Is there any better feeling than the one you get once you’ve completed a killer workout or restorative meditation session? Most of us leave the gym or go about our day feeling lighter, happier, and more confident. There’s an undeniable link between our bodies and our minds: when we feel good, we look good. Actively caring for our physical and mental well-being reduces stress, improves our overall health, and can slow the aging process by decreasing the inflammation brought on by stress hormones and increasing the replication of healthy cells. But did you know that what works for your body and mind can also work for your skin?
Here at U Plastic Surgery + Aesthetics, we want to help patients in the Baltimore area feel confident in the skin they’re in. Our goal is to help you choose the treatments and products that target your areas of concern and enhance the natural beauty you already have. Maybe this includes lines on your forehead that make you look angry when you’re feeling happy or dark circles under your eyes that make you look exhausted when you’re feeling quite alert. You could have sagging skin or wrinkles that make you appear older than how you feel on the inside. The good news is, a customized skin care routine can boost your self-esteem in no time!
Research has shown that a positive self-image can reduce anxiety, increase motivation, and improve your personal and professional relationships. Healthy skin, greater self-confidence, an enhanced appearance—it might seem like a lot to ask from a simple skin care routine, but you’d be surprised by the difference it can make! If you don’t already have a dedicated routine, we recommend starting slow. Avoid beauty routines that demand time-consuming steps as these aren’t realistic for most people. A simple routine is better in the beginning because you’ll actually be able to follow it, making it far more likely you’ll get the results you’re seeking.
Less is always more when it comes to your skin. Consider sticking to the “holy trinity” of simple skin care routines: sunscreen, retinoids, and an antioxidant. Let’s take a look at what each of these do for your skin and how a routine that uses them can improve your appearance and increase your self-esteem!
When it comes to the best anti-aging products, it’s not even close—sunscreen wins every time! Unprotected exposure to UVA and UVB rays from the sun can cause your skin to appear discolored and dull. It can also reduce the skin’s elasticity, leading to sagging and premature aging. More importantly, overexposure to the sun’s damaging rays can lead to skin cancer, including melanoma, which is generally regarded as the deadliest type.
Any sunscreen you choose should be broad-spectrum, SPF30 or higher, and contain both zinc and titanium dioxide. These are found in physical, or mineral, sunscreens. While chemical sunscreens absorb light, physical sunscreens reflect it. They also begin working as soon as you apply the lotion and cover a broader spectrum of rays. They even work against the blue light rays from your electronic screens!
Here at U Plastic Surgery, we carry multiple different ZO Skin Health sunscreens. ZO sunscreens are our absolute favorite because every single one is a broad spectrum sunscreen with triple UV protection, including blue light which we’re surrounded by all day everyday! You can choose one that doubles as a make-up primer, or one that is sheer and gives off a shiny, not oily look.
An important aspect of sunscreen is to make sure you are reapplying as needed. We love that ZO makes reapplying easy even with makeup on! They have a broad spectrum sunscreen powder that allows you to reapply during the day even if you have makeup on, that also contains oil absorbing and hydrating properties.
Retinoids are another incredible way to combat the noticeable signs of aging. These products help build collagen and elastin, which are the building blocks of our skin. In doing so, they help reduce fine lines and wrinkles. They also stimulate the production of new blood vessels in the skin, which improves the skin color and tone. Additional benefits of retinoids include fading age spots and softening up rough patches of skin.
The key when using retinoids is to take it “low and slow.” You only need a pea-sized amount for your whole face and it should initially be applied only once or twice a week. Be sure to follow this application with a good moisturizer. You can slowly increase frequency to three or four times per week, then once your skin is responding well, begin a nightly application. There are over-the-counter and prescription retinoids available under the supervision of a dermatologist.
Antioxidants are damage defenders that help slow the signs of aging and protect against free radical damage. In the same way foods with vitamin C, vitamin E, and carotene help protect your internal cells from free radicals that can play a role in heart disease, cancer, and other diseases, antioxidants can help improve your skin. Vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, and other antioxidants can all be applied topically to prevent sun damage, correct signs of aging, brighten the skin tone, and help the skin repair itself.
In essence, antioxidants work to prevent oxidative stress, which is the damage that free radicals cause. This damage results in the breakdown of the skin’s collagen and elastin, and can lead to premature aging, inflammation, and hyperpigmentation. Antioxidants do double duty by protecting the skin and reversing the signs of aging and damage. Since they are primarily protective and preventative, it can take a while to see any noticeable changes once you begin using them. You’re likely to see improvements after 30 days or so. All ZO products contain antioxidants so no matter what you use, you’ll be covered!
A sample skin care routine from U Plastic Surgery + Aesthetics
Let us help you take the guesswork out of your AM and PM skin care routines by simplifying it below. This is a sample plan of an easy-to-follow daily routine including the medical grade ZO Skin Health products we have at U Plastic Surgery + Aesthetics. Take a look, then try it out for yourself!
Gentle cleanser wash- pea size drop is plenty!
Exfoliating polish- X3 a week to start
Complexion Renewal Pads- toner that helps remove excess dirt and oil while balancing the pH of your skin so it’s able to absorb the most amount of product
Daily Power Defense- cream that supports skin’s natural DNA repair process, and peptides to stimulate Hyaluronic Acid and collagen production
Complexion Renewal Pads
Daily Power Defense
Growth Factor Serum- Enhances the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid while restoring hydration, also calms and soothes skin (pairs well with retinol!)
Lastly, don’t expect immediate gratification! Remember that it takes at least six weeks of maintaining a skin care routine to see real results. Keep things in perspective, too—perfection is not the goal here, it’s self-improvement! A simple skin care routine is a small act of self-care that can pay off in big ways. Stick with it and you’ll enjoy an improved appearance and increased confidence in no time. For more information on the services our practice offers to help enhance your natural beauty, contact our Owings Mills office to schedule a consultation!