Are you confused on how take care of your skin on a daily basis in the sea of skincare products? Are you tired of buying expensive remedies that often disappoint? In my 20s and 30s I spent hundreds of dollars on products that have no clinical effectiveness nor give good results. But now I am older (40s) and wiser. As a board certified aesthetic medicine NP, I want to share with you my 5 simple, effective and INEXPENSIVE steps in daily regimen for beautiful skin.
1. Cleanse. Pick a non-comedogenic skin cleanser. It can be as simple as Neutrogena Transparent Facial Bar, Acne-Prone Skin Formula Soap or Gentle Skin Cetaphil Cleanser. Cleanse your skin twice a day. Not only daily cleansing removes impurities and pollutants, it gives your face a massage that relieves tension, improves circulation and texture of your skin.
2. Exfoliate. Depending on your skin you may want to exfoliate two or three times a week. You can buy a basic over-the-coutner exfoliant, but save your money. You will be surprised to find out how effective of a scrub a simple baking soda combined with some freshly squeezed lemon juice is. Add few drops of essential oils such as lavender for a relaxing scent.
3. Treat. The top effective products are 1) vitamin C serum and 2) retinoids. I highlight the two because these are the only ones that truly work.
- There are several budget vitamin C serums that you can purchase. Vitamin C serums may have other added powerful antioxidants and collagen stimulants such as vitamin E, ferulic and or hyaluronic acids. Apply few drops of the serum with your finger pads onto your cleansed skin daily both morning and night. Choose dark colored bottles as vitamin C is light sensitive.
- As far as retinoid type products, don’t waste your money on over-the-counter types–the concentration is so low which makes them ineffective and a waste of money. Ask your medical provider to write you a prescription strength retinoid type of cream or ointment (your insurance will cover it in most cases costing you $5 dollars out of pocket). A tube should last you two to three months. Retinoid products are often used to treat skin aging, acne, breakouts and dark spots. They work by increasing cell turnover and stimulating collagen production. Apply a pea-size amount on the skin of your face at night two or three times a week. You may want to start with lower concentration and increase it over time as your skin tolerates it. Both vitamin C serum and retinoid type products work to decrease dark spots, even out skin tone, improve texture, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and help to plump up the skin.
4. Moisturize. There are a lot of moisturizers but nothing works like a good organic oil. You may choose coconut or grapeseed oil. Both are anti-inflammatory and super hydrating. Massage it with clean hands onto your skin after your vitamin C serum or retinoid product has been absorbed. You may want to do some facial yoga exercises as an extra circulation improving and facial sculpting step as you gently massage the oil onto your skin.
5. Protect. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. While getting a healthy dose of sunshine is essential for vitamin D production save your skin with hat and sunscreen. Choose organic sunscreen that has either titanium or zinc oxide as an active ingredient. My favorite is Tinted Badger Broad Spectrum SPF Sunscreen Cream and you can get it online or in your health food store for under $16 dollars.
I promise you, it does not take a fortune or a sea of skincare products to have a solid skincare regimen. Just remember that a skincare is only a skin-deep and you should remember good nutrition, exercise, essential supplements, plentiful rest, hydration, good attitude and supportive relationships as a part of your path to a beautiful skin.
Bonus step: use rose water spray for added hydration of your skin throughout the day; use salicylic acid toner after cleansing if you have dark spots from acne scars; use benzoyl peroxide as a spot treatment to speed up acne or break outs resolution.