Ever seen someone with flawless skin walking down the street and wondered, "What does she know that I don't?"
Nobody has the scoop on youthful, glowing look better than the people who have made skincare their vocation. Dr. Janna Bentley is a cosmetic skin doctor at the Lakeshore Vein and Aethetics Clinic in Kelowna, British Columbia. Not only does she regularly help men and women optimize their skin tone and clarity, but she's got gorgeous skin herself. And lucky for us, Dr. Bentley agreed to share her three secrets for beautiful skin.
"You'd be hard pressed to find a skincare physician who doesn't use a topical Vitamin A, or retinol," says Bentley. "It's all about collagen, and Vitamin A stimulates collagen. It gives you that youthful appearance and it makes your skin more robust to the harmful effects of pollution and ultra-violet exposure."
"It's also a natural exfoliant, so when you start using it you might find your skin a little flaky, so you might have to start with a lower dose and work your way up," she says.
Bentley says you don't necessarily need to use a moisturizer in addition to the retinol, but has added some high-quality cream to her regimen to deal with some dryness she's personally experienced -- she went off retinol during a recent pregnancy and getting back on it has caused her skin to be a bit flaky.
"Number two would be Vitamin C," says Bentley. "It stimulates collagen, and like Vitamin A is an antioxidant, which fights free radicals, part of the mechanism that does damage to your skin from the environment."
"You can't take it in a pill, that won't be strong enough, so you have to use topical formulations," she says. "At clinics like ours, you're going to find the concentrations that are high enough to do something for you. And you do get addicted to them, once you try them and see what they do for you. They are also natural bleaching agents, so if you do have any brown spots, it can help even those out."
"In the winter, an SPF 15 is enough, and my recommendation is you want to find a mineral-based makeup that has the SPF in it, so you won't forget to apply it," says Bentley. "You'll get that argument, "We need Vitamin D in the winter, so why would you block it?" But you can just take a supplement for that."
Bentley recommends a SPF of 30 in the summer. "And the most important thing is the reapplication every two hours," she says.
If you're regularly using these three skincare products, says Bentley, you've got the foundation of beautiful skin. As for those awesome facials we love to spend our money on, she says they are more about feeling good than they are beneficial for your skin. "I never get one."
If you are looking to improve the look of your epidermis further, Bentley says there are some treatments that can help. "It depends on what your own skincare needs are," she says. "But there's a range of peels you can do, laser or light treatments. If you want to get rid of some brown spots or look rejuvenated, you could try an intense-pulse light treatment."
However, Bentley says it comes down to the basics.
"If you're going to do the bigger things, make sure you're going to prolong the results by using the best skincare you can," she says. "The three most important things are using your Retin A, your Vitamin C and your sunblock."