Welcome to the JAG Medical Cosmetics blog, where you’ll find in-depth information about our services, educational resources concerning aesthetics, and helpful tips for looking and feeling your best. As always, we hope you’re doing well and enjoying this wonderful time of year! With clinics located in Mt. Pleasant, Summerville, and St. George, our practice seeks to serve the Lowcountry with high-quality, affordable care. According to our philosophy, our patients come first. We aim to educate our patients on the most clinically relevant treatments to prevent aging. That’s why we take the time to develop a relationship based on trust with each person who walks through our doors. When you feel comfortable and informed, you’re able to make optimal decisions for your internal and external wellness. Since our job is to provide expertise and support, we allow our patients the freedom to express their unique desires. By working together as a team, our patients can feel confident about reaching their aesthetic goals!
It’s easier to prevent than it is to cure. That’s why we dedicated an entire article to the wonderful practice of preventative skincare! If you’ve never heard of preventative skincare, our last blog post explains what the practice is and how you can begin. In recent years, as brands have turned their focus away from “miracle cures” toward everyday staples like sunscreens and serums, there’s been a shift in the collective culture as well. It’s more common now than ever to find sunscreen playing a starring role in the skincare routines of young people. When should you begin preventative skincare? Is it too late for you? The short answer is no. You can begin (and reap the benefits) preventative skincare at any age. The longer answer, as well as an in-depth explanation of what causes aging, can be found in ‘Preventative Skincare.’ We didn’t stop at just sunscreen however! We also gave a few tips for those looking to prevent hyperpigmentation and dryness. If you’ve been meaning to start preventative skincare but haven’t known where to start, our last article is the perfect place!
Today, we’re sticking with our skincare trend and discussing daily skincare for the face. The skin on our faces is thinner than any other part of the body. As well, our facial skin is much more sensitive to the ingredients in products, especially for women. Finally, our facial skin varies in thickness, which adds complexity to the routine of care we cultivate for the health and wellness of our facial skin. For this reason, we wanted to give a comprehensive guide for taking care of your face, daily. Some of the treatments or ingredients mentioned here should not be used everyday, or should only be used daily once you’ve built up a tolerance, and we’ll be sure to note when that is the case. Otherwise, the tips mentioned below can revolutionize your skincare routine and provide the basis for healthy, glowing skin! If you’re interested, keep reading!
About the Face
While the face does sport the thinnest skin on the body, different areas of the face have varying levels of thickness. For example, the skin around the eyes is known to be the thinnest on the face. For this reason, great care is recommended when applying products to this area, as intense irritation and damage can occur from rough handling. As you can see, the thinner the skin, the greater the amount of care required. As we age and our bodies decrease their production of collagen, our skin becomes increasingly thin and easily damaged. We’ll discuss the ingredients necessary in a daily facial routine to ensure our skin remains healthy for decades in just a bit!
In addition to being thin, the face is also more susceptible to sensitivity, especially for women. The skin on our faces contain a higher density of nerve endings than many other places on our bodies. Considering the thinness of our facial skin, it’s no wonder this abundance of nerves can be easily overstimulated. Women, on average, use more products on their faces than men. Which means women, on average, have a higher likelihood of developing an adverse reaction to an ingredient or product than men. For this reason, women’s faces are considered to have higher skin sensitivity.
The point of saying all of this is to convey the importance of dedicating time and effort into your daily facial routine. Not every product will work. In fact, some products may have the opposite effect of what you intended. But, if you understand the essential ingredients needed to support the health of your facial skin, this knowledge can act as a roap map of sorts. In general, when applying anything to the face, you’ll want to be gentle and avoid tugging. Always keep the skin adequately moisturized and avoid squinting or scrunching. Any amount of facial movement is liable to contribute to wrinkles but, in our option, only a smile is worth the lines!
There are four main groups which should be incorporated into your daily facial skincare routine (which, of itself, is divided into two groups: morning and night): antioxidants, exfoliants, sunscreens, and moisturizers. Obviously, sunscreen should only be used in the morning. Certain antioxidants should be used at different times during the day or night. Most moisturizers can be used whenever necessary.
