5 Most Common Skincare Questions | Anti-Aging Week


I hear you loud and clear. Aging stinks, and you want answers. I feel your pain. Not literally, of course. Aging is years away for me.

I’m a spring chicken.

Okay, just a chicken then.

Fine. I have chicken legs.

Anyway, to fight the signs of aging I’ve developed a patented three-pronged anti-aging technique. For the first time ever, I will reveal my secrets to you.

(I hope you’re taking notes.)

1. Have olive skin. I am told this helps. Only time will tell, but my mom looks amazing.

2. Drink large amounts of hot tea. I mean, have you tried water? It is tasteless! Tea has water in it, and it’s yummier and full of antioxidants.

3. Apply coconut oil to your skin on occasion and avoid the sun, because it’s hot.

4. Shave 10 years off your age, and say it often enough that you believe it. Own your new reality. When your husband talks about old bands, look quizzically at him and tilt your head to the side, endearingly, because you’re much too young to remember Nirvana. If anyone questions you, tell them that you grew up in a spa desert (no easy access to spas), and spent the better half of your life deprived of facials.

5. Go to bed really really late because you’re up texting friends and on Chatsnap like the teenager you very nearly are, and then when the kids wake you up, be a little grumpy until you’ve had your tea. After all, you’ve earned it.

6. Avoid the mean bad news and think happy thoughts of butterflies and bluebirds. Immerse yourself in board books and home decor catalogs and episodes of Max & Ruby.

7. Pepper your conversations with super-youthful phrases, so that you sound like the near-teenager you are. Try words like snazzy and spiffy. They are all the rage these days on that hot new app, Stethoscope.

Oops. Sorry. Was that 7 steps? I always over-deliver. 🙂

But wait − there’s more. While my tips alone are enough to subtract a decade or two off your age, I’ve enlisted the help of some other experts you may have heard of, like Drs. Rodan & Fields from, well, Rodan & Fields, and Dr. Rebecca Kazin of the Washington Institute for Dermatologic Laser Surgery, and they have some tips not found on my near-comprehensive list above. Crazy, right? So here, some of the top pros answer your 5 most common skincare questions.

 How do I pick the right skincare products for my skin type?

Rodan + Fields Unblemish Acne Treatment Sulfur Wash, $41

Rodan + Fields Unblemish Acne Treatment Sulfur Wash, $41

A. Correct cleanser for your skin:

  • Cleanser for aging skin should include an exfoliator.
  • Cleanser for sensitive skin should be moisturizing and barrier-restorative (sodium Lauryl sulfate-free).
  • Cleanser for those concerned about acne should be medicated with Sulphur, salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.

B. Correct Sunscreen

  • It should contain at least an SPF of 30.
  • If skin tends to be sensitive or if you have rosacea, you should look for a sunscreen containing zinc.
  • For normal skins, look for avobenzone.
  • Everyone should apply daily, lavishly and repeat.

C. Moisturizer

  • Aging skins should look for a peptide/retinol/antioxidant-based moisturizer.
  • Skin suffering from acne should look for a salicylic acid based moisturizer.
  • Sensitive skins should look for an anti-inflammatory based moisturizer with barrier repair.

Drs. Rodan & Fields

I want to try Botox or injectables but still want to look natural. Any suggestions?

“With Botox, my goal is to gently relax the muscles that cause the lines, not freeze them so that you have an unnatural frozen appearance. With filler, it’s imperative to know and respect the natural proportions of the face. When these are altered, the person can look very unnatural and sometimes distorted.”

Here, Dr. Kazin addresses specific skin concerns:

Smile lines at the sides of the mouth:

Almost every filler can be used here. Each filler needs to injected at a different level of the skin so the injector must be very knowledgeable.

Crows feet

Botox, Dysport or Xeomin to relax the muscle. Sometimes laser resurfacing is also needed.

Forehead creases

Botox, Dysport or Xeomin to relax the muscle. Sometimes filler like Belotero can be used as well, but only by very experienced injectors. Laser resurfacing is also helpful.

Creases between eyebrows

Botox, Dysport or Xeomin to relax the muscle. Sometimes filler like Restylane can be used as well, but only by very experienced injectors. Laser resurfacing is also helpful.

Dr. Rebecca Kazin

How can I make my eyes look more youthful?

For dark circles: “Some eye creams like Neocutis Lumiere can lighten but generally I think filler is best.” And for puffiness? “A great but expensive product is Neotensil.”

Dr. Rebecca Kazin

In which order should I apply my skincare products?

“The key to skincare success is to understand what ingredients work together and which order they should be applied,” says Rachel Nazarian, MD, of Schweiger Dermatology Group. “Start with thinner water-based products first (quicker evaporation, quicker absorption) then the thicker oil-based products.”

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Dr. Nazarian demystifies layering with some simple guidelines:

  1. Water-based solutions like toner should be applied first and can be transferred to skin directly from the bottle with a roll-on or sponge, or on pads.
  2. Serums are mostly water, so they’re up next.
  3. A classic gel formulation is oil-in-water, and should be applied third. Hydrogels are essentially the same and can also be applied after serums.
  4. Lotions, creams, and ointment are all oil-water combinations, with lotions having the least amount of oil. Ointment has the moist oil (80%!) and should go on last to avoid blocking other skincare ingredients from penetrating.

So when do you apply sunscreen? Well, it depends on the formulation.

Chemical – These sunscreens work by being absorbed into skin and should be applied to clean skin for best protection. Steer clear of applying chemical SPF over products containing anti-aging or chemical resurfacing ingredients to avoid degrading the active ingredients in your sunscreen.

Physical – Active ingredients titanium dioxide and zinc oxide work by reflecting radiation. This means these SPFs can be layered on top of other lotions. Just keep in mind that mixing sunscreen with lotions will dilute the SPF number.

Dr. Rachel Nazarian

 How do I pick the right mask for my skin?

Osmosis Pore Minimizing Clay Purifying Mask, $52

Osmosis Pore Minimizing Clay Purifying Mask, $52

The short answer? You don’t. You pick more than one. You’ve probably seen it on Instagram lately, but multimasking is a thing. Multimasking involves applying different masks to different sections of your face to treat different skin concerns. “Why tackle one skin issue when you can tackle them all at the same time and look like a warrior princess while doing it,” explains Ami Shvartzman, Director of Education for Osmosis Pur Medical Skincare. Shvartzman recommends a clay based mask for the t-zone (like Osmosis Pore Minimizing Clay Mask), a restorative, wrinkle fighting Vitamin C mask like Osmosis Revitalizing Orange Zest Mask to the forehead and cheeks, which suffer the most sun exposure, the Osmosis Revitalizing Orange Zest Mask for dry, damaged lips and the Hydralift Firming Gel Mask to hydrate and plump. (I would also add an eye mask or a hydrating oil, like coconut oil, around the eyes.)

Ami Shvartzman

Is this good stuff or what? Not quite as good as “have olive skin”, but still, these experts have some pretty amazing tips on how to fight aging and take care of your skin. Any more aging questions that I haven’t covered here? Leave me a comment below and I’ll get right on them!

Now go have a cup of tea.

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