Hello, darlings! Look at this (makeup-free) picture! (Please ignore the lighting.) How old do you think I am? While struggling with what to write about, the answer came to me at work. I had no less than three people in a row guess my age as a decade younger, which felt great considering how tired I was, and then ask me how my skin looked so good. I got to thinking about my own skin care regimen and I figured I’d share.
Sunscreen is my top tip! I recommend it for ALL skin, every complexion. Its short-term job is to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays and thus a sunburn. Long-term, it can help prevent wrinkles and even skin cancer. I’ve used it for pretty much the last decade. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD from here on out) recommends at least SPF 30 in your daily moisturizer. I’m Victorian White, so I use sunscreen in my moisturizer and my foundation, but always remember, the higher SPF number wins. As for trips and working outside, always apply before you go into the sun, then every two hours while you’re still in the sun. But what if you work inside, like me? Honey, indoor UV lighting does no one any favors! Use sunscreen even if you work night shift! Use sunscreen that isn’t going to break you out, aka non-comedogenic. Use sunscreen made just for your face on your face. Use it year-round. Trust me on this one.
Cleanse your skin! I have to admit it, but I didn’t always follow my own advice on this one. I was bad to my skin and routinely slept with my makeup on because, hell, that was the tagline of that particular brand, which I still use to this day. I worked night shift and crashed when I got home. And I was still wearing black-as-night eye makeup that didn’t always come off very well. I’m surprised I didn’t get a nasty eye or skin infection, which is a risk of not removing your makeup on a daily basis. So always take off your makeup and wash your face. It doesn’t even have to be right before bed. You can do it when you get home for the day. Use makeup remover cloths, micellar water, or even cold cream. Cold cream has been around for over a hundred years for a reason. I got the recommendation for Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser from a patient whose age I couldn’t believe and asked her to verify her birth date twice. She was in her 70s and looked like she was in her late 50s. I fangirled over her skin and asked what her secret was and she pulled a tiny jar of Pond’s out of her purse. I’ve used it ever since.
Moisturize! As we get older, our skin gets drier. You need to figure out your skin type (normal, dry, oily, combo, or sensitive), which I’m sure you’ve taken a quiz on at least once in your life. Always use moisturizer made for your skin type. This decreases the chances of irritation, reactions, and breakouts. You wouldn’t use hand soap on your face, right? So, don’t use scented body lotions on your face. While clicking around on their website, I learned that the AAD recommends retinoids in your 30s, since you get to deal with both wrinkles and acne, which is so not fair. Retinoids are chemicals that are derived from or related to vitamin A (which does so much for the body, I could write a whole other post!); they also help build collagen, which our skin loses as we age. So, with collagen boosters, moisturizing is still a huge part of having healthy skin.
So, darlings, heed my words. If anything, I hope you’ll start using sunscreen and taking off your makeup. I’m glad I finally followed my own advice. I protected my face from getting age spots early on by using sunscreen. I started moisturizing regularly when I hit my 30s. The AAD just gave me a few new tips and tricks to add to my arsenal, namely eye cream, retinoids, and antioxidants . I’ll be trying a few of those things and report on my findings.
Lastly, I wouldn’t be a nurse if I didn’t point out that getting enough sleep, eating right, hydrating with (mostly) non-caffeinated drinks, and exercise also affect the health of the body’s largest organ. The American Academy of Dermatology’s website is a wealth of information on skin care. It’s their job, after all. Let me know in the comments what you do for your skin that just works, any favorite products, and even things you’d like to see me tackle next in Lifestyle!