Visit a drugstore or department store and it's clear that, as consumers, we have a dizzying number of skin care products at our disposal today. From serums to toners, exfoliators to moisturizers, they all seem like necessary additions to our skin care regimen. But are they?
Dr. Ahmed Abdullah (Dr. A), Lexli founder and lead formulator, has long argued that simplicity is sometimes best when it comes to your skin. As Dr. A explains in Dermascope magazine, complicated skin care routines are potentially harmful for the following reasons:
- They are often abandoned before results can be achieved.
- The more products that are applied to the skin, the greater the chance of an allergic reaction.
- Use too many products and the active ingredients can cancel each other out or interact negatively.
Dr. A recommends a basic, four-step skin care routine for most individuals. By implementing this routine consistently, properly and with well-formulated products, most individuals will see a positive improvement in their skin within a few weeks, with more noticeable results coming over the course of several months.
"While it sounds simplified to suggest four skin care steps, implementing this regimen addresses the skin's basic needs and can greatly improve skin function," says Dr. A. "In just a few minutes, you're encouraging cellular turnover, helping to boost collagen production, eliminating and preventing dryness, working to even out your skin tone and texture, and controlling blemishes."
Dr. A's Four-Step Skin Care Regimen
Step 1: Cleanse - Morning and Evening
Apply a gentle and nurturing cleansing product (like Lexli Cleansing Lotion) to remove dirt, debris, excess oil and bacteria from the skin.
Learn more about how to properly wash your face.
Step 2: Exfoliate (work up to the frequency your skin can tolerate, up to twice daily)
Apply a chemical exfoliator formulated with alpha- or beta-hydroxy acids to thin the skin's keratin layer of dead skin cells while encouraging the production of beneficial skin proteins and improving skin texture. (Lexli AloeGlyC® features a pH similar to a chemical peel but without the risk of burn due to the base of organic, pharmaceutical-grade aloe vera, which calms inflammation.)
Learn more about the benefits of exfoliation.
Step 3: Moisturizer - Morning and Evening
Throughout the day, our skin loses vital moisture to the surrounding environment through a process known as transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Therefore, the use of an effective moisturizer is necessary to not only prevent moisture loss (through occlusive ingredients) but to also draw moisture to the skin (through humectant ingredients) and help soften it (through emollient ingredients). (Discover Lexli's line of moisturizers.)
Learn more about transepidermal water loss.
Step 4: Protect - Morning
The #1 biggest threat to our skin is the sun. Not only can sun exposure lead to skin cancer, it is also the main cause of premature skin aging, known as photoaging. To protect skin, it's vital that sunscreen be applied approximately 30 minutes before going outdoors to give it adequate time to be absorbed into skin tissue. For convenience, it is recommended that a moisturizer containing sunscreen be used in the morning, thereby cutting the morning skin care routine down to three basic steps.
Learn more about photoaging.
Keep in mind that the four basic skin care steps form the foundation of any skin care routine. If you have unique concerns, such as hyperpigmentation or fine lines and wrinkles, however, it is necessary to add specialty products to your regimen, such as serums and eye creams, to address those issues. Have a question about how to build a skin care regimen for your skin? Take the Lexli skin care quiz and you'll be presented with a recommended routine in the results.
(A version of this post first appeared in March, 2016.)
Interested in learning more? Download your free copy of Dr. Abdullah's ebook!
If your skin had a user's manual, this would be it! Get the ebook written by Lexli founder, Dr. Ahmed Abdullah.