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Published on May 03, 2018

woman putting lotion on her face

Skin Solutions Everyone Should Follow

When it comes to our skin, we’re all looking for the same thing — silky smooth, clear, vibrant and healthy. As our desperation grows, we open up our pocketbooks and buy anything a celebrity is endorsing or late-night infomercials are pushing.

Pretty soon your vanity is lined with bottled potions promising who knows what!

Just the essentials

It’s time to go back to the basics: a non-fragrant moisturizer, gentle cleanser, a retinol/retinoid and sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Using these four products, Mandi Greenway, MD, Avera Medical Group dermatologist in Mitchell, S.D., recommends a simple skin care regimen for your day.

“In the morning, gently rub your cleanser over your face using either clean hands or a clean washcloth. Then apply your sunscreen, followed by the moisturizer,” she said. “Again, use your cleanser before bed. Then apply the retinoid and moisturizer.”

Caring for your skin should begin in early in life as possible with mother applying sunscreen to baby whenever venturing out and about. Begin the rest of the skin care routine in high school to start a good habit, added J. Wesley Fletcher, MD, Avera Medical Group dermatologist in Pierre, S.D.

So why do dermatologists like Fletcher and Greenway recommend just a few simple products? Together, they offer a well-rounded approach to skin care:

  • Moisturizer – keeps skin supple and moist, and helps prevent dry spots and rashes
  • Cleanser – removes dirt and oil without drying out skin
  • Sunscreen (SPF 30) – prevents sun damage that can lead to cancer, dark spots and wrinkles
  • Retinoid – contains vitamin A which can help improve dark spots, wrinkles and your overall skin texture

Avoid gimmicks

“If something is wildly overpriced and promises the world, think before you buy,” said Fletcher. “You might be getting duped.” Expensive anti-aging and dark spot correcting creams either take too long to work or don’t work at all.

Also, a lot of “amazing” products don’t even have a complete list of ingredients listed on the back. Flip it over and you might discover that it’s mostly just lotion.

Ask your dermatologist about any “magical products” that you have heard about. He or she is more than happy to help you find products that are safe, effective and not a waste of your resources.

Bonus tips

When your goal is beautiful skin, take these bonus tips to heart.

Tanning beds — don’t even start or stop right now. “Tanning often starts in high school and can continue as an addiction,” Fletcher said. “Protecting yourself from the harsh UV rays can prevent the onset of aging and prevent skin cancer, including the most serious form of skin cancer — melanoma.”

Also, be especially careful if you wax unwanted hair growing around your eyebrows, lips, cheeks, etc. Combined with regular use of retinoid or an exfoliant, delicate facial skin is more prone to burning from the hot wax. Waxing may even remove your top layer of skin.

Before purchasing a product, consult with your dermatologist about what products might be best for you. Certain ingredients or certain products may irritate skin conditions such as acne or eczema.

“We’re here to help you make choices that will help you feel beautiful,” said Greenway. “Everyone should feel beautiful in their own skin.”

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