Skin Care Simplified

Dr. Kristin Stevens, M.D., Ph.D., Dermatologist with Providence Medical Group, stopped by to bust some common skin care myths and set the record straight about what we really need to keep our skin looking young. 

MYTH #1. You need to spend a lot of money to get good skin care products.

FACT:

  • Cosmeceuticals are a multi-billion dollar industry. You may end up paying a lot just for advertising and a fancy package.
  • Gentle cleansers and lotions or creams that help with dry skin on your body are usually fine for facial skin care as well. Example: cerave or cetaphil or vanicream product lines
  • You do not necessarily need a special cream for your eyelids.
  • For over-the-counter products, some of the most effective ingredients to help improve skin texture, fine lines, and blotchy pigmentation are retinol and "peptide"-containing products. Glycolic acid and hyaluronic acid are also helpful.
  •  Many ingredients such as vitamin C are not easily absorbed through the skin.
  • Applying collagen or elastin to your skin does not increase your own collagen or help with wrinkles.
  • Best results are seen when using OTC gentle skin care products along with Rx Tretinoin cream, the "gold standard" anti-aging cream. It is about 1000x stronger than OTC retinol products. Ask your dermatologist if this product would be appropriate for you.

MYTH #2. You don't need daily sunscreen on your face and neck in the Pacific NW.

FACT:

  • UVA comes thru the clouds and window glass.
  • A significant portion of sun damage comes from daily exposure - remember this when you are driving around in the car or sitting by the window too.
  • Using a facial moisturizer with SPF30 is easy to do every AM as part of your regular routine. Both Cerave and Cetaphil brands have good product lines and there are many other options as well. Look for "broad spectrum" on the label.
  • If you have sensitive skin, you can use your preferred gentle moisturizer and then apply zinc oxide or titanium oxide sunscreen such as vanicream spf35 sport over that.
  • It is not adequate to just have SPF in your makeup. Most people do not wear enough makeup to actually get the designated SPF.
  • If you are concerned about aging skin, tan spots, fine lines, wrinkles, rough texture, you should be wearing SPF daily on your face every AM and reapply when outside. Remember, sunscreens only last for about 2 hours.
  • Sunscreen can only do so much. Consider bringing your own shade with you and wearing a hat with a brim.

MYTH #3. We need a variety of  "anti-aging" products.

FACT:

  • Using too many anti-aging or exfoliating products can cause redness, flaking, itching and irritation.
  • Use a gentle cleanser to wash face AM and PM. Lather with hands, avoid washcloths and makeup remover wipes which can be abrasive.
  • Just add one new product in at a time. Wait a few weeks before adding in another.
  • Using a gentle moisturizer with ceramides can help hydrate and protect the skin and minimize irritation from other products.  Moisturizing regularly with such a product can also help lessen fine lines that are often due in part to dryness.

Products Dr. Stevens recommends:

  • Cerave hydrating and/or foaming cleanser
  • Cerave lotion
  • Cerave AM lotion spf30
  • Cerave spf50
  • Cerave PM lotion with hyaluronic acid
  • Vanicream spf35 sport sunscreen
     

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