Author Archives: drjoelschlessinger
1. Hit the sheets with time to spare
Whether it’s due to insomnia or simply staying up late, not getting enough sleep can cause dark circles to become more prominent.
“A lack of sleep causes the blood vessels around the eyes to dilate and create a dark tint beneath the skin,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger says. “Fatigue also leads to puffiness and swelling, which draws more attention to these dark circles.”
2. Trick the eye with a brightening eye cream
After cleansing in the morning, use your ring finger to apply a brightening eye cream, which will help diminish the appearance of dark circles and under-eye puffiness.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends LovelySkin LUXE Brightening Eye Cream because its self-adaptive optical technology diffuses light to give your skin a soft, youthful glow. Other key ingredients include horse chestnut extract to minimize the appearance of puffiness and dark circles, Persian silk tree extract to help fight the signs of fatigue and hyaluronic acid to smooth fine lines and wrinkles.
3. Don’t skip the sunscreen
“Skipping this important step in your skin care routine can cause dark circles to become worse,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger says. “The delicate skin around the eye area is especially sensitive to sun damage, as well as skin cancer. Excessive sun exposure also makes your body produce more melanin, which gives you darker circles.”
It’s important to protect this area the same way you would protect the rest of your skin—with a broad spectrum sunscreen.
“To avoid sensitivity and irritation, make sure the formula you’re applying is gentle enough for the eye area,” he adds.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger’s top pick for sun protection around the delicate eye area is SkinCeuticals Physical Eye UV Defense SPF 50.
“This eye sunscreen is filled with ceramides to help nourish the skin and create a smooth base for your next step: makeup application,” he says.
Wearing sunglasses whenever you’re outside will also help protect your eyes and the surrounding skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
4. Break up with your makeup
Each night, it’s important to remove your makeup completely. While you sleep, your skin works through a natural repair process, diminishing dark circles and other signs of aging. By removing your eye makeup, you’re allowing your skin to breathe and rejuvenate itself.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends choosing a gentle makeup remover that’s designed for use around the delicate eye area like Klorane Floral Lotion Eye Makeup Remover with Soothing Cornflower. Another tip: try to avoid tugging and pulling at the delicate skin as you remove your makeup. This will only accentuate dark circles.
5. Make sure it’s not allergies
Did you know dark circles and under-eye puffiness can get worse during allergy season? If you think allergens are contributing to your dark circles, talk to your physician about taking an antihistamine. They can suggest both over-the-counter and prescription options that could help diminish these symptoms during allergy season.
For more tips on how to eliminate dark circles, read the entire article on SELF.com.
Do you have a question about dark under-eye circles for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Share with us in the comments.
1). Turn down the temperature: overly hot showers dry out skin.
Long, hot showers feel wonderfully soothing, but your skin will pay the price if you overdo it. In a recent article on Livingly.com, Dr. Schlessinger discussed the effect that long stints under a too-hot stream can have on skin.
“The heat from the shower softens the skin’s natural oil barrier and soap washes it away,” explains Dr. Schlessinger. “Without this barrier, skin easily loses moisture, leading to dryness [and] itchiness. . .”
Spending too much time in a hot shower can also cause eczema and psoriasis flare-ups and irritate sensitive skin. In winter, when skin is already prone to dryness, this can be a recipe for flaky, rough patches, and even cracking and bleeding knuckles. Luckily, one simple fix can make a big difference. Next time you hop in the shower or bath, set a timer. Dr. Schlessinger recommends 10 minutes tops, but the shorter, the better.
2). Lock in moisture as soon as you step out.
You may be lotion-ing up after you’ve stepped out of the shower and dried off, but the secret is to apply moisturizing formulas to damp skin.
“If you fail to moisturize your skin right after showering, the top layers of the skin can quickly become dry and dehydrated,” says Dr. Schlessinger. Applying a moisturizer to damp skin will allow the product to absorb more effectively and lock in moisture long-term. We like EltaMD Lotion, a fragrance-free formula that’s gentle enough for sensitive skin.
