Our Resident MD is kicking off this fabulous series with tips on how to achieve glowing, healthy skin.

SKINTASTIC! How to make your face shine

by Patricia Perry, M.D.

Your chocolate sweetness . . .

Dipped in the sugar of innocence

Sprinkled with kindness and respect

Seasoned with the tincture of time and evident in your cordial restraint

Salt and pepper grace your chin, shining light emanates from your eyes

Your smooth skin glides its way through my memory and

Your bright smile is like lightning to my soul

I wrote this poem after seeing someone who had the most beautiful, clear skin. Does your skin inspire thoughts like this? If not, maybe I can help you get your best skin.

The skin is the largest organ of the body. Like any living being, it is dynamic, constantly changing and responds to what it is exposed to.

Top five terrible things you can do to be unloving and disrespectful to your skin:

    1. Unprotected sun exposure. Apply a moisturizer with SPF 30 daily to sun exposed skin (UV rays pierce clouds and windshields). When going outdoors for extended periods of time, apply sunscreen of SPF 30 about 30 minutes before going out and reapply every 2 hours. Please reapply after going in water (i.e. beach/lake/pool).
    2. Smoking. In addition to causing lung disease and cancer, smoking assists in aging the skin at a faster rate. If you’ve already started, put down those cancer sticks. If you haven’t started, don’t!
    3. Poor diet/ Poor hydration. As with all other aspects of health, ingesting five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables daily along with adequate amounts of water daily are great for your skin, nail and hair well-being. A general multivitamin daily and an Omega-3 fish oil supplement are also beneficial to skin health.
    4. No exercise/ regular and consistent physical activity. Thirty to forty-five minutes (3-5 times a week) of an activity which raises your heart rate is not only beneficial to lung and heart health, the skin benefits as well.
    5. Poor/No skin care regimen: A consistent regimen of cleansing and moisturizing is of paramount importance in achieving your best skin. Dry skin may need the regular assistance of exfoliation.

Wash your face with clean hands or a soft washcloth and a mild cleanser (i.e. Aveeno, Basis, Cetaphil, Purpose, Neutrogena product lines) every morning and evening. After cleansing in the morning, apply a moisturizer with sunscreen of at least SPF 30. In the evening, depending on specific skin care needs, apply a basic moisturizer or a polishing alpha-hydroxy acid/ glycolic acid containing cream. Many antiaging products which contain retinol, pentapeptides (i.e. ROC and Oil of Olay) are best used at night. These products can improve very fine lines and wrinkles, but are not able to successfully eliminate deeper lines and wrinkles. A visit to the dermatologist for antiaging treatments can be a good way to improve more intense wrinkles. Be careful with harsh alcohol containing astringents and toners (i.e. rubbing alcohol and witch hazel). They can dry out the surface of the skin and lead to irritation. If you have acne prone skin, be careful with excessive scrubbing. You may worsen your breakouts and cause irritation.

Exfoliation can be an effective way to eliminate dead cells which build up on the skin surface. A mild facial scrub which contains salicylic or glycolic acid used a few times a week can assist with this process. (i.e. St. Ives Apricot Facial Scrub). Always moisturize after exfoliating. A visit to the dermatologist can provide you with the opportunity to have a chemical peel. Chemical peels are a wonderful way to rejuvenate the skin and even out the tone. Ask your dermatologist about the Vitalize peel. This is a wonderful peel which works well in skin of color. It contains salicylic and glycolic acid. Treat yourself!

Keep your lips protected by using a lip balm with sunscreen (i.e. Neutrogena and Kiels).

Tip: Always test new products before using over your entire face. It can take up to three days before a reaction occurs, therefore, a test trial should be performed under the chin or on the inner arm area for 72 hrs. Apply the product once a day, for three days, in the same designated area. If redness, swelling, burning or itching occur in that area, discontinue use of that product.

Until next time . . . Take care of yourself, so you can care for others. Do your best to be your best. The better you are, the brighter the world gets.

Disclaimer: This information does not serve as a substitute for individual medical care by a physician. This article is an informative guide to point you in the right direction. All product recommendations and advice are suggestions which may or may not work for your individual needs. Specific medical issues and concerns should be addressed by your health care provider. Patricia Perry, M.D. is a dermatologist in private practice in Southern California who can be reached for consultation at 2625 W. Alameda Ave., Suite 504, Burbank, CA 91505. Phone: (818)559- SKIN (7546). The contents of this article are the literary property of Dr. Perry and are copyrighted.

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