Posts filed under ‘Confessions of a Dermatologist’
I am the proud mother of two boys and I am reminded of them every time I look in the mirror. This derm’s confession … no, I didn’t get their names tattooed on my forehead … I have melasma. Also known as “the mask of pregnancy,” melasma is a hormonal disorder causing dark patches in the skin that often appears for the first time during pregnancy. It’s a disfigurement for me and one that I will always need to treat, protect and conceal to look my best, especially as an outdoor enthusiast. I’ve had to make some major lifestyle changes as a result. I used to be carefree about time spent in the sun (and always applied sunscreen). These days, even sunscreen isn’t enough, and I’ve had to pick up new summer hobbies, like scuba diving far underwater where the sun “don’t shine”.
To avoid the visible signs of melasma, I’ve had to change my habits and commit to hydroquinone-based treatments. On days where my melasma is in full swing, I apply mineral peptide treatment to help even skin tone. Whether you are experiencing melasma yourself, or know someone who is, this is a lifelong condition that ebbs and flows. Consistency is the key to management; I’ve learned to be forever vigilant about sun protection and lifestyle choices.
Dr. Fields and I will be the first to tell you to run from the sun. That natural, sun-kissed glow may be pretty but it is hardly worth the risks of skin cancer, brown spots and accelerated aging. Just because I slather myself in sunscreen, hide under a huge hat and sport sunglasses so large they cover half my face doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned my Southern California beach babe roots in favor of a pasty white, librarian-like complexion. I want it all—especially when it comes to my skin. So here’s how I have learned to fake it:
First: Prep your skin by exfoliating: Before applying a self-tanning lotion, I scrub away dead, dry, scaly skin on my legs, chest and arms with a gentle micro-dermabrasion stick. And for a two-for-one benefit, I leave the micro-dermabrasion product on my legs for an even closer shave and enhanced exfoliation in one fell swoop. Smooth, freshly shaved and exfoliated skin ensures a uniform application of the self-tanning product.
Second: Moisturize the driest areas over your joints: Apply a thick coat of your favorite body lotion over the elbows, ankles and knees to prevent a concentrated uptake of the self tanner in areas where the skin is thickest.
Third: Apply a gradual self-tanning moisturizer for a more natural, and streak-free glow. My favorites are made by Jergens and Dove which are lightweight, full of good moisturizers and don’t smell like your average self-tanner.
These are my best tips, what are yours?
Skin is a beautiful thing … wear it well.
As a dermatologist I try really hard to practice what I preach. But, when it comes to getting 8 hours of sleep, I have to admit there are days I fall short. Most days are filled with meetings, conference calls, and patient rounds and then I head home to my two teenage sons and husband all eager for quality family time and an email inbox that has reached capacity. If I squeeze in a workout, some days there aren’t eight hours left over.
My confession: there are days I run on six hours of sleep and there’s no denying it… lack of sleep takes a toll—dark circles, puffiness, dull complexion, the list goes on.
My solution: Regardless of reality, I have to look the part. Here is my secret to combat the visible signs of a late night or early morning:
- Exercise. Despite how tired I might feel a good workout always gets my blood pumping and this brings my skin to life. Eyes are brighter, cheeks are rosy and I look and feel ready to face the day.
- A cool surprise to my eyes. To perk up my eyes after a long night, I go straight to my refrigerator to grab an ANTI-AGE Eye Cloth. Yes…I store an extra box in the refrigerator for those mornings I need a little extra wake up call. These cool cloths loaded with powerful peptides help combat wrinkles and inflammation on the spot.
- Add some color. To keep my skin looking bright and even, I start with ENHANCEMENTS Micro-Dermabrasion paste in the shower. The salt and sugar granules scrub away dead skin cells, leaving my skin looking fresh and new. After that, I apply my daily skincare routine, and end with ENHANCEMENTS Mineral Peptides SPF 20 to even tone and further protect against sun damage.
So, remember to strive for 8 hours of sleep but on the days that is impossible no one has to know.
I told you my secrets….now tell me yours. What do you do to hide the visible signs of a late night?