skincare first

skincare firstSource: David Crotty/ Getty Images

Injectables like Botox and filler are killer aesthetic tools, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that a proper skincare regimen is technically more important when it comes to keeping your skin looking its best.

We’ve noticed, and maybe you have to, that there’s a mindset where people think they can get good skin simply by heading to the Medspa and getting a few units injected here and there. The real truth is that a proper skincare routine – and making good lifestyle decisions – is actually way more important when it comes to taking care of your body’s largest organ, your skin. Seriously. Botox ain’t got nothing on consistent SPF, retinol, and sleep, you guys.

We asked skincare pros to help break down the reasons why skincare is so important, what steps are non-negotiable, and how to strike the perfect balance between medical aesthetics (if you want to dabble) and a daily regimen. Become a master at this and your skin will be goals AF.

Why Does Skincare Matter? Aren’t Injectables a Quick Fix?

“Think of skincare as external food for your skin. Having a proper regimen can help this organ do its job better and preserve it longer,” says Amanda Vera, a medical esthetician at NYC’s Tribeca MedSpa. “Beautiful skin is a lifelong process, but by taking the time to build a daily skincare routine today you’ll ultimately save time and money later down the road since it helps prevent skin issues as a result of neglect.”

The primary issues we’re talking about are ones you’re probably quite familiar with, including skin cancer, fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, volume loss, dryness, and laxity. Therefore, the primary things you need to focus on are sun protection, collagen production, general texture refinement, and hydration.

how-to-layer-skincare

“A routine that promotes sun protection will go a long way for you as you age because it will decrease the prominence and pervasiveness of fine line and wrinkles,” says Dr. Zain Husain, a board-certified dermatologist at the New Jersey Dermatology and Aesthetics Center. He adds, “Water loss, which is heightened during the evening and as you grow older, results in dryness and loss of supple, firm skin. To combat this, it’s best to incorporate products that act as humectants [moisturizer delivers major moisture] or include ingredients such as ceramides, which help promote water retention and keep skin looking fresh and youthful.” Check out these amazing hydrating moisturizers here and our fave anti-aging night creams here.

Like we said, what you do now is super important to the health and beauty of your skin in the years to come. And while injections can help with things like creating more symmetry, adding strategic volume, or nixing some fine lines and wrinkles, they’re not going to help protect you from things like sun damage (including cancer, hyperpigmentation, collagen loss, and deep wrinkles), texture issues, or acne breakouts. If we had to choose between one, we’d opt for skincare EVERY time!

What the Perfect Skincare Regimen Looks Like

We outlined two of the biggest non-negotiable skincare products above (sunscreen and moisturizer), but we figured we’d do you one better and hand over a skincare cheat sheet a la Vera and Dr. Husain.

Morning Skincare Regimen

  • Gentle cleanser (or rinse)
  • Toner
  • Spot treatments for acne or hyperpigmentation (optional).
  • Antioxidant Serum – these ward of free radical damage, which is another major aging culprit. Vitamin C and E are hyped for a reason and are awesome choices.
  • Eye Cream + Moisturizer – opt for something lightweight with hyaluronic acid to wear under your makeup.
  • Sunscreen – all day, every day. Even when it’s cloudy, and even when you don’t go outside.

Nighttime Skincare Regimen

  • Cleanser – ideally a double cleanse; first with oil, and then a cleanser of your choice.
  • Toner
  • Treatment Serum – alternate daily between a retinoid, which stimulates collagen production and improves texture, and an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) product, which buffs away dead skin cells to improve texture, brighten and ward off fine lines (also great for keeping blackheads and pimples at bay).
  • Eye Cream + Moisturizer – use products that don’t interfere with your retinoid or AHA. Products with ceramides, peptides, and hyaluronic acid are top-notch.

Weekly/Monthly Funsies

  • A slightly more aggressive chemical or physical exfoliating treatment weekly or bi-weekly.
  • Hydrating masks one to three times per week, or as needed.

How Injectables Fit into the Skincare Equation

We hope we got our point across that a consistent skincare regimen is the foundation of healthy, beautiful skin. Think of injectables — which include fillers and neuromodulators such as Botox or Dysport — as the complement to the solid base you’ve built.

“Neuromodulators can help improve fine lines and wrinkles and even prevent them and can be started as early as your 20s. The deeper the line or wrinkle, the harder it can be to treat so it is best to start before you have significant damage,” says Lindsay Burk, a physician assistant at Tribeca MedSpa. “Fillers help with volume loss that occurs as we age or from genetics and can also be used to fill in deep static lines.” They can also help improve asymmetry in the face and lips.

 

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Neuromodulators generally last from three to six months, while filler can last anywhere from six months to two years depending on what type is used and where it’s placed. Generally, areas that have more movement — such as your mouth — need to be re-upped more frequently than other areas.

Burk says that while neither injectable is a requirement for healthy skin like a daily regimen, they can help to enhance and preserve a youthful look. If you have questions about what’s right for you, hit up a trusted dermatologist or medspa in your area.

For ALL the info, check out our guides to Botox and fillers. And for finding your perfect skincare routine, check out these five skincare rules everyone should know.