As a dermatologist, I am obsessed with finding the absolute best products and procedures to keep my skin young and healthy looking, and especially, to prevent skin cancer. I've been a perfectionist about my complexion all my life. On this mission, as a teen and young adult, I tried hundreds (maybe even thousands) of products, but was often disappointed in the results. Now that I am a full-fledged medical and cosmetic dermatologist, I have finally found (and know) what works! And guess what? I’m going to spare you some of the guesswork by sharing what I have learned for a flawless complexion! 1. Zinc-containing Sunscreen If you make an appointment at Advanced Skin Care, you will inevitably hear Dr. Bailey's spiel about mineral zinc oxide sunscreen being THE product you need to use 365 days a year. I want you to read that again, because, believe me, this is the most important thing you can do to prevent wrinkles, unsightly brown spots and also prevent skin cancer. We preach this mantra because it’s the truth! Sunscreens are broken up into two categories: physical blockers and chemical sunscreens.
- Physical sunscreen blockers contain either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These work to physically bounce UV rays off of the skin like a mirror and are the most effective sunscreens. We prefer zinc oxide as this tends to have antimicicrobial and soothing properties, is non-comedogenic (does not clog pores), and also provides broader UV spectrum protection than titanium dioxide. Of course, back in the day, zinc oxide was that unattractive white paint lifeguards would wear on their noses. Today, zinc sunscreens have a come a long way as products come in MUCH more elegant formulations, thanks to skin care science. There is a zinc SPF product for every skin type, which is one of the many reasons I love these sunscreens so much! In my case, my skin doesn’t look fully hydrated and calm until my sunscreen is applied over my other products. Zinc oxide is this powerful for me, and I never go a day without putting it on!
- Chemical sunscreen blockers are less effective sunscreen agents in that they work like a sponge to absorb UV rays and chemically degrade them. Not only is this not as effective in protecting your skin, the chemicals can also lead to a variety of negative reactions such as breakouts, rashes, excess heat and skin irritation. I don’t like them, and I don’t personally wear these products.
- Vitamin C - This ingredient is one of the more important collagen boosters. We know that deficiency in vitamin C causes a disease called scurvy. In this disease, which results from a dietary deficiency of vitamin C, blood vessels and collagen are very fragile. It shows you the extreme importance of vitamin C to your skin. Even if you don't have a dietary deficiency of vitamin C, you can boost your skin's level of it beyond the norm by applying a professional product to your skin - and you get enhanced results! Yes, topical vitamin C helps promote collagen production, fights free radicals and contributes to protecting the skin from sun damage. We all want that, which is why I recommend using a stable professional product like Dr. Bailey’s Vitamin C Anti-Wrinkle Professional Treatment Serum each morning as part of your routine just like I do.
- Green Tea - Polyphenols in green tea are called catechins. These are potent antioxidants. Studies show that green tea has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Personally, my skin can’t handle using irritating retinoids without a green tea containing moisturizer. My favorites that I use every day are either Replenix CF or the Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy Cream. I use Replenix when my skin needs less hydration and the Power of 3 when my skin feels more dry.