Monthly Archives: September 2015
Retinol is a go-to ingredient that many dermatologists recommend to help reduce signs of aging on the complexion. This powerhouse ingredient is available in so many forms and concentrations that it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. In the September 2015 issue of Marie Claire magazine, Dr. Joel Schlessinger shared information about retinol and how to incorporate it into your routine.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger and other experts explain the evolution of retinols.
Retinol encourages cell exfoliation and many people may have tried a version of retinol which was too harsh for their skin. Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains how the formulas have changed recently.
“The initial theory was to make it as strong as possible for the best results but we realized the irritation was counterproductive,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains. “Now the approach is kinder and gentler but still getting us to the same place.”
The article explains how you should use retinol products. They should only be used at night and you should begin by applying it once every two or three days to allow your skin to become acclimated. You should use retinol products sparingly; a pea-size amount is enough for your entire face.
“People tend to think if a little is good, a lot is better,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger says. “This is definitely the wrong approach when it comes to retinol.”
Using a retinol product will help smooth skin and fade signs of aging, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.
The article features retinol products for all skin types and sensitivities including a few of Dr. Joel Schlessinger’s favorites. Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair exfoliates the complexion to create a smoother and softer texture. The formula accelerates cell renewal to create a more youthful and radiant appearance.
Do you have questions about retinol? Ask below in the comments section.
Saunas and steam rooms are thought to offer numerous health benefits, including relief for arthritis, fatigue and certain respiratory ailments. However, if used incorrectly, they can also pose real risks. In a recent article on Univision.com called “Everything you need to know before going to the sauna,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares his tips for staying safe and getting the most out of your sauna or steam room experience.
Always check the temperature before entering a sauna, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.
The maximum legal temperature for a sauna in the United States is 190 degrees Fahrenheit, but many models are capable of getting much hotter. “Skin can…sustain severe burns as it would with sun exposure when subjected to high sauna temperatures,” cautions Dr. Schlessinger.
It’s also important to be mindful when touching hot surfaces and to keep an eye on the sauna control panel to be sure that the temperature stays steady and safe. Though the maximum allowance is 190 degrees, many healthcare professionals suggest dialing the temperature back to well below. Limit use to 15 minutes, and be sure to consult the posted signage, as well as staff, for tips on using the facilities correctly.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends towels and shower shoes during sauna use.
The hot, humid environment created by a sauna can create an optimal environment for mildew, bacteria, viruses and fungi to thrive, including those responsible for skin conditions like warts and athlete’s foot. Always wear a towel or swimsuit, put down an extra towel for protection before sitting down and never enter without shower shoes. You should also shower or bathe before entering.
In some saunas, you might find a bucket or some other type of vessel filled with water for pouring over the coals. Though dehydration is a real concern during sauna use, you should never attempt to drink or bathe with this water, as it could contain harmful organisms and it is not fit for consumption.
Drink cool, but not cold water before entering and after exiting the sauna or steam room, and avoid drinking alcohol immediately before, during or after your session. “[Alcohol] can cause fatal dehydration [in conjunction with sauna use] and saunas should not be used as a hangover cure to ‘sweat out’ toxins,” says Dr. Schlessinger.
Consult with a physician, like Dr. Schlessinger, if you struggle with certain conditions.
Saunas and steam rooms are not safe for those who struggle with chronic health issues. Dr. Schlessinger advises: “Those with inflammatory skin conditions [like psoriasis and eczema] should avoid the sauna altogether, as should those with certain cardiovascular diseases. Medications can affect sweat production as well, so it’s always best to consult with your physician before use.”
Do you have a question about using the sauna safely? Let us know in the comments section.
Botox is the most common cosmetic procedure for reducing the appearance of certain signs of aging. With its wide use, there are also a number of misconceptions that surround the procedure. Dr. Joel Schlessinger recently dispelled these myths in an article titled “5 Myths about Botox, banished!” for S.O.S Mujer.
Botox delays the need for cosmetic surgery but does not replace it, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger
For decades, Botox has been used to treat conditions such as chronic migraines and excessive sweating. More recently, it has been used as an effective treatment for addressing fine lines and wrinkles.
“It works by blocking signals from the nerves to the muscles in the face,” explains Dr. Joel Schlessinger. “The muscles can no longer contract, so wrinkles relax and soften, giving an overall smoother appearance.”
The treatment is often used to target wrinkles that result from repetitious movement such as forehead lines, frown lines and crow’s feet.
Unlike cosmetic surgery, Botox typically lasts three to four months. As time passes, the muscles relax and return to their pre-injection appearance, causing many patients to opt for Botox maintenance treatments. The results of Botox treatments can also be prolonged with the right anti-aging skin care regimen.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains the Botox procedure
If you are interested in Botox, consult with a board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon to discuss your goals for treatment. A staff member will likely take your photo to identify the areas where wrinkles may be improved and to serve as your “before” shot to note visible improvements once the procedure has taken place.
When you are ready for Botox injections, you will relax in a chair as the injection sites are cleaned. A topical numbing solution will be applied to make injections quick and painless.
“Most patients describe the sensation as a tiny sting,” says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.
