3 steps for healthy skin

3 steps for healthy skin

With a myriad of skin care advertisements urging people to cleanse, scrub and wash, it is hard to know what is really essential for healthy skin.

Dr. Martha Arroyo, a dermatologist at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill, says healthy skin is a simple combination of protection, hydration and prevention.

Dr. Arroyo offers these recommendations for basic skin care:

Protection: The outer layer of skin – the epidermis – is similar to bricks and mortar. In order to preserve those building blocks, it is important to use products that serve as a barrier. Many creams can act as barriers, but I recommend creams and lotions that are hypo-allergenic to prevent possible reactions especially for those with sensitive skin.

Hydration: People need products that can introduce hydration to the skin. Hydration is available from many specialized creams, in particular those containing hyaluronic acids and other water-drawing ingredients.

Prevention: People need products that can prevent the damage induced by harmful UV rays and pollutants in the environment. As prevention, I recommend products that have an SPF of 30 or higher and are broad spectrum sunscreens.

For those with special skin conditions, Dr. Arroyo offers these suggestions.

Sensitive skin: Use products containing micronized zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as they may be less likely to irritate the skin.

Acne-prone skin: Studies have shown that washing your face twice daily improves acne, even in patients not using medication. I usually recommend washes with an alpha-hydroxy acid product to removes oil build-up. Patients may also benefit from a prescription retinoic acid and a topical antibiotic. Some patients also do well with chemical peels (AHA based). These can be performed monthly for three months and then quarterly for maintenance.

Dry skin: Use lipid-based cleansers to reduce dryness and irritation. For people with very dry skin, bathing less frequently may also be beneficial. Moisturizers which are “higher potency” and contain ingredients such as dimethicone, petrolatum, shea butter, coconut oil and mineral oil can also be helpful. It is always best to apply moisturizer within five minutes of bathing to lock in the moisture.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.