Saving on Skin Care Main

As a plastic surgeon, I know that women spend a lot of money on skin care products. Go to any cosmetics counter and you’ll face hundreds of different beautifully packaged skin care lines that claim to keep us looking young forever. Sadly, the truth is they just leave us feeling deflated. From skin-quenching daily serums to nutrient-rich creams, the cosmetic industry is full of smoke and mirrors. We’re all looking for that elusive magic bullet--that one system of products that delivers on its promises.

Many women who come to my practice have, over the years, switched their skin care products constantly out of a sense of confusion and hope. They’re often disappointed with what they are using because they have no systematic method of skin care. They’re throwing a lot of money into these pricey creams and lotions but often with little to show for it except for more wrinkles and a lighter wallet.

The best approach for maintaining beautiful skin is protecting what you already have

Do you know what, hands-down, is the most effective, anti-aging lotion?

Hint: It isn’t one that you need to mortgage your home for. It may not be sexy, but the answer is a broad-spectrum sunscreen, one that provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are present all year long, rain or shine, and they are the source of most of our wrinkles and leathery skin over time. UVB rays are the ones responsible for giving us freckles, tan, burns and skin cancers. Broad spectrum means that you’re covered for both UVA and UVB.

It may surprise you to know that most of what we consider to be the signs of normal aging–wrinkled, old looking skin, is really just photo-damaged skin. Guess what? It’s highly preventable. A good sunscreen should be the basis for your daytime skin care regimen. Everything else is secondary. If your sunscreen is of good quality, you probably won’t even need to use moisturizer under it!

Face the facts and save

So how many daytime products do you really need? The answer is only two. If all you do is invest in a daytime regimen of a broad-spectrum sunscreen and a good quality topical antioxidant, those two products combined are the most potent anti-aging skin care regimen you could possibly have.

Topical antioxidants that contain Vitamin C or a combination of Vitamin C + E can be used under your sunscreen during daytime hours to super-charge its efficacy. These specially formulated antioxidants work with sunscreens to boost their protective qualities and to help repair the damage that does make it through.

So throw out those three- and four-step skin care systems and say goodbye to fancy formulas. There is no doubt in my mind, that combining a topical antioxidant with your sunscreen will give you a simple, affordable, “less is more” system of skin care that makes sense. For both your skin and your pocketbook.

Deborah vanVliet headshotDr. Deborah vanVliet is a board certified plastic surgeon specializing in natural-looking facial rejuvenation and the surgical refinement and reshaping of the female form. She is the founding director of The Van Vliet Clinic, a state-of-the-art plastic surgery facility also offering esthetic and facial rejuvenation. She is an avid world traveller with a profound love for the environment and the outdoors.