Question & Answer– Beauty at Any Age

Question:  What is the best  moisturizer to use on  my skin?

Answer:  I get this question frequently– and I have trouble answering it. There is no single moisturizer or product that will work  for everyone.  Over  the span of our lives, our skin changes and  we need different moisturizers to meet  new challenges. 

In the twenties,  the skin is  fairly rich in oil, so water-based moisturizers  like Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture for Sensitive Skin  and Aveeno Ultra-Calming Moisturizer SPF 15   are just what this  youthful skin needs.  In the thirties, the skin  can be   so normal  it is boring  and you just don’t want to mess it up.  A light moisturizer with glycolic acid like NeoStrata Ultra Daytime Smoothing Cream SPF15 ( a Dr Oz favorite)  will preserve the natural  radiance without clogging pores.   In the  forties  you want to use a moisturizer with … Continue Reading…

Reversing Summer Aging

I’m happy that the summer heat wave is over, but my skin seems parched, dazed and well, somehow older.  According to my amazing derm Dr Ellen Marmur, the change in weather  has sent my skin into shock.  After months of sun, heat, sweating, chlorine, from the pool, and summer allergies, my skin is dull dry and tired.   Even more troubling, a few dark patches on my nose  that had been removed by laser,  have made a comeback.     I was all set to slather on my new stronger Retin A to jump start a better complexion, but  Dr Marmur  had a different two prong approach:

Step 1:  Take off the old dead layer of dead, dry and discolored  skin cells with a mild  office glycolic peel or microdermabrasion

Step 2:  Add  moisture, moisture and more moisture.  To this end  during the day I am to use a rich sunscreen such … Continue Reading…

Moving Up to Big Girl Retin A

My  new  Retin A prescription (.1%) arrived this week and I am getting things in order to try it out.  I have my mild Cetaphil cleanser, Aveeno Ultra Calming Sunscreen for daytime and Fresh soy enriched moisturizer at night.  I’m a little anxious since  this is the first time  I have used a generic product from Canada but the cost saving were irrisistable.  My Retin A from the north  was $44 including shipping.  At my local CVS, brand name Retin A was almost $200.    I have big plans for that $150 difference.

I am  also doing a little experiment. Today, celebrity dermatologist Dr Neil Saddick  is examining my face with a Wood’s lamp which will highlight  the areas of  sun damaged skin.  I will  use my new big  girl Retin A and in a month, plan to  check the progress  with the Wood’s lamp again. When I first started to use Retin A, I could see   real changes in the … Continue Reading…

Should I Use A Moisturizer with My Sunscreen?

Question and answer about beautyI’ve received quite  a few emails  asking what moisturizer I use  with  my sunscreen.  Actually I don’t.  I’m not a big  fan of layering products on my skin.   Its hard enough  for bare skin to absorb ingredients in a single  product.  I can’t  help but think  that adding a separate moisturizer interferes  with absobption  of sun protection chemicals.  And thats  what they have to do to be effective.  Rather than sit on  your face  like a ski mask, most  sunblocks   work within the skin to deal with UV rays.

If you have dry skin or if you are using Retin A and you feel   as if  your skin is thirsty using  just a sunblock, I have two suggestions:

1.  Rather  than using a traditional sunscreen, use a moisturizer than also has an SPF of at least 30.  In fact  my … Continue Reading…

Retin A and Snowstorms Don’t Mix

NYCsnowstormThe cold  and snowy weather continues to cause problems for my  Retin A  treated skin.  Apparently it is the low humidity in the air that’s driving the red patches, tightness and flaking.  I’m going to cut back Retin A useage to 2-3x  per week and drench my skin with a  heavy  moisturizer  in the morning and evening. In addition I’m going to address environmental humidity both inside and outside.  At night I’m going  to plug in my humidifier to compensate for radiator dry air.  To humidify myself I’m  going to try to remember to drink  at least a quart of  water a day.  In warm weather I seem to  have a glass of ice tea surgically attached to my hand.  When it gets cold, my daily liquid intake  drops to several cups of tea  and coffee.

Continue Reading…

Retin A in the Winter

I’ve been using Retin A for almost a week and its been fairly easy.  But when the weather turned cold and windy, my cheeks got a bit red and my chin looked flaky.  It looked so minor, but  knowing  the potential for real irritation, I decided to take it seriously.  I decided to skip Retin A  that night and drenched my skin with Aveeno Soothing Moisturizer.  By morning the skin  was calm and soft. 

For me, the take away is that when using Retin A, you have to be flexible and think ahead.  I need to keep using Retin A  regularly to get the maximum beauty benefits– and this means changing routinue at the first sign of the irritation and dryness.

Close-up: Alpha Hydroxy Acids ( AHA)

Alpha Hydroxy Acids ( AHA), which are also called fruit acids, are naturally found in a wide range of foods including grapes ( tataric … Continue Reading…

Anti-Aging Plan– Game On

I’m five days into using Retin A and so far so good.  I’m so anxious to see a  a  change in my lines and wrinkles  that I want to use it every day. I need to be patient and stick to  my plan to use it very other day for the first 10 days to two weeks. If I rush and  my skin rebels, I  will have to  stop using until irritation  fades.  Pushing ahead too fast  will only cost me time while  I wait for things to settle down.

Close-up: Collagen

Collagen fibers  give our skin strength and flexibility.  Time and sunlight gradually destroy  both collagen and its close cousin elastin, contibuting to the appearance of lines and wrinkles.  Well-designed clinical studies have repeatedly shown that  Retin A can stimulate the growth of healthy new collagen– which is one of the reasons that I plunked down $300 for a less than  1/2 ounce tube of … Continue Reading…

The Final Four Signs of Aging

So now we are getting down to the last four signs of aging.

Aging Skin Sign #9: Wrinkles and Lines

Worry lines, laugh lines, smokers wrinkles, marioniette lines.  We’ve got them  cute names for these wrinkles, but they’re really not  that funny when you to have to look at them every morning in the mirror.  They all develop when the collagen and elastin fibers  in the skin no longer have strength and flexibility.    Sunlight is the major culprit here as UV rays fry these stretchable skin fibers.  Free radicals  from smoking, alcohol and stress are also thought to  contribute to collagen destruction.  When these fibers can  no longer adjust to movement, lines and wrinkles develop  much  the way that after  time a pair of slim jeans start to wrinkle at the knees.

There … Continue Reading…