One of the highlights of our job as beauty editors is interviewing the world’s leading dermatologists for their skincare need-to-knows. So, today we’re sharing THE most important and impactful pieces of wisdom that derms have gifted us. No matter what we ask dermatologists, without a doubt, they always highlight that these are the essential skincare rules to follow – they may sound simple but they’ll make a real difference to your skin.
Skincare Tip #1: Create a Consistent Routine
Celebrity dermatologist Dr. Lancer insists that the best thing you can do for your skin is to create a good skincare regimen and stick to it. He explains, “Follow a program (aka a skincare regimen). Once you have a skin, hair, and nail routine locked down, make sure you stick to it. Make it a habit just like breathing. Skincare loyalty makes a huge difference and will help you achieve real results.” To help create a routine that’s catered to your skin type, check out our derm-approved skincare regimes for oily, dry, combination, and acne-prone skin.
Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and founder of Joanna Vargas Salons and Skincare Collection agrees, adding that a skincare routine not only promotes healthy skin but provides some much-needed me-time. “A simple ritual is a daily reminder that taking good care of yourself will make your confidence soar and it will make the biggest difference in your skin immediately. I like focusing on the little things: add dry brushing before the shower, use a skincare focused bar of soap (like my Ritual Bar, $22), in the shower instead of whatever is in there already, do a sheet mask at night, and spend two minutes day and night massaging the face as you apply your skincare products. The massage and lymphatic drainage will keep you de-puffed and the sheet mask will keep your skin hydrated.”
Your skincare routine should be whatever works for you and the time you have. We recommend cleansing, toning, treating the skin with a serum targeted to your needs, and moisturizing every day, then remember to exfoliate twice a week and mask as your skin needs. Check out our essential skincare guide for more details.
Skincare Tip #2: Be Gentle With Your Skin
Learning how to apply your skincare products correctly is another important skill. NYC-based dermatologist Dr. Doris Day told us “You tend to apply more product to the right side of the face if you are right-handed and to the left side if you are left-handed. This means you will age faster on the left side if you are right-handed and on the right side if you are left-handed! Be sure to pay attention and make the extra effort to take care of both sides of your face, especially when using sunscreen. Test yourself and you’ll see it’s true!”
K-Beauty experts advise to pat formulas into your skin, rather than rub. “Pat in all your skincare instead of rubbing! Focus on being gentle with your skin. Patting skin increases blood circulation and also allows the product to absorb more deeply. When we use a serum (or multiple!), like the Pineapple-C Bright Serum, $49, we like to press gently into the skin and then pat in the remaining product to fully maximize its brightening and hydrating properties,” Christine Chang, Co-Founder of K-Beauty brand Glow Recipe told us.
Dr. Day also reminds us to take extra care around the eye area; “The under-eye area is one of the most sensitive and delicate areas of the body and it’s often abused. The lower eyelid skin is the thinnest skin on your body. Every day I see women rubbing and aggressively touching their eyes. It hurts to watch! Rubbing creates a defensive response of the skin which leads to thickening, wrinkling and dark circles over time.”
So remember, be gentle with your skin, massage it in upwards directions, pat don’t tug as much as possible, and be sure to apply your products in the right order.
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Skincare Tip #3: Wear Sunscreen
We have never spoken to a derm who has not managed, at some point, to tell us the importance of wearing sunscreen every day. NY-based dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss feels passionately about it, “The sun is NOT your friend! If I could go back in time it would be to tell my younger self to embrace the ghost-like qualities of my skin to skip trying to tan.” She says, “If you’re going to do anything for your skin, wear sunscreen daily!”
Dr. Friedmann from the London Dermatology Clinic, one of the leading dermatology centers in the world, told us, “It’s important to select a sunscreen that blocks enough UV rays to protect your skin type. Make sure you choose one that not only has a high SPF (to protect against the burning UVB rays) but one that also has at least a 4-star UVA rating, preferably 5 stars. We know that UVA rays can cause skin cancer, and so sunscreens that protect against UVB only, are not good.” Dr. Friedmann recommends the brand EltaMD, an industry fave, which has a huge collection of sunscreens for different skin types. Check out our fave mineral sunscreens here.
Skincare Tip #4: Good Skin Comes from Within
“Your skin is like a magic mirror; it offers clues about how healthy your habits are and what’s happening to your body’s internal systems,” says Dr. Trevor Cates, a naturopathic doctor and the author of Clean Skin From Within. “When we look at what’s happening on the surface of our skin and understand the causes behind those symptoms, it’s easier to make daily changes to improve how we look and feel.”
Amanda Archibald, a registered dietician and founder of The Genomic Kitchen points out, “Your skin is the biggest organ in your body and therefore shows some of the first outward signs that something is out of balance. For example, acne can plague people throughout life and is a sign of imbalance or underlying inflammation in the body.” Ultimately, if your diet consists of refined sugars and processed carbs, your skin will reflect most likely that.
Nutritionist Dr. Oz Garcia who gives celebs like Naomi Campbell and Gwyneth Paltrow their nutrition plans, also believes that certain foods have been shown to trigger breakouts, in particular, diary; “Avoid dairy as it’s an inflammatory, which can trigger acne because it promotes redness and swelling.” However, Dr. Oz said there are some dairy exceptions: “Plain Greek yogurt or kefir are rich in probiotics that contain healthy bacteria to fight inflammation and promote better skin.”
For more skincare secrets, check out 12 celeb tips you need to know.