3). Retink your towel technique.
Once you’re ready to dry off, you might want to think twice about your technique and towel of choice. Not only can towels be rough and scratchy, damp or shared towels can spread bacteria. You should avoid sharing towels with others, change them out daily and go easy on your skin.
Dr. Schlessinger suggests: “Instead of rubbing, always pat your skin dry with a towel. Patting your skin with a towel reduces the amount of friction between the fabric and your skin, minimizing the risk of irritation.” If you’ve noticed any red, itchy rashes, it may be time to re-examine your detergent or fabric softener of choice. Allergic reactions to laundry products are common and you may need to schedule an appointment with your dermatologist. They will likely suggest switching to Free & Clear laundry products, which are free of skin irritants.
4). Shave carefully!
Shaving can be a pain when you’re in a rush. You might want to get it over with right away, but you should probably put down that razor.
While it can be tempting to shave as soon as you get in the shower, it’s actually better to wait two or three minutes before grabbing your razor, says Dr. Schlessinger. “This allows the water to soften the hair, making your shaving routine much easier.”
Other common shaving blunders include using a razor with a dull blade and shaving in the opposite direction that hair grows. Both of these mistakes can cause ingrown hairs, razor burn and irritation. It’s always better to grab a fresh blade often so you’re not applying too much pressure and to shave in the same direction hair grows.
For more information on these top shower mistakes, check out the full article on Livingly.com.
Do you have a question about showering smart for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Share with us in the comments.
Exercise equipment is a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains.
When countless people are using the same gym equipment on a daily basis, these surfaces are bound to attract germs and bacteria. Some of the popular hot spots for germs to mingle are the same things you’re likely to touch: locker room benches, exercise mats, door handles, bike seats, public showers and communal towels. Dr. Joel Schlessinger recently spoke to Women’s Health about these dangerous bacteria.
One bacterium you might not expect to find at the gym is streptococcal bacteria, the same bacteria responsible for strep throat.
“Strep bacteria are extremely contagious and can be spread through skin contact, airborne droplets and surfaces like exercise equipment,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger says. “Aside from causing strep throat, these bacteria can also lead to skin infections and blisters.”
Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares the importance of wearing shower shoes, even in the locker room.
Your feet are also at risk, especially if you hit the showers.
The fungi that lead to athlete’s foot, a scaly rash that causes itching, stinging and burning between the toes, can be found on the floor of many public shower stalls, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains. You’re also at risk for contracting onychomycosis, a fungal infection that causes toenails to become thickened, brittle and hard with a yellow discoloration.
Additionally, if you have even the smallest of cuts on the bottom of your foot, the human papillomavirus could sneak through and cause a painful plantar wart or you could contract a serious bacterial infection.
Protect yourself from harmful bacteria at the gym with these tips from Dr. Joel Schlessinger.
Whenever possible, Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends waiting to shower until you get home. Bacteria, fungus, mold and other germs thrive in warm, moist environments like public shower stalls. If you must shower at the gym, always wear shower shoes.
“I recommend cleansing with CLn products because the active ingredient in each formula is bleach, one of the few antibacterial agents that do not lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” Dr. Schlessinger adds. “CLn can also be used to remove dangerous bacteria on your hands.”
After showering, always dry your feet thoroughly, including in between each toe, with a clean towel. If you’ve had athlete’s foot before, consider applying an antifungal foot powder like Zeasorb Antifungal Treatment Powder for Athlete’s Foot, as well. It’s also a good idea to clean your shower shoes with a disinfectant like bleach and replace them regularly.
For more germs you could encounter at the gym, check out the rest of the Women’s Health article.
Do you have a question about gym germs for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Share with us in the comments.
You should be applying sunscreen every single day, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains.
