dermatologist answers your questions

Sorry for getting these up way later than expected, all my fault! The Clinic was absolutely wonderful at answering them, Chi-Chi and I chose 10 of the most common and our favorite and send them over. Since these are quite long I’ve put most of them under the cut. Thanks so much to Max & everyone at Miravue Skin Clinic for answering the questions and being a dream to work with. 

1. What is an effective anti-aging regimen for the 20-somethings?

Broad-spectrum sun screen daily to prevent any photo-ageing. Most of the UV damage done to your skin happens before your 20’s but can take up to 30 years to show. UVA exposure can deplete collagen in your skin, making it thinner and more prone to developing wrinkles. UVA and UVB can also cause hyperpigmentation, dehydration and direct damage to the cells (sun burn) and in the worst cases can lead to skin cancer. Anti oxidant serum applied daily to prevent any damage from oxygen free radicals/reactive oxygen species (ROS). Vitamin C is another good anti-oxidant and can be effective either via ingestion (eating/drinking) or topically (onto the skin). Lifestyle can be improved by avoiding factors, or reducing your exposure to factors, that can cause you skin damage such as; smoking, drinking heavily, sun exposure, UV exposure (from sun beds), not getting enough vitamins and not drinking enough water daily.

2. What is the best way to wash your face to ensure clear skin?

This depends greatly on your skin type:

Dry skin – Cream cleanser, detergent(soap free)

Oily skin – Oil free cleanser

Sensitive skin – Hypoallergenic face wash

Acne-prone skin – Oil free cleanser, creams that contain salicylic acid.

For all skin types it is important not to scrub or over-exfoliate as this can make your skin more sensitive and potentially worsen your condition.

3. Is it true benzoyl peroxide causes premature aging by way of free radicals? If so, what’s a good alternative?

Benzoyl Peroxide is a very effective and useful treatment for acne. There is no medical data that I have seen that substantiates that it may or may not age the skin. If you are being prescribed a benzoyl peroxide treatment by your doctor or dermatologist you should not worry about using it.

4. Is it true that spots can be caused by lack of hydration, and what is the difference between oily and hydrated skin?

No, spots cannot be caused by dehydrated skin. Dehydration will make your skin tone look dull and more wrinkled. Oily skin is caused by over-activation of the sebaceous glands in the skin, which produce the oil sebum. Hydrated skin simply means that the cells in the skin contain the correct amount of water.

5. I have large pores! I need major help! How can I cover them? Or any product that could work?

Cheap? The danger of going cheap is the manufacturer will be using bad chemicals to treat the problem. These chemicals may have other side effects which could worsen your skin. One treatment that can work on large pores in some situations is Dermaroller, but there are generally mixed results.

6. I suffer from oily-combination skin with red patchiness, uneven skin tone, as well as very acne prone. What do you suggest?

The red patchiness could be many things but is most likely caused by the acne or underlying eczema or dermatitis. You should treat the acne first, preferably by seeing a dermatologist who can assess your skin regime and even prescribe treatments or medicines. Once you have the acne under control you could try skin peels such as the TCA peel to deal with the uneven skin tone. If you’re suffering from Acne and Dermatitis you should choose gentler acne treatments, as some of the cleansers may trigger the dermatitis. Using an oil-free moisturizer such as Cetaphil would be advised. When you’re applying your treatments try not to overlap the areas.

7. What do you think of the oil cleansing method?

There is no medical data to confirm this, and there may be a link between olive oil worsening skin conditions such as Eczema (however this has not been published yet) Olive oil should not be used as an alternative to emollients.

8. What is the best way to get rid of a stubborn blackhead?

Whatever you do don’t squeeze it yourself! This could leave you with skin damage and even a scar. The best option would be to get a prescription for blackheads, or if the problem persists go to see a dermatologist for scar-free removal.

9. Do night creams make a difference to your skin?

Because some creams contain molecules which deteriorate when exposed to light (specifically UV radiation) you must apply them at night. Some notable night creams are Triacneal from Avéne which helps to combat stubborn acne, Pigment regulator from Skinceuticals which evens skin tone by lightening patches of hyperpigmentation, Retinol also from Skinceuticals which stimulates cell regeneration and promotes collagen growth to combat the signs of aging.

10. What’s the best way to handle patches of dry, scaly skin when your face is otherwise oily/combination?

For this you should use an oil-free moisturizer. Dry, scaly skin is usually caused by Eczema. You should see a dermatologist to assess your skin regime and your skin. You may have eczema or another underlying chronic skin condition such as psoriasis.

Answers from Dr. Sangeeta Punjabi, Dermatologist at Miravue Skin Clinic

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