Though skin care is often marketed to the masses, few products or pieces of advice are universal. So, how do you know what advice to follow? When does something you’re reading apply to you and your specific skin care needs? Fortunately, there are a handful of tips that anyone and everyone should follow. We asked the experts for the number-one piece of skin care advice they’d give to anyone who wants healthy, glowing skin. Here’s what seven dermatologists and skin care experts had to say.
While sitting out in the warm sun during Sunday brunch might seem and feel harmless, “those UV [rays] are actually causing long-term skin damage,” according to Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in Beverly Hills and a clinical instructor at the University of Southern California. “Not only do they damage cells, which can trigger the development of skin cancers, but they break down structural collagen in the dermis, which leads to accelerated and permanent skin aging, including wrinkles, brown spots, broken vessels and changes in skin texture.”
Dr. Shainhouse’s best advice is to “limit direct sun exposure during peak sun hours (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and never use a tanning bed! Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30+ to exposed skin every single day and wear protective clothing to keep UV rays off of your skin.”
Try The Organic Pharmacy’s Cellular Protection Sun Cream SPF 30, a mineral sunscreen that nourishes skin and protects from both UVA and UVB rays.
While we now understand that using sunscreen on a daily basis is a must for your overall skin care, Ashli Carnicelli, a Medical Aesthetician in Raleigh, NC, says that another fantastic way to protect your skin from premature aging is to add “a concentrated vitamin C serum.” While it can’t replace SPF, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that offers extra protection against the skin-aging effects of the sun. Carnicelli also emphasizes to “make sure you apply the vitamin C to dry skin and allow it to dry for 5 minutes before applying serums, moisturizers and SPF.”
Try Supergoop’s SPF 50 Antioxidant-Infused Sunscreen Mist with Vitamin C to give your skin SPF and vitamin C in one step.
Getting yourself to routinely moisturize can feel daunting if you struggle with acne or have oily skin. However, Stanley Kovak, MD, of Kovak Dermatology & Laser Surgery says that moisturizing and hydrating your skin is beneficial to all skin types. “If you are acne-prone, it is best to use non-comedogenic products that won’t clog your pores,” says Dr. Kovak. “The truth is that dry skin ultimately causes inflammation and increased oil production which can lead to more acne. Hydrated skin is essential to controlling acne and keeping a fresh, radiant complexion.”
Try La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizing Cream With Sunscreen, a top-rated, lightweight moisturizer designed for every skin type—from sensitive to oily.
As we mentioned earlier, it seems like every day a new product is put on the market claiming to have the magic ingredient for flawless skin. But when does one more product become too many? According to Simona Mazenyte, a certified skin therapist and the co-founder of Skin Aspirations in London, “Product overload can cause irritation, especially when high concentrations are applied to a small area.” Though it’s tempting to pile on treatments to reduce all of our concerns at once, Mazenyte warns that “we may put on greater amounts than needed and apply them too frequently. We think this approach will help make the skin look better faster, but that’s simply not the case.”
Try SkinCeuticals’ C E Ferulic, a multi-tasking serum that offers anti-aging, brightening, pigment-correcting and hydrating benefits with just a few active ingredients.
It’s hard to imagine that washing your face too much can be damaging to your skin but Jennifer Winter, PA-C at Dermatology and Allergy Specialists of Olympia advises, “If you have a rash or are itchy, don’t wash more. When people have a rash they often feel dirty, as if they did not wash or something and that caused the rash. Itching is often improved when in the shower and the back brush feels good when scrubbing, but soap and cleansers can make the rash and itch worse. Use less soap or cleanser, and in some cases no cleanser at all.” Winter adds that to soothe itchy or irritated skin, use a moisturizing cream or lotion as needed.
Try Avene’s Thermal Spring Water to keep your skin refreshed throughout the day without stripping it of its much-needed moisture.
When it comes to fighting off acne, one of the best things you can do is to reexamine your diet. Esthetician and acne specialist Barbara Jackson advises, “There are many foods that can increase oil production and trigger acne breakouts. Eat more fruits and vegetables and try to avoid fast foods, dairy and sugar.” While sugar and fast foods are obvious culprits, dairy might surprise you as a contributor to poor skin health. Most of us have some difficulty digesting dairy, which can lead to excess oil, clogged pores and other skin issues. Check out some of the best healthy foods for great skin, according to dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban.
Try Perricone MD’s Skin and Total Body supplements to give your skin plenty of nourishing vitamins and antioxidants.
Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate (but not too often). “Exfoliation is the single most important daily treatment for more beautiful, glowing, younger and healthier looking skin,” according to Dr. Neal Schultz, NYC dermatologist. “More specifically, glycolic exfoliation is the key to smoother skin because glycolic removes the dulling and clogging dead cells that cause skin to be rough. Rough textured skin can’t glow because a rough surface scatters and absorbs light, making it appear dull, matte and tired. Smooth skin reflects light, and that’s why glycolic is so successful at improving the appearance of your skin in every season.”
Try the gentle Stone Crop Oxygenating Fizzofoliant by Éminence Organic Skin Care, which is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants for brighter, healthier skin.