Smooth Operator: 5 Expert Tips to Improve Your Skin Texture

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Photo: Courtesy of Jeremy Zaessinger | Savoir Flair

Think beautiful skin translates simply to a youthful glow? Then you need to add ‘skin texture’ to your beauty vocabulary. We all want to put our best face forward and have soft, smooth, even skin – and the only way to achieve that is to start using products and treatments that tackle skin texture and work to boost your beauty from the inside out.

“Skin texture is when you look at someone’s skin and see whether it’s smooth or rough, whether it’s pigmented or even toned. All of those come together under the auspices of skin texture,” explains Dr. Maryam Zamani, leading oculoplastic surgeon, aesthetic doctor, and creator of luxury skincare line MZ Skin. “Most of us want that ‘no foundation’ foundation look and to have even skin tone with no blemishes – whether that’s pigmentation, acne, scarring, rosacea, a little bit of redness, or even just fine lines and wrinkles. Most people are after a dewy complexion.”

And what’s the biggest cause of uneven skin texture? “The sun! A lot of skin damage is from the cumulative effect of sun damage and UVA/UVB rays. Of course, there’s also lifestyle – cigarettes, lack of exercise, stress, lack of sleep, sugary diets, and nutrition all play a role. There’s a lot! And all of these things create oxidative damage and, if you don’t have enough time to repair it, then it’s a problem.” But don’t panic because, with these top tips from Dr. Zamani on how to improve skin texture, you’ll be a smooth operator in no time.

Identify Your Skin Type

Firstly, it’s so important to identify what type of skin you have. If you have redness, is that because of rosacea or something else? Do you have acne? If so, what’s causing it? There are different reasons why you have these spots and blemishes, and I would recommend having them medically treated as well as treating them at home topically with your skincare. It’s really important to have a proper diagnosis as to what your skin type is and what your condition might be – if you have one, that is.

It’s also important to get professional advice because, sometimes, people are over-aggressive with their skin. For example, they’ll use salicylic acid and a benzoyl peroxide and an antibiotic – they’ll want to throw the whole kitchen sink at it! But being too abrasive with your skin just stimulates it to create more of the problem you’re having because there’s more irritation and more inflammation. So if you do have a issue or think you might, always seek medical advice first.

Cleanse Properly

I really believe you need to reveal, enhance, and protect the skin, and you can do that at all levels. To ‘reveal’, you need to properly cleanse the skin, even if you don’t wear makeup. It’s so important. There’s pollution and dirt everywhere, and all of that sits on top of your skin. Nighttime – when you’re rejuvenating and replenishing, and your body is actually going through the healing process – is the perfect time to put things on your skin to help.

Lightly cleansing is so important; there’s no need to over strip your skin. If your face feels tight after you’ve washed it, it’s likely you’ve stripped off the protective barrier, which is too much! If you have sensitive skin, use something gentle, like Cetaphil. If you have normal or oily skin, use something that has an acid in it to help get rid of excess oil, dry skin, debris, makeup, and those types of things. If you wear a lot of makeup, used an oil-based cleanser or makeup remover to remove most of it before cleansing again – so a double-cleanse.

Exfoliate Gently

If you don’t cleanse and exfoliate properly, nothing you put on your skin is going to penetrate and work properly. You do need to rid your skin of that top layer of dead cells and dirt, but abrasive exfoliation and cleansing can actually lead to microinflammation, which leads to premature aging. And this can lead to pigmentation and rougher skin textures and blemishes, too.

‘Cleanse & Clarify’, my dual-action HA cleanser and mask, offers a gentle chemical exfoliation. I really believe in chemical exfoliation because people are often too aggressive with a mechanical exfoliator, which causes microinflammation and damage to the skin. The nice thing about this product is you can wear it as a mask for 10 to 15 minutes once or twice a week, and it’s like getting an at-home peel.

Smooth Operator: 5 Expert Tips to Improve Your Skin Texture

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Use Enhancing Ingredients

Next is to ‘enhance’ the skin, and there are lots of ways to do this. At home, use your antioxidants as they’ll brighten the skin and even your skin tone. They also prevent collagen breakdown and promote collagen synthesis, so you’re getting a double whammy! When the body had oxidative damage, it creates free radicals and these are what cause collagen to break down and other issues to happen. What an antioxidant does is to go in and grab these free radicals so they can’t do the damage, so it’s key to have them. I recommend vitamin C or niacinamide.

My hero product, which I can’t live without, is the ‘Brighten & Perfect’. It’s an antioxidant, so it shields against sun damage and oxidative stress while also helping to lighten pigmentation. ‘Replenish & Restore’ has all the benefits of antioxidants alongside plant and bovine stem cells, which help rejuvenate the skin. People actually call it their “glow in a bottle”! That will really enhance skin texture.

Retinol isn’t an antioxidant, but is another great ingredient that will help skin texture. It helps increase cell turnover and decreases some of the symptoms you might experience from acne. It can decrease pigmentation and even be used to help with rosacea – it’s a big powerhouse ingredient. Use your hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin and look for products that have ceramides and peptides as these also help lock in moisture and hydrate. If you have specific problems – sensitive skin, for example – niacinamide is an ingredient to look for. Or if you have acne, salicylic acid is a great topical treatment. So, as I mentioned before, honing in on your specific skin type is very beneficial in all of this.

Try a Tweakment

Do little things often, little ‘tweakments’ here and there. That’s become such a buzzword recently! It’s when you do small treatments that are effective, but don’t really change how you look. They just give you subtle improvements, so you look rested. I love non-invasive lasers, such as Laser Genesis, which gently heats the skin to give you that gorgeous glow immediately after. It also stimulates collagen and produces more skin at the same time, so you continue getting benefits for weeks after that initial boost.

Similarly, you can do a ClearLift laser facial, which creates collagen and disperses pigmentation. Again, it has a beautiful instant effect and continues to work for weeks after. I really like these types of laser facials as there’s no downtime, they really boost collagen, and they’re great for treating fine lines and wrinkles. If you have other issues, such as scarring, you can use different lasers to treat that. Injectables work really well too. I love PRP [Platelet-Rich Plasma] as it gives skin a beautiful glow.

My favorite thing right now is Profhilo, which is a type of hyaluronic-acid filler. I love it so much I do it on myself! It’s high in hyaluronic acid, but has low molecular weight, and is specially formulated so there’s no crosslinking. It’s not meant to stay in your body for a long period of time – it’s gone within a month. It’s injected into specific points along the face, neck, and décolletage, and it stimulates your body to create more collagen while acting as an internal hydrator, so you just look fresh all the time. That’s a series of two treatments, one month apart from each other, and you’re set for nine to 12 months.

We all know that Botox can be used to treat fine lines and wrinkles that are caused by muscle movement, but it also works great for skin texture because if you prevent really deep wrinkles from forming, then you won’t have uneven skin texture later. We have to remember it’s an injection and can take anywhere from three to 10 days to start working, and it doesn’t last as long as some of the other treatments – usually between three to five months.

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