Skincare Q&A

Provided by Susan Collini and Derek Peters, Age of Innocence and The Renaissance Center For Plastic Surgery

1. Skincare trends seem to be headed in a more natural direction. Are there any plant-based treatments that benefit all skin types?

Most skin products are plant based.  The chemicals arise from plant material.  However, if you are attempting to treat with home remedies, try the following:

  • oatmeal is a great exfoliator and moisturizer.
  • cucumbers detox and reduce “puffiness” around the eyes
  • honey is a natural antioxidant and can be successfully used as an antibacterial cleanser and  mask.
  • lemon and vinegar are natural astringents, while apple cider vinegar specifically, tones and brings skin back to its natural PH
  • witch hazel is an anti-inflammatory reducing redness and irritation.
  • cold pressed extra virgin olive oil can be used for hydration

2. What is the most common problem patients come to you with and how can it be prevented?

There are many skin problems that we see in Age of Innocence and The Renaissance Center.  The three most common are aging skin, skin cancer and acne.  The most obvious prevention for aging skin and skin cancer is avoiding the sun and tanning beds. Using sunscreen is a MUST at all times. There are reasons why “monks” have NO wrinkles and NO brown spots.  The use of professional skin care products and treatments are tremendously beneficial and will extend the youth and elasticity of your skin.  The prevention of acne doesn’t exist but excellent treatments are available.  With professional guidance, symptoms can be controlled.

3. How often should we exfoliate our skin and what is the best way to exfoliate?

Skin should be exfoliated every day.  The smoother the skin; the better light reflection; hence, enhancing the skin’s outer appearance.  Exfoliation can be done mechanically or chemically or both.  Professional advice will help to avoid over exfoliation, as this can damage the skin.

4. Many have been told to rinse their face with cold water after washing in order to close up their pores. Does this work? Do you have any other suggestions on how to tighten pores?

Cold water does close pores for the moment, but doesn’t shrink or reduce pore size.  Unfortunately, heredity plays a major factor in the quality of our skin.  However, there are many fabulous products that can be used in the glycolic, retinol, and acid families that chemically exfoliate the pore.  These chemicals reduce debris in the clogged pore, consequently diminishing the space that makes the pore appear large.  Hence, a refined texture and smoother appearing skin.

5. How can you lighten the appearance of discoloration such as dark spots, acne spots and sunspots at home?  

Evening skin tones is always challenging.  But an even skin tone provides the beauty and glow that everyone strives for in their appearance.  Home treatments would consist of professional products containing glycolic acid, retinols, hydroquinone and kojic acid to name the most popular.  All of these products should be used under the guise of an expert, as these chemicals are extremely potent and can cause an adverse reaction.

6. What is the best way to deal with oily skin while maintaining a moisturizing routine, especially during these warm summer months?

Oily skin is not a bad thing.  It maintains your youthful appearance and skin’s integrity.  However, most young folks struggle with an over production of sebum which can exacerbate acned symptoms.  Being careful to not over cleanse, which strips the skin of its protective oils, is the best way of balancing oily skin with an oil free moisturizing routine.  Stripping the skin will cause more oil production, hence the vicious cycle of combatting oily skin.  There are wonderful non-comedogenic products available that will moisturize and absorb excess oil.

7. What is the best way to protect your skin from the sun?

Stay out of it!!!! Seriously, there is something to be said about the monk who sits inside all day and looks 50 years younger than his chronological age!  When that fails, sunscreen with UVA/UVB protection and topical antioxidants will help to protect the skin from the sun’s harmful rays.  Besides skin cancer, the sun causes ninety percent of skin aging and this damage is accumulative! The more sun, the more damage; manifesting as dry patches, permanent redness, freckles, “brown spots, melasma (patches of dark discoloration,) and wrinkles!  PROTECT! PROTECT! PROTECT!

8. Besides the sun, what other environmental hazards should people be aware of?

Adding to the skin insult of sun exposure, there are other environmental factors such as, smoking, smog, car emissions, soot, allergens, and an array of radiation to name a few. A landmark study in “The Journal Of Investigative Dermatology” compared women living in an urban versus rural environment for over 24 years and to no surprise found that those exposed to increased pollution had more dark spots and wrinkling!! Relocation is not a must, but proper cleansing, antioxidants and sunscreen are an easy and effective solution for pollutant protection as well as sun protection. These three simple steps of skin care can be the difference between skin that doesn’t look its age and skin that is older than its years!

9. If you have to be outside in peak sun hours, what precautions should you take?

Wear a hat and sunglasses, use sunscreen with a 30 SPF or more and UVA/UVB protection and use an umbrella!!!

Categorized as Tips