In the past when we’ve spoken to you, we discussed the importance of men paying more attention to their health. Are you seeing a trend moving in that direction and what are some contributing factors to that?
I’m increasingly seeing men paying more attention to their health, especially younger men who are being more proactive about their skin health than in previous years. In the past, it would be much less common for 20-year-olds to come in for a skin check, even if they had a past family history of skin cancer. Now, more guys than ever are proactively coming in for skin checks and to evaluate the signs of aging – even without a push from family, friends, or peers.
What are the big fall trends for men’s (skin) health?
Changing up skincare routines to coincide with the change in seasons. Switch to a heavier moisturizer and pay attention to all skin surfaces, including around the eyes, lips and the skin underneath your beard.
The apple cider vinegar or tea tree oil trends, while fine in theory, are often things that the skin can readily react too, leaving redness, erosions or burns on the skin. Oils are lipids that work great to hydrate the skin, so I don’t dissuade it, but I do prefer to redirect my patients toward products that, from a scientific perspective, are tried and true.
What would you say is the primary difference between the concerns men face in the fall/winter months versus the spring/summer months? Any products you would recommend?
When it’s colder, you’re naturally bundling up more and wearing more layers, but you still need to protect and moisturize skin, especially since there is a decrease in humidity – and our skin needs water to stay hydrated and healthy. It’s essential to provide moisturization to exposed skin by using a hydrating body wash or bar, such as Dove Men+Care Clean Comfort, and protect against sweat for skin and underarms areas underneath the various layers of clothing. To reduce sweating and irritation, it comes down to using the right antiperspirant. Dove Men+Care recently introduced new Invisible antiperspirants that work to combat sweat and those notorious yellow marks that ruin clothes.
We all have busy lives, what would you say is a proper skin care regimen?
If you shower in the morning, use a hydrating body wash, pat yourself dry, shave immediately after showering (if you shave) when hair is softest, then put on an antioxidant serum or gel, followed by a moisturizing, broad spectrum sunscreen, SPF 30 or greater.
At night, always clean the skin to wash away the day (or shower, if you prefer to shower at night), then use a retinoid and apply moisturizer on top of that to lock in hydration.
There are a lot of expensive skincare products out there on the market. From your professional perspective, does a more expensive product mean it’s going to work better?
Not necessarily, but there are some expensive products that have true biologic activity that do work. I am most cautious about using and recommending expensive moisturizers or cleansers – you can find highly effective moisturizers and cleansers in your local drugstore without breaking the bank, so I recommend consumers start there.
What are some good plant based foods that we could use more of in our diets to promote overall skin health?
Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables are key. Think goji berries, blueberries, acai, dark chocolate, pecans, etc.
What are your thoughts on exfoliating?
It’s important, but too little or too much can be harmful to the skin. You need to find the right balance with the right cleanser. If you’re using an external tool, just make sure it’s not overly aggressive, as the use of tools carry a higher risk for over-exfoliation. If your skin feels tight after exfoliating, then you’ve likely gone too far.
What’s the proper way to exfoliate?
Use chemical exfoliants like glycolic cleansers. Another option is mechanical exfoliants, however these carry a higher risk of over exfoliation.
Aside from skincare what else are you passionate about?
My family (my oldest son just started kindergarten, so that was a big change for us), as well as yoga – I go to CorePower when home in DC.
Anything big we can expect from you in 2018?
In 2017, I opened a new practice, Skin DC in Washington, which offers the latest in skincare as well as light, laser and other aesthetic treatments. In 2018, we’re anticipating growing and am excited to see what’s ahead!