Skin Care – The Basics

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Beauty, Anti-Aging & Your Basic Skin Care Routine

There are a lot of things we can control ourselves – how well take care of skin, our bodies, our diet. Through a basic skin care regimen as well as a good diet and life style choices, we can play a large role in how fast we age. Some aging is due to genetics but most of aging and how you look is due to simple skin care basics.

Have you ever seen twins that are identical but one looks significantly older than the other? Lifestyle choices – your diet, whether you smoke, etc., do play a big part but also what you do to take care of your skin plays a huge part. It’s never too late to start a good skin care routine, however, the earlier you start the better.

Skin Care Basics:

Suncreen: Broad Spectrum Sunscreen with SPF 30 or Higher. This should be the core of your regimen, and it’s imperative you pick a broad-spectrum formula with SPF 40 or higher. Seek one with zinc, as well. It’s one of the most important ingredients you can find in makeup products. You want a physical component that reflects light—micronized zinc has teeny microscopic particles that do that—as opposed to a purely chemical sunscreen that absorbs it.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids:
Glycolic acid, lactic acid, and other alpha hydroxy acids exfoliate the skin to give it a smoother, brighter appearance and simulate new collagen. They are powerful anti-aging tools that can make a remarkable difference in your skin’s texture and appearance. You might start with a light glycolic toner or wash in your 20s and switch to a serum with antioxidants and glycolic acid in your 30s.

Antioxidants:
Antioxidants are crucial for anti-aging, to protect our skin, our collagen, and our elastin from free radicals that cause damage to the DNA in our cells. Not all antioxidants are created equal—you get what you pay for with certain things, and antioxidants are a splurge-worthy product. You want a serum specifically formulated with about 15 to 20 percent vitamin C to be absorbed properly. Resveratrol, which we find in certain red wines, is a great antioxidant, as well.

Niacinamide:
Niacinamide is a vitamin B3. It’s a great brightener, but also a very good moisturizer. It helps with pigmentary conditions, evens the skin tone, and brightens the skin.

Lipids:
Our skin can get dry and dull, and we want to reinfuse it with lipids to get that plumpness back—they’re essentially the mortar between your skin cells that helps maintain your skin barrier as you age. Lipids are often listed as ceramides and fatty acids. Ceramides are essentially the skin barrier molecules deficient in dry skin. Fatty acids help drive the production of cholesterol and ceramides, and might be listed as sunflower or other oils.

Retinol:
Retinoids are a vitamin A derivative that promote healthy cell turnover, inhibit the formation of acne lesions, and can inhibit pigmentation, as well. You want to get on a retinoid in your 30s, as your collagen and elastin might start to decline. It can be listed as retinol, retinaldehyde, retinoic acid. With retinoids, there are many inexpensive over-the-counter options that are more potent, so you have a little more freedom here than you do with antioxidants.