Skin Care Products
Great advances in dermatology and pharmacology over the past few years enable us to offer a large variety of safe and effective non-invasive treatments and Dermatology products to our patients of all ages and skin types. An important part of this process is the use of non-prescription topical products. From acne patients in their teens and twenties, to older patients wishing to eradicate sun damage, non-prescription physician strength cleansers, creams, lotions and serums can help each patient reach his or her goals.
Unlike department store or luxury brands, these individual products are chosen by our dermatologists for their effectiveness. These products may initially be irritating for some people and can take time to get used to. For this reason, many are distributed only in physician’s offices, where these concerns can be monitored and addressed. Many of the products come in increasing strengths. In this way, you can get maximal benefit with minimal side effects.
When beginning a regimen involving multiple products, start only 1 new product each week. If, after the first week, you have no irritation, itchiness, redness or flaking, you may begin another new product.
The most important beauty product of all protects you from the sun’s rays. The face, chest, neck and back of hands should be protected daily to avoid the signs of aging and skin cancer. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are “physical” blocks that provide broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection without delay. Chemical sunblocks add longer lasting and waterproof protection, but require 30 to 40 minutes to work. Combination sunblocks contain both these types of compounds for maximum protection. Their elegant formulations make them a pleasure to use. All are fragrance free.
Retinoids / Vitamin A Products
Vitamin A derivatives (retinoids) are proven to improve sun damaged cells both clinically and under the microscope. They minimize fine lines, fade brown spots and may forestall precancerous lesions. They may be drying at first, so care must be taken when adding them to your regimen. We recommend starting with a nonprescription gentler product. After your skin adjusts, you may consider prescription Tretinoin. Please note, retinoids make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so sun protection is paramount.
Glycolic / Hydroxy Acid Products
These exfoliating alpha-hydroxy products improve the surface and barrier of the epidermis, thicken the dermis or mid-layer of the skin, reduce discoloration and fine lines, and unclog pores and hair follicles. They impart a luminous, smooth quality and are important to maintain hydration. They are excellent for acne prone patients, and can also be used for dry, scaly skin on the body. They are excellent preparation for self tanning creams or sprays.
In the proper concentration and preparation, antioxidants such as Vitamin C, and ferulic acid, can help reverse damage and prevent further injury from the sun and the environment.
Prescription creams containing hydroquinone are very effective at reducing pigmentation due to sun damage or melasma (the mask of pregnancy). However, hydroquinone is a controversial compound and has been banned in the European Union. Products containing botanical ingredients as well as glycolic and Vitamin A derivatives are also able to fade pigmentation without the use of hydroquinone.
Peptides, Growth Factors and Moisturizers
Peptides and growth factors can help “turn on” collagen production and slow degradation from aging and sun exposure. Moisturizers can be beneficial in soothing the skin and hydrating. Added ingredients may perform various functions such as reducing swelling, minimizing wrinkles and fading brown spots.