September is Skin Care Awareness month and the ideal time to check in with your skin care regimen. The skin care world is ever growing and evolving, and it’s easy to get lost in Tik Tok trends and the Target beauty aisles. Whether you prefer to stick with 2 products or 12, spend $20 or $200, we can help you find a regimen that is tolerable for your skin type, time, and budget. Follow our easy skin care guide to get the most out of your skin care and celebrate September with your best skin yet.
Step 1: CLEANSE with a gentle hydrating or foaming cleanser
Unless you slept in your makeup (woops!), you don’t need a very aggressive morning cleanser. I recommend Elta Gentle Foaming Cleanser and Revision Cleansing Lotion for my sensitive patients. Oilier and acne prone patients benefit from a mild glycolic acid cleanser to polish and prep the skin for the day.
**Skin Tip: Beware of Bead Cleansers! Exfoliating washes with jajoba beads or other physical gritty exfoliating agents can tear your skin and get lodged under your eyelids leading to pain, corneal damage, and trips to the eye doctor for bead removal. If using a bead cleanser, keep it away from your eyes!
Step 2: APPLY Antioxidants
Antioxidants protect skin from oxidative damage caused by sun and environmental pollutants. This translates into reduction of brown spots and redness after 8-12 weeks of use and reduces the DNA damage that leads to skin cancer.
**Skin Tip: Antioxidants are highly unstable, so expect to pay more for one that works. Our favorites: SkinBetter Alto Advanced, Revision C+ Complex, and SkinCeuticals CE Ferrulic.
Step 3: HYDRATE with Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid binds 10,000 times its weight in water, so it’s a huge hydrator for your skin. Apply either before or after the antioxidant (general rule is thinnest to thickest) for a dewy, healthy glow. High quality Hyaluronic Acid serums (Hydrinity Restorative or Renewing are our favorites) also reduce inflammation and breakouts.
Step 4: PROTECT with SPF
Rain or shine, your skin will benefit from a daily moisturizer with SPF 30+. Even on a rainy indoor day, our skin needs protection from the blue light emitted from our various devices.
**Skin Tip: Tinted moisturizers like Revision Intellishade, NeoCutis Journee, and EltaMD Clear Tinted offer enhanced blue light protection for our screen oriented lives.
Step 1: CLEANSE
AHA/BHA (think Glycolic, Lactic, and Salicylic Acid) cleansers work well at night to remove the day’s make up, oil, and sweat. I use a gentle device (I like Lumi) along with my cleanser to deep clean without any abrasion or injury to the skin.
**Skin Tip: Too sensitive for AHA/BHA washes? Gentle cleansers work well to cleanse and are a better choice than causing irritation. If a cleansing device isn’t in budget, then massage cleanser into your skin with your fingers and remove with a clean warm wet washcloth.
Step 2: APPLY Retinol/Retinoid
These Vitamin A derivatives promote skin cell turn over, stimulate collagen and elastin, and repair damaged skin cells. Translation: Fewer breakouts, fewer wrinkles, and less sun damage. If you are new to retinoids, start three nights per week applying a pea-sized amount to clean, dry skin. Avoid the area around the eye (feel for the periorbital bone and stay outside of that boundary).
Remember, retinoids make you sun sensitive, so only start if you are in a committed relationship with an SPF!
Step 3: HYDRATE
Finish off your nighttime regimen with a healthy hydrator like Hyaluronic acid (we love Hydrinity’s Restorative and Renewing Serums). Super dry skin may benefit from a ceramide-rich moisturizer instead of or in addition to the Hyaluronic serum.
**Skin Tip: If you are still struggling to tolerate your retinol, try applying your hydrator first, then retinol, and then another thin layer of either Hyaluronic Acid Serum or a moisturizer.
The “Eye-cing” on the Skin Care Cake:
We recommend pampering the delicate eyelid skin twice daily. A few favorites:
NeoCutis Lumiere Firm and Lumiere Firm Riche, Revision DEJ Eye, SkinCeuticals AGE Eye, and Elta MD Eye Gel.
**Skin Tip: Layer or mix and match eye treatments! If you are working on fine lines and crepey skin, try Revision DEJ Eye in the morning and Lumiere Firm Riche at bedtime.