© 2022 Blue Ridge Public Radio
Main Banner Background
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Yes, You Can Ditch the 20-Step Routine and Still Have Healthy Skin

The steps to take care of your skin can range from person to person, but there are certain essentials that professionals recommend to have healthy skin that you can be confident about.
The steps to take care of your skin can range from person to person, but there are certain essentials that professionals recommend to have healthy skin that you can be confident about.

You grab a bar of soap, wash your face and don’t think twice about it. Your approach to skincare: utilitarian. Or maybe you have seven products lined up on the counter and methodically use each one in just the right order.

No matter how complex, the routine act of doing something for yourself a few times a day can feel significant and reassuring. But what do experts consider the essentials of a skincare routine, and why?

Host Anita Rao talks with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Chesahna Kindred and physician assistant Anay Castro about three main components of skincare: cleanser, moisturizer and the all-important SPF. Rao also talks with beauty and skincare industry professional Leo Louie about how to not get caught up in skincare marketing and the idea of “perfect” skin.

Nothing is a must-have, you-cannot-live-if-you-don't-do-this type of thing with skincare — outside of applying sunscreen.
Leo Louie

Essential skincare elements, according to the professionals

CLEANSER 

Anay Castro: We need to remove basically what people would say impurities — not really impurities, it's just residue from our own skin shedding. But also think about it, we're applying like — there's a myriad of products now in the market. And you know, every day we apply things to our skin, so you do have to cleanse it: makeup, products that we apply, etc. So cleansing is important, it's kind of like starting fresh and making sure that you know a canvas is ready to receive whatever you put on it.

MOISTURIZER

Dr. Chesahna Kindred: The skin can get so dry that it triggers the skin to make excess oil, and that can be a problem for patients with acne. [For] patients with an overproduction of yeast that leads to a folliculitis, definitely for our kiddos and our patients with eczema, moisturization is very important. … If you live in an area where there's a lot of humidity, sometimes it's not quite as critical. And we kind of switch from saying moisturize to hydration, and what's great [is] there are hydrating serums that contain hyaluronic acid. So between moisturizing and hydrating, there's something for everyone, and it helps to prevent certain conditions down the road.

SUNSCREEN

Dr. Chesahna Kindred: The bare minimum is a facial moisturizer that has SPF 30. We don't really have to say broadspectrum anymore, because now that's a requirement. But we would like for it to have antioxidants and SPF 30. And antioxidants are the bare minimum in your moisturizer. If you want to get fancy, you want iron oxides. Iron oxides protect against the blue light that we get from our cell phones, tablets and computer screens.

WHATEVER MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD

Leo Louie: Just stick to a real step-by-step approach of having one goal in mind, finding ways to achieve that one goal, trying one thing at a time and then slowly adding from there. And realize that past a certain point, like we're here to just have fun. We're here to feel good about ourselves. It's the same as putting on your favorite outfit, getting a haircut you like — there's definitely a point where skincare crosses into that territory that's very valid and can be very important and influential. But nothing is a must-have, you-cannot-live-if-you-don't-do-this type of thing with skincare — outside of applying sunscreen.

Please note: This episode originally aired October 8, 2021.

Copyright 2022 North Carolina Public Radio. To see more, visit North Carolina Public Radio.

Kaia Findlay is a producer for The State of Things, WUNC's daily, live talk show. Kaia grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in a household filled with teachers and storytellers. In elementary school, she usually fell asleep listening to recordings of 1950s radio comedy programs. After a semester of writing for her high school newspaper, she decided she hated journalism. While pursuing her bachelor’s in environmental studies at UNC-Chapel Hill, she got talked back into it. Kaia received a master’s degree from the UNC Hussman School of Journalism, where she focused on reporting and science communication. She has published stories with Our State Magazine, Indy Week, and HuffPost. She most recently worked as the manager for a podcast on environmental sustainability and higher education. Her reporting passions include climate and the environment, health and science, food and women’s issues. When not working at WUNC, Kaia goes pebble-wrestling, takes long bike rides, and reads while hammocking.
Anthony Howard
Anita Rao is the host and creator of "Embodied," a live, weekly radio show and seasonal podcast about sex, relationships & health. She's also the managing editor of WUNC's on-demand content. She has traveled the country recording interviews for the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps production department, founded and launched a podcast about millennial feminism in the South, and served as the managing editor and regular host of "The State of Things," North Carolina Public Radio's flagship daily, live talk show. Anita was born in a small coal-mining town in Northeast England but spent most of her life growing up in Iowa and has a fond affection for the Midwest.