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November is Healthy Skin Month, so thereâ€™s no better time to re-evaluate your skincare regimenâ€”and make sure youâ€™re giving your skin everything it needs to look and feel its best. But if youâ€™re not willing to take our word for it, we asked six dermatologists to weigh in as well, and here are the essentials for keeping your skin in tip-top shape.
If you still havenâ€™t committed to applying SPF each and every morning, 365 days a year, youâ€™re doing your skin a major disservice. â€œDamaging UV rays can penetrate clouds and windows, so your skin is vulnerable regardless of season,â€ warns San Antonio, Texas dermatologist Dr. Vivian Bucay. Still not convinced? Accumulated sun damage leads to wrinkles, dark spots and skin cancer that can become an issue years from now. â€œI recommend a daily SPF of no less than 30 regardless of season because the skin is at risk for environmental damage year-round,â€ says Dr. Bucay.
Product to try: EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
Sunscreen most definitely shields your skin from UV raysâ€”but not the damage caused by free radicals. â€œA daily antioxidant picks up where sunscreen leaves off to protect against these unstable molecules, which are generated by the sun and pollution as well as other environmental and lifestyle factors,â€ explains New York City dermatologist Dr. Judith Hellman. â€œVitamin C is a great one because it offers skin-brightening and collagen-boosting benefits in addition to neutralizing free radicals,â€ she says.
Product to try: Vitabrid C12 FACE Brightening Powder
Perhaps the most extensively studiedâ€”and provenâ€”anti-aging ingredients out there, over-the-counter retinol and prescription-based retinoids are a must for healthy skin. According to New York City dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman, â€œItâ€™s never too early to start using one of these products. They are key for preventing and improving fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration and dull, lackluster skin.â€
Product to try: Differin
â€œWith time, it takes longer for fresh, new cells to reach the skinâ€™s surface, but regular exfoliation helps prevent the buildup of dead cells and keep skin looking youthful and radiant,â€ explains Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Sameer Bashey. There are many ways to exfoliate, including acid-based products, physical scrubs and even skincare brushes, but the best one for you depends on your skin type and level of sensitivity.
Product to try: ZO Skin Health Offects Exfoliating Polish
#5: Strengthen your skinâ€™s barrier
Weather changes, harsh products and even stress can compromise the skinâ€™s barrier, which leads to a variety of skin issues ranging from dehydration to irritation. Chicago dermatologist Dr. Amy Taub explains, â€œThe skin barrier is responsible for holding moisture in and keeping irritants out, so itâ€™s very important to ensure it is functioning optimally.â€
Product to try: EpiCeram (available by prescription)
Our skin is home to billions of â€œgoodâ€ and â€œbadâ€ bacteria, and a balance between the two is integral for skin health. â€œResearch has begun to uncover the role that this bacterial â€˜microbiomeâ€™ plays in a variety of common skin conditions,â€ says New York City dermatologist Dr. Michele Green. Oral probiotics have been proven to improve digestion, so why not supplement your skin as well?
Product to try: LaFlore Probiotic Serum Concentrate
NOTE:Â Vitabrid products were sent complimentary for review. All other products were purchased or sampled in-store. Opinions are my own.