New Year, New Skin Resolutions
Wow, another year and another decade gone! It’s the time where we all make our plans to be better versions of ourselves and make commitments to take better care of our minds and bodies. I always make it a priority to take very good care of my skin, but like everyone, I fall short sometimes. In my speaking with patients, I find that we all veer off path on some of the same skin no-nos. Here are some of the most common skin care resolution oopsies.
Falling asleep with makeup on/not washing your face before bed: I’ve done it. You’ve done it. Celebrities with perfect skin do it. When we’re falling asleep walking through the front door, sometimes the last thing on our minds is washing our faces and taking makeup off. Let’s think for a second. We apply our product regimens on in the morning and put on sunscreen and/or makeup. We work a whole day and run around for 12+ hours until we get home. Sweat and pollution have all accumulated on top and under our skin and makeup. Layers and layers of dirt and oil. This is a breeding ground for bacteria that will be happy to clog up your pores leading to a breakout!! Use a gentle, soap free cleanser to wash your face before bed. If you wear makeup, use a gentle makeup wipe to remove your makeup before washing your face. If you absolutely cannot gather the strength to do your PM regimen, at least your skin is clean!
Scalding hot showers: Nothing feels better than a hot shower!! Unfortunately, we have to trade comfort for the health of our skin. Hot water rapidly pulls water out of our skin making it the perfect environment for dry, itchy, cracked skin. Limit shower time to 7-10 minutes with a tepid water temperature. We’re not asking you to take ice cold showers, but taking it down a few degrees will help save you from irritated skin.
Not drinking enough water: Hydrating from the inside is just as important to your skin as hydrating with creams and lotions. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water helps flush out the toxins that accumulate in our skin, which keeps our skin healthy and glowing.
Not changing your pillowcase: Let’s not even talk about the breeding ground of bacteria your pillowcase is!! Sweat, oil, dirt, dust, etc. all accumulate on your pillowcase as you sleep and throughout the day. At night, your skin is directly pressed against the fabric where bacteria is growing. While your skin is breathing, it’s breathing in gunk! Replace your pillowcase weekly to avoid clogged pores and breakouts.
Consistency with using sunscreen: I admit it. I’ve only recently made it a priority to use sunscreen on my face and neck EVERY DAY! It wasn’t until I noticed sun spots on the left side of my face (my driving side) that I became more diligent about using sunscreen daily. Recently, the FDA alerted the entire sunscreen industry that significant changes would be put forth in how ingredients are evaluated for safety. It has been determined that there is enough information about the safety and efficacy of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are physical blockers. There are 12 other ingredients, such as oxybenzone and avobenzone (which are chemical blockers), are generally recognized as safe, but have limited data on characterizing their absorption into the bloodstream. Margarita Lolis, M.D. in the Hackensack office, always recommends a broad-spectrum physical blocking sunscreen with an SPF of 30-50 for optimal protection.
My personal skin oops list could line the halls of congress, and I don’t want you to beat yourself up if you miss the mark sometimes in taking care of your skin. We’re not perfect, but let’s all make a resolution to do a little better than the day before. Good habits start with consistency, so let’s try and be as consistent as we can be to ensure we take good care of our skin every day!