The number of skincare products flooding the market which promise miracle makeovers can be confusing. Noted dermatologist Dr. Anjali Pal helps us to sift through the noise as she talks about a perfect skincare regimen and that will not only make you look good but also feel good from inside.

Follow a flawless skincare routine for a beautiful you, every day!

By Debayani Bose with clinical inputs from Dr. Anjali Pal.

Dr. Anjali Pal, MD is a consultant dermatologist from Mumbai with six years of experience in medical and aesthetic dermatology practice. She believes in educating her patients on the science behind their treatment, and particularly enjoys busting common myths about Indian skin and hair care.

We women are born beautiful! But often tend to neglect ourselves as we prioritize the needs of our family over ours.

 

The Coronavirus-induced lockdown has forced many of us to spend a considerable amount of time indoors this year and helped us steal some precious ‘Me-time’ even as we take care of the needs of our family.

 

We’re often left confused with an ever- increasing number of skincare products flooding the market which promise a miracle makeover. Noted dermatologist Dr. Anjali Pal helps us to sift through the noise as she talks about a skincare regimen that will not only make you look good but also protect it for the long haul.

 

You can also watch Dr. Anjali talk about various skincare problems and solutions here.

 

What constitutes a skin-care routine?

A skincare routine helps to cleanse and protect the skin and maintain its appearance. Our skin is exposed to a whole variety of ‘insults’ throughout our lifetime- UV rays, our lifestyle choices (diet, lack of exercise, smoking, alcohol, screen-time), besides the effect of intrinsic skin aging. It’s no surprise our skin needs some tender loving care to keep it functioning optimally.

 

When should I start following a skin-care routine?

The mid-twenties are a good time to start following a skincare routine, as it’s when the first signs of aging start to appear.

 

How do I understand what my skin type is? 

Your skin is dynamic, and its characteristics change with age, season, and hormones. A dermatologist can help you understand the kind of products that suit your skin best, in response to these factors.

 

There are daily routine essentials, and occasional products or procedures to opt for on a regular but less frequent basis. 

 

  • On a daily basis, there are day-time and night-time components to a skincare routine. In the daytime, the purpose is to protect the skin from ultraviolet rays. Night creams work to repair the skin, and treat problems like hyperpigmentation, redness, or sensitivity.

 

The bare essentials in a skincare routine comprise a cleanser (facewash), moisturizer, and sunscreen. Optional in a skincare routine are a night cream or serum, eye cream, and anti-acne treatment cream. Common active ingredients in night cream or serum include retinol (vitamin A based molecule), vitamin C (L- ascorbate), niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid. 

 

  • Products for less frequent use are the exfoliating products- AHAs and BHAs (alpha and beta hydroxy-acids). They exfoliate the skin and make it look bright. They are used in serums, or as chemical peels. They are ideally not to be used more than twice a week.

 

Facemasks and Procedures:

Facemasks can be used once in a couple of weeks, more for a rejuvenating effect than anything else. They can be clay-based (for oily skin) and serum-soaked (for dry skin) and are left on for just 15 minutes and washed off.

 

Procedures such as chemical peels and ‘laser facials’ are options that can be done once every few weeks in a dermatologist’s clinic, to boost the work done by your daily skin routine. 

 

With age, fine lines, wrinkles, and mild skin sagging will be noticed, and Botox and hyaluronic acid fillers address these issues best. They are the real workhorses of anti-aging treatment. These are injectable treatments done by experts, and work wonders, but have to be repeated every few months to maintain their effect.

 

Things to avoid for a healthy and glowing skin!

 

  • pore-clogging make-up, make-up wipes, and sleeping with your makeup on
  • exfoliating face scrubs: use a salicylic acid- based facewash instead
  • complicated skincare regimens- you may break into acne, or develop sensitive skin with them. Use less products, with active ingredients (consult a dermatologist for guidance)

 

Tips for different skin-types:

 

For oily skin types: it’s good to use a foaming facewash, or one with salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or tea tree oil. Use a gel-based or non-comedogenic moisturizer. Use a gel-based or matte-finish sunscreen with atleast SPF 30. Avoid using oils on the face.

 

For sensitive skin types: Use a gentle soap-free face cleanser. Look for ceramides in your moisturizer. Avoid retinoid creams in night creams. Avoid hot baths, spicy food, very hot tea or coffee, and alcohol.

 

How to start using a new product (especially night cream): Use only a pea-size amount for the entire face. Keep it on for only a short period (an hour) in the first week of use. After that, use it overnight, twice or thrice a week.

 

 Manage stress: Unmanaged stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems. It’s important to get enough sleep, set reasonable limits, and make time to do the things you enjoy. 

 

Follow a healthy lifestyle: A healthy lifestyle and a good night’s sleep can go a long way in making us look and feel beautiful! Keep the fried and packaged food to a minimum, avoid alcohol and smoking. Opt for low glycemic-index food and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Go for home-cooked meals and drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. Following these habits can keep your skin young and beautiful at all times!

 

When to consult a dermatologist?

Consult a dermatologist if you have active acne (pimples), acne marks (dark spots), patchy pigmentation on the face or sensitive skin. There are effective treatment options, but it takes a few months to see the results so it’s best to get onto the right track ASAP. 

 

 As they say, beauty is about being comfortable in your skin. It’s about knowing and accepting who you are. To be beautiful means to be yourself. We don’t need to be accepted by others. We need to accept ourselves. And we will be beautiful every day!

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as a substitute for medical advice or treatment.

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