There are a few things I’ve put off year after year as I approach the end of my 20s. Obviously, eating healthy 100% of the time is a constant struggle. Making time for the gym is touch and go. I sleep 8 hours…never. I avoid most doctor appointments. I did, however, make the adult decision to go get a skin cancer scan with a dermatologist. After a quick and painless check (that was all clear), the conversation turned to skincare. Dr. Monica Halem walked me through essential ingredients that have been missing from my routine. I’ve used drugstore skin products for years without paying much attention to what was in what I was buying or sticking to any sort of routine each day/night. Fully investing in the skincare routine that my dermatologist suggested would be extremely pricey, but I’m slowly adding products as I go. I’ve laid out the full list of suggestions below. Pick and choose what works for you.
Fish oil contains two types of omega-3 fatty acids that together help to keep the brain functioning properly and regulate moisture in the skin. EPA is the magic skin ingredient here that blocks the UV-induced enzymes that breakdown collagen. I’ve been taking Fish Oil supplements on and off for years after an esthetician suggested I try them in high school. Paired with proper hydration, my skin has always been clearer and brighter when I remember to take fish oil regularly.
Glycolic Acid naturally exfoliates the skin, allowing new skin cells to grow and thus providing anti-aging benefits. It comes in many forms, but my doctor recommended to look for it in a face wash.
Not only does it smell fantastic, topical Vitamin C corrects collagen loss by helping the skin retain protein strands that would otherwise breakdown and age the skin. It also protects from UV rays. I love Ole Henrickson’s version but Lumene makes a vitamin C serum that’s extremely affordable and well reviewed by others. I just ordered myself a bottle and am excited to report back on the results.
If you aren’t using sunscreen in your routine, you can essentially throw out the rest of your products. Zinc is one ingredient that is essential ingredient that will help prevent skin damage and premature aging. This was the one item my dermatologist wouldn’t let me walk out the door without purchasing on the spot after hearing I was only using moisturizers with added sunscreen chemicals. Even wearing an SPF 40 or 50 UVA doesn’t have the same protection as a true zinc oxide sunscreen. My mind was blown. I will never use regular sunscreen again.
(1) Start with Glycolic Acid Face Wash
Over the counter retinol cream just isn’t the same. This is probably where I’d spend a little bit more money for the real thing. Check your products at home. So many of them use pro-retinols (retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, and retinal linoleate) which aren’t as effective as retinoid acid or retinol. Also, don’t bother with a sensitive skin formula, just use a retinol cream every other day or even once a week at first.
SHOP: RoC Retinol Cream (Drugstore) or get a prescription strength cream/gel from your dermatologist
Hyaluronic acid (or HA for short) is a sugary molecule (“clear, sugary goo,” according to the New York Times) that occurs naturally in skin’s structure and connective tissue throughout the body. It helps lubricate your joints and keep things full of moisture so they stay in the right shape in the right place. I use it in my nighttime moisturizer as a final step after washing my face and applying retinol.
…AND ALWAYS HYDRATE!
The most important ingredient. Great a great looking water bottle and keep it with you all day, every day.
SHOP: BKR Water Bottle