Focusing on skin rejuvenation, this guide will provide you with expert recommendations rooted in scientific research to help you make informed choices for your morning and evening skincare routines. From cleansing to hydration and using powerful active ingredients like tretinoin and hyaluronic acid, we’ve got you covered.
Morning Skincare Routine for Skin Rejuvenation
Step 1: Cleansing
Begin your morning skincare routine with a clean canvas by using a gentle cleanser. Oils accumulate on the skin while sleeping, which reduces the ability of skincare products to penetrate.
Morning Cleansing Recommendations:
- Favor Exfoliating Cleansers: In the morning, use an exfoliating skin cleanser to remove dead skin cells and prevent accumulation when using retinoid-based products. Look for cleansers containing glycolic acid or salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is preferred due to its anti-inflammatory properties. We prefer acids over physical exfoliants.
- Be Gentle with Exfoliation: Start with gentle exfoliation, especially if you are new to it. If you experience excessive peeling, irritation, or redness, reduce the frequency of exfoliation to every other day or twice a week and gradually increase as your skin adjusts. Alternatively, avoid using exfoliating cleansers and retinoid-based products on the same days, especially in the beginning.
Step 2: Hydration
After cleansing, apply a hydrating cream or serum to lock in moisture and protect your skin. Hyaluronic acid, a naturally present molecule in the skin, plays a crucial role in moisturizing, hydrating, and protecting your skin. It also signals the skin’s stem cells to maintain vitality.
- Hyaluronic Acid-Based Products: Look for hyaluronic acid-based moisturizers or serums that effectively retain water and keep your skin hydrated.
- Skin Peptides: Look for products incorporating scientifically proven active ingredients like copper peptides to improve skin health and reduce wrinkles by promoting collagen growth.
- Oral Hyaluronic Acid: Consider taking hyaluronic acid orally, as found in supplements like NOVOS Core, to enhance skin hydration, reduce wrinkles, improve skin suppleness, increase skin radiance, and promote healthier joints, as hyaluronic acid is a vital component of cartilage.
Step 3: Sunscreen
If your morning cream or serum doesn’t contain SPF, layer on a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Sunscreen is crucial to shield your skin from the damaging effects of UV rays, a leading cause of premature facial aging and DNA damage. Studies have shown that doing so can halt (R) and, in some cases, even reverse (R) some aspects of skin aging.
- SPF 30 or Higher: Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, as this offers effective protection against UV rays.
- Regular Application: Reapply sunscreen every 1-2 hours when in direct sunlight to maintain its effectiveness.
- Chemical vs. Physical Sunscreen: Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays and often offer better resistance to sweat and water. Physical sunscreens reflect UV rays and are preferable for sensitive skin. While both have advantages, chemical sunscreens often provide superior protection against various UV wavelengths.
Some people express concern over theoretical negative effects that chemical sunscreens may have, but studies to date have not found evidence of harm from their use. Nonetheless, if you are still concerned, look into bemotrizinol, a broad spectrum sunblock molecule that is not small enough to make it into the bloodstream.
If you opt for a physical sunscreen, avoid nanoparticles and titanium.
Evening Skincare Routine for Skin Rejuvenation
Step 1: Cleansing
In the evening, it’s important to cleanse your skin thoroughly to remove makeup, impurities, and pollutants. Opt for a gentle, non-exfoliating cleanser. A non-exfoliating cleanser prepares the skin for retinoid-based products that stimulate skin cell turnover.
Evening Cleansing Recommendations:
- Non-Exfoliating Cleanser: Although tretinoin or retinol-containing products do not exfoliate the skin, they stimulate skin cell turnover. Using a non-exfoliating cleanser prepares the skin for retinoid-based products and helps remove dead skin cells in the upper layer of the skin.
- Maintain a Gentle Approach: Always be mindful of your skin’s reaction and adjust your cleansing routine accordingly, ensuring it complements the active ingredients you use in your skincare regimen.
Step 2: Tretinoin or Retinol
Tretinoin cream, derived from vitamin A, is the most powerful tool for rejuvenating your skin. Its unmatched ability to slow skin aging and reduce wrinkles is backed by extensive scientific research.
Tretinoin or Retinol Recommendations:
- Tretinoin (Retinoic Acid) is the Top Choice: Tretinoin cream, also known as retinoic acid, is the most potent tool for skin rejuvenation, effectively slowing down skin aging and reducing wrinkles. It activates a cascade of cellular processes, boosting collagen and elastin production, revitalizing skin cells, and accelerating skin cell turnover.
- Hierarchy of Retinoids: Various retinoids are available in varying potencies. In order of strength, they include retinyl esters, retinol, retinaldehyde, adapalene, tretinoin (retinoic acid), tazarotene, and isotretinoin. Tretinoin is favored due to its natural molecular structure, which is identical to that found in the body.
- Starting with Tretinoin: When using tretinoin in skin creams, start with a concentration of 0.025% and gradually increase to 0.05% as your skin becomes accustomed to it. Be prepared for initial effects such as peeling and purging. Tretinoin cream typically requires a prescription in most countries.
- Retinol as an Alternative: Retinol is less potent than tretinoin but does not require a prescription. It must undergo conversion into retinaldehyde and then further into tretinoin to become active within the skin cells. Products blending retinol with other active ingredients can effectively reduce and partially reverse signs of skin aging.
- Caution for First-Time Users: Apply a minimal amount of tretinoin or retinol-based cream (the size of a pea for the whole face) and use it every other day or even every third day initially, as these products may cause skin peeling, redness, and sensitivity, especially at the start.
- Moisturizer and Sunscreen: Use a suitable moisturizer alongside tretinoin cream and sunscreen the morning after, as it can initially dry out the skin and increase sensitivity to sun damage. This is especially important at the beginning of treatment.
- Long-Term Commitment: Tretinoin and retinol show their best effects after about six months to one year of continual use, so consistency in your skincare routine is key to seeing beneficial results.
Step 3: Hydration
Proper hydration is crucial when using tretinoin to counteract dryness and sensitivity, ensuring your skin remains comfortable and healthy throughout the treatment.
- Hyaluronic Acid-Based Products: Hyaluronic acid complements tretinoin or retinol-based products, which can initially dehydrate the skin, especially in the first few weeks of use. You can apply hyaluronic acid before, after, or with retinoids. However, combining them may intensify side effects, especially in the beginning.
The Science of Youthful Skin
As you’ve discovered in this science-based skincare guide, the path to skin rejuvenation and longevity is paved with knowledge and carefully chosen products. Your morning routine, focused on cleansing, hydration, and sun protection, sets the foundation for healthy, youthful skin throughout the day. In the evening, cleansing paves the way for using powerful skin-transforming ingredients like tretinoin or retinol, complemented by proper hydration.
Remember, consistency is key, and results may take time, but the journey to healthier, more youthful skin is well worth the effort.
After you cover these skincare fundamentals, consider more advanced approaches, as we cover in “Best Science-Based Therapies and Creams for Skin Rejuvenation.”