Dermatologist Skincare Tips

Should we avoid parabens in our skincare products?

Is paraben-free really safer? ⁣Not necessarily. Many cosmetic products are removing parabens from their products because it is desired by consumers. However, any product that contains water and is not refrigerated requires a preservative to inhibit bacterial growth in the product. Therefore, companies are just replacing parabens with another preservative, commonly Kathon-CG, also known as methochloroisothalizolinone. ⁣The Kathon preservatives have a inferior safety profile compared to parabens.  They also cause a higher incidence of allergic contact dermatitis. In fact, most of Europe has banned the use of Kathon preservatives in leave on products, only allowing them in rinse off products such as conditioner. ⁣

It is important to note that preservatives in cosmetics are generally very safe and should not cause alarm. ⁣The bottom line is you don’t have to ditch your favorite products that contain parabens, unless you have a true allergy. True allergies involve redness, itching, and a development of a rash in the areas exposed to the product containing parabens.  If you feel you might have a reaction to parabens, consult with your dermatologist.  Your dermatologist may recommend that you undergo patch testing to determine if you have a true allergy to parabens.

Dealing with “maskne”?

Dealing with mask-associated acne or “maskne”?  Wearing a mask can be hard on your skin.  Here are some skin care tips to help prevent your mask from causing skin problems.

1. Cleanse and moisturize you face daily with a mild gentle cleanser.  We love Cerave foaming facial cleanser.  If you would like a mild exfoliating cleanser, we love our DDP Exfoliating Cleanser!

2. Avoid wearing makeup when wearing a mask.  It will lead to clogged pores and pesky breakouts.  Try a tinted mineral sunscreen like Elta Elements instead to protect your skin while giving you a little color.

3. Stick to a few essential skin care products and avoid putting too many products on your face.  Essentials include a vitamin C serum or lotion, a mineral sunscreen, and a retinoid or other collagen booster at night.  Avoid leave on products with active ingredients such as retinoids or salicylic acid under a mask.

4. Find the right mask for your face.  Select a mask with a soft lining that is comfortable and snug but not too tight.

5. When it is safe to do so, and after washing your hands, try to take 10-15 minute mask breaks every few hours.

6. Wash your cloth masks frequently with gentle soap or detergent.

7. If you have acne, rosacea, or another skin condition, continue to follow the treatment plan your dermatologist designed for you.

Make an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist to help clear up your mask-associated acne today!

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What is skin fasting and should you be doing it?

The concept of skin fasting came from a Japanese skin care company and involves eliminating the use of skin care products for a period of time. The idea is that your skin will recover from product overuse and will become more reliant on itself to repair skin issues rather than relying on cleansers, moisturizers, serums, and other products.

Is skin fasting for you? While there is no peer-reviewed scientific data that I have been able to find to support the new trend of skin fasting, it can be beneficial to certain patients, particularly those with new onset irritation or redness.

Similar to the microbiome in our gut, we have a microbiome on our skin that consists of trillions of microorganisms, primarily bacteria, that are essential to healthy skin. Using products or cleansers that are advertised as antibacterial or cleansing the skin too frequently can strip the skin of its natural oils and nutrients, which can disrupt the skin’s natural barrier and lead to irritation and breakouts. It is important to note that facial skin takes over 2 weeks to turn over, so results from fasting will not be apparent until after that period of time.

For most patients, they need to slim down their skincare regimen rather than going on a complete fast. There are so many products on the market and many patients are layering multiple different products on their skin day and night in addition to frequently changing the products they are using. I constantly aim to simplify my patients’ skin regimens and prevent redundancy in the products they are using. Keep it simple with 3 or 4 products – a vitamin C, a mineral sunscreen, a collagen builder in the evening, usually a retinoid, and a moisturizer if needed. If there are additional products you would like to use, you can try adding them back in one at a time for two weeks at a time to see if it makes a difference in your skin.

Happy skin dieting everyone!

Check out Dr. Dickson sharing her expert advice on skin fasting on Spotlyte here!

Click here to find out what products Dr. Dickson recommends!

#skincareroutine #skintips @drlaurendickson

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