A Daily Guide to Long-term Skincare

July 9, 2014
Robert T. Grant, MD, MSc, FACS

Following a daily skincare regimen will help slow the aging process, but healthcare professionals must provide the tools to do so.

I often hear patients say winter is the harshest season for their skin. Between the low humidity and moving from the cold outside to dry heat indoors, the skin really does take a beating. However, I strongly believe skincare is a year-round job.

Following a daily skincare regimen will help slow the aging process, but healthcare professionals must provide the tools to do so! Here, I have outlined the advice I typically share with patients to help them care for their skin all year long.

1. Apply moisturizer with SPF daily

One of the key ways to help the skin survive the sun year-round is applying moisturizer multiple times a day. Face moisturizer should contain an SPF protectorate against UVA and UVB rays, because sunblock is not only necessary for the summertime.

From an early age, the basic element to effective skin management is the liberal use of sunblock and moisturizers during the day, and retinoids or unesterified vitamin C products at night.

2. Avoid factors that promote premature aging

Some of the detrimental factors that are known to promote premature aging of the skin include:

  • Exposure or overexposure to the sun

  • Smoking

  • Excess alcohol intake
  • Overuse of prescription drugs and other medications
  • Cycles of weight gain and weight loss
  • Salty foods, which promote water retention

3. Exercise

Regular exercise and stress reduction activities such as yoga and Pilates are key to stimulating healthy blood flow and muscle tone, which help keep the skin firm.

4. Treat allergies

Since most patients have allergies, it is important to test them to find out what they might be sensitive or allergic to, and then obviously have them avoid those allergens.

5. Sleep

Getting enough sleep is a crucial skincare weapon that many patients overlook due to their busy lifestyles.

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Through cosmetic surgery, patients can look and feel their best at any age, but they need to do some of the work, too! Since the skin is always rejuvenating itself, it is essential for patients to follow skincare regimens on a daily basis to slow their skin’s aging process.

Robert T. Grant, MD, MSc, FACS, is Chief of the combined Divisions of Plastic Surgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia University Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center. He is also Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery in the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University and Adjunct Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. For more information about Dr. Grant or to contact him, visit his website at www.robertgrantmd.com.

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