I don't know about you, but I've always wondered what dermatologists do to their skin to make it so beautiful. While I recognize that they are human and likely get breakouts just like the rest of us, all of the doctors I've come in contact with have had the best skin ever.
And how could they not? It is their profession, after all. They know what's up, they've studied skin care for years, and have access to all sorts of products and treatments. (So lucky, right?) But I've always thought it has to be something more. Perhaps, something that they aren't doing to their skin?
That really seems to be the bigger question. Because most of us know about skin care basics — wash your face, use sunscreen, drink lots of water, etc. These tips are all pretty well-known. So it's gotta be the things derms avoid that really make the difference.
To find out, I contacted Dr. Kally Papantoniou, a New York City board-certified dermatologist, to ask what she wouldn't dare do to her face. Turns out, there are several bad habits she purposefully avoids, as well as some less-than-desirable scenarios she consistently shies away from. Below are some of her tips, as well as others from more doctors in the field. Check them out, and get ready to adjust your daily routines as necessary.
1. Going To Sketchy Spas
While you or I may very well stroll into a less-than-sterile spa for a facial, any signs of dinginess would stop a dermatologist dead in her tracks. "I would avoid getting a facial at a place that doesn't have the highest standards for hygiene," says Papantoniou, who has seen flat warts on her patients who didn't know any better. (Yikes.)
2. Sleeping Face Down
Personally, I think sleeping on my stomach is the only way to go. But a dermatologist might suggest otherwise. "Sleeping on your side or stomach creates a furrow on one side of your face," said Michelle Grouch on Reader's Digest. A wrinkle-free face might be totally worth the adjustment.
3. Going Wild With New Products
Buying new face products is most exciting, and it's tempting to test them out immediately. But doing so can lead to some unwanted side effects. "You never know if you are going to have a reaction, and I have seen this happen," says Papantoniou, speaking of patients who have shown up in her office with bright red skin. To avoid a similar situation, she recommends testing a new product on the side of your neck first.
4. Popping Outside Without SPF
We all know better, and yet so many of us go about our days sans SPF. But would a dermatologist? Probably not. In fact, dermatologist Lisa Garner, MD, fills her palm each day with sunscreen, and coats her skin, according to Liesa Goins on Prevention. "I usually have to apply two coats to finish what I've squeezed out, but that's how I make sure I'm covered."
5. Washing With Super Hot Water
While hot showers feel so so good, they definitely leave skin a little worse for wear. And this is precisely why derms avoid them. “I never wash my face with hot water — it’s too harsh," said dermatology professor Elizabeth Tanzi in an interview with Alexis Farah on SELF. "Only tepid water at the sink."
6. Going Overboard With Scrubs
"I am not a fan of scrubbing, with motorized brushes or loofahs," says Papantoniou. "This method of cleaning doesn't accomplish much other than to irritate your skin, and further strip natural oils." Instead, she uses glycolic or salicylic toner, wash or pads.
7. Vigorously Washing Away Eye Makeup
Take note the next time you wipe off eye makeup. Are you super rough with your skin? If so, try to take a gentler approach. "When you’re taking off eye makeup, gently wipe off mascara as if you’re touching an egg," suggested dermatologist Jeanine Downie on SELF. It'll help you avoid over-stretching the skin.
8. Getting A Tan
"This is by far the worst type of trend I have seen," says Papantoniou. "A tan will diminish appearance of redness and can be mildly anti-inflammatory, but will increase both the long and short term risks for skin cancer." Clearly, it's something that's best avoided.
9. Slacking Off On Skin Care Regimens
While I fall asleep with my makeup on all the time, dermatologists wouldn't dream of such a thing. "I'm consistent with my skin care — not just whenever my skin looks bad," said Rosemarie Ingleton, M.D., in an interview with Christina Mueller on Glamour. And they have the glowing skin to prove it.
10. Staring Deep Into Pores
We all know the horrors of a magnification mirror, and that's precisely why those in the know steer clear. "It makes you want to pick and squeeze, which is the worst thing you can do," said Grouch. "If you have acne, think of your face as a no-fly zone for your hands."
11. Ignoring Skin While Flying
A plane's recirculated air pulls water out of the top layer of skin, which can lead to dryness and inflammation, according to Dr. Ted Lain in an interview with Megan Cahn on Elle. That's why you do should as the dermatologists do, and spritz your face with a spacial spray mid-fight. You'll land with the glowing skin of someone who is in the profession of looking great.
In fact, avoiding all of these habits can help your skin look its best. All you have to do is think like a dermatologist.
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