Skincare: Is Simple Better? (Part 1)

In San Jose, CA

By Dr. Eric Li

Dr. Eric Li, and his team will break down skincare routines in a two-part series and go through the kinds of products that can make your skin seem smoother, younger, and healthier. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 555 Knowles Drive, Suite 218 Los Gatos, CA 95032.

With each new year brings new skin care products to market, adding to the options and confusion of what to add to your skincare regimen. From hyaluronic acid drops to niacinamide serums, how do we know what to use and when and for what reason? Which products actually provide real physical benefits for our skin? 
In a two-part series, Dr. Li and his team will simplify skincare routines and discuss what types of products are useful in helping your skin appear younger, fresher, and smoother. Dr. Eric Li is a double-board certified plastic surgeon with expertise in skin care as part of his private practice based in San Jose and Los Gatos Bay Area California.
This month, we will focus on the morning skincare routine that we recommend: 

Step 1. Cleanse 

Washing your face with an appropriate cleanser suited for your skin type should be the first step in your morning skincare routine. You may not be out and about at night while you sleep, but think about all the potential night sweats, drooling episodes, and even dirty pillowcases from not washing your face the night before (we will talk about this later!). Choosing a cleanser is key. If your skin is on the sensitive side, consider using a gentle cleanser, such as the Obagi Nu-Derm Gentle Cleanser which we carry in our office. If your skin can tolerate a deeper clean, then consider an exfoliating cleanser, such as the Obagi360 Exfoliating Cleanser we have in our office, to clear out the oils and impurities that your skin has accumulated overnight. However, it is important to note that you should limit exfoliation to 2-3 times per week as over-exfoliation may result in increased dryness. Lastly, if you have acne-prone skin, it may be useful to consider facial cleanser options that contain salicylic acid to unclog pores. We carry Obagi CLENZIderm Daily Care Foaming Cleanser with 2% salicylic acid in our office.

Step 2. Vitamin C 

An elevation to one’s skincare regimen would involve the incorporation of a Vitamin C serum after cleansing, specifically in the form of L-ascorbic acid, which is the active form of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is known as a powerful antioxidant that brightens the skin and reduces dark spots. It is also known to defy aging by reducing the appearance of wrinkles, as well as preventing sun damage. In our clinic, we carry Obagi Professional-C Serum, made with L-ascorbic acid in 15% and 20% concentrations. We recommend starting off with the lower concentration to see how well your skin tolerates the product. If you do not develop any skin irritation, you can always use the higher concentration products for further benefit.

Step 3. Moisturize 

Adequate moisturization is the key to sealing in any product applied to the skin. As such, application of a moisturizer is our next recommendation after using Vitamin C. Again, with different skin types, there may be different moisturizers that may be more favorable for you. For those with dry or flaky skin, try an extra hydrating moisturizer, such as the Alastin Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer which we carry in our office. For those with oily or combination skin, try a lightweight moisturizer, such as the Alastin Ultra Light Moisturizer. 

Step 4. Sunscreen

If you want to delay wrinkle progression and keep your face young, it is a good idea to finish your morning skincare routine with sunscreen. What SPF you may ask? It is generally recommended to use SPF 30 or higher on the face to protect from the damaging effects of the sun in the form of UVA and UVB rays. To have optimal benefit, it is best to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours if you can. In our office, we carry a variety of sunscreens catered to each individual’s needs. For example, for those who like to take shortcuts and combine skincare routine steps, we have Obagi360 HydraFactor Moisturizing Cream with Sunscreen SPF 30, which is a moisturizer which offers some sun protection as well. We also carry Obagi Professional-C Suncare, which combines Vitamin C with sunscreen. For those who want to even out their skin tone in a sheer fashion, we carry Obagi Sun Shield Tint in a “warm” and “cool” tone. And lastly, for those who want to combat facial shine from oiliness, we also have Obagi Sun Shield Matte. 
**Note: For the makeup wearers, complete your skincare regimen before applying your beauty products!

Great results can stem from simplicity in routine when it comes to your skin. We hope you consider these steps when making changes to your morning skincare regimen. Our staff would gladly assist you should you be interested in any of the above products to help keep your skin young. Stay tuned next month for our night skincare routine. Rise and shine!

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