5 Ways to Care for Your Skin

5 Ways to Care for Your Skin

Age, weather, sun, pollution, friction, hormones, sleep patterns, hydration, and gravity are just a few of the things that wreck your skin. If you think you can combat those with a jar of cream you buy at the drugstore, you’re in for a disappointment.

With winter looming here in East Lansing, Michigan, your skin is in for another battle. You can try to stave off the damage, but without professional care, the effects add up over the years and leave you with rough, wrinkled skin.

Fortunately, you can prepare by arming your skin with proper nutrition, eliminating smoking, and getting a good night’s rest every night. But those at-home strategies address only half of the battle — we can handle the rest at Rick J. Smith, MD.

Dr. Smith and our team of experts specialize in analyzing your skin and developing a skin care treatment plan that gives you the best shot at reversing past damage and protecting it from future problems. While each skin care regimen we create is unique, here are the five essential elements that each includes.

1. Exfoliation

As your skin cells progress through the cycle of life, old ones die and fall off, and new ones emerge to the surface. However, sometimes those old dead cells stick around and give your skin a dull and leathery look. They may even mix with dirt and bacteria and clog your pores. 

When that happens, you need to exfoliate, or remove the dead skin from the top layer. It can be as simple as using a slightly abrasive washcloth or cleanser, or it could mean undergoing a professional treatment, such as a chemical peel. 

These treatments are customized to penetrate a precise depth based on your unique skin needs. They lift away layers of dead skin — and anything that resides in those layers, including some spots and wrinkles — and reveal fresher, newer skin underneath.

2. Moisturizing

If you apply a face moisturizer after cleansing or your shower, you’re on the right track. Your skin needs all the help it can get. While it’s important to rub that high-quality cream or lotion all over your body, face, neck, and chest are the most susceptible to environmental damage, so make sure you spend a little extra time in those areas. 

But moisture doesn’t only come in a jar. Skin needs water just like the rest of your body, so drinking plenty throughout the day can improve your skin’s health. You can also keep your skin moist by running a humidifier in your house or office to counteract the dry winter air.

3. Sun protection

Here in Michigan, you may not think you need to worry too much about the sun’s harmful rays — but you’d be wrong. 

There are two types of ultraviolet rays that can wreak havoc on your skin: UVA and UVB. On an overcast day, when the sun seems hidden, the UVA rays still blast through the clouds and penetrate your skin. And these are particularly dangerous since they dive deep into the layers and affect your DNA, which can lead to skin cancer.

That’s why it’s critical that you wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen year-round on all exposed skin.

4. Rebuilding collagen

One of the main factors that contribute to your skin’s aging is the loss of collagen. The essential protein is a key component throughout your body, and it’s what gives your skin its structure and strength. As you age, your body produces less collagen, and your skin responds by thinning, wrinkling, and sagging.

We can restore the plump suppleness with simple injections of Juvéderm®, a popular dermal filler that adds volume and smooths wrinkles. It may also trigger natural and ongoing collagen production.

Depending on your unique skin needs, we may recommend microneedling to carefully perforate your skin and stimulate your body to increase its own collagen production in response. 

5. Antioxidant support

You may have heard that antioxidants are good — here’s why. 

Whenever you’re exposed to harmful environments, such as smoke, pollution, excess sun, or radiation, it produces free radicals in your system. Free radicals are unstable molecules that are missing an electron. These misfits float around your body, robbing electrons from other molecules and causing a lot of damage in the process, including aging your skin.

Dr. Smith can help you clean up your free radicals with antioxidants, which donate electrons to the problem molecules — and voila, the cell damage ceases.

If your skin care regimen isn't covering all the bases, schedule an appointment at Rick J. Smith, MD, soon, and get started on the road to healthier, younger-looking skin. Call us or book online today.

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