(A) What are the most important steps in cleansing your skin?
- Do not excessively wash with cleanser. If you have acne, it is incorrect to assume that this will work. This only results in overly drying and irritating skin.
- Wash with a gentle cleanser (preferably non foamy).
- Remember to wash off/remove all the make up at night.
(B) What is the worst thing that people can do (or not do) to their skin?
- Not using a sunscreen especially when exposed to direct sunlight; this will cause premature aging and increase the risk of skin cancers.
- Incorrect or over-use of medications and products such as retinoids. It causes excessive dryness and irritation. You want to clear your acne outbreak, not worsen it.
- The mistake that many oily skinned people do is over drying their skin with medications. You need to maintain adequate hydration without greasiness.
(C) How important is a toner or astringent in a person's daily cleansing regimen?
Astringent on its own is tricky; people think it gives them a cleaner skin. However, while using an astringent you have to be careful not to add too much alcohol to your skin.
(D) Should your skin care routine differ from day to night?
I believe that a morning skin care routine should be simple and effective. All you need is an oil-free sunscreen. If required, a light antioxidant cream may be added prior to sunscreen application. Using a sunscreen is very important, especially if you are using other products in the night that make your skin photo sensitive.
Night care is mostly about skin repair. This is when anti-aging and acne preparations like retinoids, glycolic acids and potent vitamin- c best act.
In summary: Daytime- Protect, Night time-Repair
(E) What is the best thing you can do to prevent acne?
It is difficult to prevent acne. There is really no pill or cream to prevent it. Despite good skin care and health, you may still develop acne. Most often acne is genetically determined. If your parents or sibling had acne, chances are that you may develop it as well. What is important is that you consult a dermatologist regularly so that it may be treated.
(F) What can happen if you don't protect your skin from the sun? What can be done to repair sun-damaged skin?
One of the main causes of premature aging is exposure to sun. Sun exposure may cause premature wrinkling, blotchy sunspots, loss of skin elasticity, rough skin texture as well as skin cancers. The first step to repair such skin is application of sunscreen. The second step is to visit your doctor. There are medications and procedures that are individualized depending on the extent of damage. Don't rely on or expect over the counter creams to have much effect.
Remember: the best wrinkle preventer is sun protection.