What is actually needed for skincare?

We asked the experts to explain the fundamentals to us. Good skin care is essential at any age, and healthy habits between the ages of 20 and 30 can strengthen and prepare the skin for the effects of future aging. The skin has strong collagen production and elasticity in its 20s and 30s. Cleanser and moisturizer with sun protection factor will be part of your routine, and some dermatologists may recommend a product with retinol or an over-the-counter antioxidant serum as a measure preventive to stimulate collagen production.

While you may associate collagen with keeping skin looking smooth, it also gives skin its strength and structure and plays a role in replacing dead skin cells. When women enter the period before menopause (perimenopause) and menopause, their hormones change and the natural forms of aging begin to manifest. While serums and creams that promote collagen production can be added to your arsenal of skincare products, the foundation will remain a gentle cleanser and a strong moisturizer. There are many factors that can affect your skin, and your skin, since it is the largest organ and the first line of defense for health, deserves to be protected.

When considering skin care, you'll want to consider your environment and your daily health, such as diet, stress, and fitness. However, at the end of the day, a skincare routine that includes a cleanser and moisturizer can go a long way. Either way, you'll be happy to know that experts tell us that a truly honest and effective skincare regimen only needs a few important elements. In fact, most of us would probably do better if we stayed with the simplest.

The basic steps of a skincare routine are a gentle cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen, Emily Newsom, M, D. Seriously, that's all you have to do. In fact, there are very few situations where people need to use a bunch of products, says Temitayo Ogunleye, MD. While there's no inherent problem with using lots of products if you like them and they're not irritating, he says: “First you have to try these simple things and then we'll see. You'll need a cleanser to remove dirt, makeup, excess oil, dead skin cells, and environmental impurities that naturally end up on your face during the day.

The moisturizer will help keep the skin's protective barrier working properly and maintain a smooth and soft skin. And possibly the most important element, sunscreen, helps prevent skin cancer and cosmetic damage caused by the sun. In the morning, wash with a cleanser and then apply a moisturizer and sunscreen (or combine the two with a moisturizer that has a broad-spectrum protection factor of 30 or higher). In the evening, wash again with the cleanser and apply a moisturizer.

Yes, you can use your moisturizer with SPF at night if you want, Dr. You may prefer something thicker at night, but there's no rule prohibiting using the one with SPF before bed, she says. From there, it is important to pay attention to how the skin reacts immediately after using the product and on the following days. Do you notice tightness, oiliness, redness, or breakouts? If it's oily, you may need to moisturize less often or use a lighter formula, for example.

If it's on the dry side, you may need to use a more intense moisturizer. If your skin is very dry or sensitive, you may only need to wash your face with a cleanser once a day at night and rinse with water or micellar water in the morning. However, if your skin is especially oily or you wear a lot of makeup, you may need to clean it more often or even do a double cleanse at the end of the day. If your skin is sensitive, you may notice some irritation (redness, itching, peeling), which is a sign that you should back off and call a dermatologist.

In the future, you may need to be careful to avoid products with certain ingredients, such as fragrances, that can be irritating. However, everyone should continue to apply sunscreen every day. Here's how to find one that you don't mind using. You might be surprised how, after a few weeks of following these basic steps, your other skin problems calm down. But if they don't, the next steps will depend on your skin's specific needs.

If you have acne, you may want to switch to a salicylic acid cleanser, a mild chemical exfoliator, or an occasional spot treatment with benzoyl peroxide. For wrinkles, fine lines, or sun damage, you may want to add an over-the-counter retinoid to get started (and maybe a prescription version). later). Are you interested in managing hyperpigmentation? Brightening agents such as hydroquinone or vitamin C may be the solution.

But be sure to add only one product at a time, Dr. Newsom says, and leave it at least two weeks before adding anything else. If you add several products at once and you have a bad reaction to something, it will be impossible to know which product was responsible without doing a patch test, according to Dr. O if you see positive results, you won't know which product was responsible for the change.

It's also important to avoid adding too many products that do the same thing. If you already have a retinoid or exfoliating acid in your product range, adding another one may not help you and, in fact, may be more irritating. In addition to using too many products, Dr. Ogunleye says that one of the biggest mistakes newbies make is giving up too easily.

But as SELF explained earlier, both over-the-counter and prescription treatments take weeks or months to produce noticeable changes. Ogunleye argues that it's important to adjust expectations and be prepared to offer a new product for two to three months before becoming discouraged and giving up. If you're looking for gentle everyday products and can't seem to find one that works for your skin, it's time to talk to a dermatologist, Dr. Alternatively, if you're trying to treat a specific skin problem (such as acne or hyperpigmentation) and you don't see any improvement, a dermatologist can help you resolve the problem and possibly prescribe a stronger medication that may be more effective.

And of course, if you find that your skin reacts poorly to products and you're not sure why, don't hesitate to see a dermatologist. They can help you determine what might be causing that irritation and give you guidelines on how to avoid it in the future. SELF does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information published on this website or by this brand is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.

Millie Reynolds
Millie Reynolds

Gamer. Lifelong beer lover. Devoted music nerd. Wannabe internet aficionado. Subtly charming twitter fan.

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