Dr. Suchismita "Tia" Paul, a board-certified dermatologist, shared five tips for clearer skin in 2023.
Avoid using too many products at once, ditch make-up wipes, and stop popping pimples, she said.
Always use a cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen, and tailor skincare to your needs, she said.
A dermatologist has shared six skincare habits that people should ditch in 2023 for clearer skin.
Dr. Suchismita "Tia" Paul, a board-certified dermatologist at Newport Beach Dermatology and Plastic Surgery in Orange County, California, told Insider that generally skincare should be tailored to an individual's skin needs.
But, there are five skincare habits that everyone should leave behind in the new year, she said.
People should keep skincare regimens as simple as possible in 2023, she said: "A cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen are a must," and then people should choose additional skincare products based on their skin's needs.
The next product that people with acne, dark spots — which can appear on the skin after a pimple has healed — or those looking for "glowy" skin might want to add is a retinoid at night, she said. Retinoids promote cell turnover, when new, healthy skin replaces dead skin.
However, Paul said that more people are attending her clinic with red, irritated skin from using too many products with active ingredients, like retinoid or exfoliators, which can be harsh on the skin.
Paul said that over-exfoliating skin with either chemical or physical exfoliators more than three to four times a week can compromise the skin barrier, resulting in redness, irritation, and dryness.
"If someone is prone to acne it makes their acne worse," she said.
Some people may also use a toner after washing their face with soap and water to optimize the pH of the skin but, with the use of cleansers, they aren't an essential step for most people.
"There are some toners that might have active ingredients like niacinamide, which could truly help with dark spots, but I don't think everyone needs a toner," she said.
According to Paul, niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3, which helps with dark spots, acne, mild redness, and also hydrates the skin.
People who are prone to rosacea, acne, or dry skin should avoid fragranced moisturizer, Paul said.
People with red, irritated skin should use a moisturizer that contains ingredients like ceramide, niacinamide, or oatmeal, which can all help to repair and restore a "compromised skin barrier."
Those who are prone to dry skin should also avoid bubble baths, especially with fragranced products, because they can make the skin dry and itchy.
Instead, people with dry or eczema-prone skin can try a lukewarm shower or a bleach bath once a week. Put a quarter of a cup of regular bleach into a bath tub, she said, adding that it was "best to avoid the eyes" when washing the face with bleach water.
Paul said that in 2023, people who pop their pimples should quit.
"It makes your pimples worse and dark spots worse," she said.
Paul said that popping pimples causes skin trauma that can heal with "post inflammatory hyperpigmentation" — in other words, dark spots that may take much longer to heal than the pimple itself.
Picking spots can also cause scarring, she said.
Paul said that people should cover the pimple with a "pimple patch" so they can't pick it, and wear sunscreen, which can protect against dark spots.
Spot treatments with ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid can be helpful, she said.
Paul said that people should ditch makeup wipes in 2023, because they tend to be "harsh on the skin," and "aren't good" at removing make-up.
Makeup wipes "just kind of move things around and can clog up your pores instead," she said.
Instead, she likes to "double cleanse," which means using an oil-based cleanser or cleansing balm first to wipe off the makeup, and then a water-based hydrating cleanser as a second step to gently remove any remaining debris.
A double cleanse is a gentle way to remove makeup, sunscreen, and dirt that accumulates throughout the day, Paul said.
Paul said that it is "very, very important" to wear a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 and above to avoid sun damage, which can make dark spots worse and cause aging.
"It's ideal if you also use a moisturizer with SPF or a makeup with SPF on top of your sunscreen. But just those things do not replace sunscreen," she said.
"Whether it's your gloomy, rainy days, pretty much 365 days of the year, you should be wearing your sunscreen," she said.
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