We all would like to have nice, clear, radiant wrinkle and blemish-free skin. Furthermore, we all want to hold on to the complexion we had in our youth! The cosmetics industry knows this and would have us buying lots of expensive products with the promise of an eternally youthful look. But if we’re honest with ourselves, we all know that aging is inevitable, and it is unlikely that any product we buy can mitigate these changes. Unfortunately, there is no magic cream.
Here at Radien Dermatology Gordon, we would like to think that we are somewhat more enlightened, and encourage simple, common sense skin care routines. There are three basic elements to simple skin care: cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection. Different skin types need different products, and it is always a practical balance. The Practice does not specifically endorse any particular product, though your dermatologist may suggest certain ones that will suit your needs.
For those with an oilier skin that are prone to pimples, a slightly soapy cleanser is important to help remove excess oils. If the skin does dry out from the daily washing, then a very light moisturizer once or twice daily may be appropriate. Note that too much moisturizing will clog the pores more and thus lead to more pimples. A spray-on, alcohol or gel-based sunscreen is best, as these tend to clog pores less. If there is proper acne, then please discuss this with your dermatologist as a long-term preventative treatment may be appropriate.
Most of us will eventually have a dryer skin, especially as we age. This is because the essential oils that keep our skin supple in our youth are not being produced, the collagen and elastin fibres break down, and solar damage takes its toll. Returning the moisture to the skin is important to make it look better, keep it flexible, and to prevent dryness that leads to eczema and exacerbation of other skin conditions. As soap-free cleanser [or soap alternative] is generally better tolerated than soapy washes and shower gels. A cream-based moisturizer should be used all over the body two to three times a day, especially after bathing. Areas that will receive sunscreen need not be moisturized as sunscreens are typically greasy or oily and will act as a moisturizer.
There are various prescription products and procedures available as that enhances the appearance of aging skin. The Therapeutics Goods Administration in Australia have significant restrictions on how these agents are promoted and advertised, and severe penalties are imposed with such breaches. Please discuss you needs with your dermatologist.
Here at Radien Dermatology Gordon, we encourage all our patients to be ‘sun-smart’. In Australia, we are blessed with an abundance of sunshine. Though we all love playing in the sun, it is always important to wear sun protection, as the sun is the prime cause of many types of skin cancer. Sun-protection should be part of our lifestyle and a routine, so that we do it regularly.
Long-sleeved clothing, broad-brimmed hats and physical shade are the best sun protection. Where we cannot cover up, a good quality SPF 50+, broad-spectrum, waterproof sunscreen should be applied liberally. It is often difficult to judge the degree of ultraviolet light that gets through the atmosphere, so we encourage the use of sun-protection measures during the entire sun-lit day.
All proper sunscreens in Australia are controlled by law, thus all sunscreens should have the best possible UV blockade. Patients should feel free to use whichever sunscreen they like, as long as they use a generous amount to ensure the proper degree of sun protection. Here at Radien Dermatology Gordon, we do not endorse any particular product, but may well recommend a sunscreen that suits your specific needs; please discuss this with your dermatologist.
Those concerned about their vitamin D levels should discuss this with their family doctor or dermatologist. Though sunlight is a good way for your body [skin] to make vitamin D, there is a limit to what the skin can produce on a daily basis, and sunlight also produces the damage that eventually leads to skin cancers. If your vitamin D levels are low, we would encourage a dietary or supplement source of vitamin D, rather than exposing yourself to harmful ultraviolet light. Do speak to your doctor.