Q: What is the best way to care for my skin? Is there a singular treatment that is best?
A: When it comes to skin care, there are countless products, treatments and routines that promise to give you the best results. However, not all of these options are created equal, and some can even harm your skin in the long run. To help you achieve a healthy and glowing complexion, here are six simple yet effective skin care tips that you can start incorporating into your daily routine.
› Protect your skin from the sun: One of the biggest culprits behind premature aging and skin damage is the sun’s harmful UV rays. That’s why it’s crucial to apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day, even on cloudy or overcast days. Wearing protective clothing and seeking shade during peak sun hours can also help prevent sun damage.
› Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water and keeping your skin hydrated from the inside out is essential for maintaining a healthy complexion. Dehydrated skin can become dull, dry and flaky, so be sure to drink at least 8 cups of water a day and avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption, which can dehydrate the skin.
› Stick to a consistent skin care routine: Using a consistent skin care routine is key to achieving long-term results. Choose products that work well with your skin type and incorporate them into your daily regimen. A basic routine should include gentle cleanser, sunscreen and nightly moisturizer. You can also add in serums and other cosmeceuticals to address specific needs such as dullness, hyperpigmentation or acne — ask your dermatologist for suggestions.
› Be gentle on your skin: While it’s tempting to vigorously scrub your face with a washcloth or harsh exfoliant, doing so can cause damage and irritation to your skin. Instead, be gentle when cleansing and pat your skin dry with a soft towel. Avoid picking at or popping pimples, which can lead to scarring and further breakouts.
› Moisturize your skin: Moisturizing your skin is essential for keeping it hydrated and healthy. Use a moisturizer that is appropriate for your skin type and apply it daily after cleansing and exfoliating.
› Get enough sleep: Sleep is essential for allowing your skin to regenerate and repair itself. When you don’t get enough rest, it can lead to dark circles, puffiness and dull skin. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night and consider incorporating a night-time skin care routine to help your skin recover while you rest.
Maintaining healthy and beautiful skin takes a combination of good habits. With these tips, you’ll be on your way to achieving the healthy, glowing complexion you deserve.
Dr. Abby Russell is a board-certified dermatologist with Galen Dermatology and a member of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society.