Hindsight is a wonderful thing. There are so many pearls of wisdom I would love to go back a decade and tell my 24-year-old self. Unfortunately, that's not possible. However, we can all learn from the advice of others at whatever age and, when it comes to skincare advise, who better to ask than the best dermatologists in the game?
From Nurse Jamie, who has a client list that includes Khloe Kardashian and Jessica Alba to Dr. David Colbert, who has tended to Hollywood's elite including Jennifer Lawrence and Naomi Watts (read one Byrdie editor's review of his facial here), I called on 8 dermatologists to reveal the skincare advice they would gladly jump into a time machine and tell their younger selves.
Keep reading for the advice that will change your skin, whatever your age...
Train Yourself to Sleep for Your Skin
The Advice: "The third main cause of premature aging (after UV damage and smoking) is sleeping on your side! Don't sleep on a wrinkle maker, aka a traditional pillow. Use satin only and - like my Beauty Bear — a shape that will help you train to back sleep or, at least, keeps the opening for your face so that the most delicate areas around the eyes, cheeks and neck do not form permanent wrinkles."
The Advice: "Start taking good care of yourself mentally and physically at a young age. As you age you want to continue to look as good as you feel. The illusion of youth and beauty is sold non-stop everywhere we turn, so it is key to start practicing self-confidence and work on self-acceptance to start your foundation of beauty at a young age.
"Starting with an appropriate at-home skincare regimen at a young age can help on the physical side to combat and help you age gracefully. You don’t need to be aggressive with your approach – just be confident, full of life and passion and the rest will follow. Try our Lancer 3-Step Method regimen of Polish, Cleanse and Nourish, it's a great starting system for all ages."
Who: Nurse Jamie, Celebrity Skin Expert
The Advice: "Stop over-exfoliating. We need to treat our skin like delicate silk. When you over-exfoliate (physically and chemically) and with over-frequency (very common) it destroys the protective barrier that your skin has. Once it is removed or compromised you are you exposing your skin to environmental toxins, sun damage premature aging, acne, etc."
Say "No" to Face Wipes
The Advice: “I wish someone had told me how evil face wipes are. This is all I used to use on my skin, and I definitely hold them responsible for transient dryness and breakouts over the years. I wish I had questioned why they are classed as 'safe’ to use, even though the packet is open for so long - the answer is they’re full of chemicals and preservatives to stop them from growing micro-organisms. These have an irritant and dehydrating effect on the skin.
"They also don’t really remove makeup - they kind of smear it around a bit, and they require you to scrub at your skin quite hard, meaning you get more inflammation and increased skin wrinkling! There’s just no substitute for a proper cleanse, preferably a double cleanse if you’re in and out of a city like me!”
Think Twice About Trending Products
The Advice: "Stop using products that are over-hyped and not suited for your skin. In retrospect, I had innumerable breakouts triggered by using overly rich, occlusive ‘anti-ageing’ skincare that clogged my finicky pores. These events then led to frequent product switches, which irritated my skin further leading to a dull, bumpy lacklustre complexion.
"I now know my skin and how it likes to be handled – and I stick to a system, now I’ve found what works. Such was the joy of formulating my own skincare range with these exact concerns in mind – and through the patients I see in clinic every day, I know I’m not alone in these experiences."
Be Kinder to Yourself
The Advice: "I would tell my younger self not to be so critical. Looking back I was so hard on myself, especially about my skin. I dreaded even leaving the house with a spot. A valuable lesson you learn later in life is everyone is so preoccupied with their own perceived flaws, they're not even going to notice that slight imperfection of yours!"
Protect Your Skin Every Day
Who: Dr. Dendy Engelman, Celebrity Dermatologist, Cosmetic & Skin Cancer Surgeon
The Advice: “SPF, SPF, SPF! About 23% of sun damage is accrued by the time we are 18. And 89% of aging is from environmental causes, not from genetic ones!
"It is never too early to start protecting yourself from skin cancer! I like Elizabeth Arden Great 8 Daily Defense Moisturizer Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 35 ($42) because it has UVA/UVB protection, as well as protects against pollution, infrared light and blue light, which we now know also has aging effects.”
The Advice: "I would have protected myself better from the sun. Not only because it prevents skin cancer, but also because, as one ages, your skin can look 20 years younger if you protect it sufficiently from a young age. Other repercussions include wrinkling or sagging of the skin, brown spots and skin cancers. It’s a simple but crucial step to take."
Show Some Skin
The Advice: "Use foundation and concealer only where you need it rather than applying a full face. Showing some natural skin isn’t a bad thing! And wear sunscreen, particularly around the eye area."
For more skincare advice, check out Dr. Mahto's book The Skincare Bible, $15.