5 Simple Tips for Healthy, Radiant Skin
Apply toners to keep skin oils at bay and even out skin tone—but look for hidden alcohol in products, which can strip skin of necessary moisture.
One of the top concerns of patients who come into my office is lackluster, dull, old-looking skin. There are easy ways to fix this problem—and transform skin—at home; here's how:
1) Replenish the skin with antioxidants. I cannot say enough about the benefits of antioxidants—for both the body and the skin. First, it's important to understand that the skin—like the body—contains its own reserves of natural antioxidants, before you even apply any product with antioxidants. So why then, you might ask, do I need anything else?
The skin's antioxidants are depleted by daily exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays and to environmental pollution from car exhaust and smoke (including secondhand cigarette smoke).
Topical antioxidants replenish the skin's stores. They also fight inflammation and in many cases, help the skin stay moisturized. What's more, antioxidants like vitamins C and E have been shown to help prevent UV-induced damage to the skin, keeping the skin youthful looking longer.
The entire Replere skincare line is chockfull of some of the most powerful antioxidants—Coffea arabica (the fruit of the coffee plant; shown below), green tea, vitamins A and E, and more—for this reason. Plus all Replere products are stored in airless containers to preserve the potency of the antioxidants inside.
"When antioxidants are exposed to air, they become less potent."
2) Skip alcohol-based toners. Instead, look for toners with ingredients like salicylic acid, which is lipid, or oil, soluble. This means it's able to penetrate through sebum into pores, getting rid of the debris that can clog pores and contribute to breakouts. Azelaic acid is another great option. It exfoliates skin (getting rid of debris that can clog pores), as well as helping even out discoloration and brown spots. It's also an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Both of these ingredients, along with exfoliating glycolic acid, are found in my Replere Pore Minimize & Mattify Skin Tonic, which is alcohol free.
3) Exfoliate daily. Skin cells turn over every 21 to 28 days, meaning new, radiant skin cells rise to the surface of the skin as old skin cells slough off. But as we get older this cell renewal slows down—making skin lackluster and dull thanks to the old skin cells still lingering on the surface of the skin. The easiest way to transform skin almost instantaneously is to exfoliate once and—if your skin can handle it—twice a day. By exfoliating, you're helping the skin to get rid of the old, dulling dead skin cells so the new skin cells can appear on the surface of the skin. The Replere Pore Minimize & Mattify Skin Tonic does this, as does my Replere Deep Clean & Clarify Face Wash, which contains glycolic, salicylic, and azelaic acids. In-office skin peels can also help exfoliate skin—and are stronger than what's available in any over-the-counter products.
"Exfoliating will help your skin better absorb key nutrients and ingredients, like antioxidants, in skin-care products."
4) Hydrate your skin, particularly in the cool-weather months. While the skin produces its own oil, called sebum, every skin type still needs to add extra hydration. Frequent skin washing and daily environmental damage can all strip the skin of its natural oils.
It's best to apply moisturizer within about three minutes of washing and gently patting dry your skin (this helps prevent any water present in the skin from evaporating). Look for moisturizers that add nutrients, such as antioxidants, back into the skin like Replere Protect & Rejuvenate Day Lotion.
"Hydrated skin is glowing, radiant skin."
5) Apply SPF of at least 30 daily. I know you've heard this a lot, but in my mind, you can never hear it enough. Unprotected exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays can make skin dull, rough, and wrinkled. Protecting against these rays is critical to maintaining youthful, radiant skin. Wear an SPF in your skin cream or in your foundation, or just apply a sunscreen to your face, neck, and hands before you head out for the day. (Remember, some of the sun's UV rays can penetrate through clouds and the glass windows in your car and in your home and office.) And if you're going to be outdoors in the sun (even in fall and winter), be sure to re-apply every two hours. But know this: sunscreens do not protect against the sun's invisible infrared rays—why layering an antioxidant under your sunscreen can help protect your skin.