Too busy to hit the dermatologist’s office for advice on your skin care scenarios? Tired of scouring YouTube clips for pseudo professional advice on putting your best face forward? Well, you’re in luck because the doctor is making house calls. Dr. Neal Schultz, the certified dermatologist behind Beauty Rx skin care products, hosts a virtual Q & A every third Wednesday of the month, where participants can send in all of their skin care questions and concerns for an expert response. We tuned in to the doc’s video and came up with a top five list of suggestions to keep your mug in tip-top shape this season. You’ll be surprised by what we found!
1. Slather on the sunscreen first. We all know that sunscreen is a must year-round, but should you put it on before or after applying moisturizer? Dr. Schultz says that whatever product is closest to your skin is the most accurate way to judge your sunscreen protection. So put the product with the strongest SPF on first; in most cases, this will be your sunscreen. “Sunscreen first and you can put anything on top of it that you like,” Dr. Schultz said.
2. Get rid of that dead skin, but be gentle. According to the doctor, “exfoliation is the most important therapeutic process you can do for your skin on a regular basis.” There are three basic types of exfoliants: glycolics, salicyclics, and retinoids. Dr. Schultz refers to glycolics as the gold standard of chemical exfoliants, but urges his clients to only use one type of exfoliant at a time. The use of multiple types of exfoliants will only dry out and irritate the skin.
3. Antioxidants go on at night. Aside from protecting your skin from the sun, it’s important to build a barrier against free radicals, which can cause aging and tissue damage. That’s where antioxidants come in. These powerful substances provide extra protection from free radicals that can be formed by UV rays. The key to this extra fortification is when to apply: while you should put on sunscreen at least 20 minutes before stepping outside, antioxidants must penetrate your skin cells to put up a free radical barrier. UV light hinders this penetration process. Dr. Schultz advises that the best time to pile on the antioxidants is before bed. This gives these powerhouses ample time to get into your skin cells and combat UV rays that may get past your sunscreen the next day.
4. Time to toss? Is it time to get rid of those old moisturizers and facial cleansers? Dr. Schultz says, not quite. Although the government mandates that over-the-counter skin care products like acne treatments and sunscreens have expiration dates, these are pretty liberal. By definition, an expiration date guarantees that a product will work up until that point, but does not always reflect its effectiveness after. Dr. Schultz asserts that most products can be good for weeks, months, or even years, past the expiration date. The best tell tale sign? Look at the product. If there’s a clear separation (like water floating about the solid form of the product), it’s probably time to bid it adieu.
5. Dandruff doesn’t just attack your scalp. That may not be dead skin around your nose or in between your eyebrows. Flaky, pink spots on your face can be dandruff! While this form of dermatitis is commonly mistaken for dry skin, moisturizers are not the cure! The doctor suggests the use of diluted anti-dandruff shampoos or over-the-counter cortisone treatments to get rid of flaky facial dandruff. Don’t go overboard though: if the problem persists for more than two or three days, it’s time to see a dermatologist face to face.
Tune in to Dr. Schultz’s next online skin care session at BeautyRx.com on February 15 at 2:00 p.m. EST. In the meantime, you can catch up on tips you’ve missed on the Beauty Rx YouTube channel. You’ll thank us later.