Skincare Essentials by a dermatologist.
1. FB: Yes, were starting with a big one here, surely there’s a universe worth of answers when it comes to this, but, we’d like to know in your opinion, what are the most common mistakes people with acne-prone skin make?
Dr. S: “ I would say over washing their face. Often, people with oily skin feel the need to wash their face several times in a day with cleansers or face wash because they think their skin is oily, it’s accumulating dirt and so on. While it may be drying your skin externally, what most people don’t realise is that their bodies pick up on these signs and starts producing more oil leading to more acne.”
2. FB: In your opinion, what is the most favourable way to treat severe skin conditions like eczema, cystic adult acne, and the like?
Dr. S: “A major lifestyle change.”
3. FB: Pigmentation, your thoughts on this and how would you treat this?
Dr. S: “There are two types of pigmentation - Hypo and Hyper. The key way to tackle pigmentation is to apply and re-apply sunscreen every 2-3 hours. By doing this, existing pigmentation doesn’t get darker and it also prevents formation of new pigmentation. Along with sunscreen, I prescribe Vitamin C to my patients, glycolic acid both help. Moreover, there are procedures like lasers and peels that help cure pigmentation. Depending on the case, sometimes I also, prescribe oral medication to reduce pigmentation.”
4. FB: Do you believe in at-home skin treatments?
Dr. S: “At home skin treatments are great - some unadulterated face packs can give you temporary results. In some cases, there could be skin reactions too. The ones I recommend are here.
5. FB: The pandemic has given rise to many at-home treatments like dermaplaning, peels et cetera. What are your thoughts on this?
Dr. S:“Home treatments like dermaplaning and peels are good provided you know how to do it properly. A lot of factors must be taken into consideration. With dermaplaning which is the removal of peach fuzz or facial hair, you need to sterilize the scalpel you’re using, hold it in a particular way, you cannot overuse it so on and so forth. If you know how to do it, it’s good because it helps you get rid of any unwanted build-up, and hair that’s connected to your sebaceous glands. In my opinion, however, always seek a dermatologist's help to make sure of a seamless and safe process.
In the case of peels at home, they’re great in lower concentrations or if any of your skincare products have peeling agents. Doing peels at home isn’t recommended.”
6. FB: Which skincare product according to you isn’t worth the hype and why?
Dr. S: “I would say eye creams! They don’t do as much as they claim. I believe that if you are using Vitamin C or Vitamin E you can just use that under your eyes. Unless it's retinol in high concentration then I would say no. Under-eye cream application might help slightly if you have pigmentation as it has lightening ingredients that may have an effect on the skin but again, it’s temporary. Pigmentation also depends on a lot of factors including genetics. Also, sometimes your eyes are just sunken.
I know you said product, but I have to say, another fad is sheet masks. Yes your skin will glow, but it's very temporary nothing long term, use face packs or clay masks instead, I love clay!
7. FB: What are the ground-breaking things happening in skincare today, and what would you see in your opinion happening 5 years from now?
Dr. S: “Skincare has evolved SO much now and it’s only going to grow in the next couple of years. When you talk about skincare today, I see that a lot of people have started treating skincare as a luxury. Everybody wants a routine and everybody wants to have Instagram-worthy products in their bathrooms or in their vanity! And yes, social media adds to the pressure of posting all of it. I would say having a good skincare routine is like owning a luxury bag - everybody wants it! So, we do have to cater to that now when patients come to us with concerns.
Technology-wise, something that’s really beneficial for the skin at the moment and I think will continue to be great is injectable fillers that hydrate your skin. The process is simple, you inject the face with hydrants that make your skin look plump and fresh for about 9-10 months. It’s great for the skin and something that’s suits every skin type.”
8. FB: How important is your diet for glowing skin?
Dr. S: “Very very important. Gluten and dairy are major contributors if you’re someone who deals with acne or hormonal issues. If not causing acne directly, such foods trigger the gut and make issues worse. Another trigger are sweets. Food with a high glycemic index like certain fruits also trigger acne. I recommend eating in moderation and being mindful of things you put in your body. There’s also a 19-21 rule that I suggest i.e., out of the 21 meals you eat in a week, let the 19 be healthy and something you eat at home. The other two can be your cheat meals. It’s like treating yourself after following a routine, don’t be too hard on yourself but be realistic at the same time.”
9. FB: Does how much water you drink affect your skin? Dr. S: “Drinking water is great to release the toxins from your body, and yes it hydrates you, internally, but it is important to also directly hydrate the skin. Only a moisturizer or humectants can moisturize your skin. Having said that, when the toxins are released, your body is clean and helps your skin glow, apart from water, drinking infusion water i.e., mixing certain cooling ingredients like mint, lemon, cucumber, watermelon in water helps the body detox and flush out toxins further.”
10. FB: If you were stuck on a deserted island what are three things you would bring with you?
Dr. S: “Sunscreen, retinol, and a good cleanser.