OSPW Skin Type: What You Need to Know
OSPW, what does it mean?
Your skin type is a very common one and is characterized by skin inflammation or acne, uneven pigment and a tendency to wrinkle. The skin’s natural oil provides some antioxidant protection but it is not enough to protect your skin type from aging. Your skin type often has large pores and it may feel shiny during the day. You may suffer from rosacea and facial flushing. Multiple steps are necessary in the skin care regimen to address all of your issues. The bad news is that you have one of the most difficult skin types so you will not be able to choose products on your own. The good news is that using the right skincare products and cosmetic procedures can make a huge difference in your skin’s appearance and health.
If you are an OSPW you may experience any of the following:
- Signs of sun damage
- Red or brown patches
- Uneven skin tone
- Frequent acne breakouts
- Facial Redness and flushing (rosacea)
- Stinging, and burning in response to many skin care products
Lifestyle habits play a big role in your skin’s condition. Getting started on anti-inflammatory foods such as salmon and flaxseed oil is a good first step to reduce facial redness. Decreasing sugar in your diet, sleeping at least 7 hours a night and adding exercise can lower your skin’s sensitivity and risk for aging. There is a lot to learn about your skin type. Don’t worry. I am here to help! Let’s get started with a few basics….
The proper skincare EVERY day
Using the proper skincare every day will get you on the path to beautiful skin. You see- you have something very important- the ability to make sebum (Or oil). Sebum has Vitamin E and other anti-aging ingredients. The benefits of sebum on your skin will help you tolerate strong anti-aging products such as retinoids. Your skincare regimen must contain sunscreen, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory ingredients, tyrosinase inhibitors and retinoids. EVERY product in your skincare regimen must count. The order that you put the products on your skin is important. Choosing products properly will eliminate the need to put on 10 different products a day. However, you will need help with this because it is complicated. Many of these important ingredients inactivate each other so product choice and order of application influences the outcomes.
Your skin care regimen should include a retinoid. It is normal to experience mild peeling and scaling in the first 2- 3 weeks of starting a new retinoid (retinol, tretinoin, adapalene or tazarotene) product. Review the retinoid instructions before using the retinoid. (If redness or stinging develops, the retinoid in your regimen is the most likely culprit. If this occurs, use the creamiest cleanser in your regimen twice a day followed by the moisturizer. Skip the other products for 3 days. After 3 days restart the regimen one product at a time.
These ingredients help prevent the cells from making melanin. You may have heard of some of them such as ascorbic acid, hydroquinone, kojic acid, arbutin, and licorice extract. They should be used in 3-4 month cycles with a month holiday in between the cycles. This means that for your OSPW skin you will have two regimens: a 3-4 month treatment regimen and a one-month maintenance regimen. You should alternate between these. After 2-3 cycles (which is about a year), you will be shocked at how much your skin has improved. For this reason, do not forget to take baseline photographs. I recommend asking your doctor to take a baseline image with a Canfield Visia camera or a similar device. You will forget how your skin looked at the beginning and it is so gratifying to see the change in your skin’s health.
Rosacea and Acne Medications
There are many prescription medications that can be effectively used to treat acne breakouts and the facial flushing seen with rosacea. Look for skincare products with green tea, caffeine, resveratrol and other anti-inflammatory ingredients. Discuss with your doctor adding a prescription medication to your regimen that decreases redness. Rosacea is a progressive problem so if you have facial flushing you do not want to ignore it. Laser and light treatments can be used to treat your skin.
Your oily skin makes it harder for you to find a sunscreen that you like that does not feel too heavy. Choose a light lotion or gel SPF. You can skip the moisturizer so that you will not feel heavy and greasy from combining an SPF and a moisturizer. In other words, your sunscreen can also function as a moisturizer even if it a light lotion or gel because your sebum will give your skin the hydration it needs.
Many OSPWs purchase and try products with strong ingredients, only to find their sensitive skin will not tolerate or handle them the way they hoped. In fact, many OSPWs have trouble finding anti-aging products that they can use without redness or irritation. Skin lighteners that contain bleaching ingredients commonly cause reactions as well. Here are a few dos and don’ts to help you begin to understand what products are right for you.
Use salicylic acid containing cleansers
Use be consistent with your skin care regimen
Consider an antioxidant supplement
Wash your face after rinsing out your hair conditioner to remove any residue from skin
Use a sunscreen every day of at least SPF 15
Add foods high in Vitamin A such as sweet potatoes, kale and carrots
Trust that a product is right for you because it says “sensitive.”
Don’t go to sleep without washing your face
Use skin, make-up and hair products with isopropyl myristate (causes acne)
Eat a lot of sugar
Being an OSPW, what will be most helpful is to see a certified STS Dermatologist that can guide you on the path to healthy skin. You need guidance and some prescription medications to maximize your skin’s health. The first step is to find a doctor to diagnose your skin type and prescribe a regimen for your OSPW skin and the rest will fall in line with the help of a certified professional. In addition, you may be a good candidate for botulinum toxin, dermal fillers, lasers, lights and medical facials treatments. Discuss these treatments with your doctor. Click here to see my favorite products for your skin type.
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.