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For as long as I can remember, keeping my skin clear, clean, and blemish-free took minimal effort. I slept with makeup on one too many times (eek!) and used whatever drugstore product fit my budget. Then, I got my first big job post-college and proceeded to buy every glamorous skincare product at Sephora known to woman.
Now, with a cabinet full of trendy once-used products and that oh-so-random adult acne my mother warned me about, it took a few too many inopportune post-thirty breakouts for me to realize my questionable skincare “routine” really sucked. I grew up, but my skincare didn’t—and that became obvious (thanks to that zit in the middle of my face at a company-wide presentation).
After taking a deeper look at the products I was using, I did some research (thanks to Reddit’s SkincareAddiction) and decided to bring it back to basics, reinventing my skincare routine from start to finish. Serums, face masks and exfoliants aside, here’s my battle-tested baseline for simplified skincare—plus a few go-to products that are helping me save face, every day.
It’s not a revolutionary concept: washing your face removes dirt, grime, and excess oil, while minimizing shine and keeping your pores clog-free. But are you cleansing your face in the morning and at night? I wasn’t. I thought going to bed with a fresh face meant waking up with one. Remember to start your day with a clean canvas because your skin can accumulate a disturbing amount of bacteria while you sleep.
My Pick: Stratia Velvet Cleansing Milk
This Indie cult-favorite brand is rocking the mainstream skincare world, and I am obsessed with their gentle cleanser. It keeps my sensitive skin soft and smooth, without stripping my face of moisture like many foaming cleansers.
I am a full face makeup kind of gal. While I love experimenting with new products (especially eyeshadow), not all makeup removes the same, and not every cleanser can get that liquid cat-eye off. Instead of opting for wipes, I’ve gone the micellar water and cotton ball route. My skin has never been so happy.
My Pick: L'Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water
Just call this liquid magic. My waterproof mascara has nothing on this cleansing water. With moisturizing properties you don’t have to wash off, your skin will always be extra hydrated and 100% makeup-free.
The hunt for the *perfect* face moisturizer is a never-ending quest. But after trying almost every product on the beauty store shelf, I’ve finally found two that are helping me fight wrinkles while hydrating my skin without a sign of greasy residue.
My Picks: Stratia Liquid Gold
Yes, I have already pledged allegiance to one of their other products, but what can I say? I’m all about Stratia. I mean this brand sold out in three hours for good reason. Just a pump of this lightweight moisturizer, and my skin feels instantly extra luminous, even under my foundation.
L'Oréal Paris Collagen Moisture Filler Day/Night Cream
Ok, now that I’ve accepted I’m in the over 30 club, I am doing everything “natural” to fight wrinkles and reverse the sun damage done in my teenage years. This cream is rich in natural collagen and, after a few weeks, I already started to feel a healing difference. Though it’s for day and night, I prefer this cream before bed.
With work (and life) comes stress. With the strain of a busy schedule, my skin tends to get dehydrated and tight throughout the day. Since I can’t go home when the going gets tough and slap on a watermelon face mask, thanks to my friend and coworker, Keana, I’ve adopted a new habit—carrying a little skin refreshing spray with me, no matter where I go.
My Pick: Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe Herbs and Rosewater
Made with herbal extracts and rosewater, misting your face with this spray is just like an insta-spa. Giving you a dewy luminosity that makeup artists swear by, one spritz will hydrate and illuminate your skin.
Summer is officially here, and with that, there are so many fun activities that will motivate you to get outside to stay in shape and strive for those post-quarantine fitness goals. But before you decide to get outside to enjoy some walking, yoga, swimming, or hiking, remember these best practice skincare habits to protect your skin from common skin concerns, such as, sunburns, chafing, and excessive dryness.
Here, board-certified Dermatologist, Dr. Bottiglione, shares some advice to help your skin stay healthy as you embark into the great outdoors.
When going outside, the sun is going to be your biggest culprit for damaging your skin. While the sun boosts benefits like vitamin D production, take notice when your skin is overexposed to the sun’s harmful rays as it becomes dangerous. When overexposed to direct sunlight, the skin is irritated, causing sunburns, dryness, and sensitivity that can increase the chances for wrinkles and skin cancer as we age.
Luckily, staying inside when it’s so pleasant outside is not the only skincare alternative to avoid the sun’s damaging rays. Here are a few simple tips to prep your skin before stepping outside.
Opt to protect your skin with a clinical-grade sunblocking lotion of 15 SPF or higher.
