While you may wish you could be pampered with professionally administered skin treatments every day, most of us care for our own skin the majority of the time. Due to the DIY nature of daily cleansing, moisturizing, and applying protection, becoming knowledgeable about which skin care products, ingredients, and routines have been proven most effective is essential information for everyone; however, with so many options, determining the appropriate combination for your skin often can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, our extensively trained physicians, Dr. Shehla Ebrahim and Dr. Christopher Pavlou, have created this comprehensive resource to help you become more informed about what’s available. As a result, you will be better equipped to develop a skin care regimen that can give you the most beautiful skin possible.
If you have additional questions about specific skin care ingredients, products, or rituals, or if you would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our skin care specialists, please contact us today.
What are cosmeceuticals?
You’ve probably seen this word written on every skin care blog and product around, but you may not know the definition. Cosmeceuticals, a combination of the words “cosmetic” and “pharmaceutical,” are topical formulas designed to enhance the beauty, health, and function of your skin.
Why does having a skin care regimen matter?
The most effective skin care habits will include a sensible routine that employs the latest scientific research to ensure the best results possible. We recommend the following protocol for daily care:
In addition to these steps, layering your products in the most beneficial order will also help to make the ingredients more effective. In some cases, if you apply products out of sequence, they can become neutralized and fail to provide the desired outcome.
What are the most common cosmeceuticals?
The most common recognized cosmeceuticals include vitamins (particularly A, B, C, E, and panthenol), peptides, hydroxyl acids, ceramides, certain metals, and sugar amines. You may have heard of retinols and retinoids, too. These two ingredients are both derived from Vitamin A and have the ability to improve the skin in a wide range of ways, from reducing the appearance of common signs of aging to clearing up acne. A retinoid is a medical-grade concentration of the ingredient; retinol is the less potent, over-the-counter version.
There are numerous types of cosmeceuticals, and many of them can offer significant benefits for your skin. The most important piece of information to remember is that different concentrations and quality levels can make a substantial difference in the efficacy. This is why you should always utilize skin care products that are approved by medical professionals. We can also help you find a combination of products and ingredients that best suit your skin tone and type during your initial consultation.
How and when should I apply retinoids?
Typically, retinoids can provide dramatic skin enhancement over time, but proper application will be necessary to achieve desired results and reduce the risk of side effects. We recommend a conservative step-by-step introduction into your evening skin care regimen, wherein you:
- Wash the skin with a mild cleanser (not soap), and then dry before applying the retinoid
- Use a pea-sized amount of the retinoid medication, no more, and spread evenly
- Follow-up with a gentle moisturizer, which you should apply in the morning as well
- When beginning, apply the retinoid three times per week
- After two weeks increase use to every other night
- After one month, you may increase use to every evening if you tolerate the medication well. If you notice redness or peeling, reduce volume of retinoid or use every other night
- Avoid irritating ingredients, such as hydroxyl acids or other Vitamin A products, for the first month
- Once you stop using the retinoid regularly your results will gradually fade, so you should maintain the regimen at least three times per week for as long as you desire the anti-aging effect
- Always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily (even on cloudy days), reapplying as necessary when exposed to UV rays
How can I best protect my skin?
The importance of sun protection for the skin cannot be overstated. You should be wearing broad-spectrum (that’s UVA and UVB) sunscreen every day, rain or shine. Most of your exposure to the sun will not occur from sunbathing but from running errands, driving to work, eating lunch outdoors, and other normal activities. In addition to helping to prevent skin cancer—the most common cancer in North America—sunblock will also help you reduce formation of fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and skin discoloration, and other aesthetic concerns commonly caused by sun damage.
Remember to apply sunscreen approximately 30 minutes before going outside, and reapply the lotion after sweating or swimming. Furthermore, you should be using about one shot glass worth (35 ml) for your entire body and about 0.5 a teaspoon to cover your face and neck. For more information, you should feel comfortable contacting us with additional questions or to schedule a complimentary skin care consultation.
Does it hurt?
Maintaining good skin care habits actually helps to prevent discomfort from occurring in the future. Using topical products with cosmeceuticals can be one of the easiest and most pain-free ways to rejuvenate and enhance your skin. Furthermore, an effective skin care regimen can also help to delay the need for more invasive anti-aging treatments in the future.
More Like This
There are a multitude of professional skin care products available that we can recommend based on your unique needs and goals. In addition to our medical-grade skin care lines, we offer a range of treatments that can help to diminish common signs of aging and revitalize skin tone and texture, including chemical peels, IPL (intense pulsed light), and dermal roller microneedling. When you arrive for your complimentary consultation, we can develop a customized treatment plan that addresses your unique needs and cosmetic goals.