Whether it’s sunny or overcast, daily sunscreen application is absolutely essential. It’s estimated that up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can penetrate through clouds. This means you can easily get a burn, even if you don’t feel like you’ve been in the sun too long. Dr. Joel Schlessinger recently spoke to Bustle.com about why it’s important to always wear sunscreen, even when the sun is hidden behind a mass of clouds.
“Because UV radiation is somewhat less intense, it would take your skin slightly longer to burn on a cloudy day than it would on a sunny day,” he says. “However, this doesn’t mean you can completely forgo sunscreen protection altogether.”
Cloudy skies can make sun exposure feel less intense, leading people to believe they don’t need sunscreen. But Dr. Joel Schlessinger warns that clouds don’t offer the same protection as sunscreen.
“Dense clouds would reduce UV radiation to some extent,” he says. “However, clouds are better at blocking visible light, than they are at blocking UV rays, meaning you could still easily burn, even while it’s overcast.”
In addition to direct sun exposure, you’re also experiencing indirect sun exposure, Dr. Joel Schlessinger says.
The sun also poses another unexpected threat: indirect sun exposure. Even if you’re skiing or snowboarding on a dreary winter day, reflective surfaces like the snow can lead to sun damage.
“The sun’s rays bounce off sand, snow, water, and pavement, so you’re actually being exposed to both direct and indirect UV radiation while you’re skiing, snowboarding, or surfing,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger says. “This means, for example, that when you’re skiing in the mountains, you’re receiving stronger direct UV radiation, and the reflection off the snow intensifies your sun exposure by up to 80 percent.”
Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends his favorite sun protection products to keep your skin safe.
Remember that all sunscreens aren’t created equal. When you’re looking for the right formula, a high SPF won’t do you any good if the product isn’t labeled as broad spectrum.
“Because SPF only covers how well a product protects against UVB rays, it’s important to look for a formula that is labeled broad spectrum,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger says.
Broad spectrum sunscreens protect the complexion against both aging UVA rays and burning UVB rays, both of which can cause skin cancer. Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends EltaMD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 Sunscreen to all his patients because its gentle, oil-free formula won’t clog pores or cause irritation. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially if you’re participating in outdoor activities.
For added sun protection on top of your regular sunscreen, Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends Heliocare Sun Protection Pills. These sunscreen pills work to gradually build up your body’s natural defense against damaging UV rays. Taking one supplement every day will help protect your skin against photoaging and other signs of sun damage.
For more on why you should wear sunscreen even on cloudy days, check out the rest of the article on Bustle.com.
Do you have a question about sun protection for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Share with us in the comments
Staring down at your phone could lead to premature signs of aging in the neck area, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains.
Looking down at your cell phone, laptop or tablet can cause a loss of firmness in the neck called “tech neck.” The skin on the neck is much thinner and more prone to wrinkling. Constantly looking down at your phone creates folds in the skin, which eventually become deep wrinkles. Dr. Joel Schlessinger recently sat down to discuss this aging concern with Yahoo! Beauty.
“On average, people stare at their cell phones for almost three hours a day,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares. “It adds stress on the muscles and nerves, which can do damage over time.”
You may not notice it at the time, but your neck works hard to support your head, especially when it’s held at an angle.
“The head normally weighs about 10 pounds when the spine is straight,” he explains. “However, when you’re holding your head at a 45-degree angle to look down at your phone, the head weighs about 49 pounds.”
Dr. Joel Schlessinger suggests holding your device higher than normal, which can make a big difference in preventing unnecessary signs of aging.
Try to hold your head in a neutral position whenever possible and limit the time you spend on your phone or tablet. If you’re working on a laptop, sit at a desk and place the monitor at eye level to encourage good posture.
