Your Skin’s Surface Is Not Superficial


In This Article:

We all know the saying “you can’t judge a book by its cover,” but you might not know that saying also applies to skin. What’s inside is vitally important, but what we tend to overlook is skin’s cover, the outer layer, which is anything but superficial. How you take care of the skin’s surface is tremendously important!

Lots of people focus on what absorbs into skin, but what we do to skin’s surface affects everything else. When the outer cover of skin is healthy, it appears and feels smooth, soft, even, refined, hydrated, and plump (think baby skin).

In contrast, when the surface of skin isn’t cared for, it looks dry, rough, dull, dehydrated, uneven, and crepey, and sometimes develops red areas and sensitivity. This is not just an aesthetic issue; if the outer layer of skin is compromised, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to improve a wide range of concerns, from wrinkles to uneven skin tone, dry skin, sensitive skin, clogged pores, and bumps.

Your skin’s outer layer always needs lots of T.L.C. (tender loving care) to be healthy. We can’t stress enough how important healthy skin is. But, like any relationship, knowing how to be loving is not superficial—it is deeply important.

DOs and DON’Ts for Taking the Best Care of Skin’s Surface

Using only non-irritating products and not doing anything abrasive or sensitizing to skin will help you avoid the untold problems that can pile up and impact every aspect of skin, not just the surface.

The best ways to love your skin are to be as gentle as possible, to protect it from the environment, and to always replenish the vital substances skin needs to remain resilient, vibrant, perfected, and youthful-looking.

Our guidance will help you set up your skin for success, and in return, it will love you back by looking and feeling its best.

  • DON’T rinse with water that is too hot or too cold; both are way too harsh for skin.
  • DON’T soak in the tub until skin “prunes” (that can weaken skin), especially in dry or cold weather.
  • DON’T use harsh scrubs that can tear the outer layer of skin.
  • DON’T use drying cleansers, including bar soap, which remove the essential moisturizing and nourishing substances from your skin.
  • DON’T use skincare products that contain harsh ingredients, like alcohol (listed as SD or denatured) or essential oils, which are just fragrant plant oils (while they do smell nice, they are sensitizing to skin).
  • DO make sure your entire skincare routine is fragrance free (whether the fragrance is synthetic or natural). Fragrance’s wafting volatile reaction compromises skin in many problematic ways.
  • DO practice sun-smart behavior by avoiding unprotected sun exposure. We can’t think of anything quite as basic to one’s daily skincare routine as applying a product with SPF 30 or greater. You simply cannot reduce the early signs of aging or have the skin you long for without daily sun (UV light) protection.
  • DO enrich the outer layer of skin with skin-replenishing ingredients such as antioxidants, fatty acids (e.g., omega fatty acids), ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin, to name a few.
  • DO consult our Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary for more information if you’re not sure if an ingredient is going to help or hinder skin.

Paula’s Choice Skincare Solutions

The takeaway here is that the best way to love your skin is to be as gentle as possible. That’s the starting point for helping skin’s surface be as healthy and perfected as possible. When you love your skin by using a brilliant skincare routine, the outer layer can do its job to ensure everything looks as beautiful as possible.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that Paula Begoun is adamant about women using a comprehensive skincare routine to love their skin. That’s why Paula’s Choice Skincare has many different options with different formulas, so you can meet the needs of your specific skin concerns and skin type.

Paula is particularly proud of her RESIST Anti-Aging collections for Normal to Dry Skin or Normal to Oily Skin. But, we promise: All Paula’s Choice Skincare products are formulated to be non-irritating, fragrance free, and skin-replenishing, so you can be assured the best skin of your life really does start here!

References for this information:
Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, September 2016, pages 1,047-1,051
Current Problems in Dermatology, February 2016, pages 1-7
Journal of Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing, January-February 2008, pages 84-90
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, October 2007, pages 220-229
Dermatologic Therapy, Volume 17, 2004, Supplement, pages 44-48
Journal of Investigative Dermatology, October 2001, pages 830-836

The Best Skin of Your Life Starts Here: The same type of in-depth scientific research used to create this article is also used to formulate Paula’s Choice Skincare products. You’ll find products for all skin types and a range of concerns, from acne and sensitive skin to wrinkles, pores, and sun damage. With Paula’s Choice Skincare, you can get (and keep) the best skin of your life! See Paula's Choice Moisturizers.


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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!

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