Every time I go into the dermatologist's office, I can't help but stare in awe at my doctor's skin. Sure, we know that we need to wash our faces and moisturize daily, but it seems that dermatologists have all the best-kept secrets to clear and glowing skin. We can only learn so much from reading magazines and skimming Pinterest boards, but dermatologists live and breathe in the world of skin care, so clearly they know what they are doing better than anyone else.
"As we age, the speed with which our skin cells turn over starts to slow down making the skin appear dull, says dermatologist Heather D. Rogers, MD to Bustle over email. "There are three important steps to keep skin looking good at any age: protect your skin from the sun, provide your skin with nutrients to improve skin turnover, and use products that gently remove the top layer of dead skin that is shed less quickly because skin turnover has slowed."
With these points in mind, you want to make sure you pay attention to your skin as closely as dermatologists do. If you want to know what the best skin experts do to keep their skin looking perfect, keep in mind these 10 tips from dermatologists on how to achieve smooth and glowing skin.
1. Use A Cleaning Brush
“I’m a huge fan of Clarisonics,” says dermatologist Rebecca Kazin, MD over email. “If you don’t have super sensitive skin and love that deep clean feeling, they are fine to use every day. Cleansing brushes give skin a mini-massage, giving the gentlest microdermabrasion and helping products to penetrate better post-cleanse. If you have very sensitive skin, flush easily, or have rosacea, trying using it every other day and using the softest brush attachment available."
2. Use Medicated Wipes After Exercising
Don't let your workouts wreak havoc on your skin. “I recommend medicated wipes for post-exercising,” says Kazin. “There are over the counter versions with salicylic acid and prescription versions with Clindamycin, an antibiotic that can be used topically fight bacteria and acne.”
3. Limit Your Exfoliating
Exfoliating often may seem like it would help cleanse your skin, but you have to make sure you don't over-do it. "Scrubbing your skin damages it," says Rogers. "Think of it as using a wire brush to wash your car. Yes, its gets off the bird poo but it also can take off the much needed paint. Instead, use small amounts of retinoids, glycolic, or salicylic acid to help remove dead skin cells."
4. Add An Antioxidant
"Antioxidant serums with vitamin C and vitamin E protects your skin against photoaging and enhance the effectiveness of sunscreens," says Rogers. "The antioxidants neutralize free radicals created by the sun, preventing the breakdown of collagen and discoloration. Antioxidants in well-formulated serums penetrate into the skin better than ingredients in thicker products like face creams."
5. Wear Sunscreen Every Single Day
You might think you're good to go by just putting on sunscreen when it's time to go to the beach or the pool, but you should probably think again. Sunscreen is necessary every single day. "Over a 4.5 year period, people who used SPF 15 or higher sunscreen daily had 24 percent less skin aging than those who did not," says Rogers.
6. Use A Retinoid Before Bed
"Retinoid improves course wrinkling, increase collagen synthesis, decreases collagen breakdown, and improves skin texture and discoloration," says Rogers. "It also increases cell turnover which is way some people are irritated by it, so start slow at just twice a week."
7. Take Cooler Showers
"Long hot baths and showers feel great but are not great for your skin," says Rogers. "The hot water heats the skin's protective oils, making easier to strip away by water and soap. Once gone, the skin is less able to protect itself, and as the shower continues, more and more of the moisture in your skin escapes, leading to dry and then itchy skin. If it has to be hot, make it fast or turn down the temp."
8. Always Wash Before Bed
We all get tired and lazy at night, but washing before bed is a necessity, and dermatologists never skip this step, no matter how exhausted they are. "You want to get the day’s grime off your face before bed — the make-up, oil, the air pollution — to decrease the risk of skin irritation and acne breakouts," says Rogers. "It is also the first step in helping your skin cells in their efforts to reverse the day’s damage."
9. Avoid High-Glycemic Foods
"High glycemic index foods can contribute to acne," says dermatologist Dr. Soheil Simzar of Ava MD. "Try to cut back on corns, potatoes, melons, and other foods that spike your insulin levels."
10. Make Small Changes
"If your skin care regimen isn’t giving you results you want, simply change one product at a time," says Kazin. "Otherwise, you may have a reaction, and if you’re using five new products at once, you’ll have no idea what caused it. Use a new product for at least four weeks before adding another new one into your routine."
Taking the time to take care of your skin can make a big difference, but everyone's skin is different, so see a dermatologist if you have any persisting problems.