Skin Care Tips by a Santa Barbara Cosmetic Surgeon

The new year is almost here and most of us will commit to starting (or continuing) healthy habits such as eating more veggies, going to the gym, and so on.  In my Santa Barbara cosmetic surgery practice I get a lot of inquiries about skin care and how to keep skin looking young and healthy. With New Year’s resolutions upon us, I thought this would be a great opportunity to suggest some skin care tips to incorporate into your list of resolutions. These skin care recommendations will help prevent accelerated aging and will encourage healthier skin in the coming year.

Use Sunscreen Daily
One of the top causes of premature aging that leads to wrinkles, fine lines, and “sun spots”  (hyperpigmentation) is the damage caused by UV rays. Use sunscreen daily – year round – with an SPF 30+ to help prevent sun damage. Reapply often if you are outdoors, sweating excessively, or swimming.

Avoid Trendy Products
Skin care products that promise you the moon usually don’t deliver. Do your research and buy your skin care products from a reputable place – such as a physician’s office or a medical spa. Physician-grade products contain higher quantities of potent ingredients that are often clinically proven to deliver results.

Encourage Exfoliation
As we age, cell turnover decreases and the “build up” of cells can leave your complexion dull. Exfoliate two times per week to encourage faster cell turnover.

Clean and Replace Skin Care Tools
If you’re using a Clarisonic as part of your cleansing routine, that is great! Allow the brush head to dry after every use (patting it dry immediately after each use helps) and replace the brush head every 2 to 3 months. Make-up brushes can cause more harm than good if they are not washed regularly. Use a brush cleaner solution or mild baby shampoo and commit to cleaning your brushes weekly.

Moisturize
Moisturizing hydrates and protects the skin. It also can improve tone and texture and can often mask imperfections. Moisturizing is good for all skin types even those with oily or acne-prone skin. For oily skin, choose a non-comedogenic and oil-free moisturizer.

Be Hands-Free
Commit to keeping your hands off your face. Dirty hands and nails can contaminate the skin you are working so hard to keep clear and clean.

“You Are What You Eat”
Consume lots of colorful vegetables and fruits. These are packed with antioxidants and will help your skin from the inside out. Fatty and greasy foods can upset the natural balance of your body and can cause your overall health – and your skin – to deteriorate.

Get Your ZZZ’s
While you “rest”, so does your skin. Sleeping lowers your metabolic rate so you’re not producing as many skin damaging free radicals. It also gives your skin a chance to focus on skin repair (instead of protection, as it does when it is being exposed to the sun or environmental pollution during the day).

Don’t Smoke 
One of the fastest ways to prematurely age you skin is through smoking. Nicotine causes narrowing of blood vessels and impairs blood flow to the outermost layers of the skin. Less blood flow means less nutrients and oxygen to your skin. The result is wrinkles and sagging of the skin.

Conduct Self-Screening
Before putting on make-up, take a close look at your skin and note any changes, discoloration, funny looking moles, or abnormal looking skin. Follow up with a dermatologist to further assess the condition. It’s a good idea to see a dermatologist annually for an overall skin check.

A New Year is the time to make changes and improvements. Following these skin care recommendations will give your skin the opportunity to be healthier and more youthful-looking in 2015 and years beyond.

All of us at Cosmetic Surgery Center in Santa Barbara wish you (and your skin) a happy, healthy new year! 

Santa Barbara Skin Care Home Regimen by Dr. Perkins

Santa Barbara cosmetic surgeon Dr. Terry Perkins believes that an effective at-home skin care regimen is an essential part of maintaining younger-looking, beautiful skin. We hope that this home care skin regimen by Dr. Perkins will inspire you to renew (or start) your dedication to healthy skin.

If you are a person who routinely has facials and does a chemical peel every few months, you are not exempt from participating in good skin care practices! Did you know that how you care for your skin at home can account for 50% of the end result? An effective at-home skin care strategy can both enhance the power of your facial / chemical peel / laser facial treatment and can prolong the results. Truly a “win-win” situation.

The home care regimen that I recommend is not something I learned in medical school or from a beauty magazine. The idea came to me one piece at a time as I reflected upon what products the skin benefits from on an ongoing basis. As the founder of Evolutions Medical Spa, and being an active Medical Director there, I have had the benefit of being introduced to and studying many different medical-grade skin care products that have higher active ingredient levels and, thus, have a greater effect on the skin than products purchased at a department store. This is why I recommend using physician grade products for a notable result.

An easy way to remember my universal skin care regimen is by the acronym CHEARS. CHEARS stands for:

  • Cleanser: use a cleanser that is suitable for your skin type; I recommend using the Clarisonic brush to give your skin a deep clean below the surface. Cleanse in the morning and evening.
  • Hydration: hydrate your skin daily using a moisturizer that works with your skin type (dry, oily, combination). Keeping your skin hydrated will keep your skin plump for a fresh complexion. Moisturize once per day.
  • Exfoliant: the use of an exfoliant helps to break down the dead cells on the outermost layer of the skin and promote cell turnover. Exfoliate your skin 2 times per week.
  • Antioxidant: a high quality antioxidant cream helps to combat the signs of aging. Use 3 times per week.
  • Retinoids: use of a topical retinoid cream (commonly known as the brand name, Retin-A) has been proven to be a great wrinkle fighter. Use 2 times per week.
  • Sun protection: use sun protection on your face, neck, decolletage, and hands to ward off fine lines, wrinkles, and excessive pigmentation (age and “liver” spots). Sun protection should be used daily, year round and I recommend products that provide a “physical block” such as those that contain zinc oxide. 

Embarking on my home care regimen will enable you to have more control of your skin’s natural aging process. I hope that the above information persuades you to start, or re-dedicate, yourself to renewing your skin health in the years to come. CHEARS to healthy, glowing skin!