Optimal Skin Care

Skin Care for Normal Skin

Over-the counter (OTC) skin care products are retail products that are not based on any medical literature. They are simply bought and sold at retail outlets by non-medically trained persons who know very little about the medical science of skin care.

Often times, over-the-counter products are made of exotic or needlessly expensive products that have no proven benefit. They are often chosen on the basis of how they smell or look-or on how they’re packaged.

Clearly, purchasing a skin care product from a retail person on the basis of hearsay information, appearance or packaging is not the best way to get results. Sometimes, exotic products like salmon eggs, coccons or expensive wrinkle creams like StriVectin-SD ($135 per tube) and La Prairie Cellular lotions ($335) are tried, despite the fact that these exotic products are no more effective, and in some cases less effective, than basic over-the-counter products.

For OTC products, certain generalizations can be made. For skin with normal moisture content (not oily or dry) that is not discolored and unwrinkled, some basic OTC products may be adequate. For undamaged, normal skin with normal moisture content, all that is needed is:

  1. A gentle skin cleansing twice per day, morning and before bedtime. This removes dead cells, dirt and dust, pollutants, grime, smog, etc. that age and scratch the skin. Ideally, the face is first washed with distilled water (not tap water, which has chlorine, heavy metals and pesticides which age the skin). After the facial skin is wet, Cetaphyl cleanser is massaged into the skin and rinsed with a washcloth. Cetaphil is a gentle skin cleanser, effective with all skin types, which may be purchased at CVS, Target, etc. for $12 or less.
  2. A product like Anthelios SX ($30) or Neutrogena Healthy-Skin Anti-Wrinkle cream is applied instead of a basic moisturizer. Moisturizers may protect skin in windy, cold or dry conditions and serve as a base for makeup. However moisturizers alone have no anti-wrinkle properties.

    To reduce wrinkles, the exposed skin needs protection from both from UVA and UVB rays. A cream with SP protection alone, is not going to protect from UVA rays. Whether it is a sunny day or a cloudy day, winter or summer, the skin is exposed to UVA/UVB rays which causes age spots and wrinkling. Both Anthelios SX and Neutrogena Anti-Wrinkle cream provide a moisturizer with UVA/UVB protection at reasonable cost. In addition, Neutrogena provides retinol, vitamin E and vitamin B5 which rejuvenates the skin.

  3. Before bedtime, the skin is washed with water (preferably distilled) and cleansed with Cetaphil. For dry or sensitive skin, pat your face with the washcloth, do not rub. For healthy skin, circular wiping may be used.

The above three step regimen should be administered to all exposed skin: face, hands, neck or any part exposed to air. This regimen helps all skin complexions-but it is not designed to treat oily skin, dry skin, discolored skin, wrinkled skin, acne or aged skin.