One of the best ways to keep your skin looking plump, smooth and youthful is also one of the easiest — medical grade skincare. This includes everything from cleansers and topicals, to moisturizers and sunscreen. As a Board-Certified Dermatologist, skincare is one of my areas of expertise. But it also happens to be a personal passion. I love playing with products, matching the right one to a patient’s unique needs and personality. The latter is crucial. While I happen to love the feeling and dewy look of a thick moisturizer, you may prefer something more matte. This is why I will spend a lot of time during your initial skincare consultation not only examining you physically, but also asking you in depth questions about your personal preferences. Because the key to a successful skincare regime is two-fold. The products need be medical grade for efficacy, and we need to find the regime that you are going to love in terms of smell and texture so that you will stick with it. A proper skincare routine can help mitigate and prevent some of the early signs of aging, like fines lines and sun spots, but only if you do it consistently. So, here is my skincare 101.
Retinoid is Your Forever Cream
Let’s start by clearing up some confusion when it comes to retinoid and retinol. While the two terms are used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. They are chemically different compounds that have similar effects on the skin. Both are vitamin A derivatives, but a retinoid is prescription strength so it is stronger than a retinol which is not. This is why I am a huge retinoid supporter and think that it is never too early to start using one. As the only product out there that is proven to remodel your skin and prevent wrinkles, a retinoid is literally your forever cream.
For my younger patients, I will typically start them on over-the-counter Differin to help treat acne, whiteheads and blackheads before progressing to something more advanced at around 16. Alpharet and the peel pads by Skin Better Science are two of my go-to products for patients of all ages as they are gentle on the skin while being powerfully effective at turning over your cells.
Sunscreen is the Fountain of Youth
While a retinoid is the basis for every skin care regime that I create regardless of age, my other “absolute” product for patients is sunscreen. If you do nothing else but use a retinoid and a sunscreen daily, you will notice a marked improvement in the look and feel of your skin. When it comes to sunscreen, there are two main categories:
- Chemical sunscreens
- Mineral sunscreens
Both have pros and cons. The right sunscreen for you is going to completely depend on which one you like because the most important thing with sunscreen is that you use it religiously. This is also a category, along with cleansers, where medical grade is nice, but not necessary. If you love the Neutrogena that you buy at Target, awesome. My favorite sunscreens are:
- Revision Intellishade Original
- Elta MD
The former has a nice, subtle tint which provides a bit of coverage and creates a nice glow. As an added bonus, it is full of anti-aging factors. And the latter comes in a wide array of options including Elta MD UV Clear which is a slam-dunk for men because it doesn’t look or feel like sunscreen.
How to Regain Your Glow
Glow is one of the hallmarks of youthful looking skin. It is also something that we lose with age. So, with my older clients, I am always looking for products that can help them get their glow on. I often recommend Revision C+, which has one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C of any product on the market, or Environ Cquence in the morning. The latter has a retinol so it is good for sensitive skin. And in the evening, I like a stronger retinoid such as Retin-A or Alpharet Intensive by Skin Better Science. I also really like a growth factor product like TNS Advanced Serum starting in about your mid-20’s. This is something that I use myself and I have been really happy with the results.
Hydration = Youthful Looking Skin
The other important thing to keep in mind as your skin ages is hydration. As mentioned, I love the feel of a heavy moisturizer and use Revision Intense Skin Moisture night cream. But if you want something lighter, there are a lot of options that are not as thick while still being hydrating. And when it comes to applying all of these products, think beyond just your face. You want to also include the neck, chest, décolletage, and back of the hands in your skincare regime. There is nothing worse than a youthful looking face and wrinkled hands. They are a dead give away! So, if you are wanting to restore some pep to your skin, schedule an appointment to come in and see me. Together, we can create a rejuvenation plan that will be simple, effective and easy for you to complete.
To find out more about medical grade skincare with Dr. Catherine DiGiorgio at the Boston Center for Facial Rejuvenation, contact us today or call (617) 735- 8735 to schedule a consultation.