Everyone starts their skin care journey somewhere. If you've never given it much thought before, now's the time to get a little more serious about your skin.
Luckily, you don't need cabinets full of products or an encyclopedic knowledge of Dermatology to learn how to get healthy skin. Most people dive in with a few easy steps and then advance their regimen as they discover more over time.
You can take the first step by making this small promise to yourself: "I commit to treating my skin better, now and in the future."
Remember that promise every day, and just like with any other goals you have, work hard to keep it. Read on for some basic tips and learn what you can do to protect your skin now and for years to come.
Make Skin Care a Lasting Habit
Skin care is a critical part of your daily routine, just as important as exercise, nutrition, sleep, and stress management. And though regular skin care can help you get more beautiful skin, its benefits stretch far beyond the cosmetic. Good skin care can help protect against diseases like skin cancer—and it can boost your self-confidence, too.
The problem is, sometimes the rules of good skin care can seem less clear-cut than those in other areas of health. You know you should make healthier choices about food and physical activity, but what should you do to promote and maintain skin health?
It's simple, actually. Here's what dermatologists suggest you do every day:
Wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser and warm water. You won't need a washcloth or loofah, as those can irritate your skin—your fingers will do just fine!
Get in the habit of applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen, SPF 30 or higher, even if you plan on staying indoors. Natural lighting indoors contains ultraviolet (UV) rays too, and a good sunscreen will protect you wherever you might be.
Moisturize your skin if you feel like it's dry, reapplying the moisturizer two to three times per day, or as needed.
Together, those three steps make up the basics of a good skin care routine. And if you put them into practice every day, you'll be well on your way to better skin. But of course, it can take some time to get accustomed to your routine and see progress. That leads us to the next step: customizing a regimen just for you.
Know Your Skin and Adapt to Find What Works
It's important to get to know your skin so that you understand your specific needs for optimal skin health. Throughout this ongoing process, monitor how changes in your skin care practices affect the way you look and feel over time. Understanding what products and practices make your skin better and worse can help you to fine-tune your care routine. It's okay if some things work for you and other things don't, as skin needs can vary from person to person based on many factors, such as skin tone, type, and age.
For example, some people with oily skin can be more prone to getting acne. People of color may have a higher risk of skin spots. And all people, no matter their complexion, have different needs as they age. That's because as you get older, your skin can start to look and feel different. You may need to take extra steps so that you feel more comfortable, like using a humidifier or changing the way you bathe.
Find a Specialist and See Them Regularly
As you begin your skin care journey, look for a partner in health to join you and guide you. Just like a primary care doctor, a dermatologist can fill this role and ensure you're on the right track.
Experts recommend seeing a Dermatologist at least once a year for a skin cancer screening, but you may want to see them more frequently if you have other cosmetic concerns. You can use the American Academy of Dermatology's guide to find a Dermatologist who meets your needs. Before your first appointment, write down some questions and familiarize yourself with your family history so you can make the most of your visit.
Start Simple and Prepare for the Long Term
It's never too late (or too early) to develop better skin care habits. Doing so can not only support and protect your skin, but it can also boost your self-confidence and serve as a positive example for friends and family.
Don't wait: Pick a cleanser, sunscreen, and moisturizer to start your skin care routine today. And don't stop there—Make an appointment with a Dermatologist so that you have someone in your corner to help you on your way.
Keep that promise to your skin. Years from now, you'll be glad you did.