizers, where a moisturizing serum like Topix® Pure Hydration Hyalronic Acid Serum can be applied lightly or liberally depending on the hydration need, which then is followed by a moisturizing lotion or cream. Dr. Honet is big fan of this layered moisturization technique for her own skin’s hydration needs.
The best is saved for last. Yes, your SPF! The cherry on top of all your products is sunscreen, of course. Whether it is a mineral lotion or hydrating balm, you can’t forget to apply your sunscreen before you head out for the day. After layering on all these products, you have to make sure you protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Dr. Honet always recommends an SPF of 45 to 50 and uses Avene® Mineral Ultra-Lite Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ before her makeup.
There are so many additional products that can be added to your regimen to give your skin an extra boost, but if you’re looking to keep it simple, just remember the basic order: cleanser, serum, lotion, cream, and sunscreen. We consider ourselves skincare junkies here at Honet Dermatology, so if you love skincare as much as we love skincare, we would love to create a personalized skincare regimen just for you. Because let’s face it, what’s better than great, beautiful, healthy skin?
Healthy, Happy Skin!
–Senada and Dr. H.