by skin care expert Heather Anderson*

Busy lives and hectic schedules oftentimes keep us from taking care of ourselves.  Sure we’d like to think we know it all, but sometimes you just need a breather to sort out all the information on skin care and skin care products. So we’ve brought you skin care expert, Heather Anderson, to give all our readers a tidbit of information on this subject. And, with so many products on the market, it’s downright confusing to figure out what’s important for good skin. Here it is: plain and simple.
Everyone wants younger-looking skin no matter what age. What products are really going to help?  To begin with, a good skin care regimen should include products that work to repair damaged/aged skin, nourish or feed the skin, and protect the skin from sun damage.
At a minimum, every skin care regimen should include a cleanser, a moisturizer, and a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher. And for those who are looking for ‘rejuvenating’ the skin, there are products that will repair, nourish, and/or protect the skin. Here’s the inside skinny on what to look for.
In order to Repair damage:
Collagen stimulators do what the name implies, promote new collagen growth. As new collagen forms the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles is improved as well as skin tone, texture, and firmness.
Retinol is a form of vitamin A.  As we age we loss collagen and skin cell turnover slows down. Vitamin A increases collagen production and promotes cell turnover. The result is a decrease in fine lines and wrinkles, lightening of age spots, and shrinking of pores. Retinol does have some side effects. It can cause skin irritation, redness, dryness, peeling, and photosensitivity. To minimize these effects start with products that contain lower concentrations of retinol such as 0.25% or 0.5%, and use every other night. With time you can move to stronger products and increase to nightly use if your skin tolerates it.
For Nourishing you need products with:
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) occurs naturally in the skin. HA molecules retain water and keep skin cells hydrated. As we age, levels of HA in the skin decrease, and the skin retains less moisture. The end result is skin dryness and more pronounced fine lines and wrinkles.
Antioxidants work to reduce skin damage and promote skin healing. Common anti-oxidants include Vitamin C, vitamin E, green tea, coffee berry, and Co enzyme Q. Anti-oxidants work by neutralize free radicals and in turn reducing inflammation and skin damage.
And, to Protect your skin, always remember that:
Sunscreen use is the first line of strategy for the prevention of photo-aging and skin cancer prevention. Sunscreen works by blocking the transmission of UVA and UVB light rays. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 that offers broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. When outdoors, your sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours for maximum protection.
Antioxidants also work to protect the skin from UV radiation. UV exposure leads to free radical formation in the skin cells, causing skin damage. Products that contain ant-oxidants help the skin protect itself from harmful UV and environmental damage.
Remember when choosing skin care products, keep it simple. Cleanse, moisturize, and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily. Select products that are going to work to repair, nourish, and/or protect the skin.  Products bought in physicians’ offices are generally better because they are formulated to provide higher concentrations while minimizing skin irritation. For those who do not have access to physician grade products, there are many over the counter products that work very well.  Read the labels and look for the ingredients aforementioned. Be consistent, use your products daily, and you will be on your way to healthier, younger looking skin.


*Heather Anderson is a Nurse Practitioner and owner of Anderson Medical Aesthetics in Scottsdale, AZ.

She is a skin care expert with over 10 years of practice in the field of Cosmetic Dermatology.

You can contact Heather via e mail: