It seems that skin care products are being sold everywhere you go, whether it be the drug store, grocery store, online, and even your hairdresser. But how do you know what to buy? Who to trust? What level of training and experience do the people selling these products have? These questions may be difficult to answer but the solution is simple. Only buy your skin care products from licensed medical professionals specializing in skin care, such as medical spas, dermatologists, or plastic surgeons.
Licensed medical professionals are authorized to sell medical grade skin care products and have training and experience with all types of skin concerns such as acne, rosacea, melasma, and aging skin. Other sources are not authorized to sell medical grade products and do not have the expertise to advise you which products to buy or how to use them. However, they often obtain medical grade products from resellers who buy the inventory of offices going out of business and then offer them at a discount. Combine that with the tremendous amounts of counterfeit product in the market and who knows what you actually get when you purchase your products from a non-medical source?
You don’t need to buy dozens of products. You can achieve a healthy, bright, glowing complexion with only the key products listed below.
- Exfoliating cleansers containing alpha-hydroxy, beta-hydroxy, or glycolic acid gently polish away impurities that make your skin appear older and dull. Exfoliating cleansers also prep your skin for the products applied next.
- Antioxidants protect your skin from free radicals, which are free-floating molecules that cause oxidation in whatever they touch. Oxidizing iron results in rust and the cell damage caused by oxidizing your skin is just as unpleasant. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and prevent them from damaging your skin.
- Moisturizers are important because our skin provides a watertight barrier between our body and the environment. The internal hydration we get from drinking water does not penetrate to the skin’s surface, so we need to provide the skin with a topical drink. The best moisturizers are creams or serums containing hyaluronic acid (also known as HA), a substance that already exists naturally in our skin. Hyaluronic acid penetrates the skin’s upper layers and attracts moisture to boost elasticity and hydration, giving your skin a youthful appearance. These products also form a protective barrier on the surface of the skin to lock in moisture and aid in tissue repair. However, you should avoid HA products that also contain alcohol, parabens, sulfates, or other ingredients that are harmful to the skin.
- Retinol enhances your skin’s natural beauty. Retinol promotes cellular turnover, removing dead and damaged cells from the surface of your skin and revealing the newer, more evenly toned skin cells below. Cellular turnover minimizes wrinkles, shrinks pores, and creates a healthy complexion.
- Sunscreen protects you from harmful solar radiation that damages and rapidly ages your skin. It is your most important skin care product, but not all sunscreens are the same. Most sunscreens protect you from UVB radiation, which is related to sunburn and skin cancer. SPF (sun protection factor) indicates how much UVB protection is provided (SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks 97%, and SPF 50 to 100 blocks 98%). However, SPF does not tell you anything about protection from UVA radiation, which is the main cause of the darkening and aging our skin. Always look for the term “broad spectrum” on your sunscreen’s label, which indicates that both UVA and UVB protection is provided. Water resistant sunscreen is helpful for warmer, wetter activities. Don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen throughout out the day for optimal protection.
There are many other skin care products but achieving a healthy, glowing complexion is simple with only a few products from a licensed medical skin care professional. If you have questions about your skin and what products are best for you, a quick and efficient consultation is the best option to help build a personalized skin care regimen that works for you.