Skin care is a topic that I spend a lot of time discussing with patients of all skin types and ages.  My philosophy is what I have named “the knife block approach”, which is to have opinions on the issues that matter and to not have too many opinions about things that don’t move us forward.  I hope this post helps clear this up for my patients and readers.

The Knife Block

I am sure that you have seen a knife block before.  For those of you that have not, I have provided a picture.

For my readers that do not cook often, this may seem like a useful mix of knives, one for each culinary occasion that you dream of.  The chef’s knife to intimidate people and cut “big things”, the Santoku to slice carrots, and the paring knife to use and not scare people, and the serrated utility knife for tomatoes.  Don’t forget the army of steak knives, also known as the “useless giveaway knives” to make it look professional.

Those of you that cook often know the secret to knife blocks.  This is a picture of a chef’s knifeThis is the single useful knife in the block, with the rest actually provided to accompany this so it doesn’t look lonely.  The quality, balance, and feel of this knife is very important, as it is the only useful one of the bunch.  When talking about skin care, this is where I focus my discussion.  I actually have 3 products that I consider my “Chef’s knife” products, and I spend a lot of time talking about them.

The “Other Knives”

My skin care recommendations involve a surgical focus on things that will change your skin for the better.  That means that you can pick whichever cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and sunblock you want to.  Those things are important and highly personal.  I recommend you experiment with the cheaper stuff before moving to things that are more expensive, because these may help your skin feel better, but I would not expect them to correct texture irregularities or improve sun-damaged skin.  If your face is a race car, then this is the paint job.  It won’t help you win the race, but it can help make it a more enjoyable experience.
This is not to say that the premium products offer nothing.  They feel great!  They smell great!  They spread joy!  I just want to make sure that if you have a certain budget to spend on skin care, that you focus on the things that transform your skin first.  If you start with expensive items, you can easily spend more here than on the things that actually improve your skin (see below).

My Three Chef’s Knives

A subject of future posts will be an in-depth discussion about my workhorse skin care regimen to treat and improve skin texture, pigment, and sun damage.

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