One of the wonderful side effects of an ideal skin care routine has always been its effectiveness in shrinking social distance. In a world in which your beauty must now be admired from afar, is there a place for moisturizers and exfoliants? Will your pore size still matter from two yards away?
Such questions, never having occurred to the great philosophers, are unique to our time. Below, trusted Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Charles S. Lee, MD, suggests transforming this moment into an opportunity to focus on the overall health of your skin. Soon, when the season of isolation passes, your newly revitalized beauty will emerge from the cocoon of quarantine more vivid, vital and astonishing than ever before.
Return to Basics
The secret to healthy skin isn’t really a secret at all. A few simple lifestyle choices and basic products will preserve a youthful complexion far into the future. The most fundamental lifestyle choice is protecting your skin from the sun. Ultraviolet light is extremely damaging to skin; years of exposure will create a dry surface of uneven tone etched with lines and furrows. Smoking will have a similar effect, and poor nutrition can also dim that healthy glow.
Beyond these behavioral choices, cleansers, moisturizers and exfoliants will make a dramatic difference when applied daily. Cleansers are important for clearing away dead skin, removing oil and preventing blockage in pores. Moisturizing your skin each day helps preserve a smooth, supple look.
Exfoliants include retinol, glycolic acid, AHA and BHA. They work by abrading the dry surface layer of your complexion and stimulating the production of new skin cells, as well as collagen, the natural protein that gives skin strength and flexibility and helps it resist stretching, drooping and sagging. These topical products target fine lines, minor wrinkles, age spots, sun spots and other blemishes, improve skin tone and reduce the size of pores.
Many Variations on a Theme
You’ll find that focusing on these basic product classifications is not limiting — there are countless variations of each on the market, and discovering which brands work for you is half the fun. Remember to temper the joy of experimentation with a dash of restraint: Some products do not mix well with others. For example, retinol should usually not be combined with salicylic acid or glycolic acid. When your skin shows redness, swelling, peeling, flaking, dryness or other irritation, halt your regimen for a few days, then add back the products you are using one at a time.
To learn more about at-home beauty treatments, schedule a personal consultation with Charles S. Lee, MD, or contact the Beverly Hills office of Enhance® Medical Center today.