Let's face it, when it comes to skincare it's easy to become quickly overwhelmed. I often hear these sentiments from patients: What brand should I use? Are over the counter products ok to use? I have been using these products for weeks and don't notice a difference in my skin. Do I need to spend a fortune on skincare? What ingredients should I look for in products? Are all SPF's the same?
Here's a quick rundown. If you are looking to save, skimp on cleansers and moisturizers (although don't get me wrong, I am a steadfast SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid user). Products you should consider spending more on include antioxidants (i.e.Vitamin C), retinoids (Vitamin A derivatives), products that target hyperpigmentation (i.e. arbutin, tranexamic acid, kojic acid, azelaic acid) and growth factors. These are the products you want to be sure are of high quality. Beyond this, here are 3 products that should be included in "most" people's regimens.
SPF. This is the first and most important component of any skincare regimen. And yes, this means everyday. Even if you are not planning to be outside. People who use SPF 15 or higher daily show 24% less skin aging than those who do not use sunscreen daily. Typically I recommend using 30 or higher. We'll save the discussion on skin cancer rates and prevention for another blog. https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/
Retinoids. Retinoids are Vitamin A derivatives and are the so-called "king of anti-aging" as far as products go. These are the retinols, retinaldehydes, adapalene, and tretinoin to name a few. Vitamin A stimulates cell turnover in the skin and improves fine lines and wrinkles as well as overall texture and tone of the skin. It helps to improve the appearance of scars as well as acne. The main contraindication to retinoids is pregnancy.
Antioxidants. This category includes vitamin C serums. Antioxidants are important to reverse free radical damage and protect the skin. They also brighten the skin's appearance and improve tone and texture.
See the photo below for some of my favorite products in the above categories.