Skin is the ultimate wash-and-wear outfit. But if all you’re doing is washing, you could be leaving your skin vulnerable to premature aging, skin cancer, and other problems.
Fortunately, good skin care doesn’t have to be complicated.
At Metroderm DC: Medical, Laser, and Aesthetic Dermatology Center, our board-certified dermatologists, Todd E. Perkins, MD, and Edward H. Stolar, MD, want you to look and feel your best at every age. In this post, they offer eight common-sense ways to care for your skin.
1. Choose the right cleanser
All you need to keep your skin clean and healthy is a little soap and water, right? Wrong. Plenty of soaps and cleansers are harsh on skin, drying it out, irritating it, and breaking down its protective barrier.
With so many options, the selection can be confusing. Look for a cleanser that’s hydrating, but doesn’t contain a lot of oils that can cause breakouts. Skip the scents and dyes, too. And switch your cleanser from one season to the next or as your skin’s needs change with age.
We’re always on hand to help you pick the right one for your skin.
2. Exfoliate, but not too much
Occasional gentle exfoliation removes the upper layer of dead skin, where oils and debris can become trapped. Again, gentleness is key, and in most cases, don’t exfoliate more than 2-3 times a week.
3. Moisturize, moisturize
Once your skin is clean, take some time to slather on a layer of moisturizer. These products prevent dryness that can compromise skin health, and they also help your skin stay soft and supple. Some even contain a built-in sunscreen.
At night, layer on a thicker moisturizer to replenish skin while you sleep.
4. Make facials a habit
Facials go beyond at-home care with special techniques to replenish your skin’s moisture and nutrients that support skin health.
Make facials part of your regular routine to keep your skin barrier healthy, too. Many facials reduce signs of aging, excessive dryness, or breakouts. We offer a variety of facials, based on your particular needs.
5. Use sunscreen
UV radiation causes about 90% of visible skin aging. Using sunscreen every day — yes, even in the winter and on cloudy days — provides your skin with protection from the sun’s damaging rays.
Minimize sun exposure during midday hours, and choose clothing that covers your arms, legs, and head when you’re in direct sunlight.
Don’t forget to schedule your annual skin cancer screening to catch skin cancer in its earliest and most treatable stage.
6. Stay hydrated
Your skin is about two-thirds water, so it makes sense that drinking plenty of fluids is essential for skin health. But all fluids are not created equal. Avoid drinks with sugars and caffeine — both of which can damage your skin — and focus on water.
Not a fan? Add some fruit or cucumber for a subtle flavor, or try some green tea.
7. Catch those Zs
Think beauty sleep is just a fairytale? Think again. Like the rest of your body, your skin replenishes and rejuvenates itself while you sleep. Even a little lost sleep can result in under-eye circles and — worst of all — wrinkles.
Aim for 7-9 hours every night, and if you need a little help, check these tips from the American Sleep Association.
8. Feed your skin
Your skin is an organ, and just like any other organ, it needs good nourishment to stay healthy.
Cut out processed foods and sugary snacks, and focus on whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables for the greatest benefits. Low-fat dairy, foods rich in antioxidants, and good fats, like olive oil, nuts, and oily fish, are important, too. Check out more options here.
Give your skin the attention it deserves
Your skin is yours for life, and it deserves some pampering. We offer a full range of medical dermatology and aesthetic skin care services, so you can enjoy truly customized care.
If you have any unusual skin symptoms or you just want to do all you can to protect your skin and keep it healthy, we can help. To learn more, call 202-659-2223 or book an appointment online at our Washington, DC, center today.