5 Mistakes You’re Making with Your Skin Care
You know you shouldn’t be going to bed with makeup on and (hopefully) that you should be using an antioxidant each morning, but there are quite a few skincare rules that most people just don’t know. From the real reason why you shouldn’t use expired drugs to combining two of summer’s most commonly used products, here are a few must-know pieces of information!
Don’t use old doxycycline or tetracycline
Many of us know you are not supposed to use expired drugs—but we often keep them in our cabinets anyway. Drug manufacturers are required by law to place expiration dates on prescription products, and this date represents the final day that the manufacturer guarantees the full potency and safety of a medication.
There are two main issues with expired drugs. First, the expired drugs might not work and second, expired drugs can be dangerous. Doxycycline and tetracycline (brand names include Oracea, Soladyne and Minocin) are often prescribed by dermatologists to treat acne or rosacea. Expired doxycycline and tetracycline fall into the dangerous category because they can cause kidney disease such as Fanconi’s syndrome. For this reason, be sure to toss old doxycycline or tetracycline antibiotics after their expiration date.
Use an SPF of at least 15 every day
Many people know to wear SPF when doing prolonged outdoors sports such as golf and tennis. However, small increments of unprotected daily sun exposure add up and cause skin aging, unwanted pigmentation and skin cancer. One study in the February 2004 Dermatology Therapy journal called “An analysis of cumulative lifetime solar ultraviolet radiation exposure and the benefits of daily sun protection” showed that wearing a SPF of 4 to 10 every day can reduce the accumulated lifetime UV exposure by 50 percent or more. In other words, when you are in your 70s, you will have roughly half the sun damage compared to those who do not wear an SPF of at least 4 every day. Most people only apply 25 percent of the amount of sunscreen necessary to achieve the SPF on the label. (Half a teaspoon is the correct amount.) For this reason, we recommend an SPF of 15 every day to make up for the fact that most people do not apply enough and do not reapply throughout the day. And it goes without saying, prolonged sun exposure (more than 15 minutes of direct sun) requires a waterproof sunscreen of SPF 60 or higher—and don’t forget to reapply every hour.
Avoid combination sunscreen/bug repellent products
Several studies have looked at the effectiveness of SPF and insect repellent when used together. It has been found that sunscreen loses efficacy when used with the insect repellent N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET). A August 2000 JAAD study called “The effect of sunscreen on the efficacy of insect repellent: A clinical trial,” it was shown that sunscreen does not affect the efficacy of insect repellent. However, when these products are used in combination, you need to reapply sunscreen more often (but you should not have to increase the amount of insect repellent that you use).
Avoid using a lip gloss without sunscreen
Shiny lip glosses can cause for more UV light to penetrate the skin, leading to the degradation of collagen and elastin—which leads to a loss of lip fullness and increased lines—and an increased risk of skin cancer. In other words, for better lips tomorrow, stick to a lipstick or gloss with SPF today.
Avoid using makeup as your sole source of sun protection
You see, the average face is about 600 square centimeters (although that varies from person to person, of course). This means the average woman needs to apply about 1.2g of facial powder to get the SPF stated on the product’s label. However, most women only apply about 0.085g of powder at a time—fourteen times less than you need to get the SPF listed on the package! So you definitely need to apply a separate sunscreen, preferably one with zinc or titanium oxide.
The proper skincare regimen is the key for healthy, youthful skin—and Skin Type Solutions Physician Partners have specialized training that allows them to accurately diagnose your skin type (in just 3 minutes!) and recommend the ideal skincare products.
Dr. Leslie Baumann, M.D. and her team at Baumann Cosmetic Dermatology believe in proof, not promises. World-recognized for both cosmetic and general dermatology, our treatment strategies rely exclusively on evidence-based, scientifically verified products and procedures that promote skin health and a natural appearance. We combine effective medical procedures with individualized instruction on proper skincare, nutrition, supplementation and lifestyle in order to maximize the health of the skin and body as a whole while minimizing the effects of aging. For more, visit Dr. Baumann’s blog for daily updates Monday through Friday, or inquire about an appointment through Derm.net.