It’s that time of year again as resolutions and self-improvement projects move to the forefront. But even the best laid plans are tough to keep when they are complicated or expensive. The best way to stick with a new routine is to make it easy and effective.
Winter in North Dakota can be tough on skin. Fortunately, there are a few simple tricks to fight any negative effects. The first thing I recommend is a room or whole-house humidifier. It’s a simple step that goes a long way in providing moisture for your skin. Also, several studies have shown that the activity of the flu virus is weakened with higher humidity levels.
I get a lot of questions on what products people should use on their skin. I routinely tell patients that the brand of product doesn’t matter as much as the ingredients. The first thing I recommend, to almost everyone looking to better their skin, is a topical retinol product. Retinols increase the skin turnover and get rid of the outer, dull layers. They decrease fine lines and wrinkles, improve brown spots and decrease pore size while evening out skin tone. There are many over-the-counter products that can accomplish this, and the difference between these and the ones you can get from a physician or pharmacy is strength. As your skin turns over faster, it can cause peeling, so a gradual increase is important to prevent this.
Next, moisturizer. There are a million options, so pick one that is best for your skin. I personally have both oily and dry skin, making a serum a great option for me in summer, but, in winter, I change to a thicker cream. With all the gimmicks, I look for products that have proven they work in clinical studies. The one ingredient that makes the biggest difference is a sunscreen. Sun damage is the leading cause of skin aging and prevention is much easier and less costly than treatments.
The key to sticking with it is adding small, effective changes to your routine. All those things add up to presenting you at your best.