Skincare is often not the first thing that comes to mind when considering health and wellness but is nonetheless essential. Human skin is the largest organ of the body functioning as a physical barrier to protect it from pathogens, chemicals, physical agents, and solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation. For many years, skincare was nothing more than splashing water on my face. This water only approach was the result of frustration from having tried various products that promise stellar outcomes only to have dry skin, acne, and irritation. Furthermore moisturizers, often felt greasy and uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, water does little to help remove sunblock and pollutants from the air and prevent dry skin in the winter. I wanted something to alleviate these issues but had essentially given up. That is until I had an unexpected conversation over coffee about skincare with my niece Ashley who is a makeup and skincare expert.

She started the conversation with “Uncle David, have you considered a skin care routine?” I instantly thought, “What?! Isn’t that for women?” Dismissing my negative thoughts I responded more appropriately, “No, not beyond water. Do you have a recommendation?” As she explained the benefits, I reconsidered my position as she was extremely knowledgeable. Afterall, she had beautiful, radiant skin. Maybe I could learn something. She invited me to visit her at work later in the day to pick out some products. Despite being hesitant, I decided to go to Ultra and see their offerings but made no commitment to buy. She was ecstatic.

When I arrived, I could tell she was very excited to share her knowledge and the available products. She first asked questions about my skin; was it sensitive, dry, oily, etc. She then asked what was most important to me and about my budget. I described that I needed a product to remove sunblock and cure my dry, uncomfortable skin in the winter. I also mentioned that my skin was sensitive, and I was concerned the product would cause acne and redness despite being 47 (yes, I still get annoying pimples).

Most companies push facewash, toner, and moisturizers in addition to medication targeted at acne. Ashley took a different approach. First, she recommended CeraVe hydrating cleanser that would be very gentle on the skin. She also recommended FAB First Aid Beauty Moisturizer that would prevent tightness after washing and dry skin in the winter. She gave the option of adding collagen to the moisturizer for slightly more cost. Collagen is a protein that provides structure to much of your body, including your bones, skin, tendons, and ligaments. Its primary purpose is to improve skin elasticity and minimizing lines and wrinkles. The following studies (1 and 2) suggest the benefits. I agreed to include collagen.

A few weeks later, I asked my dermatologist her opinion as well. She recommended a much more expensive option of both SkinCeuticals cleanser and moisturizer as well a vitamin C serum that provides environmental protection and improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, loss of firmness, and brightens skin’s complexion. She also recommended washing your face both in the morning and at night like Ashley.

So, what were the results? Frankly, after 8-weeks I was pleasantly surprised at the improvement in my skin appearance with less acne and redness. Furthermore, when an annoying, itchy dry spot developed from swimming in a chlorinated pool, the skincare routine resolved it in just a few of days. I am really happy with the results and my skin has never felt better.

If you are looking for a good solution for dry hands and body, my wife found this incredible option. It really makes a difference in the winter months without feeling greasy.

It is important to note that healthy skin is also a byproduct of a healthy diet and exercise. Proper nutrition consisting of a wide variety of whole foods rich in fruits, vegetables and legumes is key. Exercise not only benefits your skin but has a host of other benefits.

BTY, my 8 year old gave me this new haircut.

Thank you, Ashley, for helping me learn more about skincare and finding solutions to my irritated and dry skin that I can now share with others.

Image Credit: Kim Carpenter, Unsplash

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