With all of the different skin care lines and products available, it can be overwhelming when trying to decide which to invest in and which to ignore. Price tags on skin care products can also be a bit intimidating. It has been my experience, however, that medical grade skin care is less expensive and much more effective than department store skin care.
Medical grade skin care is available at a physician’s office and contains a higher amount of active ingredients than non medical grade skin care. Active ingredients are the chemically active parts of the product that deliver results. Common active ingredients are tretinoin (a Vitamin A derivative), Vitamin C or hydroquinone (a skin lightening agent). Many over the counter products may contain traces of active ingredients but cannot contain amounts that will actually do much to benefit the skin. To see real changes in the skin, active ingredients are necessary.
Many times patients ask which products are most important. The first step in maintaining healthy skin is sunscreen. Other products to use on a daily basis for anti aging and skin maintenance are tretinoin (a Vitamin A derivative), growth factors, antioxidants and a good eye product. Tretinoin helps to build collagen, can correct past DNA damage in the skin, and helps even out superficial pigment or textural irregularities. Growth factors do what their name implies: stimulate collagen production in the skin and aid in wound healing. Antioxidants (i.e. Vitamin C or green tea) help to protect the skin from damaging free radicals in the environment such as UV, second hand smoke, pollution and stress. Finally, an effective eye product will contain ingredients such as caffeine to help reduce discoloration (dark circles) and puffiness.
Other skin conditions may call for more targeted products such as lightening agents to combat discoloration in the skin or clarifying products for acne. Sensitive skin will require non-irritating products and mature skin may require products with more active ingredients. It is important to find a knowledgeable skin care professional to help select products for a long-term skin care regimen.
It is never too early or too late to practice good skin care at home. If you are planning on undergoing plastic or reconstructive surgery or cosmetic procedures, good skin care will prolong your results and maintain the health of your skin after your procedure.
Post provided by Bonny Domoto, L.E.