Essential skin care steps

What are the essential steps in skin care?

1) Avoid detrimental effects

First and foremost, don’t add to the problem. Sun protection (avoidance and sunscreen) and minimizing contact with alkaline substances (dirt, soaps) is the starting point.

2) Cleanse

Use a gentle cleanser that is slightly acidic and not abrasive. People with oily skin may need a cleanser containing salicylic acid to break up oil (sebum).

3) Exfoliate

Old, dry epidermal cells tend to accumulate on the skin surface, causing a dull appearance. Exfoliating exposes the plump, moist cells that reflect light easier.

4) Stimulate

With age, cell turnover slows down. It may take 40-60 days for epidermal cells to migrate to the surface and shed. The “gold standard” of skin stimulators is retinoic acid (Retin A). It stimulates both the dermis and the epidermis.

There are a number of other topical products and treatment that provide additional benefits, and these will be discussed in later posts. But these four are the essentials.

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