Skin can be a girl’s best asset and her worst enemy. When a zit pops up and we want to hide under the covers instead of face the day (and secretly wish for skin that looks like that of a celebrity), knowing what to do to cure that ailment is key. Battling wrinkles and undereye bags are just another of life’s biggest challenges (we jest, sort of) but it is true that we’re constantly looking for a “cure.” Manhattan dermatologist and founder of Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, Dr. Gross himself, chatted with us about how to keep our skin in tip-top shape all year ’round.
What is the biggest mistake most women make regarding their skin care routine?
The biggest mistake women make is going to bed with their makeup on.
One should always remove ALL makeup from the face before going to bed at night. Leaving makeup on the skin enlarges the pores, which is a part of aging. Additionally, leaving makeup on the face could lead to inflammation, which can generate free radicals and collagen breakdown. Also, get more sleep!
What should a typical daily skin care routine consist of? What should women add or remove from their skin care regimen during the winter months?
A cleanser, a treatment product, a moisturizer and SPF for the daytime. Apply products with a thinner consistency before the thicker more creamy ones. Here is an example of correct application order:
1. Liquids, such as anti-acne or light peel pads for exfoliating and collagen building, or any kind of toner.
2. Serums or gels, which are more viscous than a liquid but less so than a lotion and can do everything from moisturize to deliver vitamin C or offer sun protection.
3. Lotions, which are milky, slight thicker liquids, and can include moisturizers with antioxidants or exfoliating acids.
4. Creams, which can do all of the above but are thicker, richer substances that wont spill out of a jar if its turned over.
5. Ointments, generally petrolatum-based solids that come in a tube and squeeze out very slowly, such as Vaseline.
Skip really hot baths and showers and choose cleansers that dont completely strip the skin of its natural oils. Also try adding bath oils to a bath to make it less stripping. After a shower or bath, try this technique for moisturizing keep the bathroom door closed to preserve the steam. Gently towel dry your body and apply moisturizer to skin that is saturated. It is still important to exfoliate your skin during the winter because dry skin can clog pores, but stay away from scrub cleansers because they can be too harsh on dry skin. Try gentle exfoliation with an Alpha Beta Peel.
What should women add or remove from their skin care regimen during the winter months?
And we have to ask at what age should we start an anti aging regimen?
When youre in your 20s it’s a good time to think about prevention. Prevention is key at this age, so you must begin to topically apply products that contain antioxidants and other beneficial ingredients. I always tell my patients that like a car, it is best to practice good maintenance throughout the course of its life vs. waiting until something goes wrong to try to fix it. Eye cream is a good product to invest in at this age. The periorbital skin around the eye area is prone to a phenomenon called solar elastosis breakdown of collagen and elasticity. Because skin in this area is so thin, there is a paradoxal need for a specially formulated cream that is both strong yet gentle.
How can we care for our skin type accordingly for dry, oily, and combination skins?
If your skin is on the oily side, using gels and alcohol based vehicles may be perfect for you. Dryer skin types should gravitate toward creams and lotions in their daily regimen. For sensitive skin types, overuse of products is a critical mistake. Non-scrub cleansers are a good choice for this type of skin.
Can you explain to us what new technologies are out there to help get rid of skin damage, wrinkles, etc.?
a. Lasers for removing blood vessels and redness although its a big problem, it is a (small) non invasive solution: the V beam laser, which is easy to do, with no downtime or recovery period. It reduces the appearance of blood vessels and redness on the face and chest.
b. Photo rejuvenation treatments for the face. A combination of non invasive laser with non invasive peels (simultaneously during the same treatment) gives drastic, synergistic results.
c. The Mixto (Multiox CO2 Fractionated Laser). Unlike existing lasers, the Mixto laser delivers more immediate skin tightening and textural improvement with very little recovery time. After just one treatment, wrinkle depth is significantly improved. The Multiox CO2 Fractionated Laser is revolutionary in that it delivers immediate tightening and resurfacing, and long term collagen production while proving substantially quicker and more comfortable than other CO2 lasers (I call it the best laser EVER!)
Every woman wants perfect, glowing skin. What steps can we take to achieve that?
Apply anti-aging vitamins, botanicals and antioxidants directly to your skin, daily. Just like we take vitamins for our body, our skin needs them too and there is no substitute for topical application. Look for multiple beneficial ingredients on your product ingredient list, not just one or two. The more the merrier. Second, there is no question that diet is important for your skin. Whats good for the heart is good for the skin. Skin requires essential fatty acids which are not naturally produced, so eating things like avocado, cheese, and dairy products on a daily basis can be beneficial.I also recommend the tri-color salad approach. If you order a salad, make sure they are a bunch of different colors red cabbage, green lettuce, etc. Eat vegetables that have a lot of color; nature color codes vegetables for us. The more colors you eat, the better.
And what sets your natural products apart from other lines?
The formulas and the number of ingredients that we put into them. We make a concerted effort to update formulations whenever bonafide scientific research supports the proven effectiveness of a particular new ingredient. We modify ingredients and improve their delivery systems to maximize the benefits to the skin.
What can a woman do if she wants cosmetic benefits without the knife or injection?
Learn about which ingredients will address her concerns and shop with those ingredients in mind. We are now in the golden age of skincare. There have never been so many products and ingredients that can literally erase years off our faces. If you are seeking a surgical procedure alternative, there are plenty of products that can help if you are consistent with your routine and make the right skincare selections.
GIVEAWAY ALERT: For a chance to win a 5 day application of Dr. Gross’ Alpha Beta Peel (pictured in the Q&A above) tweet at BeautybySC why you want to win your peel – and enter your info here: http://www.dgskincare.com/contest.cfm
Dennis Gross, M.D., is a practicing dermatologist and board certified dermatological surgeon in New York City. Gross’ expertise and products have consistently been featured in fashion and beauty consumer magazines including Vogue, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar, and he has appeared as a guest on national television outlets such as The Today Show, The Early Show, Entertainment Tonight and Extra! Dr. Gross travels the country lecturing and speaking to professionals and consumers regarding skincare and he is a regular contributor to numerous articles in magazines and dermatologic textbooks. Dr. Gross’ book, Your Future Face, focuses on a customized approach for individual problems.
Main Image: istock