|What’s the biggest mistake most women make with their skin? They take the tough love approach. “We should baby our skin,” says Dr. Jessica Wu, a Harvard-trained dermatologist, “not beat it into submission. You can’t scrub away acne, and all the home peels or microdermabrasion in the world won’t smooth out wrinkles.” Being gentle, she firmly believes, is the best way to protect and preserve your skin.|
Wu should know. During her childhood in Taiwan, she watched her mother and grandmother stick to a strict regime of Chinese botanical potions. Studying internal medicine at Harvard years later, Wu realized she could fuse western dermatological advances with Chinese medicine to create effective skincare products. Today, the Los Angeles-based doctor helps a stable of celebrities maintain their good looks.
Modern Mom asked Dr. Wu to create a foolproof skincare routine for busy mothers. She offered up the three steps she recommends to all patients, “especially busy moms,” she says.
“Regardless of your budget,” she says, “Skincare should be simple, safe and effective.” Here’s the program she suggests for bringing out the best in your skin.
1: Use a Gentle Cleanser for Morning and Night. “Save the bar soap for your armpits and feet,” says Wu. “Foaming cleansers are better than milky cleansers for removing dirt, oil and leftover makeup.”
Dr. Wu’s picks:
Splurge: Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash – $22.00
Save: Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser – $6.00 (available at drugstores)
2: Invest in a Moisturizing Sunscreen that Protects against UVA and UVB rays. “Make this your one-step beauty must-do every morning,” says Wu, who also suggests getting your kids accustomed to slathering on sunscreen. “My 15-month-old nephew uses Aveeno Baby Sunblock Lotion SPF 55,” she says.
Dr. Wu’s picks:
Splurge: Clarins UV Plus SPF 40 – $39.00
Save: La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX – $29.00 (available at CVS)
3. Use a Treatment Product Every Night, Specific to a Skin Issue You Want to Combat. If you want to fight fine lines, says Wu, look for products with antioxidants. “A favorite with my celebrity patients is my Dew Cream by Dr. Jessica Wu Cosmeceuticals,” she says. It contains hyaluronic acid to make your skin instantly softer and smoother. It’s also packed with botanical antioxidants to protect your skin’s collagen.”
What to do if you have sun damage or discoloration? Look for products containing Retinol, a gentler form of Retin A, says Wu.
Dr. Wu’s picks:
Splurge: Lancome Resurface Eye Retinol Concentrate – $47.00
Save: RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream – $18.99 (at drugstores)
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, look for a lotion containing benzoyl peroxide. “This helps kill bacteria and dry up breakouts,” says Dr. Wu.
Dr. Wu’s pick: Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10 – $5.00 (at drugstores)
And just like the rest of your body, your face benefits from a little exercise too, Dr. Wu says. Her favorite facial exercise is as simple as her skincare regime, and it doesn’t involve anything other than your tongue and an awkward minute or two. “This exercise was taught to me by a facialist who is 60 but looks 30,” she says. Sounds promising to us! Here’s how to do it:
Curl your tongue upwards to touch the roof of your mouth, as far back as you can reach. Then press upwards and hold for three seconds. Repeat 10 times.
This workout, says Wu, strengthens the deep muscles in your jaw and neck to help fight gravity and drooping.
Dr. Jessica Wu, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, runs a private practice in Los Angeles and also serves as Clinical Instructor of Dermatology at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. She has appeared on Inside Edition, EXTRA and Lifetime Channel for Women.
Check out the Dr. Jessica Wu Cosmeceuticals product line at www.drjessicawu.com