JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It seems like new skincare products are being advertised all the time on TV, social media and online ads, but how do you know which one to buy? From getting started with a skincare routine to what to try and what to skip, we asked the experts.
How do you start a daily skincare routine?
When you look at all the different skincare products available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, but first of all, remember that not everyone has the same kind of skin, so what works for one person may not work for another.
“Some people are naturally fatter; some people are naturally drier; some people have more sensitive skin; while others can slather anything on their face or skin and really have no problems,” said Cleveland Clinic dermatologist Dr. Kiyanna Williams. “So it’s important that people keep that in mind when they’re looking for things.”
Step 1: Williams said it’s important to keep it simple, so start by choosing a gentle cleanser for your face — but make sure it doesn’t have microbeads in it, as that can cause irritation and inflammation of your skin. However, if you want to use an exfoliator, look for products with ingredients like glycolic acid.
Step 2: Choose a moisturizer that suits your skin type. For example, some people need one that is more hydrating.
Step 3: The final step is to apply sunscreen daily. Williams said this is probably the most important step in your skincare routine.
“Often the SPF in makeup and other moisturizing creams is not enough. Often it is chemical. I recommend SPF 30 or higher any day of the year, even in winter. And if you know you’re going to be out in the sun, playing golf, at the beach or whatever, SPF 50 or higher,” Williams said.
Last year, US consumers spent $222 million on collagen supplements. What makes this popular protein so special?
“As we age, we produce less of it, so the skin starts to sag and wrinkle. And without enough fresh collagen, our tendons, ligaments, and joints can be less flexible,” explains Lauren Friedman, editor of Consumer Reports Health. .
CONSUMER REPORTS: What is collagen and does it help your skin?
Is taking more collagen the answer? It’s for fitness enthusiast Tracy Eck. She started taking collagen supplements after she developed pain in her knee and her doctor recommended surgery. Instead of going under the knife, she wanted to see if collagen could provide her pain relief.
“Six to eight weeks after I started I didn’t go to my freezer and take out my ice packs like I usually do and sit down and ice on my knees. It felt like a miracle to me,” Eck said.
Even since the surgery, she takes collagen daily in her coffee, even in soups.
Consumer Reports says early research is promising, but more evidence is needed. And when it comes to supplements of any kind, use them with caution.
“The Food and Drug Administration does not guarantee that you will get what it says on the package. But you can also increase your intake by adding more collagen-rich foods to your diet,” Friedman said.
Collagen-rich foods include bone broth or tough cuts of meat, but Friedman says adequate amounts of each protein will provide what your body needs to make collagen — about 25 to 30 grams per meal — or the equivalent of 4 ounces.
It’s pretty much what Eck eats. In addition to taking collagen supplements, she also incorporates things like protein bars, chicken, fish, eggs, cheese, and nuts into her diet.
What you don’t want is to speed up the process of collagen loss, and Consumer Reports warns that certain lifestyle choices can do just that. Things like sun exposure, smoking, excessive alcohol or sugar intake, and lack of sleep can all contribute to collagen loss.
Warning about OTC products to remove skin tags and moles
The Food and Drug Administration this summer warned against products that claim to remove lesions on the skin, such as moles, wart-like growths and skin tags. Over-the-counter products were marketed claiming to get rid of them, but the FDA said they could be harmful.
This warning was a concern for News4JAX anchor Melanie Lawson, who had a skin tag on her face – just below her eye – that she wanted removed.
Melanie said the skin tag on her face started about four months ago and seemed to be growing. To see what her options were for removal, she went to see her family doctor, Dr. Vincent Galiano of Magnolia Medical Group.
“I would suggest doing what you did — go to your doctor and get it removed by someone who has done it many times,” Galiano said.
He explained that there is no real shortcut to remove a skin tag. It’s soft, fleshy tissue that protrudes from your skin.
“Skin tags can pop up everywhere for no reason,” he added.
But there are some products that claim to remove skin tags without the help of a professional. The FDA’s recent warning came as the agency says products marketed for the cosmetic removal of lesions often contain high concentrations of salicylic acid or other potentially dangerous substances. It warns that they will not work or may cause scarring or discoloration.
Galiano said you don’t want to create a bigger problem than you originally had.
“Skin tags are benign,” he said. “Most of the time, they don’t need any treatment.”
But if the skin tag you have irritates you, like the one under Melanie’s eye irritated her, a simple in-office procedure can get rid of it.
“What I’m going to do is take a little numbing medicine and inject it right under it,” Galiano explained to Melanie.
He then used sterile scissors to cut off the tag at the base and finished by applying silver nitrate to quickly stop the bleeding.
“She wanted us to remove it and that was it,” Galiano said.
It is important to note that when it comes to choosing the right products, claims such as “natural” or “organic” do not mean that a product is harmless. Even those that claim to be “all natural,” herbal, or homeopathic can contain high levels of salicylic acid or other ingredients that can cause injury or infection. Doctors warn, even if salicylic acid isn’t listed as an ingredient, it doesn’t mean the product is safe to use.
You can report an adverse event involving a mole or skin tag remover to the FDA:
- Report by phone 1-800-FDA-1088
Even a trip to the tanning bed is risky
You may think a trip to the tanning bed can’t hurt, but a Cleveland Clinic dermatologist says you’re wrong.
“I think there is a misconception that tanned skin is healthy skin. And so they feel that if they go to the tanning bed they are healthier, which is just a myth,” Dr. Melissa Pilang. “Tunbeds are dangerous and they significantly increase the risk of skin cancer.”
She said a single tanning bed visit increases your risk of melanoma – the most deadly form of skin cancer. And the more you go, the greater the risk.
So for people who want to go to a tanning bed to get that “base tan” so they don’t burn while on vacation, Piliang said don’t.
Instead, she recommends a self-tanner. There are many options available in the store and salons. She said they don’t damage your DNA or increase your risk of skin cancer. You only need to apply sunscreen when you are in the sun.
For those of you who have been tanning for a while but are now concerned, it is important to examine your skin closely for any abnormalities and consult a dermatologist.
“If you are a tanning bed user, stop. But even if you haven’t quit, talk to your dermatologist. Have them look at your skin, make sure you don’t already have skin cancer. Let them talk to you about what to worry about and what to look for in the future,” Piliang said.
Copyright 2022 by Cleveland Clinic News Service. All rights reserved.
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