“Anytime you go outside, you need to apply sunscreen to your skin,” advises Dr. B. “Ensure you apply sunscreen to the full body and reapply often. In the morning, after cleansing your face, is the best time to apply.” He recommends a spray for oily skin, or the Dermatologist’s Choice Sunscreen Enhanced Moisturizer for dry to combination skin types that needs a little extra hydration.
The key is the more intentional you are about proactively protecting your summer skin, the healthier it will be. It may sound simple, but your skin will be happier when you take a preventive approach rather than a reactive approach—for example, applying the sunscreen moisturizer before a walk to help to avoid the treatment of a sunburn after. When prepping your bag for the fun day ahead, make sure to add sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water.
Now the real excitement begins! However you decide to get your fitness outdoors, we have the skincare routine you need or a carefree and healthy day.
Deep breath. Like our favorite flow, these skincare tips will keep our mind—and our skin—at ease. If you take your yoga practice outdoors, wear an SPF shirt, and lay your mat under a nicely shaded tree to help shield you from excessive sun exposure.
“Avoiding direct sunlight and wearing protective clothing is smart to protect your skin from sun damage. Even if you are going for a relaxing walk or doing just a few sun salutations. Staying out of the direct sunlight will reduce your risk of sun damage and wrinkles.” - Dr. B
Swimming is one of the best cardio and strength training workouts, while also an enjoyable activity during the summer. Whether you are swimming in open water or laps in the pool, the excess amount of water with exposure to pool chemicals and environmental pollutants can cause skin irritation and dryness. To keep your skin hydrated and protected, Dr. B. recommends applying the Dermatologist’s Choice Pre-Bath Oil to your skin before entering the water. This will seal your skin’s protective barrier to avoid skin irritation from chemicals and debris. He adds, “The Pre-Bath Oil is what I give to all my patients with eczema or dry skin. It is the only thing that will protect and also deeply hydrate the skin.” Just apply this serum before you put on your sunscreen, and you're good to go!
With warm temperatures during the summer months, it’s the perfect time for hiking and exploring the mountainous outdoors. It is essential to take the necessary steps to avoid your skin becoming sunburnt, irritated, or breaking out. “Wearing a hat with a large brim that will shade your face and neck is key. A baseball cap is just not enough for the sun protection you need. After your hike, it is important to clean your face and pores of sweat, dirt, and toxins with Dermatologist’s Choice Glycolic Peel Cleansing Pads to avoid breakouts from occurring,” Dr. B. warns. Keep them in your bag for easy cleansing after a hike.
One of the biggest skin concerns cyclists or runners usually bring to dermatologists is chafing. Even if you’re just cruising along the seaside or taking a cycling class, those tight clothes and friction can cause some intense irritation and redness. “When you have an issue with chafing, you need to protect your skin. You need armor over the skin. Beeswax, for example, is thick to coat the skin and protect it. Another effective option is the hydrating Dermatologist’s Choice Pre-Bath Oil. For best results, moisturize your skin, and then add a piece of clothing to cover it (that is actually like armor),” Dr. B. shares. Are you a runner? Feel free to use this tip too before your next mile or 30.
At the end of your activity, the real results of that skin preparation set in. But sometimes, you need a little extra support afterwards. After any good workout, cleansing off the sweat, dirt, toxins, and irritant is paramount. Dermatologist Choice pH Balanced Cleanser helps to gently but effectively remove sweat, oil, and restore the skin’s natural pH levels.
Did you end up getting a sunburn, or is your skin dry from the elements? Soothe with the Pre-Bath Oil with natural oils like sunflower and jojoba oil for deep hydration and healing.
“Sun damage can manifest in multiple ways. Most often, you will notice a sunburn first, which can then lead to irritated skin—and over time, sun damage increases the appearance of wrinkles.” For safe measure, at night regenerate sun-damaged skin with Dermatologist's Choice Ultra Anti-Aging Cream with 15% non-neutralized glycolic acid to your skin. This powerful dermatology treatment rebuilds the collagen and exfoliates fine lines, sunspots, and acne on the skin. “Do not apply the Ultra Anti-Aging Cream on a sunburn or irritated skin,” Dr. B. shares. These are long-term habits to aid in maintaining your best skin health.
Capture your best skin with everything you need this summer with the Dermatologist’s Choice Skin Kit, and get 20% off your order with code MB20 at www.dermchoice.com.