If you’re already seeing signs of “tech neck,” the good news is there are treatments that can help. Dr. Joel Schlessinger suggests finding a firming cream with active ingredients that help stimulate collagen and elastin production. His favorite treatment for the neck area is NeoStrata Skin Active Triple Firming Neck Cream, which builds volume, firms sagging skin and creates a more even tone with active ingredients like Pro-Amino Acid, NeoCitriate, NeoGlucosamine and apple stem cell extract. Dr. Schlessinger even acted as principal investigator in an exclusive study on the efficacy of this neck cream and the results were impressive!
For more modern aging concerns and what you can do about them, check out the rest of the article on Yahoo! Beauty.
Do you have a question about skin care for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Share with us in the comments.
Gemstone-infused products are having a major moment in the beauty world, and we have to admit, the concept is intriguing. Ingredients like diamond dust, gold flake and pearl powder seem to be most common, and we’ve also spotted rubies, opals and everything in between in our skin care and makeup. But are gemstones actually good for your skin? In a recent article on Refinery29.com called “Are Gold- & Gemstone-Infused Products Total BS?,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger gives the real scoop on whether these additions actually shine or if your skin is better off with a new “best friend.”
There is no conclusive evidence on the benefits of gemstones for skin, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.
Gold and certain other stones were once ingested to promote healing and wellness, but these practices are outdated and all but obsolete. There is some evidence that gold can help alleviate inflammation in the joints, but as far as topical application for wrinkle-free skin, results are inconclusive. While shimmery gemstones help to diffuse light and lend a healthy, youthful glow to the skin’s surface, it turns out that when it comes to actual benefits, there is no definitive scientific data available.
Dr. Schlessinger explains that gemstones are harmless, and they can be a fun addition to beauty items, but they are likely not transformative for skin. “Until there is more conclusive evidence that gemstones lead to youthful skin,” he says, “it’s best not to rely on these ingredients alone.”
Dr. Joel Schlessinger suggests choosing gemstone products that are paired with proven actives.
Luckily, gold and gemstones are often paired with anti-aging actives, like growth factors, peptides and vitamin C. Dr. Schlessinger advises that it is the inclusion of these clinically proven ingredients that could be producing any results you might experience, as they are your “best bet” for a healthy, young-looking complexion.
Try popular gemstone formulas recommended by Dr. Joel Schlessinger.
Still interested in trying gemstone-infused products? We don’t blame you! They might not benefit skin long-term, but they are a great way to achieve a gorgeous luminosity in the moment. Plus, let’s face it: it doesn’t get much more glamorous than wearing diamonds. Check out a few of our LovelySkin favorites:
Your eyeshadow stash is missing stila Jewel Eye Shadow, a perfect blend of intense pigment and high levels of pearl that adds brilliant sparkle to any eye look. Vitamin E offers the bonus asset of antioxidant protection. With eight beautiful shades to choose from, you can stock up on an array of colors for daytime and evening.
Enjoy a flawless, radiant complexion with glo minerals Luxe Liquid Foundation. This silky formula harnesses the light-reflecting powers of diamond powder to create an ageless glow. The ultra-fine minerals and pigments nourish and protect skin, and 5% octinoxate provides an SPF of 15 against harmful UVA and UVB rays.
GOLDFADEN MD Doctor’s Scrub Ruby Crystal Microderm Exfoliator contains powerful ruby crystals to help slough away debris and encourage cell renewal. Hyaluronic acid works to intensely hydrate and prevent over-drying, while potent antioxidants offer protection against daily environmental stressors. This customer favorite will help you achieve visibly smoother, brighter skin in just a few uses.
For a firmer, tighter complexion, pick up ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Quartz Lift Serum. Quartz, our gemstone addition, helps to stimulate healthy collagen production. Padina Pavonica works to bind moisture skin and protect against oxidative stress, and finally, powerful antioxidants ensure that you’re strengthening your skin against future damage and signs of aging.
Do you have a question about gemstone-infused products for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Share with us in the comments section.