Antioxidants consist of essential vitamins, such as A, B, C, and E. These vitamins go by different names in the skincare world. For example, niacinamide is a form of B3 and a key antioxidant you can incorporate into your daily routine. Niacinamide has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help calm acne, as well as even skin tone. Niacinamide is great for increasing skin elasticity and reinforcing the skin barrier. As well, niacinamide is great at stopping sebum oxidation, which is the first stage of acne, thus preventing new pimples from forming. Ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, is another wonder ingredient, responsible for brightening the skin. Vitamin C helps repair UV-damage and aid the skin in its collagen production. For those with dull skin or hyperpigmentation, vitamin C just might be your next daily product. (Vitamin C also goes by the names: sodium ascorbyl phosphate, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate, and ascorbyl palmitate. These are derivatives of ascorbic acid and are usually less potent; though they can also be less irritating. Look for vitamin C to be sold in opaque bottles, since exposure to sunlight can destabilize this antioxidant.)
Using exfoliants on a daily basis isn’t for everyone, but can be used to aid the skin in its turnover process. For those with acne, salicylic acid is their best friend! This chemical exfoliant speeds up the shedding of dead skin cells, thus keeping pores clear and blemish-free. Salicylic, glycolic, and lactic acid all work in a similar way to reveal healthier skin cells and improve our complexion. Lactic acid, also called sodium lactate and considered an alpha-hydroxy acid, is derived from milk. Glycolic acid, also considered an AHA, is derived from sugar cane and packs more of a punch than lactic acid. Glycolic acid is antimicrobial and can kill acne-causing bacteria. Salicylic acid is considered a beta-hydroxy acid, is derived from plants (or manufactured in a lab setting), and works best on oily skin. These chemical exfoliants should be used sparingly (3-4 days a week) until a tolerance is built, in conjunction with sunscreen, and without the addition of physical exfoliation. Physical exfoliation involves the gentle rubbing of the skin to remove excess, dead cells. If your skin is too sensitive for chemical exfoliants, you might invest in a vibrating facial scrubber to practice physical exfoliation daily.
Sunscreen is something we talked about briefly in our preventative skincare post. For those who haven’t read our last post (yet), not all sunscreens are created equal. You do want to invest in a sunscreen which works well for your skin type. Therefore, oily skin types might want to invest in a sunscreen with mattifying properties, while dry skin types might want to invest in a sunscreen with moisturizing capabilities. Whatever your skin concerns, you should always seek an SPF of 30 or higher. Broach-spectrum sunscreens are preferable, as they will protect your skin from both UVA and UVB damage. If you exercise often or swim, a waterproof sunscreen may suit your lifestyle better. Regardless, you should be applying sunscreen throughout the day and especially when you plan to spend any amount of time in the sun. Those with darker skin should seek chemical rather than mineral sunscreens, or sunscreens which advertise “no white cast.”
Moisturizing is probably the most important daily skincare tip, after applying sunscreen. When our skin barriers are compromised, no amount of products will be able to make much of a difference on the health of our skin. Dry, flaky skin points to a disruption within the skin barrier and this can only be solved by keeping the skin moist enough to heal itself. Hyaluronic acid is naturally produced by our skin to aid in retaining moisture. As we age, this too begins to drop off. Skincare ingredients with hyaluronic acid are incredibly effective at restoring lost moisture to our skin, since hyaluronic acid is capable of holding 1000 times its weight in water. Due to its humectant properties, it’s important to follow up the use of hyaluronic acid with another moisturizer. Preferably, one with ceramides. Ceramides are responsible for the plumpness of our skin and for maintaining the skin barrier. If you’re so inclined, oils like argan or rose oil can be used to seal in this moisture.
We hope you enjoyed this deep dive into daily skincare for the face! You can find more articles concerning skincare and aesthetics on our blog. If you’re interested in our skincare services, such as our facials, peels, or microneedling, feel free to reach out. We look forward to hearing from you! Thank you for reading and be sure to check back in for more articles about the wonder of aesthetics!