Skincare: Is Simple Better (Part 2)

In San Jose, CA

By Dr. Eric Li

Just as crucial as caring for your skin in the morning is understanding how to protect it at night. Dr. Eric Li provides skin care services at CA Aesthetics to help you appear and feel as good as possible. You can get advice from our professionals on the ideal skincare regimen for you. These non-invasive procedures are beneficial to keep your skin looking healthy and vibrant. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 555 Knowles Drive, Suite 218 Los Gatos, CA 95032.

Welcome back to this two-part skincare series! How’s your skin doing since our last discussion? Have you implemented last month’s recommendations to your morning skin routine? To recap, we recommended cleansing your face after waking up, applying a Vitamin C serum, and then moisturizing. As the final step, use your sunscreen before seizing the day! If you have been doing all these steps in the morning, keep up the good work! 

Taking care of your skin is a continuous effort. With a good morning skincare routine comes a night skincare routine counterpart. Knowing how to protect your skin at night is just as important as taking care of your skin in the morning–and we will get to this very briefly! Dr. Eric Li is a double-board certified plastic surgeon with expertise in skincare as part of his private practice based in San Jose and Los Gatos Bay Area California.

In this article, we will now focus on the night skincare routine that we recommend: 

Step 1. Cleanse 

This first step of your night skincare routine is no different from the first step in your morning skincare routine. It is important to cleanse and wash your face to get rid of all the pollution, dirt, sweat, and oils from your busy–or not-so-busy–day! In fact, something to consider is double-cleansing. It is exactly how it sounds: washing your face twice. This could be helpful for makeup wearers to ensure your pores are fully unclogged of products that have nestled into your skin throughout the day. Using an oil-based cleanser to remove excess dirt and makeup, followed by a gentle cleanser, is an example of double cleansing. Not everyone should double cleanse, though, as those with dryer skin or those with eczema may irritate their skin by doing so. Always test how your skin reacts to certain products and regimens, then adjust your future routine accordingly! Refer back to Part 1 of this skincare blog series to see which cleansers we carry in our clinic. 

Step 2. Retinol or Tretinoin 

Now it’s time to use an “active” product after cleansing. If there is one thing to start now in your life at this very moment, start using a retinoid. This derivative of vitamin A comes in two common forms to apply to your face: retinol (which is available off the counter) and tretinoin (which is prescription grade). Over time, continued use of these derivatives will improve the texture and appearance of skin, as well as help to even out skin tone. This is key to defy aging, hence why we call it our “active” product to use at night! Tretinoin is stronger and more concentrated than retinol, which typically means that results are achieved faster. However, it is good to start with using a lower concentration retinol since it is usually better tolerated to minimize sensitivity. If your skin does well with lower concentrations, move on to a higher concentration or on to tretinoin. In our office clinic, we have Retinol 0.5 and 1.0 Cream by Obagi, Renewal Retinol 0.5 by Alastin, and 0.05% Tretinoin Cream by Obagi. 

Step 3. Moisturize 

Fortunately, this last step is identical to the third step of your morning routine. Luckily, it is also the last! Moisturizing after applying retinol or tretinoin to your face is essential in combating the drying effects that either product would have on your skin. Again, refer back to Part 1 to view what moisturizers we carry in our office clinic. Now that you have protected your skin with a moisturizing barrier that also helps your retinoid stay on your skin, it is time to hit the hay. Sleep tight!

Easy as 1-2-3, right? A complicated skincare regimen with 10+ steps that you see on social media is NOT necessary to achieve beautiful skin. To reiterate, simplicity yields exceptional results when it comes to skin. On the contrary, If you find that a product we have not discussed in our two-part series has helped your skin, continue to use what is best for you. What we discussed is just our recommendations and a general guideline. And remember, always listen to your skin’s current needs. If your skin is oily one day and dry the next, use products that will benefit your skin’s current state. Once again, our office staff would gladly assist you in choosing which products are most ideal for your skin type. Good night, skin!

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