We've all seen those commercials for things like toothpaste — "9 out of 10 doctors use it at home," for example. If you've ever been curious about what your doctor is really doing at home, check out our tips for caring for your skin like the pros do. It's easier than you think.
1. Sunscreen, of course.
You knew this was coming. But consider that the act of wearing sunscreen isn't enough on its own. It's important to choose the right sunscreen and to apply it correctly. Although most sunscreens use chemical blockers to reflect the sun's rays, others use physical blockers to act as a barrier. These are usually mineral-based products that use active ingredients such as zinc oxide. Although it's up to you which formula you choose, physical blockers are typically better tolerated by people with sensitive skin.
When you apply your sunscreen, measure a generous amount into your hands and spread it evenly over your face, neck, chest, and even the tops of your ears. In this article in Prevention, Texas dermatologist Dr. Lisa Garner says that she portions out enough to fill the depression in the palm of her hand. When it comes to protecting yourself from the sun, there's no such thing as too much. And reapply often!
2. Pick the right products — and use them carefully.
Most dermatologists will tell you that you don't have to spend an arm and a leg on fancy-dancy products to keep your skin looking its best. The key is picking the best option for your specific skin and using it regularly. For example, if you only have occasional breakouts, you probably don't need to use a heavy-duty acne cleanser or moisturizer. The ingredients in these products can make your skin dry, flaky, and irritated, clearly major overkill for just a few pimples. Instead, choose a gentle, pH-balanced cleanser that's made just for your face.
If you choose a moisturizer or serum for a particular function, such as reducing wrinkles, be sure to give it enough time to do its job. Results don't usually happen overnight, and in some cases it may take more than 1 bottle to see a difference on your skin. Be patient! If you don't see any difference after 6 weeks of regular use, it may be time to try something new. At Suzanne Bruce and Associates, a dermatology practice in Houston, their team offers a program called “Seeing Is Believing," which gives patients a step-by-step understanding of which products are likely to benefit them and exactly how to use them. Practitioners such as Dr. Bruce are happy to pass on their personal knowledge to patients. Consider meeting with a professional to get guidance on setting up a customized regimen for you.
3. Consider your skin, always.
Your skin is your body's largest organ and the one barrier we have against the outside world. Dermatologists have devoted their careers to caring for skin, so they don't just think about it in the morning and at night. Caring for the skin affects the foods and drinks they consume and even the exercise they do. For example, high-intensity exercises, such as running, can eventually weaken collagen and other supportive elements of the skin, causing premature sagging and looseness. And foods and beverages that are high in sodium can cause water retention and a puffy appearance, leading to under-eye bags and more.
I'm not saying you need to rearrange your entire life around your skin. But if you've got a concern that's troubling you, a simple tweak in your everyday habits may be all you need to do to get the beautiful skin you've always wanted.
This is a sponsored post for Suzanne Bruce and Associates written by freelance beauty writer Vanessa Harper