Eighteen or 81, bride or wedding guest, kid-sister or grandmother, the desire to be desirable never goes away. The issues may change from acne to wrinkles, but the requirement to look good remains. That’s why Dr. Rodan and I maintain that “vanity” is not a dirty word.
Whether you’ve got a wedding or other milestone event on the horizon or simply want to look as good as you feel every day, use these “wedding-inspired” vows of skincare to help you strive to be the best you can be.
Cherish Your Skin
Everyone has different skincare concerns and needs, which vary depending upon the climate, your lifestyle and your age. It’s important to understand what factors influence your skin before deciding on a specific course of action. Do for yourself what Dr. Rodan and I have our patients do during their first consultation in our practices: remove all your makeup and take a good look at your skin in a 3x mirror. Identify and prioritize your main problem areas, whether it be aging, uneven skin tone or acne. Remember to stay realistic and to not obsess over every enlarged pore, small scar or brown mole.
Once you’ve completed the exercise, look for a skincare regimen that will best treat that issue. For blemishes, look for a complete regimen clinically proven to unclog pores, clear breakouts, calm skin and prevent new acne from forming. Spot treatments won’t do the job. If you’re bothered by brown spots and other sun damage, look for a regimen that combines cosmetic and active OTC ingredients to exfoliate dead skin, address the appearance of unwanted pigmentation, even and brighten skin tone and protect against further UV damage. If you have fine lines and wrinkles forming, use an anti-aging regimen that incorporates clinically-proven, time-tested ingredients, such as retinoids, peptides and alpha hydroxy acids.
Make sure to choose products that feel good to use. Both Dr. Rodan and I learned early in our careers that compliance with a skincare program is key to achieving results. Whatever your routine, make sure it includes protection against the number-one skin ager—the sun. Regular sunscreen application is one of the best habits when it comes to cherishing the skin you’re in and maintaining a youthful-looking appearance.
Promise to Be Careful About New Skincare Products
If you’re concerned that you may be sensitive to a product, take the “slow and steady” approach and proceed with caution. Begin by administering a “home patch test.” Before you begin using the product on your face, start with a test on your neck. This is a good indicator of a potential facial reaction, and any reaction on your neck will be less visible than testing on your face. Apply the product to a small area on the side of your neck three times a day for three to four days.
If you find that your skin reacts, return the product to the manufacturer. Most reputable manufacturers will be happy to refund your money or provide an exchange product that will be more compatible with your skin type. Also keep in mind that sometimes a reaction doesn’t necessarily mean you should write off the ingredient entirely. It may just be the concentration of an ingredient or the way a product is formulated that is causing your reaction. For instance, your skin may react negatively to benzoyl peroxide at 10%, but at 2.5% it may work well to treat your acne without causing any irritation.
From This Day Forward … Practice Healthy Habits
Skin ages in two ways: intrinsically and extrinsically. Intrinsic, biologic aging includes factors such as genetics, ethnicity and one’s underlying health or disease state. Intrinsic aging accounts for only about 20% of the visible aging process. On the other hand, extrinsic, environmental aging accounts for 80% of your appearance and is greatly under your control. It includes factors such as sun exposure, smoking, alcohol intake, sleep positions, stress and diet. While aging is inevitable, your choices and behaviors around these “ex factors” greatly influence how you look at each birthday. Whatever your age, it’s never too soon or too late to start incorporating healthy habits into your lifestyle.
By taking these skincare vows to heart, you can create positive change and always feel confident in your skin. Looking good means feeling good, and it can be transformational. I see it every day!