By Dr. Michael S. Spicer
Recently I have become interested in developing a skin care regimen for “normal” skin. So what exactly is normal skin? Lack of disease is a good start, such as no problems with acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis etc. But that still leaves differences in oily skin, sensitive skin, and combination skin. Skin care companies have tried to solve this problem by creating different skin care products for different skin types. They have a multitude of cleansers for sensitive, dry, and oily skin, along with topical treatments and moisturizers for every skin type.
Age can also play a role in the difference of your skin. Until the age of about 25 years your skin is still “immature” and more susceptible to damage from sun and the environment. That does not mean that after 25 your skin is immune, but is has developed fully and other changes are starting to take place.
Hormonal changes are a big factor also in the skin and they can change significantly over the course of our lifetime in both men and women. That thin layer of tissue protects your blood, muscles, and internal organs from the harsh environment of solar radiation, wind, water, toxic chemicals, and pollutants. As time goes on the environment can have a detrimental effect on the skin.
So I asked the question - Should a 17 year old soccer player with oily skin living in Florida in the summer have the same skin care regimen as a 55 year old skier with sensitive skin living in Colorado in the winter? Of course not. So I set out to determine what is the best skin care regimen for normal skin, taking into consideration that no one has the same skin type. Not an easy task. I started by trying to determine the obvious differences but also the similarities. There were definitely some old myths to debunk in the process. I tried to rely on evidence-based criteria but also listened to what people were saying. I always say “you cannot learn by talking, but you can learn a heck of a lot by listening”. I have the luxury of a busy practice so I would ask patients, with and without skin problems, about skin care and listen to what they do, what they have tried, what they now use and what effects they have noticed with their skin. I would ask questions like, “What kind of skin do you have? What do you use to clean your skin? How many times a day?” I think I have learned more about skin care listening to my patient’s and understanding what they do and DON’T DO to keep their skin healthy.
I have practiced in the Northeast, Southwest and Southeast, at high altitude and sea-level, high-desert and tropical. It is amazing the difference in skin care based on where you live and the climate.
To determine the best skincare routine for your specific skin type, try Epice's Personalized Skincare Regimen Guide on our website.