It’s not unusual for women to wonder if they’re doing enough with their skin care routine. The truth is that answer often changes. What worked for you in your 20s and 30s won’t keep your skin looking youthful well into your 40s and 50s. One common question many women have: Do I really need a separate cream for my neck? Dr. Joel Schlessinger recently discussed this topic with Metro Mom Club in an article titled “So, Do You Really Need a Neck Cream?” Read on to learn more about this hard-to-treat area.
The skin on your neck is thinner and more delicate than the skin on your face, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains.
Before you smooth your regular anti-aging cream across your neck and décolletage, consider this: The skin in this area is much thinner than the skin on your face and the rest of your body. Because this skin is thinner, creams and treatments that are meant for use on the face won’t have the same effect on the neck area. This delicate skin is also more likely to be irritated by stronger treatments that might easily work for the face.
But skipping the neck area while you’re applying skin care products won’t do you any favors, either. Regular sun protection, in particular, is essential for the neck area.
“The neck area is often left unprotected from UV rays and other environmental challenges,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares.
Sun exposure, natural aging and gravity all contribute to signs of aging in the neck area, leading to wrinkles, dark spots, loss of firmness and rough skin.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares why it’s important to choose a treatment specifically designed for use on the neck.
For best anti-aging results, Dr. Joel Schlessinger says it’s important to choose a different product that’s meant to address the specific skin concerns of the neck. These treatments are specifically formulated for use on the thin skin in this area. They often help to firm and tighten skin, minimizing the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin. These formulas also provide rich hydration to plump and soften the neck area. But how do you know which neck cream is right for your skin care routine?
“Many of the ingredients will be the same actives you can find in your face creams,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger says. “If wrinkles are your main concern, you’ll want to look for ingredients that stimulate collagen production like peptides or growth factors. For dark spots, look for ingredients like arbutin or 4% hydroquinone. Hyaluronic acid is also a good ingredient for hydrating and plumping skin.”
One of Dr. Joel Schlessinger’s favorite treatments for the neck is NeoStrata Skin Active Triple Firming Neck Cream. This targeted treatment uses active ingredients like Pro-Amino Acid, NeoCitriate, NeoGlucosamine and apple stem cell extract to build volume, firm sagging skin and minimize the appearance of dark spots. Dr. Schlessinger acted as the principal investigator when his team performed an exclusive clinical study of this neck cream and the results were impressive.
Do you have a question about neck creams for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Share with us in the comments.
If you ask someone about their skin concerns, chances are they’ll list discoloration or dark spots as one of them. This issue is one of the most common for both men and women of all ages and skin types. Stubborn discoloration can be frustrating to treat, which is why S.O.S Mujer, an online health and beauty blog for women, reached out to Dr. Joel Schlessinger for answers. In this recent article, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains common causes and treatments of this issue.
Hormone changes, medications and sun exposure all cause dark spots, explains Dr. Joel Schlessinger.
Discoloration occurs when melanocytes, which are responsible for producing the pigment in our skin, are stimulated or damaged and produce excess melanin. Often times, the excess melanin accumulates in the outer layer of the epidermis, which results in dark spots.
According to Dr. Joel Schlessinger, the biggest cause of discoloration is sun damage. The sun stimulates melanocytes, resulting in an uneven tone and dark spots. Another common cause is hormone changes, which occur during pregnancy. This type of discoloration is called melasma. It usually appears on the cheeks, forehead, nose and chin and can also be caused by certain birth control pills and medications that affect hormones.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends wearing sunscreen daily to prevent discoloration.
Wearing a sunscreen every day, whether it’s sunny or cloudy, is the best way to prevent dark spots. Dr. Joel Schlessinger also recommends taking the sunscreen down the neck and on to the chest area as well as the backs of the hands. These areas are susceptible to discoloration and many people often forget to apply sun protection.
Once dark spots have appeared, you can use hydroquinone to treat them. Hydroquinone is one of the most effective ingredients for fading discoloration. At-home peels and exfoliating treatments are also very effective at fading the appearance of dark spots and creating a more even tone.
