I am a self-proclaimed skincare nut. It started when I was in my mid-twenties. I distinctly remember a co-worker saying that, "One day you just wake up and Bam! Wrinkles." She was so right. When I turned 25, I started noticing all these lines that wouldn't disappear. Blah. So I decided to start taking care of my skin.
First, I visited a dermatologist. Based on her recommendations, I tried the most popular items (including RoC, prescription strength retinol, sheer fluid sunscreen, etc). The RoC and prescription strength retinol made my skin feel itchy, dry and splotchy. So I stopped that. I tried an assortment of everyday sunscreens none of which were meant for darker skin tones, so I'd look like a ghost with that whitish filmy residue on my face, or in the case of Neutrogena's fluid sheer sunscreen made my skin feel oily and was only really appropriate for sports.
THE MOST IMPORTANT TOOL FOR HEALTHY SKIN
I was basically back at square one, so I decided to ask my mom. We were at that stage in life (still are TBH) where people keep asking her how she can have a daughter my age. She eats it up. But in all fairness, she has some pretty amazing skin, so besides just genetics, I asked her what she was doing. Turns out growing up in a extremely polluted city in India, and never wearing sunscreen a day in her life was working for her. As she got older she did admit to using moisturizer at least (good job mom! 👏🏽).
With very little to go on, I was feeling pretty clueless. And then I discovered the most important part of my skincare routine - PubMed. Seriously. Knowledge of the products being used, their ingredients and tested results have really helped guide my skincare regimen.
Anytime you walk into a makeup or skincare aisle, all these terms are thrown at you, each seemingly a must-have, but in reality most are unreliable. So I started PubMed'ing skincare buzzwords like Collagen, Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides, CoQE10, etc. There are so many of these terms that sound dazzingly scientific it can be overwhelming (and 💰💰), but I use my trusted tool to teach me where to start and what the best products were to invest in. Below is what I have read & learned so far with links to the original article.
YOUR SKINCARE CHEAT SHEET
COLLAGEN: oral intake of collagen can increase skin moisture which in turn diminishes signs of aging including dryness. See here!
GLYCOLIC ACID: topical use of glycolic acid can increase Hyaluronic Acid and Collagen gene expression. Check out this article for more info!
HYALURONIC ACID: when topically applied or oral ingested, hyaluronic acid can help skin absorb water/moisture significantly better which in turn promotes collagen production and thereby can decrease the appearance of wrinkles.
VITAMIN A: in the form of retinoids and beta carotene can make your skin brighter but also diminish hyper pigmentation (which is more common in darker skin tones) and diminish fine wrinkles. caution though it can be drying! Check out this great article about VitA! And this one!
VITAMIN C: Big freaking deal. Helps promote collage production which in turn helps fill wrinkles. It can also make your skin look brighter (here).
VITAMIN E: comes in lots of different forms both natural (α-Tocopherol) and synthetic (dl-tocopherol). It provides photoprotection and reacts with free radicals to protect the skin. it also is anti-inflammatory. Check out this article for more information!
SO NOW WHAT...TO BUY?
There are countless skincare products that claim to reverse aging and improve skin quality. I don't really believe that you can reverse the aging process but I have tried & actively use several products that help keep my skin bright, tight, youthful, and supple - basically keep it stuck at 25 (🙌🏽). Stay tuned for my next post where I talk about each of favorite result-driven products & exactly how long I have been using them, some of which might even be on sale later this week at Sephora!