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A healthy skin routine is one that can protect and correct...
And doesn't stress you out to complete! And I promise, this
4-step daily skin care routine for the face is quick. If it takes more than 4 minutes out of your day, then I owe you a free consultation. And what's even better about this routine is that it's perfect for men and women, of all ages, and all skin types. There may be variations in the type of products, but let's focus on the basics.
1. Wash the face morning and night
This is especially necessary for those who are acne prone. Even if you can't make it to a sink, you can still have a nice wash on-the-go. Neutrogena® cleansing towelettes can be a life saver! I absolutely LOVE them. And sometimes water alone can be just enough to clean the face in the mornings, especially if the skin is dry. Oily skin types may notice that they have to wash more than twice a day, but selecting the right cleansers can help minimize the frequency.
2. Apply a moisturizer containing a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every morning
Most moisturizers are intended to lock in the skin's natural moisture, not add moisture. I know, confusing right? But this is why it is absolutely okay for oily skin types to use a moisturizer as long as it is light and oil free/noncomedogenic. Take it one step further, selecting a moisturizer that already contains a sunscreen helps eliminate one extra step in the morning. And yes, sunscreen must be used by everyone 365 days a year as skin cancer does not discriminate. Skin or color is additionally prone to discoloration from the smallest amount of trauma, irritation, or inflammation. Using sunscreen protects against further "dark spots"/hyperpigmentation.
3. Apply a retinol/retinoid every night
These Vitamin-A derivatives can do so much for our skin! It is the anti-ager everyone should be using. They help to exfoliate the skin which evens skin tone and texture while also keeping the pores open to reduce acne flares. Retinoids stimulate collagen production that will plump the skin, minimize fine lines and wrinkles, and keep the skin appearing healthy and youthful. And best of all, retinoids protect the skin from damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays that can cause discoloration, premature aging, and skin cancer.
Dryer skin types should initially use retinoids every other night until the skin can tolerate nightly application. Using moisturizer as needed throughout the day and before bed will help dryer skin types tolerate them better. It can take up to 6 weeks for the skin not to be easily irritated or dry from its use.
CAUTION: Retinols/retinoids are not safe for those who are breastfeeding or pregnant
4. Gently exfoliate periodically
Once a week is sufficient for dry skin types and should be avoided when initially beginning retinols/retinoids treatment or traveling to dry climates. Oily skin types can tolerate exfoliating three times a week. The need to exfoliate more than this is a clue that the cleanser and retinol/retinoid has room to be adjusted. Caution is also advised in those with rosacea or sensitive skin. Avoid exfoliating when inflamed acne lesions (the red and pus filled pimples) are present as this will only further irritate the acne. Note that excessive exfoliation in skin of color can cause discolorations due to irritation.