Most of us remember a day when it didn't require an entire counter of products to get ready each morning and when our entire morning routine consisted of washing our face in the shower and rushing off to face the day.
For most of us, these days are gone.
As we age, our skin changes. It becomes more rough, dry, dull and uneven. Sun spots, lesions, and hyperpigmentation become apparent on the surface of the skin. The skin becomes more transparent and bruises more easily as the epidermis thins. Generalized volume loss caused by the breakdown of elastin fibers results in skin that falls, stretches and sags.
After age thirty, your routine should be simple and address the key components of aging that we list above. We really like both the Obagi brand of skincare and the SkinMedica brand of products. Both companies are dedicated to research and scientific discovery and have products that are a good value for our clients. We appreciate companies that run well-designed clinical trials and are able to achieve quantifiable results.
First, start with a gentle face wash and make sure that you are washing your face every evening and every morning. You want to make sure to avoid products that contain alcohol which will strip the skin and disrupt the skin's natural barrier function. Use a soft wash cloth or a gentle manual exfoliator that has a minimal ability to collect/ grow bacteria. We really like SkinMedica's Gentle Facial Cleanser or one of the Obagi Cleansers like their NUDERM Gentle Cleanser or the Susan Obagi MD Cleanser.
Next, prep your skin for the application of active ingredients by using a toner. Toner helps tighten pores and rebalance the skin, helping serums and other products penetrate more deeper and work more effectively. Our choice for this step is one of the Obagi toners, like the NUDERM Toner or the toner included in the Susan Obagi MD line.
The products with active ingredients should be applied as the third step and should be applied in thinnest consistency to thickest. Antioxidants are usually applied first and help brighten the skin and protect it from free radical damage. L-Asorbic Acid is our favorite antioxidant, despite its very fragile chemical structure and it's quick oxidation. Obagi has the highest potency Vitamin C (available by prescription only). Hydroquinone is another active ingredient that should be applied at this step. Hydroquinone addresses hyperpigmentation and has been show to reduce both sun damage and be effective in combatting melasma. Retinol is an anti-aging (and anti-acne!) ingredient that helps reduce the appearance of enlarged pores. Any of the acids (alphahydroxy, betahydroxy, salicylic acids) all work through an exfoliating mechanism of action and help with skin texture, dissolving debris, and neutralizing bacteria. Hyluronic acids plump the skin and help strengthen the skins barriers while supporting collagen production. Our office carries the best products by SkinMedica and Obagi to customize which active ingredients are appropriate for addressing your needs.
Lastly, you should moisturize and protect the skin. Products that contain lipids and ceremides will help strengthen the cell's bonds and act as a humectant (keeping moisture in). Our favorites in this step are the Obagi Hydrate and Hydrate Luxe as well as TNS Ceremide Treatment by SkinMedica. Eye Creams usually have the same ingredients, but are formulated in different ways to address the more fragile and thin skin that composes the periorbital skin. Sunscreen should be applied last and should contain elements of physical protection as well as chemical protection. A good sunscreen not only addresses UVA and UVB rays, but also addresses ultraviolet rays, protecting the skin from long term damage. We carry several sunscreens to include those that are tinted and can function as a protective part of your skincare routine and also as the first step in your makeup routine.
Remember, following a great REGULAR routine is the best way to address aging skin and to prevent further damage. It's never too late to start!