Ask Dr. Joel Schlessinger questions about discoloration in the comments section.
Must read before you go to sleep tonight! Joel Schlessinger MD explains how sleeping in makeup affects your skin
One of the golden rules of skin care is to never sleep with your makeup on your face. This is an important rule for good reason as Joel Schlessinger MD explains to StyleBalzer, an online style and beauty blog. In this recent article, he explains how sleeping in your makeup affects each part of your face.
Makeup attracts free radicals and clogs pores, explains Joel Schlessinger MD.
When left on the skin, makeup attracts harmful free radicals, which are a major cause of aging because they lead to a breakdown of collagen. When makeup isn’t removed properly, these free radicals stay on the complexion, causing signs of damage and irritation. Leaving your makeup on while you sleep also causes clogged pores, which can lead to breakouts. When pores are clogged, they often appear larger because they are filled with debris and residue.
Joel Schlessinger MD explains how leaving makeup on especially damages the eyes and lips.
The skin around the eyes is very thin, which makes the area susceptible to irritation and damage. Similarly, lashes are extremely delicate and leaving mascara on can weaken them and lead to breakage and fallout.
“Sleeping in eye makeup can definitely irritate the skin and cause inflammation,” Joel Schlessinger MD says. “This often leads to the formation of a stye, which is a small, inflamed bump on the eyelid.”
Sleeping with lipsticks, stains and glosses on leads to dry, irritated and chapped lips. To combat dryness, Joel Schlessinger MD recommends FixMySkin Healing Lip Balm Vanilla with 1% Hydrocortisone, which moisturizes lips with shea butter and heals them with hydrocortisone.
Removing makeup before bed is crucial for healthy skin, says Joel Schlessinger MD.
One way to break the bad habit of sleeping in makeup is to keep makeup remover wipes near your bed. Joel Schlessinger MD recommends using gentle wipes that you can use on both the face and eyes.
“Most makeup wipes are designed to be used on the entire face,” he says. “If you’re going to remove eye makeup with this method, make sure the wipes you choose are gentle enough to use on the eye area.”
Klorane Soothing Face and Eye Makeup Removal Wipes with Cornflower are ideal for both the face and eyes. The gentle formula is alcohol-free and helps prevent irritation and dryness.
Ask Joel Schlessinger MD any questions in the comments section!
As a board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Joel Schlessinger has answered countless questions on how various things affect skin. Recently AskMen.com asked Dr. Schlessinger to weigh in on an unusual subject: sex. Although he was a little surprised, Dr. Joel Schlessinger did some research and found there were actually some interesting benefits. His insights are included in a recent article on AskMen.com titled “Skin Care Benefits of Sex.” Read on to learn more.
Sex improves blood circulation, giving the complexion a radiant glow, Dr. Joel Schlessinger says.
One of the things Dr. Joel Schlessinger found is that, like any physical activity, sex helps improve blood circulation. This boost in circulation increases the flow of oxygen to the skin and other organs, giving skin a radiant glow.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains how sex affects hormone levels, and in turn, skin.
Physical intimacy also helps balance hormone levels, which can diminish breakouts and promote clearer skin. Much like exercising, working up a sweat can help naturally cleanse the pores of impurities as well, but this is only beneficial if you wash your face to remove these impurities.
There’s also some evidence that sex boosts your skin’s natural production of collagen, which can improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It triggers the human growth hormone, which makes skin look more elastic. Additionally, an increase in estrogen levels helps prevent dryness and improves skin elasticity.
Sex also releases beneficial anti-inflammatory molecules, Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares.
Physical intimacy also releases anti-inflammatory molecules like oxytocin and beta endorphins. These are two of the four neurochemicals that are responsible for happiness. Oxytocin builds intimacy, trust and healthy relationships. Endorphins help to diminish our perception of pain and alleviate anxiety and depression. In relation to skin, these molecules act as anti-inflammatories to help repair damage.
Do you have a question for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Share with us in the comments.