Just in time for Mother’s Day! Here is a skin care shout-out to all moms, both new and old, who are trying to get that brightness back into their skin. Yes- we know you are tired, overwhelmed, and just trying to get through the day. Dr. Amy shares her recommended skin care for moms with simple tips and a daily routine you can actually do.
To guide us through what skin care all of us moms should be doing, Dr. Amy will share some advice on the one question she gets asked all of the time when she sees patients – how can I slow down the aging process for my skin? What makes our skin appear more aged are 3 key components: more redness, more brown discoloration and more wrinkles. Let us discover how to make an impact on your skin to have less of all these three!
- One of the most common causes of redness to our skin as we age is a common skin condition called rosacea. There is a big range of rosacea ranging from mild, sensitive skin that gets easily irritated to moderate, severe rosacea that presents with inflammatory red bumps and nodules commonly located on the central face. Rosacea is an inflammatory condition. Triggers are ones that can increase inflammation and can increase vasodilation. Some triggers include drinking hot liquids, alcohol (particularly red wine), summer heat, hormonal influences, and exercise. In mild rosacea cases, the trigger can be as simple as cleansers that contain soap. Chronic rosacea can lead to background redness as well as broken blood vessels. Rosacea commonly affects fair or light skin individuals but darker skin types can have it as well.
- If you have mild rosacea, simply consider making the switch to a non-soap cleanser like Cetaphil cleanser or Cereve Hydrating Cleanser. These cleansers will not lather up like soap but will still do the deed of cleansing your skin.
- If you have moderate to severe rosacea, consider seeing a dermatologist, as you might need both a topical and oral prescribed medications that work by being anti-inflammatory. Using these medications can help keep the inflammation and redness under control to prevent the skin from developing that chronic background redness and broken blood vessels.
- Tips: Here are 2 practical tips to consider if you have rosacea or redness to your skin. First, consider using a makeup with a green tint. The green counteracts the red to ultimately neutralize the red. One easy makeup to use is a green tinted powder that you can apply over the face with a large brush. The second tip is to consider getting a laser treatment done to rid of the broken blood vessels or the existing background redness. These laser treatments can be done with minimal downtime.
- Brown discoloration also has its own variation including freckles to age spots to melasma. In all cases, there is one main factor that leads to brown discoloration – ultraviolet radiation (UVR), aka sunshine. Here is the reason why: when that UVR hits your skin, your skin responds by producing and releasing pigment from your pigment cells. This release of melanin or pigment is your skin’s defense mechanism to protect the rest of your skin’s cells from the harmful and carcinogenic effects that the UVR has.
- Now knowing the reason why your skin produces and releases melanin, the two best ways to minimize this pigmentation process are to protect your skin from UVR and help reduce the pigmentation by using retinoid products. Dr. Amy recommends that the two most important things to do for the face are use a daily sunscreen and use a nightly prescription-graded retinoid product.
- What is the best sunscreen for the face? The simplest answer is one that you will use! Many people complain of how products with sunscreens feel. With the wave of better cosmetic technology, you can likely find a tinted moisturizer that may suit your skin type. One that Dr. Amy recommends is Revision’s Intellishade Tinted Moisturizer. It’s one color fits all makes it versatile for all skin types and it feels less like a light makeup when it is on the skin. For a quick, on-the-go type coverage for the skin, consider including a tinted moisturizer into your repertoire.
- How to prevent and get rid of the existing brown discoloration? Dr. Amy recommends a routine use of prescription-graded retinoid product like tretinoin (AKA retin-a). Many people may complain that these products make your skin dry. However, they are not actually making your skin dry- they are making your skin turnover faster, i.e. “peel.” That faster turnover and peeling process leads to a reduction in brown discoloration over time. This process can take 6 months to a year. Results are only seen when there is regular use of at least 3 times a week, along with UVR protection with a sunscreen and UVR avoidance.
- Tips: Add a tinted moisturizer with a sunscreen into your repertoire along with a nightly use of prescription-graded retinoid product. Dr. Amy tells her patients and moms to consider picking the days when they will use their retinoid. For example, Dr. Amy suggests Monday-Wednesday-Friday and a weekend day. You usually know what day of the week it is so you can remember to put your retinoid on!
- Wrinkles are not simple! First of all, there are both big and little types of wrinkles. Let’s consider these types and the factors that lead to them.
- Big wrinkles on the upper face are caused by muscle movement. For example, kids may bring out your frown lines right between your eyes. These are known as the “11’s.” What can help with this wrinkle reduction is botulism toxin (eg Botox). The way botulism toxin works is by paralyzing the muscle. When there is less muscle movement, there is wrinkle reduction. Please know that Botox cannot be administered if you are pregnant or breast feeding.
- Big wrinkles on the lower face are typically caused by loss of collagen and substance as well as the long-time effects gravity has on our skin. What can help with these wrinkles are the products aka “fillers.” These “fillers” include Juvederm, Restylane, Bellatero, and Voluma.
- The little wrinkles are the ones that develop around our eyes, our mouth, and our cheeks. These are the ones that regular retinoid use can help reduce. Our collagen does not last forever. Prescription retinoids not only help reduce brown discoloration, but also help prevent our collagen from breaking down. Preventing collagen breakdown helps reduce these fine or little wrinkles.
- Tips: If you are not pregnant or breast feeding, consider seeing your dermatologist for a consultation about Botox for the upper face wrinkles and about fillers for the lower face wrinkles. Resurfacing lasers such as fractional CO2 laser can help reduce the fine or little wrinkles while also reducing brown discoloration.
Dr. Amy’s Skin Care Routine for Moms:
Keep it simple! Simplicity is key in order to have a successful skin care routine.
- Wash you face twice a day with a cleanser. It can be as simple as Dove soap or as fancy as a department store brand. Consider a cleanser that has a low dose salicylic acid every other day to every day- to both prevent acne as well as exfoliate the skin.
- If you are using a prescription-graded retinoid and are having some peeling, consider gently exfoliating away this dry, peeling skin with your own fingertips when you are washing your face in the morning. A Clarisonic device can also be used for this.
- Incorporate a tinted moisturizer with a sunscreen into your morning routine. Consider Revision’s Intellishade Tinted Moisturizer. Daily sunscreen is key!
- Apply prescription-graded retinoid at least 3 times weekly. Consider using Monday-Wednesday-Friday a
nd a weekend day. Knowing the days of the week will make you more accountable to using your retinoid.
- As for a moisturizer, there are so many good ones out there! Choose an oil-free one if you are acne prone. Good over-the-counter ones include Oil of Olay and Neutrogena. Beauty Counter, Rodan and Fields, and other department store brands have appealing ones that may feel better and smell better.
Dr. Amy and the Baby Pibu team hope you now understand what causes the aging and un-glowing process of our skin. Prevent redness, brown discoloration and wrinkles of your skin by keeping your skin care routine simple. Avoid the sunshine and UVR while being consistent with your topical retinoid use. Consider that your 101 Basics to skin care. Anything else is more- just make sure you got your basic skin care covered! Happy Mother’s Day- Enjoy!