Want to make the best choices for your skin type and concern? If you’re like most of my clients your answer is yes and, while there’s so much advice on how to and how not to care for your skin everywhere we look, I’m happy to clear the most important misconceptions up for you! Skin care should be simple, I’m a skin care professional and I’ve heard and seen it all. Keep reading to find out exactly what is true and what you can forget!
The Truth about SPF and Winter
We all know that it’s really important to apply an SPF in the summer when we’re outside more often, lounging at the pool or beach or just outdoors exercising. My question is, did you know that it’s just as important to apply your SPF in the winter, (spring and fall) months also? It’s true. This includes cloudy days! The truth is that nearly 80% of sun damage occurs from accidental exposure to harmful UV rays. Meaning, all those times you’re walking to and from your car, when you’re driving your car, walking your dog, or working near a window, all without SPF protection. As long as the sun is shining, on a sunny day or cloudy, aka not nighttime, these rays are reaching your delicate skin and may just be damaging it beyond repair. How do you protect yourself? Reach for your SPF and apply it before you head out in the morning. Make time to do this every day. Dedicating time to applying an SPF will decrease the chance of the sun’s rays from damaging your skin. Trust me, you will not age as quickly, meaning less fine lines, less wrinkles and less money spent to try to erase them!
The Truth about Ingredients
Most people look at the list of ingredients on product labels and search for ingredients that they’ve heard are good or bad for their skin type. The problem with this is that manufactures don’t list the percentage of each ingredient. So, a product that lists an ingredient that clears acne or treats aging may appear to be a good choice but realistically, you just can’t be sure. Worse, the FDA makes manufactures list products by their scientific, plant-based name which are typically very hard to read and you might just mistake them for a chemical and think that it’s bad for your skin. The reality is that each ingredient on these lists has a purpose! So, rather than searching for ingredients just look for what the product is meant to treat. If it says it’s for acne-prone skin rest assured, it is. Next step? Do a patch test. This is the safest way to find out if your new product is right for your skin concern. How do you do a patch test? Easy! Just apply a small drop of the product to your jawline (or problem area) and wait 24 hours to see how your skin reacts to it. If it reacts the way you hoped for, great, it’s a keeper! Just remember to only patch test new products one at a time, and wait a few days in between tests.
The Truth about Skin Damage
I can’t tell you how many clients come to the spa asking me how to treat dark spots on their face. It is one of the most common skin concerns and, one of the hardest to fix! Dark spots can be caused by the sun but, they are also caused by excess heat and hormones. So, if you apply SPF and are still noticing dark spots the sun is likely not causing the damage. More likely it’s a side effect of excess melanin production. What causes that? Excessive heat, aka hot, humid weather, birth control pills, pregnancy and menopause. That’s not all! Exercising that builds a lot of heat, like running and hot yoga, cause your face to build heat, activating the excess melanin. So what do you do? My advice is to do everything you can to decrease melanin production. So, apply and reapply your sunscreen every day. Apply a skin brightener. Only use your Clarisonic once a day. Talk to your doctor about trying different birth control pills to balance your hormones, and keep your skin as cool as possible, even if that means applying cool towels to your skin post work-out. Skin damage caused by hyper-pigmentation can be avoided. In the long run it’s much easier to avoid it than treat it so start now to notice a more even skin tone in the future!
That’s it for this series. I hope I’ve cleared all the misconceptions up for you! If you are unclear about any of these tips, please ask me or any of the estheticians at your favorite Pia Day Spa. We’re all here to help.