It’s the perfect time of Year to review your skincare regimen and assess how it may be helping or hurting your skin. Resolutions are easy to make in January but more challenging to keep going throughout the Year.
It’s not easy to change, but consistency is essential, especially when it comes to skincare, says Heather Richmond, MD, a dermatologist at the Dermatology and Laser surgery Center in Houston. She says regular use of high-quality skin care can make a big difference in the long term. Still, you shouldn’t expect immediate results, especially regarding reducing signs and symptoms of aging.
Consider retinoids as an example. They are known to reduce wrinkles and fine lines, according to Harvard Medical School. However, it may take up to six months to see any improvements. For the best results, resolve now and stick to it.
Here are five top skincare solutions that board-certified dermatologists recommend.
Sunscreen should be applied every day, no matter the season.
Sunscreen might seem simple, but it is your most effective skincare instrument. When people ask me what the No. “Sunscreen is the No. 1 anti-aging cream,” states Cheryl Burgess, MD founder and president Center for Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Washington, DC.
These benefits go beyond cosmetics. “It has been proven that sunscreen is the best way to prevent skin cancers and accelerated aging,” states Mamina Turegano, MD. She is a board-certified dermatologist at Sanova Dermatology in Old Metairie. I encourage everyone to wear sunscreen daily as part of their morning routine.
She suggests using broad-spectrum sunscreens with at least 30 SPF. Also, look for moisturizers with SPF. Broad-spectrum sunscreens protect against sunburn and UVA rays.
You may think you’re immune because you don’t live outside during winter, but studies have shown that even blue light from electronic devices and computers can harm the skin. One small study showed that blue light exposure is linked to the production of free radicals. These are known to be associated with premature skin aging.
The Skin Cancer Foundation notes that UVA rays can damage your skin even through windows. This is true whether you work indoors or in a vehicle with natural light. Dr. Burgess says that sunscreen is available 24/7.
Do not Sleep in your Makeup.
Burgess says that sleeping with Makeup on can lead to various skin problems, such as clogged pores and breakouts. According to the University of Rochester, it can cause severe damage to your eyes. This resolution is easy: Wash your face before you put your head on the pillow. You will need to use a solvent-based makeup remover if you use oil-based concealers. Burgess suggests foaming cleansers that can be used to emulsify lipsticks and foundations. Use a gentle cleanser to clean the eyes since they are more sensitive.
Winter-Proof Your Skin
“Winter is perhaps the most difficult season for your skin,” states Joshua Zeichner, MD, associate professor of dermatology and director of cosmetic research and clinical dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital. As winter brings colder weather, low humidity, and wind, he recommends people use more skincare products.
Burgess suggests looking for products with moisturizing ingredients such as glycerin or ammonium lactate. These ingredients can pull moisture from your skin. AmLactin Daily Moisturizing Lotion is a good option. It’s affordable and easy to find. You can also look for generic ointments that usually cost less than $20 per bottle. A cream or ointment may be a better choice than lotions. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that these products come in tubs or tubes rather than in lotions. Burgess suggests a HydroFacial help your skin retain moisture during winter months.
Don’t Use Indoor Tanning Beds
Research shows that indoor tanning can significantly increase the risk of melanoma. However, a report published by Current Oncology in November 2022 showed that more than one-third of Americans used indoor tanning devices. These numbers are decreasing from their peak, but the Skin Cancer Foundation notes that the United States has not banned tanning beds like Australia and Brazil. Dr. Richmond and Dr. Turegano agree that indoor tanning is a big no-no. Turegano hopes to see tanning bed bans in 2022.
Refrain from throwing away unneeded or expired products.
Many people use the New Year to clean out their homes. If your skincare shelves are out of control, it may be time to reduce them.
Turegano can empathize. “I like trying as many products as possible to see if it is worth recommending. But my bathroom has become a junkyard with many half-full skin care containers, many of which may be expired. It makes skin care seem overwhelming.”
Her resolution for skin care is to organize and streamline her products. She plans to use the KonMari method to edit and categorize her items.
Do you need help determining where to begin? You can check the expiration dates of all skincare products and decide to throw away anything beyond their use-by dates. It would help if you also got rid of anything irritating your skin. Turegano suggests that you streamline your workflow. Turegano says that you likely need only some if you have two hyaluronic acid products. If you don’t need both of your products, it might be easier to find one with a higher percentage.
Stress can cause you to pick at your skin.
Turegano believes that skin picking can lead to scarring and infection. Turegano notes that many people pick at their skin for stress relief. However, she suggests that people resolve to find stress-relieving options for skin picking in 2022. These include popping bubble wrap, exercise, and facials, which are all recommended by the TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repeated Behaviors.
According to the International OCD Foundation, skin picking can be a clinical impulse control disorder. This survey found that 1 in 20 people suffer from this condition. A study published in March 2021 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology showed an increase in skin picking during the COVID-19 epidemic. A mental health professional may be able to guide you if this is the case. According to the International OCD Foundation, cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance, commitment therapy, and selective serotonin-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may help treat skin-picking disorders.