Whatever our age, having a regular skincare routine helps us achieve a healthy, smooth and youthful complexion.
With a sensitive skin that’s prone to redness and itching when exposed to strong ingredients and fragrances, I have to be very careful with the products that I use on my skin.
I keep my skincare regimen simple. Only the essential products to keep my skin healthy and blemish-free. Also, since I work at home and I don’t usually go to fancy events, I rarely use makeup. And having a simple skincare routine makes it more likely that I’ll be sticking to the routine in the long-term.
Here’s Proactiv Dermatologist Dr. Laura Savage sharing some skin care tips:
1. Gentle cleansing does it.
The first step, and most important one, to having great skin is gentle cleansing. Emphasis here on GENTLE, as over-washing and using harsh cleansers with alcohol-based ingredients can strip away the skin’s protective barrier, leaving it dry and vulnerable to bacteria.
Choose a cleanser with anti-inflammatory ingredients such as salicylic acid to help soothe inflamed pimples. Gently massage over the entire face and neck for at least 60 seconds to allow any active ingredients to take effect.
2. Don’t forget to moisturize.
You need a moisturizer especially if you work in an office where the AC is on full blast the whole day.
For clearer and healthier skin, hydrate the skin with an oil-free moisturizer to counteract the drying effect of many spot treatments and to loosen the pore-blocking sebum (skin debris and grease).
Look for ‘non-comedogenic’ products as they don’t contain ingredients that block pores and lead to the formation of blackheads and whiteheads.
3. Look for salicylic acid
Salicylic acid is one of the most effective breakout-fighting non-prescription ingredients and is a great choice of exfoliant for those with spot-prone and oily skin. Salicylic acid targets pimples by sloughing away dead skin cells that clog pores and lead to breakouts, and also minimizes pore visibility.
4. Be patient
Don’t just quit on a product after only one to two weeks of use with no results. Sometimes your skin takes a while to adjust to new products or active ingredients. Remember that it can take 4-6 weeks for breakouts to diminish, so you need to be patient with a new product for at least this long (and ideally a bit longer) before really deciding whether it is doing its job of clearing your skin.
If you experience signs of irritation or over-drying, try reducing the application to every other day (or even less often) for a couple of weeks before gradually increasing back to daily.
5. Hands off your pimples
Don’t touch it! Squeezing your pimple really is really the worst thing you can do, as it can lead to a temporary darkening of the skin (so called ‘post-inflammatory pigmentation’) that can take weeks, even months to settle, and scarring, which can be permanent and difficult to treat.
Pressure on an inflamed pimple will push the contents of the grease gland (oil, bacteria and dead skin cells) into the surrounding healthy skin which causes damage and more inflammation.
If you can’t resist squeezing, try instead to apply a warm compress (using a clean face cloth) to the pimple for 5 minutes to reduce any swelling and then apply a salicylic acid-based product.
6. Choose your makeup wisely
Do you use makeup to hide your acne problem? If you have acne-prone skin, you need to choose the right makeup products and make sure to regularly clean your makeup applicators to prevent future breakouts.
Try using mineral-based makeup products. They contain ingredients such as titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and silica that mop up excess oil without blocking pores. Also, try a concealer containing a blemish-fighting ingredient such as salicylic acid to reduce the visibility of blemishes.
Some skincare and makeup companies sometimes give out samples in department stores and mall kiosks. Also, there are some online sites where you can try out sample sizes of products so you won’t have to buy a full size and later on find out the product is not a good fit for you.
And make sure to clean your makeup brushes at least once a week using baby shampoo or a professional brush cleaner to keep them in tip-top condition.
7. Watch your diet
Is there a link between diet and breakouts? Over the past decade, many dermatologists now agree that hormones in cow’s milk may stimulate oil production and promote breakouts.
Also, foods with a high glycemic index can cause a spike in blood sugars, causing a rise in hormone levels and sending grease glands into an oily overdrive.
What to do? Reduce your consumption of cow’s milk to just 1-2 servings per day (or choose an unsweetened alternative like almond milk), and cut out fatty foods high in omega-6 fatty acids and refined sugars.
8. Include Proactiv+ in your skincare routine
Proactiv+ 3 Step Clear Skin System’s Smart Target technology delivers acne-fighting formulation directly into the pores. Formulated to address blemishes, it helps deliver improved visible texture and clarity, brighten and smoothen skin, and diminish the look of dark marks.
Here’s the 3-step system:
Step 1 – The Smoothing Exfoliator removes excess dirt and other impurities. The exfoliator is applied on damp skin and rinsed with warm water after two minutes.
Step 2- The Pore Targeting treatment stops the acne at the source because it delivers blemish-fighting ingredient directly into the pore. The lotion is applied all over face to allow full absorption.
Step 3 – The Complexion Perfect Hydrator hydrates the skin, reduces redness, helps lighten acne marks and helps brighten skin.
Don’t make skincare complicated. A simple daily morning and night skincare routine helps ensure a healthy, youthful looking skin.