They say beauty is only skin deep. Only?! Skin is our body’s largest organ, and when it’s clear, hydrated, and radiant, it signals wellness on the inside too. The secrets top M.D.’s share with their favorite people will make you look younger and feel healthier.
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“When someone asks, ‘When do I deal with this line between my eyes?’ I’m tempted to say, ‘It was time to deal with it when you first noticed it!’ I can be blunt like that with family, so when my cousins asked, I told them my philosophy: Clean up your room before it gets too dirty. If you begin with small amounts of Botox or filler in your early 30s when lines start forming, the muscle movement that creates wrinkles is restricted sooner, so you likely won’t develop deeper ones. That said, it’s okay if you’ve put it off. Botox, Fraxel, and fillers work into your 40s and beyond; you’ll just need somewhat higher doses since the damage will be greater. Most people have it backward: They’re worried about overdoing it by coming in too frequently. But if they came earlier and more often, I wouldn’t need to do much, so it would cost less and look more natural.” —Paul Jarrod Frank, M.D., director of 5th Avenue Dermatology Surgery and Laser Center and clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine of Mount Sinai in New York City
“A friend called me about an itchy rash on her face. When I saw her red, swollen bumps, I realized it was rosacea. So many things can trigger rosacea, even if you’ve never had it before: coffee, milk and cheese, chocolate, red wine, spices. I could have put her on antibiotics, but instead I asked her what had changed in her diet — I knew she was a healthy eater and didn’t drink alcohol but loved coffee. Turns out, she had recently started taking it with cream. She stopped, and the inflammation disappeared within a week. If you’re having a problem, it helps to think about anything that’s new, even if it seems small. Your doctor might make a connection that can get you relief.” —Valerie Goldburt, M.D., cosmetic dermatologist at Advanced Dermatology Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery and assistant clinical professor at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City
“One close friend of mine told me that she sleeps with makeup on — in fact, she’s been doing it for decades without any problems. But now that she’s in her mid- 40s, she’s started to see cystic acne. She tried numerous medications to treat it and nothing worked. When she stopped wearing makeup to bed, it vanished. The moral of the story isn’t to wash your face at night; that’s a given. It’s that what worked for your skin years ago — or even six months ago — can change. Good skin care means being attuned to your skin’s needs. So don’t resist mixing up a routine that’s always worked for you if it no longer does.” —Paul Jarrod Frank, M.D.
“Those 20x magnifying makeup mirrors just kill me. All you can see in them are flaws! Nobody should look at you that closely except dermatologists, since that’s our job. To the untrained eye, seeing your skin magnified that much encourages picking at otherwise imperceptible blemishes. Plus, it contributes to a poor sense of self because it literally magnifies your imperfections. My mother is in love with them; her excuse is ‘I can’t see to put my makeup on.’ She won’t listen to me! I tell everyone I know that if they really can’t apply makeup without glasses, find a mirror with magnification of just 5x to 8x that only corrects for nearsightedness.” —Dendy Engelman, M.D., associate dermatologic surgeon at Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery in New York City