The procedure takes no more than 15 minutes, and you may resume your normal activities once the treatment is complete.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends seeing a board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon for the best results
It is rare to experience side effects with Botox. Minor swelling and bruising may occur, but in the majority of cases this does not last long and may be easily covered with makeup. Drooping eyelids may occur in rare cases but can be avoided by seeking the care of an experienced dermatologist. Many salons, day spas and similar establishments are offering Botox injections but may not be up to standard in terms of technique and cleanliness. Dr. Joel Schlessinger advises, “the best way to avoid poor or uneven placement and serious side effects is to see a board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon for Botox and any other cosmetic procedures.”
Do you have questions about Botox? Ask Dr. Joel Schlessinger in the comment section.
You’ve probably heard of pH levels, but chances are you don’t know how they relate to your skin. In short, the pH scale measures how acidic or alkalinic a substance is. All of your skin care products have unique pH levels, and these don’t always match your skin’s pH level. In a recent xoVain.com article titled “Does a Product’s pH Level Really Matter?,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains more about which pH levels are safe for skin.
Skin’s natural pH is slightly acidic, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains.
The pH scale ranges from 0 (very acidic) to 14 (very alkalinic). pH levels vary for everyone, but skin pH is generally at 5.5 or slightly lower, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains. This acid content also varies from body part to body part and it can change by the minute.
There is actually a wide range of pH levels that can be beneficial for skin. Your first instinct might be to avoid acidic products in favor of formulas on the other end of the pH scale, but that’s not a good idea. While some soaps are more alkalinic, Dr. Joel Schlessinger says this doesn’t mean they are less harsh. He also points out that acidic products can actually help to cleanse more effectively.
For example, LovelySkin Luxe Gentle Cream Cleanser has a pH of 6.7, which is close to neutral. LovelySkin Luxe Clarifying Gel Cleanser has a slightly more acidic pH of 5.84, which is because it contains 2% glycolic acid and 2% salicylic acid to better exfoliate skin. Both formulas are great cleansers, but this is a perfect example of how acidity can affect cleansing properties. While the Gentle Cream Cleanser gently removes makeup and soothes the complexion, the Clarifying Gel Cleanser exfoliates without causing irritation or inflammation.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger says it’s best to try products and see what works with your skin.
While you always want to know what you’re putting on your skin, Dr. Joel Schlessinger says the best way to find the right products is to try them.
“Those that are within the two to eight range are generally what we find will work with skin,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger says. “It is probably best to simply try these out on your skin and see what feels good, what seems to help cleanse your skin and what works for you, but keep in mind that sudsing isn’t necessarily a good thing.”
Cleansers that create lots of suds contain sodium lauryl sulfate, an ingredient used as a cleansing and foaming agent. This is what gives your skin that squeaky clean feeling, but it’s also known to cause irritation.
“Most manufacturers are trying to get this out of their products due to significant allergies and irritations,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger says. “It is being replaced by a host of newer and better options, but the end result is that the foaming you may associate with ‘clean’ won’t be happening as much in the future. That is truly a good thing!”
Do you have a question about pH levels for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Share with us in the comments.
Hair has a pleasant fragrance naturally, but every once in a while it can be downright smelly. Recently, Dr. Joel Schlessinger spoke with Scary Symptoms in an article titled “Does Your Hair Smell Like a Wet Dog?” to discuss this change in scent.
Regular washes may not eliminate the cause of smelly hair, says Joel Schlessinger MD.
Hair glands secrete sebum, an oily substance that is beneficial for hair. These natural oils tend to have a sweet scent that gives hair a pleasing fragrance. If hair stops smelling sweet and starts to smell foul, Dr. Schlessinger says this is due to the presence of bacteria or fungus in the scalp.
“Regular shampoos can do quite a bit to calm frizzy hair, preserve luster or clean off oils,” explains Dr. Schlessinger, “but the last thing (and perhaps the ‘never’ thing) they do is to deep clean bacteria and other organisms.” Typically, an infection on the body is treated with antibiotics but this does not rid hair of odor. Dr. Schlessinger explains, “The scalp and hair remain incredibly resistant to antibiotics, as the hair can act as a reservoir for these organisms.” If you have been diagnosed with a bacterial infection or fungus, you may have to seek a special treatment to cure smelly hair.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends shampoos that contain sulfur or bleach.
“It is perfectly possible to wash hair thoroughly and miss the main thing in a situation of ‘smelly hair’ – the bacteria!” says Dr. Schlessinger. To solve this smelly hair problem, Dr. Schlessinger suggests switching your regular shampoo for one that will address the odor-causing bacteria. Shampoos containing sulfur usually do the trick and can be found over the counter in drugstores. Dr. Schlessinger also recommends CLn Shampoo to clean and disinfect the scalp
If washing with a sulfur or bleach shampoo does not rid your hair of its odor, you should see your dermatologist to investigate the cause of the smell. “In the worst of cases,” explains Dr. Schlessinger, “it may be worth considering Botox injections into the scalp area.”
Do you have questions for Dr. Schlessinger about smelly hair? Ask in the comment section below.