How To Find Your Glow

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By: Francesca Lewis, MD, FAAD Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers

Everyone wants to look and feel their best during the holiday season for work parties, get-togethers with friends and celebrating with family. So, what steps can you take to get glowing skin?

Hydroxy acids are natural exfoliators that help reverse the dull appearance of the skin and result in a glowing complexion. Ingredients to look for in this category are salicylic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, and mandelic acid. My recommendation for incorporating hydroxy acids into your daily routine is to use a facial cleanser with these ingredients starting once a day.

Another natural brightener is Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant, meaning that it blocks UV-induced free radical formation in the skin which would result in cellular damage and contribute to the appearance of “aged skin.” It is best used in a serum form in the morning underneath sunscreen. Vitamin C itself if not a very stable molecule so it must be coupled with other anti-oxidants to have its full potential. The most common ingredients it is often combined with are Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid (both also anti-oxidants). Another consideration when choosing a Vitamin C serum is that not all forms of Vitamin C are able to penetrate the skin’s outer barrier, so although they may feel nice going on, they may not give you actual results. Only certain manufacturers of Vitamin C serums meet these stringent criteria, which is why it is important to discuss cosmeceutical product recommendations with your dermatologist.

Retinol is an anti-aging ingredient in many over the counter and medical grade skin care regimens. It has been found to result in increased cellular turnover and boost collagen production over time. This is why it is the staple of any dermatologist-recommended anti-aging regimen. Over the counter preparations although helpful, have lower concentrations of retinol than medical grade skin care. However, for some with sensitive skin, retinol can be drying, which is why combining it with a moisturizer and starting it gradually may be advised. Although retinol will definitely promote glowing skin, you may want to start any new retinol-containing products at least a few weeks before any holiday parties to avoid any initial dryness or irritation.

Moisturizers, as the name implies, moisturize and hydrate the skin. Well-hydrated skin is glowing skin. There are moisturizers suitable for all skin types, and even those patients with oily skin should consider using an oil-free moisturizer to balance and hydrate the skin. For more mature or dry skin a richer anti-aging moisturizer with peptides, hyaluronic acid and anti-oxidants will restore the natural moisture balance, plump skin and leave the skin glowing.

Besides topical cosmeceuticals, you may want to consider treating yourself to a facial, microdermabrasion, light chemical peel or a “super-facial” device to give you a glow before your holiday parties. At Delray Dermatology + Cosmetic Center, we use the Oxygeneo Superfacial system, which exfoliates the skin with microdermabrasion, infuses hyaluronic acid and oxygen for hydration, and firms skin with ultrasound and massage. In addition to our full-line of physician-developed proprietary skin care, Delray Skin.

To make an appointment at Delray Dermatology + Cosmetic Center, call 561-440-8020