How to Properly Care for Your Skin and Why Good Skin Care is So Important
The skin is the body’s largest organ, and it’s visible to ourselves and others – and yet, many people do not properly take care of their skin or have a regular skin care routine.
Skin care tends to be something we think of when we develop a skin condition. If you get acne or start to have issues with eczema flare ups, that’s typically when you consider how to properly care for your skin. But there is a lot you can be doing on a daily basis to practice good skin care and even help prevent some skin conditions.
No skin is the same, so skincare tips and optimal routines and treatments vary from person to person. During November, which is National Healthy Skin Month, we’re spreading the word about the importance of adopting some type of skincare routine to ensure your skin ages as well as you do.
Why is Skin Care So important?
We all have skin, and yet many of us neglect or simply don’t understand the proper way to care for it.
There can be a lot going on with skin! Everything from sun exposure to skin conditions like acne can take a toll on the health of our skin over time, so it’s important to not only practice good skin care, but to be aware of your skin so you notice any changes or abnormalities that might require a dermatologist’s expert eye.
Here are some primary reasons why good skin care is so important:
- Your skin will age better. As you age, your body sheds skin cells more slowly, causing the skin to adopt a duller or less radiant look. A good skin care routine removes the dead skin cells, encouraging your body to produce new ones, helping the skin look more youthful and healthy for longer.
- Treating skin well is better in the short- and long-term. Just like brushing your teeth regularly helps prevent cavities, taking care of your skin daily helps prevent certain skin conditions like acne, and keeps your skin in good condition, which can help with wrinkle prevention or improving the overall appearance of your skin.
- You’ll know if something’s ‘up”. When you care for your skin regularly, you’ll be more aware of any anomalies, like a mole that has changed shape, or a discoloration that wasn’t there before. Prevention is key when it comes to skin conditions, so keep an eye on your skin and see a dermatologist right away with any concerns.
- Good skin boosts self-confidence. Skin conditions like acne, rosacea, or psoriasis can have a deep and lasting impact on self-confidence and our ability to comfortably show our skin in public. Good skin care and appropriate treatment can restore your self-confidence and give you back control over your skin and how you feel.
What Does a Good Skin Care Routine Look Like?
Because we all have different skin with different needs, skin care varies for everyone. The best way to identify your ideal skin care routine is to meet with a dermatologist to discuss your specific concerns and talk through your goals for your skin.
Skin care isn’t just about ensuring your skin will look good – it’s about keeping it healthy and feeling good too. Whether you suffer from dry skin, oily skin, or a skin condition, there is a treatment and routine out there for you.
Specific skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, acne, rosacea, and others typically require more targeted treatments that are then supported by a daily skin care routine determined between you and your dermatologist.
However, for general skin care, there are a few great ways to ensure you’re treating your skin right every day and promoting the development of new, healthy skin cells.
- Sunscreen. Sun exposure is a primary factor in the development of skin conditions and skin cancers, and protecting your skin from the sun – especially if you are exposed often and for long periods of time – is a critical step in a skin care routine. Use a sunblock that provides broad-spectrum protection and offers an SPF of at least 30. Selecting a chapstick with an SPF is also a great but often overlooked way to protect your lips from sun exposure.
- Moisturizer. Putting moisture back into your skin is a great way to care for this vital organ. We put our skin through a lot – sweat, sun and wind exposure, the friction and constriction of our clothing; applying a moisturizer helps replenish moisture to the top layer of skin, keeping it hydrated and refreshed. Work with your dermatologist to select the best moisturizer for your skin type – there are many out there with different ingredients, so selecting the best one is important.
- Daily Cleanser. Especially for the face, which is exposed to everything you come in contact with each day, a daily cleanser is critical to remove dead skin cells, dirt, and excess oils. Like moisturizers, facial cleansers differ based on skin type so be sure to choose one that works for your skin.
- Exfoliation. On the face, but also over the whole body, an exfoliating scrub helps remove dead skin cells, dirt, and excess oils, restoring the skin’s natural glow and helping it feel soft and smooth. Be careful not to exfoliate too frequently, as it can become an irritant by removing too much from the skin – we recommend no more than twice per week. Exfoliation should always be done after using a cleanser but before moisturizing.
- Toner. A good toner applied after your daily cleanser can help restore important nutrients to the skin and leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. Toners are a gentle way to refresh your skin without stripping it of moisture and should be applied before your moisturizer, as toner prepares the skin for absorption.
If you were going to adopt all five of these skin care treatments into your daily routine, you should apply them in the following order:
- Daily Cleanser
Ultimately, skin care routines and the path to healthier skin look different for everyone, but you can adopt skin care habits that help protect, strengthen, and elevate your skin and its overall appearance.
Your first step to adopting a skin care routine that works for you is understanding your skin’s unique needs. At Optima Dermatology, our expert, board-certified dermatologists will work with you to develop the best approach to your skin care routine.
Request an appointment to start a routine toward healthier, more radiant skin.