If only we had a time machine to undo all of the mistakes of the past. There are so many things we would change. My choice in prom dress is top of the list. And then there was that ultra-thin, over-tweezed eyebrow phase . . . Fortunately, when it came to my skincare routine, I didn’t make many major mistakes. However, if I did have the opportunity, I certainly would have made some smarter choices. Here, I’ve outlined the top three skin changes I’d go back and make.
Lesson #1: Sunscreen is not optional.
In my late thirties, I am diligent about using sunscreen every day. However, growing up, I always thought it was more important to get what I considered to be a healthy glow from the sun, rather than properly protect my skin from those harmful UV rays.
I am paying for it: these days, the fight against dark spots on my face is a daily struggle. I do what I can, whatever I can, to keep these the spots in check — including using antioxidant serums, botanical lightening cream, and facial lasers. Had I only protected my skin from the sun better when I was younger, the pigment would not like be there at all.
Lesson #2: Skincare is about quality, not quantity.
In my twenties, I had a collection of serums and toners and creams that could fill an entire medicine chest. If one serum was good, then more had to be better, right? I can remember applying them one on top of the other, hoping for perfect skin. Looking back, I clearly did not know what I was doing. I just bought what was the latest, and put everything on my face. When I didn’t see results right away, I would move on to the next product.
Here’s what I have learned: you don’t need a complicated routine to help your skin, but you do need to stick with it. Today, my skincare regimen is quite simple. I use an antioxidant serum and sunscreen in the morning, followed by a moisturizer and retinol at night. My skin has never looked better.
Lesson #3: Visit the dermatologist regularly.
I never saw a dermatologist until my thirties. And when I did, it wasn’t even at an office but rather on the first date with my now-husband. There’s so much about the skin that I didn’t even realize I didn’t know. The basic way to take care of my skin and the need for daily sun protection were things I just didn’t know. If I could go back in time, I wish I would have made an appointment with dermatologist years earlier just to ask my basic skincare questions. Well, on second thought, maybe I wouldn’t use my time machine for that. Maybe I could have used skincare advice earlier on, but I’m sticking with the dermatologist I’ve already got.
DermWife™ is a trademark of Cori Zeichner.
Dr. Joshua Zeichner is a paid Allergan consultant.