What does your home skin care regimen look like? It is very important to continue good skin care at home after any procedure done in a professional setting. Let’s take a look at the best skin care products to use every day to keep your skin looking young and refreshed.
- Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s)
Alpha hydroxy acids include glycolic acids and lactic acid. They increase exfoliation of the outer layer of skin, unplog pores, and function as a humectant to hydrate the skin. Other benefits include: stimulating collagen and elastin production in the dermis, improving mottled pigmentation, fine lines, surface roughness, freckles and treat actinic and seborrheic keratosis. The best way to use AHA’s is at night after cleansing. They should not be used with retinoids/retinol and should not be used after a vigorous scrubbing of the face. Be sure to use sunscreen when using AHA’s as they make skin more sensitive to the sun.
- Retinoids - Retin-A, a prescription topical treatment containing a derivative of vitamin A, was first used as an acne treatment. After using the product patients started to report a decrease in the appearance of wrinkles and smoother skin. The active ingredient in Retin-A, tretinoin, received FDA approval for anti-aging and anti-sun damage properties. Retinoids are effective in preventing and treating the collagen loss caused by photodamage. Regular use of retinoids will help slow the process of aging as well as help with acne. Use retinoids at night only, in small quantities after cleansing and do not use in conjunction with AHA’s. Prescription retinoids should be applied after moisturizer. Do not use after a vigorous scrubbing or wasing or with benzoyl peroxides as they may deactivate retinol ingredients. As with AHA’s, use this product with sunscreen as retinoids make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
- Antioxidants - The body defends against free radicals (one of four major contributors to skin aging) with antioxidants like vitamins C and E. Antioxidants do this by stopping free radicals from ripping electrons off of other molecules. The body does not produce or ingest enough antioxidants to neutralize all of the free radicals, which come from processes that are both within the body, such as human metabolism and outside the body, from pollution, smoking, alcohol, and UV radiation, amongst other sources, free radicals accumulate a great deal of damage within the body over time. As a result, many experts recommend use of antioxidants and sunscreen to prevent UV-induced free radical damage. Topical vitamins, such as C and E, have been proven to stimulate collagen synthesis and are really good for protecting against sunlight. Use antioxidants in the morning, after cleansing, before sunscreen. One may also use them at night in conjunction with hydroquinone and either retinoids or AHAs. Use with sunscreen as antioxidants boost the protective capacity of sunscreen against UV-induced free radical damage. Do not use vitamin C with alpha hydroxy acids as the two acidic ingredients can irritate the skin.
- Sunscreen – The most important part of your daily skincare routine should be sunscreen. UV exposure has been linked to almost every known cause of aging, from free radical release to DNA damage, and ultimately, to signs of aging that include sunspots, wrinkles, and collagen loss. Sun exposure is responsible for almost 95 percent of wrinkles. It is the single most preventable cause of aging. Use sunscreen every morning after cleansing. If you use chemical sunscreens, apply to bare skin. If you use physical sunscreens, apply over moisturizer. To clarify, chemical sunscreens include Helioplex (a combination of avobenzone and oxybenzone), avobenzone, oxybenzone, PABA, and Mexoryl. Physical sunscreens include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Use antioxidants underneath your sunscreen as antioxidants enhance your sun protection.
All of these products can help achieve clearer, younger looking skin. Be sure to check with your dermatologist or skincare provider if you have any questions or concerns about any product you may not be familiar with.