Question: I’ve been using a 1% retinol serum, 15% vitamin C serum for my face and another 5% vitamin c serum for my eyes for two weeks and now my skin is a mess! It’s red, peeling, super dry and wrinkled. It even hurts when I wash my face and put on sunscreen. I’m so scared and don’t know what to do.
Answer: These are strong and genuinely effective formulations, but you overdid it a bit. According to the wizard of Park Avenue, Dr Albert Lefkovits, stop using all current products. He recommends soothing the skin with a milk compress. Soak a man’s hankerchief in a mixture of 1/4 cup milk and 1/4 room temperature cup water, wring it out a bit and apply it to face and neck. Wash your face with a super gentle cleanser like Cetaphil … Continue Reading… →
Question: I used to have facials several times a year. Now that I am using Retin A, can I continue my favorite indulgence?
Answer: I love facials and I love Retin A, but together they may pose problems. If you are using Retin A, you need to weigh three issues:
1.How long you have been on Retin A ?
2. How is your skin reacting to Retin A?
3. What kind of facial do you want to use?
If you have just started on Retin A ( less than three months), the short answer is no. Retin A is irritating on purpose and adding a facial early in the process can be asking for trouble. Your skin could easily react with redness and peeling that would require stopping Retin A for at least a month.
Question: You’ve totally sold me on the benefits of tretinoin but it just doesn’t work for me. I used Retin A Micro and followed your guidelines– washed with a mild soap, waited 30 minutes after washing, and used it 3X/week– but my skin is constantly irritated and flaky. What else can I do to deal with too many years in the sun?
Answer: Before you declare defeat, keep in mind that Retin A is a brand name( like Kleenex or Xerox) and there are different formulations that could be a better choice for you. Retin A Micro is a gel that is actually approved for acne, not anti-aging. It works well for thicker, oilier skin ( like mine) but finer, drier skin types may over react.
To get the benefits of tretinoin without irritation, Dr Heidi Waldorf of Mount Sinai Medical Center … Continue Reading… →
Question: I’m concerned that that Retin A Micro .o4% will irritate my skin. Can I mix it with my moisturizer before applying it?
Answer: I’ve received this type of comment so frequently I think it deserves a post of its own. Mixing Retin A ( aka tretinoin) with a moisturizer immediately reduces its concentration and impast on the skin. If you take a pea size dab of .04% tretinoin with an equal dab of moisturizer, the concentration is now .02%– lower than any other prescription grade tretinoin. If there is more moisturizer than tretinoin, then the concentration is even lower and the action on the skin will be very limited. Then there is the issue of cost. Retin A Micro .04% runs about $300/tube. If you dilute it to .02% you will get more for your beauty dollar if you buy .1% Retinol from Skinceuticals which clocks in at $100.
I got a great email from a 16 year old who is using Retin A micro for acne control. Like most of us, she got the prescription with little or no advice about how to use it. She wanted to know what scrubbing grains, toners and moisturizer I would recommend. She was concerned about the redness and peeling and wanted to avoid these problems with additional skin care products
Retin A was actually originally developed and approved for acne management. This vitamin A derivative helps the skin to empty pores clogged with debris, shuts down overactive oil glands and helps skin turnover to reduce discolorations from old acne eruptions. This process includes flaking off old dry keratin that is contributing to blocked pores and breakouts. Some peeling and flaking is necessary and actually good. However you need to keep it under control to … Continue Reading… →
Question— In a few months I’m turning 50. After half a century, my skin is looking tired and I want to give myself a birthday present. Which would be better, microdermabrasion or Botox? You seem to really like both of them.
Answer— Happy birthday! I do like both microdermsabrasion and Botox, but they are very different anti-aging tools and deal with different problems. Microdermabrasion takes of the top dead layer of skin cells to leave the skin smoother, brighter and softer. In addition, removing these old cells actually stimulates the lower levels to grow. Researchers have noticed that mens’ skin seems to age more slowly than women’s– and they believe that part of the reason is the daily shave which encourages the growth of fresh new skin every day.
This weeks hosts are Fashion Flash founders The Glam Gals of Fabulous After 40. I love to read their blog at the start of each season to give me a cheat sheet on how a women over 40 can master trends. They decode the new ideas and then explain how to use them in real time. For example, plaids are going to be huge this year, but a grandma in a plaid mini skirt in not my idea of chic. You’ve got to read Fabulous Over Forty to see what smart ideas they have for plaid.
And when you’ve clicked through all the great Fashion Flash sites, please stop on Fab Over Fifty to grab a ticket for Beauty Bash. Held on Oct 1&2 at the Metropolitan Pavilion at 125 West 18th St, this … Continue Reading… →
Question: Although I am only in my late twenties I’ve done everthing I shouldn’t to my skin. I’ve smoked since I was 15, used baby oil to bake in the sun ( love the smell) and never pass up a plate of hot fries or a cold beer. What can I do not to look 40 before I turn 30?
Answer: LOL. Great question and I hope my answer doesn’t sound too preachy. Up to age 60 about 80% of skin aging is due to lifestyle choices. Diet, sun exposure, tobacco and alcohol add decades to your skin age. That’s the bad news. The good news? You are young enough to erase this damge and prevent new problems.
Given that you probably have sun damage I would jumpstart skin care with an IPL treatment. ( You can see the great before and after pix … Continue Reading… →