Some basic steps include:
- Wash your skin twice a day with a gentle non-soap cleanser. Use a soft cloth and do not scrub vigorously.
- Use a moisturizer twice a day. This helps your skin appear more youthful and can protect your skin. As much as two handfuls of moisturizer may be required to cover your body. Don’t skimp, particularly on cold, dry days. It’s most useful when applied immediately after taking bathing (within three minutes).
- Use a sunscreen every day. Choose one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Use a sunscreen even if you will only see the sun through windows (UVA that penetrates glass does not burn your skin like UVB, but it can lead to premature aging).
- Choose makeup that is oil-free and non-comedogenic (this means it does not block pores and is unlikely to cause pimples).
- Protect your lips with lip block or lipsticks with sunscreen.
- Avoid long hot showers or baths. Hot water extracts natural oils from your skin, leaving it dry. Instead, use lukewarm water for a shorter period of time.
Keep your regimen simple so that you are more likely to stick with it.
When choosing skin care products, select products you enjoy using every day. In general, look for products that are hypoallergenic and fragrance-free.
Although some moisturizers contain sunscreen, keep using other sunscreens that offer broader coverage of UVA and UVB rays and provide the option of SPF 30 or higher.
Some over-the-counter skin care products are overpriced and make claims they can’t support. Follow your dermatologist’s recommendation and choose products compatible with your skin type. If you don’t tolerate the product, or don’t see any benefits after 6 to 8 weeks, try a different product.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends that people perform a skin self-exam once each month.