Skin Care Regimen
The first step in good, basic skin care is finding the right face cleansing regimen for your skin. The goal of facial cleansing is to remove dead skin cells, oil, dirt, make-up. After good facial cleansing, your skin pores should be unclogged from debris and skin should be prepared for the next step to: 1. Rehydrate 2. Enrich and 3. Protect.
Essentially, good facial cleansing is a balance of removing the bad stuff, while retaining the good stuff (protective barrier). In the past (especially for acne prone skin), the emphasis was on removing bad stuff through abrasive exfoliation and drying out the skin. We now know that this can result in skin damage, discomfort, and sometimes skin will compensate by making even more oil, resulting in a vicious cycle of dry skin → oily skin and clogged pore → acne → dry skin.
When to use an oil-based cleanser, water-based cleanser, or both?
If you have regular or oily skin, but do not use heavy make-up, then a water-based cleanser alone should be sufficient. Cost-effective foam facial cleansers that we recommend are Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser, or CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser, and they are widely available. Foam-based facial cleanser is recommended because they don’t rely on sulfates which can also break down the “good” natural skin barrier.
An oil-based cleanser is more helpful in removing oil-based make-up and dirt, but it is not as effective at unclogging the pores. It can also leave some residue on the skin. So if you tend to wear a lot of make-up, you should use an oil-based cleanser first, followed by water-based foam cleanser to remove remaining residue.
A few times a week, an exfoliating skin cleanser should be used to perform deeper cleaning and remove dead skin. Alpha hydroxy acid are a group of compounds best known to be exfoliants that reduce wrinkles and fine lines while stimulating collagen build-up and other restorative changes in the supportive layers of the skin. Among the alpha hydroxy acids, glycolic acid is likely the best known compound for skin exfoliation because of its small size and better penetration within the skin. However, with so many skin care lines now containing some form of exfoliants (citric acid, lactic acid, or glycolic acid) as well as mechanical exfoliation available (microderm, hydrafacial, brush-devices), you can easily over-exfoliate your skin, resulting in constant red and sensitive skin. To avoid this, we recommend using this cleanser no more than 2-3 times a week, and use the gentle foam facial cleanser for the other times. Also make sure to use sunscreen as exfoliated skin can be more sun sensitive.
Essence, Serum, and Moisturizer
There was a time when facial lotion was all we knew. But over 200 years ago, women in Japan were using “beauty water” or essence as we now call it, which contained extracts from various botanicals, herbs, yeasts, seaweed, algae, and other secret ingredients. They were known to make the skin feel soft, plump, and glow in natural light. Fast forward to today, there is a plethora of popular skin care regimens based on their origin. The K-beauty regimen emphasizes a complex, disciplined approach of multiple steps of cleansing, restoration, and protection, which can add up to 10-steps for its daily skin regimen. The J-beauty Japanese regimen is comparatively simpler with the focus on key traditional formulas and essence. The French beauty regimen is even simpler yet and more naturalistic in its approach. Its focus is on restoring the natural skin with most of the regimen consisting of three steps – micellar water for cleansing (less chemical or irritant than conventional cleansers), toner to restore the natural slightly acidic skin environment (which also promotes good skin bacteria), and moisturizer to add a layer of protection. Frequent cleaning to disrupt the natural environment is discouraged.
Our Recommended Skin Care Line
Over the years, our patients have asked us for recommendations in skin care. After researching several physician-dispensed skin care options, we decided on a select skin care regimen created by NeoCutis based on efficacy, simplicity, cost factor, and brand reputation.
Neo Cleanse Exfoliating Skin Cleanser
9.9% glycolic acid based exfoliating skin cleanser without any additive. Use for 2-3 days a week followed by gentle foam based facial cleanser for the other days of the week as we described above.
Moisturizer – Journée
One-step anti-aging skin care combining skin revitalization, anti-oxidant care, sun-protection, and hydration
NeoCutis’ patented ingredient “Processed Skin Cell Proteins” PSP®️ consists of a blend of protein and polypeptide including human growth factor and cytokines designed to nourish and stimulate your skin to revitalize. Studies have shown benefits of this blend, in which, 6 month twice a day application has shown 25-33% improvement of wrinkles around the mouth and eyes, and restorative changes of the skin under the microscope.
- Anti-oxidant: Blend of Green Tea extract, Vitamins C and E. Addition of melanin for further protective role against photo damage.
- Protection: SPF 30 UVA/UVB protection with Zinc Oxide and Octinoxate.
Hyaluronic acid in topical cream helps retain water. As a large, charged molecule, it may not penetrate the skin (for that you need injection treatment with fillers like Restylane or Juvederm), it stays on the surface of skin and holds onto the hydration.
Hyalis Hydrating Serum
Concentrated hyaluronic acid serum designed to hydrate and retain water for the skin.
SPECIFIC AREAS OF CONCERN
Microfirm Neck & Décolleté
Specifically formulated to rejuvenate signs of wrinkles and damages on the delicate skin of the neck and décolleté.
Under The Eyes
Rejuvenating eye cream designed specifically for the delicate eye area. Emphasis is on re-hydration of skin and reduced puffiness.
Meet The Doctor
Dr. Sang W. Kim
Harvard Trained, Double Board Certified
Facial Plastic Surgeon
Sang W Kim, MD is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive facial plastic surgery, nasal/sinus surgery, and hair restoration surgery.