The Basics To Getting Perfect Skin

unnamed-1Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
I’m generally a believer in the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” — except when it comes to skin care. So often, we don’t really start paying attention, closely observing, and attending to our skin until something goes horribly wrong. This wakeup call may come with a blast of serious acne in adolescence, hormonally-triggered melasma, or blotchy hyperpigmentation (which is common over the topline of the nose and cheekbones known as the “mask of pregnancy” when we’re expecting a bundle of joy). Or, it could be the seemingly-sudden, but actually gradual loss of skin elasticity, consistently smooth texture, even pigmentation, and general cellular resiliency linked with menopause and the decades that follow. But, the best skin of your life starts now, and here are three tips to live by.
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Be Here NowIllustrated by Anna Sudit.
Be Here Now
Our skin is dynamic, meaning that it is always moving and changing. While I believe it’s never too late to create a better, healthier skin, it’s also never too early. Taking charge right now — no matter your age or skin type — is really the best way to ensure that your lipid barrier and your glow will be intact.
unnamed-3Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Create Your Own Solar System With Your Skin As The Center
The sun — AKA unprotected exposure to UV — is the biggest enemy to your skin. Early sun-damage was a wakeup call to Boomers: Sunburns in the first decade of life manifested in fallout later. These days, most parents know to protect their kids’ skin from the get-go. And, protect your own skin every day with high-test SPF. Daily defense from UV is the most important step for preventing hyperpigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles, collagen breakdown (which results in sagging and loss of contour, usually beginning around the jawline and neckline), and of course, skin cancer. In spite of aggressive public service marketing for more than two decades, skin cancer is not in decline. The conclusion among skin care professionals such as myself is that consumers place too much confidence in their SPF products, and don't reapply nearly as often as they should.
Listen Up
A quick slick of sunblock does not mean that you can safely bake the day away on a beach in Aruba or on the (highly reflective!) ski slopes of Park City. Many consumers simply do not use enough product during a sun-filled — or even an overcast — day. Measure out one tablespoon for your face and neck, and a shot-glass for your body. If you’re active, working out, or in water, re-apply every two hours. And, if your SPF products have been on the shelf for more than a year, throw them away each spring and start anew to guarantee full protection. What you may not know: Your skin needs SPF protection every day. Those UV rays reach us in our cars, in our offices, in our homes — yes, UV can penetrate glass! So, daily defense from aging means vigilant SPF product use.
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unnamed-4Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Develop A “LTR” With Your Skin, Starting Today
I am often asked, “Can my skin get used to a product?” The short answer is no. What is essential, beginning in puberty, is that you develop a relationship with your skin. Working with a licensed skin therapist (versus someone who sells cosmetics over-the-counter, and considers skin care products in the same realm as makeup and fragrance) will be the foundation of choosing professional treatments and products which meet the needs of your skin and keep you feeling and looking your best. And, keeping your products tightly capped and out of the humidity of the bathroom helps keep them from breaking down.
And, skin changes. With each decade, sebum levels change, collagen production slows down, brown spots appear, and eye circles get darker; bags get puffier. A professional skin therapist will be mapping your face and body as these natural shifts arrive — as they will — and guide you into refining and evolving your choices to stay at your best.