Cleansing, Moisturizing, Correction & Protection
A few [facial cleansing] favorites of Dr. Charles E. Crutchfield, III, Director of Crutchfield Dermatology outside Minneapolis, MN, include Vanicream and Dove cleansing bars, along with a cotton washcloth, or some other non-detergent-containing cleanser, like Cetaphil.
“Your skin is an organ, and it functions properly when there’s a correct moisture balance,” Strachan says. “When your skin gets dry, it literally gets inflamed, and inflammation ages the skin,” the doctor explains.
Both medical experts emphasize including a night cream with additional properties, like antioxidants or retinols in your beauty regimen. “Night creams that have retinol or salicylic acid can help exfoliate, make your skin glow, help with sun damage and fine lines,” she notes.
If your skin needs extra TLC, for example, to correct dark spots or wrinkles, there are stronger products. But you’ll want to see your dermatologist.
“If you have areas that need improvement, there are many prescription products available under the direction of a board certified dermatologist to improve the appearance of skin,” Dr. Crutchfield stresses. “Topical retinols can be very irritating, but used in the appropriate manner can have great corrective measures for the skin, so can alpha hydroxy acids,” he notes. If you are using a prescription strength cream, you’ll definitely need to follow up with a top-notch moisturizer.
Also, beware of harsh scrubs.
“Ironically, the scrubs we call ‘natural,’ like the crushed apricot scrubs, those are more damaging to the skin because the edges of the particles are sharp and can cause inflammation,” Dr. Strachan says. Keep things simple, she stresses; exfoliating scrubs are fine, but don’t use anything too harsh or apply too much pressure.
Also, to keep your bedroom (and skin) from getting too dry over night, try a humidifier. It can be especially helpful for those who suffer from eczema, which tends to flare up in the winter.
“Great skin is simply employing four steps,” Dr. Crutchfield notes, “cleansing, moisturization, correction and protection.”
Now that you know the first three, that fourth step is likely one we’re not used to taking in the morning- but your skin will thank you forever.
Dr. Crutchfield advises using a sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection. The SPF numbers only protect against burns, he says, UVA helps keep skin looking young and healthy by protecting the skin against skin cancer, wrinkles and liver spots.
“No matter what hue your skin is, good protection from ultraviolet radiation in the sun is essential,” he stresses. That added protection in the day, coupled with the right steps at night, should guarantee that you awaken refreshed and aglow the next day!