Sunscreen: We can talk everyday about the need for sunscreen because it’s that important, and it can be an added step that is sometimes inconvenient, but it’s necessary. If you find one that’s right for you – feels good on your skin, works well under cosmetics, isn’t irritating, etc., then that’s half the battle.
Breakfast: The first meal of the day for New York City derm Doris Day, MD, includes almonds. "They contain essential fatty acids, which help put the brakes on inflammation that accelerates fine lines, sagging, and blotchiness." Not feeling like a nut? Salmon, tuna, and halibut are good lunch/dinner sources.
Hydration: To keep her skin supple, LA-based derm Jessica W., MD, sprays her skin several times a day with a mineral water product – being stuck in traffic is the perfect time. Find a fortified mineral water spray that’s right for you and convenient to carry around.
Calm Down: If anyone has stress, it's doctors. High levels of tension can spike hormone production that leads to breakouts or aggravates conditions like psoriasis. "Controlling stress keeps your skin calm—but that's easier said than done," says Annie C., MD, a derm in LA. Taking a 10-minute time-out to apply a face mask and relax on her bed works for Chiu. Another trick: Ban the 'Berry. "I turn off my cell phone after 8 at night. Every little bit helps!" she says.
Mineral Powder Foundation: Sunscreen stops working in less than 3 hours, so reapplication is key, says Washington, DC-based derm Elizabeth T., MD. For an added layer, she uses powder foundation that contains sunscreen. "It's light, so skincare stays intact."
Pair Your Potions: Pairing ingredients can result in better effects and more rejuvenation for the skin. Some ingredients—like sunscreen and antioxidants in the morning or retinoids and peptides at night—work better as a team," says New Orleans derm Mary L., MD.
Develop a Bedside Manner: "I often find it difficult to maintain a bedtime routine for skin care," says Francesca F., MD, an NYC derm. To avoid missing her evening routine, she stores these products in a pretty skincare case she keeps on her nightstand. "So if I've forgotten—or was just too tired to apply products before bed - I can do it easily while in bed." Her must-haves: a retinol product, a night cream, a foot cream, white strips for teeth, and an oil to moisturize cutlicles.
Skip Sodium: Diet soda is a vice for many people, per Audrey K., MD, a KC, dermatologist, and a hidden place for an abundance of sodium. Make the important switch to water and you’ll look much better fast.
Cut Back on Sweets: The breakdown of sugars, called glycation, damages the collagen that keeps skin smooth and firm. To prevent this natural process from careening out of control, Naila M., MD, a derm in TX, sticks to low-glycemic carbs like whole grains; they're naturally low in sugar, and the body processes them slowly to limit the loss of collagen.
More Tea: In her teens, Amy W., MD, an NYC derm, started drinking green and black tea for the taste. Now she drinks several cups a day to safeguard her skin. Research suggests that both types of tea contain protective compounds—like EGCG and theaflavins—that help prevent cancer and the breakdown of collagen, the cause of wrinkles.
Sufficient Rest: While you're sleeping, your skin is hard at work. Night is the ideal time to treat your skin for two reasons: Your skin regenerates at night, and several potent ingredients in skin-care products are broken down by sunlight and aren't as effective during the day. Find a night cream or serum that can stimulate cell growth to promote new collagen production.
Face Wash: Try a supercharged face wash. Perhaps one with glycolic acid or microdermabrasion crystals, because they treat while they cleanse.
Does your doctor or dermatologist have some great tips for your own skin care?