How to Get Better Skin with Less Effort, Part Two

We know more about how to care for our skin than ever before, but with a dizzying array of science-based options out there all vying for a spot on our bathroom counter, things can get overwhelming fast.

If you’ve ever bailed out on a shopping cart full of serums, moisturizers, exfoliants, and creams in a state of skin care routine overload, this guide is for you.

In Part 2 of 2 in our series about How to Get Better Skin with Less Effort, we’ll discuss the skin cleansing techniques you should do every month … and what you should absolutely leave only to professionals! (Check out Part 1 here!)

What to do every month

Check your expiry dates

From face masks to serums, you may not use up products before they expire. Once a month, check the expiration dates of your products for anything due to be tossed.

Even though the sweltering humidity may have you skipping your richer moisturizers, leftovers don’t mean it’s still good to use — especially if it’s a product you scoop out with your fingers. This method could possibly introduce bacteria or contaminants, allowing them to thrive in the jar. Consider discarding these products after six months.

Skin self-check

Lortscher recommends a monthly skin self-exam to identify any spots that might need the attention of a dermatologist. Learn how to do a thorough self-exam to detect skin cancer from the American Academy of Dermatology.

What you should leave to the professionals

Chemical peels

Daily chemical exfoliation is one thing, but full-on chemical peels aren’t something you should be trying at home. Did you know that glycolic acid, one of the most commonly used alpha-hydroxy acid exfoliants, causes increased photosensitivity that can last up to a week even at a low daily concentration?

Considering the high concentrations and increased risk of damage with chemical peels, peels are best done in the office of a professional who can guide you through post-peel care and precautions.

Squeezing and popping clogged pores

We’ve all been there — you wake up the morning before a big event and you’ve got an unwelcome blemish waving at you from every reflective surface.

As tempting as it may be to squeeze that zit to oblivion — don’t! See your dermatologist for something that will usually shrink this within 36 hours — an injection of a dilute cortisone medication called Kenalog right into the cyst will do the trick.

Those eye-catching blackheads and bumpy whiteheads that show as moguls under makeup may look ripe for emptying. But restrain yourself from going on a search-and-destroy mission! Extractions are something best done by a professional.

Skin diagnosis and treatment

As inviting as it is to look for solutions to serious skin troubles in over-the-counter products and popular remedies, self-diagnosis and DIY treatment can be frustrating at best. At worst, you may actually damage your skin.

“In the case of mild acne, over-the-counter medications along with esthetician treatments may be sufficient,” says Lortscher, but for “more inflamed, extensive, or unresponsive acne, prescription medications are usually indicated, and can only be obtained from a dermatologist or other licensed medical provider.”

Do you need a dermatologist, or an esthetician?

“If you want a facial treatment, need product recommendations, have some mild breakout or dry patches on your skin, you might call your esthetician,” suggests Lortscher, but for “stubborn acne, [and] other skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, or skin growths, you’ll want to make an appointment with your dermatologist.”

Dermatologist

Esthetician

Background

Licensed medical doctors

Licensed skin care professional

What They Treat

Skin diseases, disorders, and their underlying causes

Aesthetic skin concerns, to improve the appearance of your skin with surface treatments

Services
  • Makes diagnoses (including stubborn acne, eczema, psoriasis, and skin growths)
  • Prescribes prescription-based treatments including topical or oral medications
  • Performs procedures including injections for inflamed cystic acne, Botox, dermal fillers, strong chemical peels, and laser procedures
  • Performs surgeries including excisions of skin cancers
  • Extractions
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Light chemical peels
  • Facial massages
  • Masks
  • Hair removal
  • Application of facial makeup

PRO-TIP: See a derm for serious aesthetic concerns that might require surgery, especially if you’re at higher risk for adverse side effects due to having a darker skin type or a propensity for scarring (such as keloids).

Don’t forget to ask your dermatologist for a baseline skin cancer check. You never want to be sleepless at 3 a.m. wondering if that spot on your arm is a freckle or something serious!

The new, affordable alternatives to your skin care woes

Unless you have a serious skin condition or have had a cancer scare, chances are you haven’t seriously considered seeing a dermatologist.

Insurance rarely covers skin issues that aren’t severe enough to be labeled a “medical condition” (acne counts but not anti-aging concerns such as hyperpigmentation), leaving most of us reluctant to bear the inconvenience and out-of-pocket expenses.

The rise of teledermatology, however, is changing the game. Curology connects their patients with licensed medical professionals online, letting you get a dermatology evaluation and treatment plan while still in your jammies.

This convenient, online service lets your dermatology provider examine your skin (limited to the treatment of acne and anti-aging concerns), discuss your goals, and send a customized prescription treatment right to your door. Without setting fire to your wallet.

Does it work like traditional dermatology?

Yes, because other than the process being online, you’re consulting a licensed Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant who is working closely with board-certified dermatologists in the Curology office.

598 Comments
  • Vicky shobe
    Posted at 12:22h, 03 February

    Good to know I’m going to try some of this

  • Jennifer Kokta
    Posted at 23:24h, 31 January

    Great article. Thank you

  • Arlene Managuelod
    Posted at 23:09h, 31 January

    Great tips for skin care!! Thanks!

  • Irene Durr
    Posted at 22:38h, 31 January

    Good Reading

  • Stacey Jones
    Posted at 21:54h, 31 January

    Thank you

  • Joshua J Sale
    Posted at 19:36h, 31 January

    I really appreciate these articles. Thanks PHMP!

  • Tama armbruster
    Posted at 17:11h, 31 January

    Straight up good information

  • Melissa Pinckney
    Posted at 13:39h, 30 January

    Very good information.

  • Kerri Parris
    Posted at 00:05h, 30 January

    Thank you

  • John Pierce
    Posted at 06:29h, 29 January

    Thanks makes things simpler

  • Tonya Pouncy
    Posted at 03:22h, 29 January

    Great read

  • Melissa Ray
    Posted at 02:42h, 29 January

    Good information

  • Nate Everett
    Posted at 02:32h, 29 January

    Thank you.

  • Ramon elorde
    Posted at 00:39h, 29 January

    Great tips, thank you

  • JP
    Posted at 23:31h, 28 January

    Very helpful

  • Ron Dotson
    Posted at 22:27h, 28 January

    Very informative.

  • Wendell Burdett
    Posted at 20:29h, 28 January

    Great article for skin care

  • Mary Williams
    Posted at 20:23h, 28 January

    Great to know

  • Brian Bailey
    Posted at 19:09h, 28 January

    Good info. Popping can cause infection or lead to scarring.

  • Alicia Duncan
    Posted at 17:49h, 28 January

    Thanks

  • susa
    Posted at 17:43h, 28 January

    Thanks very much !

  • Tanesha Lear
    Posted at 17:25h, 28 January

    Thanks very helpful

  • Tanesha Lear
    Posted at 17:23h, 28 January

    Thanks this was very helpful always have problems with my skin

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