Here at The Plastic Surgery Clinic, we’re all about achieving natural looking results. One way we do that is by always customizing every treatment to each individual patient. A one-size-fits-all approach is just not going to get the best results, and while it takes more time to carefully consult with each person who comes through our doors, it also helps us deliver an outcome that looks beautiful, natural, and makes our patients feel great. Customization is key.
The same is true for our approach to skin care. To get beautiful results that make you feel great, it really is essential that your skin care regimen is completely tailored to your skin type. Dry or delicate skin has very different needs from oily or acne prone skin; you can be using an incredible product that works wonders for some, but if it’s not suited to your skin type, it can even exacerbate your pre-existing concerns. And if you have combination skin where some parts of your face are dry and sensitive, while other areas like the nose, chin, and forehead are oily, your skin requires a combination of treatments that can address both issues.
There are 3 essential pieces that form the foundation of a great skin care routine: a cleanser, a toner, and a moisturizer. Let’s break those steps down. Cleansing is an important first step that helps remove makeup, excess oil, and impurities that have built up throughout the day. You need a cleanser that leaves your face feeling clean and fresh, but doesn’t strip away the natural moisture barrier in your skin. If your skin feels tight or a little too “squeaky clean” after cleansing for 1 minute and rinsing with warm water, your cleanser is too harsh. Some acne-prone patients think they need to strip away that oil as much as possible, but this can have the opposite effect. The skin tends to overcompensate for any unnatural dryness by producing more oil—definitely not the desired effect.
Toning seems to be the most frequently neglected step in the average skin care routine. Maybe it’s because the usefulness of cleanser and moisturizer are more obvious; we all want clean skin, and we all want supple, moisturized skin. What does a toner even do, after all? When you cleanse your face, you interfere with the skin’s natural pH balance. The pH balance refers to the acid-alkaline ratio present in the skin. The right balance between acidity and alkalinity will help to prevent dryness, sensitivity, and breakouts. Studies show that poor pH equalization can even contribute to the formation of wrinkles. That’s where toner comes in. When you use the right toner for your skin type, you bring those factors back into balance.
For dry skin types (sensitive, prone to redness and irritation) I often recommend Miracle 10 toner, since it calms and refreshes skin with ingredients like aloe vera and antioxidants while also gently balancing pH levels. For acne-prone and oily skin (excess oil, breakouts, uneven skin tone) I usually recommend something like solution II, which balances pH and helps combat oil production while also exfoliating dead skin cells.
As we all know, finishing with a good moisturizer is key. If you’re like us and find yourself battling Toronto winters each year, you know that a good moisturizer in cold weather can work wonders. It helps protect the skin’s natural moisture barrier and corrects and prevents the look of fine lines. Dry skin types should look for moisturizers that contain hyaluronic acid, which occurs naturally in the body and helps retain over a 1000 times its weight in water in skin cells. Acne-prone skin types should keep an eye out for salicylic acid in their moisturizers, which helps combat breakouts. During summer months, you might want to switch it up with a light weight serum, as long as it doesn’t leave an oily residue.
From there, there are plenty of boosters you can add to your regimen (think retinol and specially formulated eye treatments, for example) and as always, you need to wear sunscreen every single day, rain or shine. Not only does it support your skin health by protecting it from sun damage, it also helps prevent visible signs of aging in the long run.
Dr. Ahmad and I prescribe the use of Miracle 10 to our patients as part of our regular professional care. The full line includes a wide range of products that work with all different skin types, and the website features a helpful skin analysis tool if you need some help determining your type.