What Works for You!
November is a time of reflection, celebration, and beautiful, healthy skin! As this is the American Academy of Dermatology’s National Healthy Skin Month, Knoxville Dermatology Group would like to see you through the coldest weather with advice and information as it relates to the health of your skin.
In order to acquire and maintain outstanding skin health, finding the right skin care routine to meet the unique needs of your skin type is essential. Dermatologists do the “grunt” work in their office; however, the results you want to see come from the effort you put in at home with your skin care regiment. This blog breaks down each skin type and provides useful information on how to customize your skin care routine.
To begin, there is one product that is needed by every skin type and should be used year-round: a daily moisturizer with UV-protection. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “…with adequate hydration and use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen, the skin has the advantage of protecting itself from free radicals and harmful ultraviolent radiation that cause skin damage, discolorations, premature wrinkles and even skin cancer.” Thus, being consistent with its use improves appearance of skin and its health.
If skin has areas that are dry and oily, then it is considered to be combination. One common challenge is finding a product to address these polar opposite problem areas. Dermatologists recommend a mild cleanser to minimize sebum (oil) removal. Before washing your face, open up pores with hot steam from the shower or a hot towel on the face. Afterwards, wash your face once or twice a day with the cleanser; if you wash more than this, the body will produce more oils.
A medium-weight lotion with broad-spectrum sunscreen is also recommended for use on this skin type. As for the evening skin care regimen, an over-the-counter retinol cream or a prescription tretinoin cream can be used to improve skin texture/color and prevent fine lines and wrinkles. In order to offset the dryness and peeling caused by tretinoin, use of moisturizers should be increased.
For dry skin, it is recommended that the face be washed twice a day using a gentle cleanser or creamy wash with mild detergent. While the skin is still damp, apply a moisturizer (once a day) to lock in moisture. During winter months when skin feels especially “tight,” reapplying a moisturizer midday will help skin hydration.
For very dry skin, it is suggested that cleansing the face at night (at its dirtiest) is the best time of day to wash skin without stripping skin of its natural oils. Furthermore, rinsing the face with cool water in the morning also maintains natural oils.
Dermatologists suggest exfoliating dry, flaky skin once a week. Furthermore, application of retinols and moisturizing creams should be done sparingly since skin can be sensitive.
Oily/Acne Prone Skin
Prevalent in teenagers and many adults, oily or acne-prone skin requires extra attention to the overall skin care routine. The actual routine for cleansing varies- some people need to wash two to three times a day, whereas others have to avoid over-washing to decrease oil production.
Overall, breakouts can be controlled with the use of an oil-free, non-comedogenic foaming cleanser that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. As for a moisturizer, one that is lightweight, non-comedogenic and contains sunscreen is best.
Exfoliating once or twice a week is appropriate, but should be done with care as to not worsen acne.
Avoid cocoa butter, cinnamon and coconut oil to prevent breakouts as well.
Dermatologists recommend washing the face once a day with products that do not contain fragrances, soap or alcohol. In addition, products containing acids, like lipoic acid, glycolic acid and salicylic acid can be irritating to sensitive skin as well.
As for exfoliation, it is not necessary and can worsen sensitive skin.
Skin of Color
People with skin of color have different reactions to skin care products. For example, it is more sensitive to irritant reactions from harsh chemicals and active ingredients like glycolic acid that can lead to hyper pigmentation (darkening of the skin).
Sunscreen should be used generously in order to prevent sun damage and hyper pigmentation. Dermatologists recommend using a micronized zinc or titanium-based sunscreen.
Finally, a thin film of kojic acid or a cream containing hydroquinone are skin lightening products that can help correct discolorations.
Schedule an appointment today with one of our board certified physicians to gain more knowledge about your skin so it can reach its fullest, healthiest potential!
Contact Knoxville Dermatology Group at 865.690.9467.