BY ANJANA RAJBHANDARY
If your face were a painting, the skin is the canvas. Thus, good skin's value can't be undermined. Everyone wants good skin. Whether you're a skincare minimalist or someone who goes all out with a 10-step Korean skincare routine, the goal is to generally maintain youthful, healthy-looking skin.
With age, it's inevitable that we will develop fine lines, uneven skin tone, and dullness. While it's essential to accept and appreciate the changes aging brings, it's also crucial to do what we can to take care of our skin. The quality of skin depends on more than just our genes — our lifestyle and skincare habits count, too. Incorporating a skincare routine serves the purpose of tuning "up your complexion, so it's functioning at its best;" it will "also troubleshoot or target any areas you want to work on" (via The New York Times). It's not about aiming to look like you have a filter on in real life. It's about taking care of yourself to have the best skin possible. Doing so requires consistency and patience.
While we're constantly bombarded with the latest skincare trends on social media, trying random trends without any scientific proof could actually make your skin worse. That's why it's important to turn to professionals for advice. We spoke with Dr. Macrene Alexiades, a dermatologist who runs a private practice in New York and focuses on "anti-aging skin care, acne, skin cancer, and lasers" (via NY Derm).
Here, Dr. Alexiades gives us the inside scoop on her top skincare tips.
Dr. Macrene Alexiades stressed the importance of a healthy skin barrier
Dr. Macrene Alexiades boasts an impressive resume in the world of dermatology and laser surgery. She has three Harvard degrees, including a BA in Biology, an MD, and a Ph.D. in Genetics (via NY Derm). As a medical dermatologist, she has extensive experience in skin cancer and sun damage; in cosmetic dermatology, she's an expert in procedures such as cool sculpting, PRP treatment, and skin tightening. She uses injectables like Botox and fillers while maintaining the natural integrity of the patient's face.
She also values the importance of protecting your skin barrier. "Protect your barrier," Dr. Alexiades told The List. "If your skin is red and flaky or lips are chapped and dry, it may mean you have a broken skin barrier or disrupted microbiome." If you notice signs of a compromised skin barrier, it's important to restore it to health with quality ingredients — more on that later.
According to Healthline, your skin barrier is the outermost layer of your skin and is also known as the stratum corneum. It protects you from external factors like pollution and infections. Your skin has multiple layers, and the stratum corneum is made of "tough skin cells called corneocytes that are bound together by mortar-like lipids." A damaged skin barrier is prone to more inflammation and infections.
Luckily, Dr. Alexiades told us precisely what you need to maintain our skin barrier's health.
Dr. Macrene Alexiades recommended investing in quality skincare formulations
Now that we know the importance of a healthy skin barrier, what kind of products should we use to keep it at its optimal health? Dr. Macrene Alexiades told The List that you can "restore the skin barrier with barrier repair ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, plant-derived fatty acids, and healing ceramides."
According to Healthline, ceramides are naturally present in our stratum corneum and help keep our skin healthy. Products with ceramides in them can help treat "dryness, itchiness, and scaling caused by a poorly functioning barrier." They can even help toughen up your skin (via Healthline). Meanwhile, hyaluronic acid and glycerin can draw moisture to the skin's surface and "improve barrier function."
Dr. Alexiades recommended "gentle chemical exfoliators such as citric acid" to treat skin. The product is included in MACRENE actives High Performance Cleanser, which is a product from her own innovative skincare line. "Citric acid is a relatively weak alpha hydroxy acid, it does not peel the skin unless used at higher concentrations or long exposure times," she explained.
Exfoliating your skin can make it "smoother, cleaner, younger, and healthier," but be aware that over-exfoliating could lead to more damage, per Vogue.
If you have dry skin, you can also try MACRENE actives High Performance Face Cream Extra Rich; it provides intense hydration, has vitamins C and E, and can even be used after a procedure as it helps repair your skin barrier.