17 Skin-Care Tips Dermatologists Follow Themselves

Good skin care involves more than making sure you wipe your makeup off every night.

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Always use an eye cream

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“The eyelid skin is the thinnest and most delicate skin and shows age the fastest,” says Debra Jaliman, MD, author of Skin Rules and an assistant professor of dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. So even though the skin-care aisle can be incredibly overwhelming, it’s worth spending some time there. To ensure effectiveness, look for peptides and antioxidants on an eye cream’s ingredient list, suggests Dr. Jaliman.

Sleep on a silk pillowcase

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You’ve probably heard rumors about sleep lines: The way you snooze could leave unsightly lines on your face. Some research suggests it’s not true: One study from the University of Michigan found sleep position had little impact on the appearance of wrinkles or fine lines. But what could impact the pesky lines? The material on which you snooze. With silk, your face will slide—not crunch—against the pillow, says Dr. Jaliman. This means you’ll avoid even the possibility of the marks (and you’ll be more comfortable!). If you’re super skin-conscious, switch to silk—and found out what else dermatologists do to look younger.

Eat the rainbow

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A white bread-based diet does not for clear skin make. That’s why Dr. Jaliman makes sure her diet is packed with brightly-colored fruits and vegetables, especially these. “Fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants which give glow to the skin,” she says. Specifically, research suggests that pigments called carotenoids—found in foods like carrots, spinach and other leafy greens, and tomatoes—have been linked to healthy glow.

Use headphones when you chat

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Your cellphone has more germs than a toilet seat. Cue the ick factor: In a small sample of 51 phones, University of Oregon researchers found 7,000 different kinds of bacteria. So do as skin doctors do and keep your iPhone away from your face. Some of the bacteria on the surface of your device can cause breakouts, says Dr. Jaliman. (And, hey, remember to clean your cell every now and then!)

Cut your sugar intake

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In November, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed that added sugars—the non-natural kinds added to processed foods—not exceed 10 percent of your total calories for the day. And nutritionists aren’t the only ones cutting back on the sweet stuff—dermatologists have long known about sugar’s negative side effects for your skin. Sugar molecules can stiffen collagen—the protein that helps keep your skin healthy—and cause wrinkles, Dr. Jaliman says. Try these expert tips to wean yourself off sugar.

Sunscreen is imperative

Skin-Care-Tips-Dermatologists-Follow-Themselves paultarasenko/Shutterstock Everyone has heard time and time again that sunscreen is essential for anti-aging skin care. What many people don’t know is that sunscreen should always be the first thing you apply to your face, not the last. According to board certified Dr. Neal Schultz, host of DermTV.com and creator of BeautyRx by Dr. Schultz, “The reason being that when the sunscreen was tested by the FDA it was applied to absolutely bare skin—so if you want the rated sunscreen protection, it needs to be applied first. When I'm spending time outside, I abide by the shadow rule. When my shadow is shorter than I am, then I know the sun is at it’s strongest, and even with sunscreen—which I apply daily—it’s important to limit sun exposure." Harvard-educated dermatologist Victoria A. Cirillo MD of Philadelphia agrees, "The way I remember to apply sunscreen throughout the day is tied to an Australian saying Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, Slide. I've told it so many times to my own family when on trips. It means: Slip on a shirt, Slop on SPF 30+ sunscreen, Slap on a hat, Seek shade or shelter, and Slide on some sunglasses."

Utilize tomatoes

Skin-Care-Tips-Dermatologists-Follow-Themselvesid-art/Shutterstock Telling someone “your cheeks are as red as a tomato” have long remained a reference to their vigorous, thriving health. Well, there’s a good reason behind that: health and tomatoes have always been interlinked due to the fact that the red fruit holds a plethora of nutritional benefits. Dr. John Layke, Beverly Hills cosmetic + plastic surgeon, swears by using tomatoes to brighten skin, reduce age spots, and reduce discoloration due to high levels of lycopene, a potent antioxidant.

Maintain a consistent morning and nighttime routine

Skin-Care-Tips-Dermatologists-Follow-ThemselvesSyda Productions/Shutterstock Oversleeping in the morning or getting back late at night might discourage you from fulfilling your skin routine. However, Dr. Loretta Ciraldo stresses the need to maintain morning and evening routines. “I often compare a once daily use of a product that's recommended for a twice a day as only getting "half the dose" of what you need for desired results. If I need to give someone an antibiotic shot and I dump out half the amount of medicine before I give the shot, they'd know I am wasting their time and lowering efficacy. It's really very similar with using skincare just as recommended!”

Be a minimalist

Skin-Care-Tips-Dermatologists-Follow-Themselvesnd3000/Shutterstock People try unusual approaches to skin care in their quest for perfect, glowy skin, but the standard cliche really does ring true in the case of skin care: less is more. Dr. Tyler Hollmig, dermatologist and director of Laser and Aesthetic Surgery at Stanford Health Care, says, “As a rough rule with cosmetic products, fewer ingredients is better, so I like products without lots of additives such as fragrances. In the evening, I cleanse my skin to remove grime/pollution with water and a gentle exfoliant, then moisturize with a cream (something that comes in a tub rather than a pump-bottle is generally best) and head to bed.”

Use mineral-based products

Skin-Care-Tips-Dermatologists-Follow-ThemselvesAnna Ok/Shutterstock Unlike traditional globs of thick foundation, mineral makeup lines tend to be free of preservatives and chemicals. Since these steer away from products with parabens, dyes, and fragrances, women with skin conditions like eczema or rosacea who don't want to forgo makeup will find themselves in their wheelhouse here. Dr. Janet Prystowsky, leading board-certified dermatologist in New York City, says, “I use a liquid tinted mineral based sunscreen on my face as a foundation. Look for zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in the active ingredients. Elsewhere, I’ll use clear mineral and chemical based sunscreens because they absorb well and don’t stain my clothing.”
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