Put Your Best Face Forward 11

DR. MCLEAN SHEPERD EXPLAINS HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR BEST FASHION ACCESSORY

Your greatest fashion accessory isn’t what you think.

Your skin stays with you throughout your life, long after all clothing, accessories and makeup. Establishing a healthy skin care regime is worth the investment. To help our readers put their best face forward, we reached out to Dr. McLean Sheperd of Sheperd Integrative Dermatology in Mount Pleasant to get the scoop on achieving glowing, radiant skin at any age.

Sheperd is a board-certified dermatologist who advocates a whole-body approach to skin wellness. Above all, she prescribes honoring the mind, body and spirit to be truly healthy.

“Skin health is the foundation of beautiful skin, and anything that you put on after that is going to look better. It projects outwards and confidence radiates,” Sheperd says.

No two skin types are alike and Sheperd believes a customized skin care regimen is best. Her general recommendations are a guide to healthy skin throughout the decades.

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20S-30S

Everyone should invest in a high-quality mineral based sunscreen. It’s one of the best anti-aging creams and the sooner you start, the better.

Sheperd also recommends a quality hydroxy acid product to combat acne that may be prevalent in the mid-twenties. Hydroxy acid products help the skin breath, exfoliate more rapidly, and unclog pores for fresher feeling skin.

RECOMMENDATION: EPIONCE LYTIC GEL CLEANSER AND LYTIC TX LOTION

30S-40S

Visible signs of aging and fine lines appear. Antioxidants accelerate the body’s natural ability to repair. Invest in top-notch products. In addition, start a retinol in your 40s to speed up the skin’s renewal process. This helps mitigate against skin cancer and aids in combating the aging process. Retinol is a pure form of vitamin A that helps skin renew itself and stay strong.

RECOMMENDATION: SKINCEUTICALS PHLORETIN 
CF OR CE FERULIC; RETINOL: SKINCEUTICALS 
RETINOL CREAM

50S PLUS

Hyaluronic acid products help slow down deflation that starts to take place in the skin. These products combat deflation and sagging by allowing the skin to create and hold on to hyaluronic acid in the epidermis and dermis.

RECOMMENDATION: SKINMEDICA HA5

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ALL AGES—DIET & EXERCISE

A healthy lifestyle involves both exercise and nutritious foods.

“Your skin reflects your health and beauty,” Sheperd says. “They are part of the same spectrum.”

When you are healthy, you will be more radiant and exude more confidence, and that involves choices we make every day.

“I don’t advocate a certain diet for all people, I believe there are many pathways to good health. However, for optimum skin health, you should opt for fresh and unprocessed food with minimal or no added sugar.”

Overdoing it (exercise) can do more harm than good for the skin. Shepherd recommends finding a balance in a workout routine, with plenty of breathing exercises.

“Lactic acid [a compound produced in the body through strenuous exercise] does not necessarily add to your health,” Sheperd states.

Whether it’s yoga, Pilates, or even a nice brisk walk, find an exercise practice that makes you smile.

“Five rhythms dance is one of my personal favorites.”

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Sheperd was an artist while learning dermatology. The concept of creativity and healing being interrelated was her driving force when she started her business in 1999.

“[By combining art and medicine], people walk in the door and feel a sense of ‘dropping into your spirit’, a sense of peace and beauty that allows the body to relax,” she says.

This practice opens multiple avenues for healing to take place versus a traditional medical model.

“Painting is a part of my life and leisure time; part of what has inspired me to engage in creative cosmetic dermatology. The ability to create beauty on a canvas helps me see the way that lights and shadows are on the face.”