By Danila Shaw
Healthy skin creates the first impression for your healthy body. So make your skin look fabulous! With today’s hectic lifestyle, stronger UV rays than ever before, and ever-increasing air pollutants, your skin takes a beating. But have no fear, it only takes a few good habits to ensure your skin looks and feels great! I consulted with Toronto dermatologist, Dr. Lisa Kellett on her recommendations for attaining great skin.
Here are 10 suggestions from Dr. Kellett on how to get rid of stubborn blemishes, and maintain great-looking skin in our day-to-day lives:
AVOID THE SUN LIKE THE PLAGUE!
The easiest way to maintain healthy skin is prevention! UV rays are a form of energy, which can be too strong for skin cells and daily exposure built up over time can cause irreparable damage. UV damage results in the appearance of wrinkles, or worse, can cause DNA mutations in skin cells which could lead to cancer. Dr. Kellett suggests a daily moisturizer with SPF 30 protection or higher, a hat, and sun-protective clothing.
DIAMONDS ARE A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND!
Dr. Kellett recommends getting a treatment called “diamond microdermabrasion” once every 4 weeks. It helps to exfoliate dead skin cells, open pores and results in a “fresh face” glow. Most dermatologists and plastic surgeons offer this treatment; so don’t forget to mention it at your next appointment.
WATER-BASED, OIL FREE GELS
Are best if you have acne prone skin. Dr. Kellett also recommends staying away from white lotions and creams which can cause breakouts. A great water-based product to try is Spectro Jel, it’s gentle on all skin types, and very affordable, available at Shoppers Drug Mart (500mL, under $15)
MOISTURIZE AT NIGHT.
Dr. Kellett recommends using a moisturizing gel that contains 5% benzoyl peroxide on acne prone areas at night. A gel with this ratio of benzoyl peroxide is probably best if formulated by a pharmacist. However, products like Proactive Solutions contain just 2.5% of the active ingredient and are available in most major retail stores these days.
GIVE YOUR MOISTURIZER A BOOST!
If you have a nighttime moisturizer that works well for you, but would still like to see an improvement, try adding a boost of Retinol to it. Retinol is a form of vitamin A that is great for solving acne problems, and has some anti-aging properties as well. You will often find Retinol as the key ingredient listed in many anti-aging products. Retinol capsules are easily available on Sephora.com, just look for Philosophy’s “Retinol Booster Caps” (60 capsules, $50).
START YOUR DAY WITH A BURST OF VITAMIN C.
Even if we are great with preventing bad skin, the occasional blemish is inevitable, Dr. Kellett recommends using a Vitamin C booster on stubborn post-acne marks. If possible get a booster with at least 35% Vitamin C, the best formulation would be a serum from a pharmacist. As an alternative, Philosophy (available on Sephora.com) offers a Turbo Booster C Powder (0.25oz, $35) that can be added to any moisturizer.
IMPROVE YOUR DIET.
Dr. Kellett reminds us that our skin reflects our overall health and the saying “garbage in equal’s garbage out” is true. Strive to maximize your intake of vegetables and minimize your intake of fat. Drinking lots of water is also great for your skin and overall health as well.
FOR STUBBORN ACNE
That doesn’t respond to topical well there is now the option of photodynamic therapy, which is painless and effective without the use of pills. Photodynamic therapy should only be done in a dermatologist or plastic surgeon’s office, with a proper assessment from a specialist– not everyone is a good candidate for this procedure.
Never, ever, pick or have extractions done. Both can lead to infection, scarring and cyst formation.
IF ALL ELSE FAILS…
Tried everything at the drug store and nothing works? Make an appointment to see a Dermatologist! There are many treatments to help you achieve clear skin, and a dermatologist is the best person to consult with to help you reach that goal!