Ginger Hodulik Downey holds a BS in foods and nutrition, an MS degree in nutrition and a CNS (Certified Nutrition Specialist). She is currently the co-owner and vice president of R&D for DermaMed Solutions. In addition to her work at DermaMed, Ginger devotes time to working with patients in private clinical practice. As a contributor, Ginger hopes to continue to share her passion for holistic health and wellness.
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Just as we need to get our daily vitamins in the foods we eat to ensure a healthy body, our skin needs its daily nutrition too! There are certain topical vitamins and protective factors that are critical for every daily skincare routine, but for anti-aging, the most common goal for my clients, it’s a must. The daily skincare routine I recommend includes: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, protection from UV radiation, and antioxidant protection. To get the best results, I recommend a morning and evening routine, as well as some weekly or occasional treatments. Layering products further enhances the effects of products and helps you achieve your desired results faster.
I’m going to walk you through a typical skincare routine, both morning and evening, and the types of ingredients you should look for in your skincare products.
— MORNING —
Cleanser — removes dirt, makeup, and excess oil from the skin. It’s best to have a product that can exfoliate, yet is still gentle enough for frequent use.
As a bonus, choose a product that contains keratolytic ingredients (enhance skill cell turnover and clearing). Exfoliating dead skin cells makes it easier for your serum to penetrate into the skin, and keeps the pores clear of blemish forming debris.
Serum — a serum delivers an intensive dose of nutrients to the skin (more potent than a moisturizer). It’s best to have a product that contains Vitamin C (for anti-aging), and green tea or other botanical antioxidant.
A good formula provides the material needed for collagen production plus protection from daily exposure to pollution and environmental toxins.
Eye cream — not everyone uses an eye cream, yet most people see the first signs of age in this area, so I feel it is a must in your skincare routine.
A little bit goes a long way with a powerful product—find one with Vitamin K to help reduce dark circles and puffiness and peptides like Haloxyl specially designed to reduce puffiness and smooth fine lines.
Moisturizer — a moisturizer does just that – provides additional moisture and creates a lipid barrier to the skin to slow inevitable water loss. As with your serum, you want a moisturizer that is high in Vitamin C to help increase firmness as well as promote healthy collagen formation while moisturizing the skin.
A phosphorlized form of vitamin C like sodium ascorbyl phosphate is a great choice because it is slow released and gentle for sensitive and rosacea skin types, yet delivers a potent dose of Vitamin C. Every skin type benefits from a daily dose of C in their skincare routine!
Sunscreen – You can get photo damage any time of the year, even during the winter, so it’s important to protect your skin every day with a non-toxic, mineral sunscreen.
Chemical sunscreens can inflame the skin so always choose a mineral formula. A quality mineral sunscreen will offer broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection in an oil free formula that does not leave the skin looking white. Sunscreen should always be worn under your makeup.
Follow with a mineral powder makeup for even more clean SPF protection and a natural look!
— EVENING —
The nighttime routine is similar, with the addition of a toner and the subtraction of the sunscreen.
Cleanser – same as morning.
Toner – toner is great because it picks up makeup and dirt, plus has an astringent quality to clear the pores. Again, the addition of green tea or other antioxidant offers free radical protection.
A formula with a small amount of glycolic acid will also gently exfoliate the skin and remove dirt and oil from the pores. When it’s hot outside I will use a toner in the morning as well, and even mid-day to control sweat and oil as needed. Toner is wonderful deep cleaner for the pores!
Serum – Here’s where the vitamin A comes in. Using a vitamin A-rich serum is great for people with acne-prone or oily skin as well as a must for an anti-aging skincare routine.
A serum that contains probiotics to help maintain the necessary healthy flora that live on your skin is needed to ensure that your skin is keeping the bad bacteria at bay. Just as we need to nourish the healthy flora that lives in our gut, we need to nourish the healthy flora that lives on our skin by feeding it with a topical probiotic. These products offer acne support as well as anti-aging benefits.
For an extra boost in the effectiveness for the serums, use an AHA salicylic solution right before the serum to remove dead skin cells and aid with absorption.
Moisturizer – most people like a creamy, rich moisturizer in the evening. We lose so much water from our skin when we sleep and a good night cream is one way to hold onto our much needed moisture. Excellent choices for evening include Vitamin E, Shea butter, vitamin C and green tea for antioxidant support.
For those who want more anti-aging benefits, look for peptides that offer collagen renewal properties to help support skin cell rejuvenation while you sleep.
skincare boosting tips: In order to achieve healthy, glowing skin, we must exfoliate on a regular basis. I feel an enzymatic mask made from fruit extracts from bromelain and papain is the best choice. These masks breakdown the dead skin cells revealing skin that is glowing, smooth and tightened!
I hope these daily skincare nutrition routines will help jumpstart you on your skin-boosting, anti-aging journey!