Dr. Jamal’s Top 10 Tips for Beautiful Skin

1. SUN PROTECTION: Incorporate a broad-spectrum sunscreen into your daily skincare regimen so that you never forget to apply it. Our favorite is MD Solar Sciences Mineral Screen Lotion SPF 40 for sensitive skin types.

2. MOISTURIZERS: Moisturizers work much better when applied to damp skin both on the body as well as the face. Using a toner or even applying just a bit of water to the face before applying your moisturizer will improve its efficacy. For optimal results, apply a hydrating serum under your facial moisturizer. Our top picks for moisturizers are VMV Creamy Moisture Milk, or for oily skin VMV Spring Fresh Oil Free Nourisher.

3. TOPICAL ANTIOXIDANTS: The key to an anti-aging skincare regimen is prevention. Topical antioxidants are excellent for helping to prevent and reverse photodamage and protect the skin from environmental pollutants. They can help reduce brown as well as red discoloration of the face and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Commonly used antioxidants are Vitamins C and E, idenbenone and coffee berry extract. Our top pick: Liposomal Ferulac Serum. We usually recommend using an antioxidant during the day and a retinoid or glycolic acid (see below) at night.

4. RETINOIDS AND GLYCOLIC ACID: Topical retinoic acid (Vitamin A derivatives) and glycolic acid are great anti-aging products. When used on a regular basis, they help to stimulate collagen production in the skin and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Both agents help to fade dark spots and even out skin tone. Retinoic acid is more potent than glycolic acid but can cause skin irritation in some individuals. Retinoic acid is obtained by prescription only and should be used under the supervision of a physician. Retinols are much less potent in their effect and can be found in many over-the-counter products. Glycolic acid is well-tolerated by most people and a prescription is not required. Our top pick: Illuminants Primary Brilliance Treatment. Our top pick for a retinol is Retises 0.5%.

5.DIETARY ANTIOXIDANTS: In addition to using a topical antioxidant, a diet high in antioxidants is helpful for anti-aging. Taking Vitamin C and E, DMAE and pycnogenol supplements may be helpful (consult with your primary care physician before taking any dietary supplements). Foods that have a high anti-oxidant content are: prunes, raisins, berries, plums, green leafy vegetables, and broccoli.

6. WATER: Drinking adequate quantities of water helps to flush out toxins in the body and is helpful for overall health. And overall health means healthier skin. The quality of the water you drink is important especially now that there are so many environmental pollutants that contaminate our water systems. Consider using a top-quality water filtration system for your drinking water such as Aquasana.

7. EXFOLIATION: Gentle exfoliation on a daily basis helps to remove dead skin cells that give the skin a dull appearance. We recommend exfoliation with a fine scrub at least twice a week if daily exfoliation is too much. Mix a small amount of a scrub with fine particles (approximately the size of a grain of finely ground salt) with your cleanser, apply to face and use gentle circular motions for no more than 30 seconds. Our top picks: VMV Mild-Mannered Scrub, or for acne-prone skin choose VMV Id Skin Buffing Salicylic Acid Cleanser.

8.OILY SKIN: People with oily skin tend to use agents to dry out the skin to combat oil production. This can result in the skin producing even more oil and exacerbating the problem. Prescription strength topical and oral retinoids (Vitamin A derivatives) can be helpful in reducing oil production. In terms of over-the-counter products, it is important to use an agent that not only reduces oil but adds back water to hydrate the skin. This helps to prevent a rebound increase in oil production. Our top picks: VMV Fine Finish Pore Minimizing Toner and VMV Spring Fresh Oil Free Nourisher.

9. DARK CIRCLES: Dark circles under the eyes are a very common problem. The purplish dark circles can be caused by a thinning of the connective tissue in the dermis that allows for increased visualization of underlying veins. Brownish dark circles can be hereditary, or caused by inflammatory conditions such as eczema, or just not applying moisturizer. There are a variety of creams that can be helpful but because ‘dark circles’ can be caused by many different skin issues, it is important to have an evaluation performed prior to initiating treatment. Chemical peels and/or Laser treatments using the Pelleve or Sciton Profractional can help, in many cases, to improve the appearance of dark circles.

10. WRINKLES: Dynamic wrinkles are wrinkles that can be seen only when facial muscles contract as when you smile, frown or raise the eyebrows. Over time, dynamic wrinkles can progress to permanent wrinkles as the skin develops a memory for repeated instances where we frown or move our faces in such a way as to create dynamic wrinkles. To prevent permanent wrinkles, Botox injections are typically the go-to treatment. Botox relaxes the muscles and prevents the formation of dynamic wrinkles. It can also smooth out wrinkles that have already become permanent. For very deep permanent wrinkles from muscle contraction, a filler is sometimes needed in addition to Botox to achieve an optimal result. For facial wrinkles due to photodamage or unrelated to muscle contraction, laser treatments such as Pelleve, Broad Band Light, and Sciton Profractional can be very helpful. Tailored treatment options to suit your individual needs can be provided during an in-office consultation.