Look Younger and Save Money with These Makeup Facelift Tips

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I were doing cardio at the gym. As I was catching up on my reading — immunobullous skin disease testing for dummies — my wife was next to me exclaiming, “Oh, my god! That’s amazing! That’s unbelievable!” I turned to her and asked, “What’s so unbelievable?” “These makeovers in the Oprah magazine,” she said. Continue reading “Look Younger and Save Money with These Makeup Facelift Tips”

How to Moisturize Properly (and Save Money)

Should I use different moisturizers for different body parts?

Yes. You wouldn’t use shampoo to wash your hands, so don’t use the same moisturizer on your face that you use on your feet.

  • For dry, cracked feet, use a moisturizer that contains a mild acid, such as lactic acid which softens thick, scaly skin. My patients like AmLactin Cream.

What is the best way to moisturize?

  • Shower or bathe in comfortably warm, not hot water.
  • Use a mild cleanser such as Dove instead of soap. I can’t tell you how often patients’ dry skin is caused by some “natural” or “organic” soap. Unless these soaps are specifically designated as moisturizing, they are often too drying for your skin in the winter.
  • Pat dry with a towel, leaving your skin damp.
  • Apply cream to your damp skin, locking in moisture. Doing this everyday will significantly relieve your dry, itchy skin in just a week’s time.

What is the best way to moisturize during an economic recession?

OK. So maybe we aren’t in a recession just yet, but skin care products can be prohibitively expensive. If you are moisturizing properly, then you could easily use 5 ounces each week. That means you could use up one Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturizing Cream every two weeks!

Simple petroleum jelly (Vaseline Ointment) — it might be old-school, but it works.

Use a thin coat right after the shower. You can blot excess with your towel. Some patients like to use it only at bedtime since it can mark your clothing.

What’s a Good Acne Concealer?

A patient asked me this morning, “What is a good acne concealer?”

This comes up often. In fact, it was a recent post at The Makeup Minute blog. I often recommend Neutrogena’s SkinClearing® oil-free concealer. Concealers are commonly oil based and can further clog your pores, worsening your acne. pd_00157_00_lg.jpgThis Neutrogena product is oil free. It also contains salicylic acid which helps the skin to exfoliate, unblocking the hair follicle and allowing for the trapped sebum to come to the surface. This helps speed-up the healing.

They come in different shades to match your skin color and even have a concealer with a green tint — the green color helps to offset the underlying red color of the spot, making it look more like your natural skin tone.

Look Beautiful, Save Money

Save your money. Dermatologists agree, spending more money on a cream does not mean you will have better effects.

Despite the promises of many anti-aging products, don’t expect major changes from an over-the-counter cream—regardless of how much you spend on it.

I’m afraid it’s true. Companies such as Oil of Olay and Neutrogena have excellent over the counter products that work just as well as expensive, I’m-a-Beverly-Hills-Dermatologist designer creams. Sometimes the expensive brand is worth the money. Usually, it’s not. Here are five pointers to help you save your hard earned money:

  1. I have never seen an over the counter cream that actually eliminates wrinkles. Nope. Not a one.
  2. Any over the counter face cream, whether you pay $8 or $400, will hydrate your skin, improving the texture of your skin and making your wrinkles less noticeable.
  3. I have never seen a cream eliminate stretch marks. I am sorry — it’s the truth. Stretch marks are tears of the elastic fibers in the deep layers of the skin; creams simply cannot repair that. The good news is that all stretch marks improve with time — they become less pink and less noticeable. This is why people think that the product they used helped and why people swear by a whole range of products from cocoa butter to expensive department store creams.
  4. Try for yourself. Apply Eucerin Body Creme to the stretch marks on the right side of your body. Apply your expensive stretch-mark-eraser-cream of choice to the stretch marks on the left side of your body. Do this for a month. Ask yourself (honestly) and three other people if they can see a difference. They won’t be able to.
  5. There are hundreds of excellent products for your skin. If you have a question, then write to me at Dr (dot) Benabio (at) TheDermBlog (dot) com. Over time, I’ll tell you about the best possible products (and money savers) for your skin.

4 Tips for Chapped Lips

Dreading the mistletoe this year because of dry, flaky, split, chapped lips? Cold, dry, and windy winter air wreaks havoc on your lips, where the skin is thin and delicate.

Here are four tips to get mistletoe-worthy lips:

  1. Apply lip balm with lanolin or beeswax which creates a protective barrier, sealing in moisture on your lips. Balms containing glycerin actually help further by drawing moisture into your dried out lips. If you wear lipstick, apply the balm first, then apply a moisturizing lipstick. Re-apply throughout the day, especially at first sign of dryness.
  2. Avoid flavored balms as they often contain cinnamates, which are flavorings that can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Plus, tasty balms may lead you to lick your lips — saliva is irritating to your already chapped lips and quickly evaporates, further drying them.
  3. If you’re skiing this winter, then be sure your lip balm has UV protection, with an SPF of at least 15. UV rays are more potent at higher altitudes, and UV light is reflected off of snow.
  4. For deeply cracked or split lips, use a bland ointment such as Aquaphor Healing Ointment or Vaseline Petroleum Jelly. Apply liberally before bedtime, as lips tend to dry out from the heat in your bedroom.