By Michaela Morris
Healthy skin is always in season. Licensed esthetician Polly Briggs, who sees clients at Dr. Alan Pritchard’s Plastic Surgery of North Mississippi in Tupelo and her own business, Beauty Bar inside R. Tabb and Co. in Starkville, offered these tips for healthier skin.
“It’s never too early to start a skincare routine,” Briggs said.
Regardless of age, gender or skin type, there are some things that everyone should do to have their best skin:
- Wash your face before you go to bed. “At night is when skin repairs itself,” Briggs said. “If you don’t have a clean start, it’s harder to repair the skin.”
- Don’t reserve sunscreen for summer beach trips. Beyond the risk of skin cancer, sun damage ages the skin and contributes to wrinkles and age spots. She recommends at least 30 SPF. Don’t forget your neck, upper chest and lips.
- Good for the inside, good for the outside. Not smoking, eating a healthy diet, moderating alcohol intake are healthy for your skin as well as your other organ systems. Too much alcohol can dehydrate the skin, inflame the blood vessels and make fine lines and wrinkles more prominent. Smoking restricts the blood flow to the skin. While greasy food doesn’t cause acne, a healthy diet can show up in your skin, Briggs said. Getting plenty of water, fruits, vegetables and minimizing processed foods can nourishes the body and benefit the skin.
- Wash up. Frequently washing your hands and cleaning your cell phone once a day can reduce the bacteria load that gets to your face.
- Know your skin. What works well for your mom or your best friend may not be the best choice for your skin. “Every individual’s skin is different,” Briggs said. An educated skin care professional can help identify your skin’s needs and recommend the best products to address those issues. They can also help you avoid products that aren’t helpful.
- Beware of the hype. Marketing can be overwhelming, but pretty packaging doesn’t ensure good skin care. “A lot of skin care is trendy,” Briggs said. There are worthwhile products at every level from the drugstore to physicians offices. In general, it’s worthwhile to invest in quality products. Pharmaceutical grade products are often designed to penetrate more deeply. Less expensive products can have more fillers. “There is a difference in products,” Briggs said. “You do get what you pay for.”
- Dry and dehydrated are two different issues, but they can be addressed. “It can be corrected with the right moisturizer,” Briggs said. “You need to put moisture back into the skin.” That’s true for even people with oily skin, who can actually over-dry their skin in an effort to combat oil, Briggs said. That tends to make the problem worse. Lightweight moisturizers can be very helpful.