Look at the right side of your face. Now the left. Now look at your left hand compared to your right. See a difference in the number of freckles or in the texture of your skin? It may be subtle, but many of us have a noticeable difference. Why? It’s from the time we spend every morning and afternoon, driving to and from work–the added UV exposure through the driver-side window (left side of the face) and through the windshield (driving hand). It adds up to quite a lot of sun exposure and ultimately premature aging of skin. In fact, the sun is responsible for 70% of skin aging! Many patients tell me they use sunblock when they’re out in the sun – but if you’re driving to work, or take a quick walk at lunchtime, you’re getting sun– and it’s the small amounts that add up.
Get your skin ready for summer – exfoliate! It’s important to exfoliate your skin, especially after the dry winter months. Exfoliating helps remove some of the top dead-layer of skin and opens the pores. Exfoliating helps acne prone skin, particularly heat or sweat-induced acne breakouts. Exfoliating also decreases the look of fine lines so we look younger and more fresh – glowing skin is in! There are different ways to exfoliate, from office-based procedures such as gentle chemical peels and micro-dermabrasion, scrubs you can use at home (once a week at most to avoid irritation), the Clarisonic, and washes (great for sensitive skin) or leave-on serums/lotions that include alpha hydroxyl acids (glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid, citric acid and malic acid) and beta-hydroxy acids (such as salicylic acid).
It happens to most of us at some time or another and, in winter, it is more common: dandruff! There are a multitude of anti-dandruff products on the market and here are some tips to make the most of those over-the-counter shampoos: 1) Don’t rush the process. It’s important to lather and leave shampoos on for five minutes before rinsing. 2) Remember that anti-dandruff shampoos are treatments for the scalp, not your hair, so make sure you are getting the lather directly on the scalp skin. If you don’t like how your hair smells or feels after using one of these shampoos, you can follow with your preferred shampoo or conditioner. 3) It can help to get two or three different anti-dandruff shampoos (with different main ingredients) and alternate between them (e.g. use two or three different shampoos in a given week). The reason this strategy can work is because the various ingredients target different aspects of dandruff:
It’s that time of the year! Snowing and Minnesota-cold! Check out Dr. Ahmed’s skin tips for Jason DeRusha on how to treat dry skin. Are you using the right moisturizer? You’d be surprised!
Gifts of time… The birthday present you didn’t ask for… Any way you put it, there are tell-tale signs that skin is aging. These include the development of wrinkles, discoloration, mottling or patchy skin, broken blood vessels (red spots), decreased radiance and loss of firmness. Below the surface, we also see loss of the deeper tissue (skin, fat and bone). To our eyes, it appears that everything’s moving down — the effect of gravity — or the dreaded word, “sagging”. Why do these changes occur? A lot of the damage, both on the surface, as well as deeper within, comes from sun exposure. Free radical damage occurs throughout our body with age and from various exposures, including the sun and other toxins (pollution, cigarette smoking, and other damaging environmental elements). Free radicals are unstable molecules that form from these toxic exposures. When they develop, free radicals set in place a series of reactions that ultimately lead to the breakdown of healthy tissues. In the skin, they destroy the structure and accelerate premature aging, resulting in fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation – the changes that we see on the surface. They also accelerate the loss of the deeper tissues in the skin. Antioxidants help protect against free radicals by stabilizing them. There are ways to slow these changes so that we age gracefully. Protect your skin from the sun. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light speeds up the natural aging process of your skin, causing wrinkles and rough, blotchy skin. In fact, sun exposure is the No. 1 reason for signs of aging in the skin, including uneven pigmentation. Protect your skin — and prevent future wrinkles — by limiting the time you spend in the sun, never using tanning beds, and always wearing protective clothing and hats. Also, use sunscreen on exposed skin when outdoors, even in winter. Choose products with built-in sunscreen. When selecting skin care products, choose those with a built-in sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Also, be sure to select products that are broad spectrum, meaning they block both UVA and UVB rays.