Dupes for the Win

Yesterday we celebrated my little girl turning four years old with a party at our house. I forgot about planning her party until 4 days before her Birthday. Yes, you read that right four DAYS. I sent invitations via text message with a pathetic plea for people to attend on short notice. I didn’t cook a thing- bought snacks from sams. I ordered the cake on Friday for the party the very next day. There were no decorations. There was no plan. I spent literally half the money, time, stress and effort that I have spent on her previous parties. It was the ultimate stetford wife birthday party dupe. And guess what? It was her best party yet. She had just as much fun and I had way more fun! We made memories which is what really matters anyway right? Point is sometimes a dupe is a good thing. So obviously I need to share with you all my favorite secret skin care dupes.

  1. Latisse. It’s no secret I love my thicker, darker, longer lashes I have from Latisse. But Latisse is an investment. I also love Jane Iredale purelash extender and conditioner. It’s like putting a moisturizer on your lashes before mascara. Although it doesn’t actually make your lashes change it does make them appear thicker, darker and longer when applied before your mascara and coming in at over $100 cheaper than Latisse you can’t complain.
  2. My favorite body moisturizer is Cerave itch relief moisturizing cream found in a 12 ounce tub at Walmart for $20. You can get its dupe- 100% petroleum jelly in a 13 ounce tub for 1.97 one aisle over at Walmart. This dupe may even be the better option for the driest of winter skin folks.
  3. Jane Iredale hydration spray is life. I use it before I apply my HA5 to pull moisture into my skin. I use it to set my powder so I am dewy not cakey. I sometimes just spritz it on because I love the rose scent and need a pick me up. It’s my coffee for the skin. But if you don’t want to drop $30 on this slice of heaven then at least get the Evian dupe. It’s a spray mineral water that’s half the price and does just as good a job(minus the luxury smell).
  4.  Dermaplaning. Have blonde vellus facial hair(peach fuzz) you’re getting removed with dermaplaning? I have no clue how much it cost but I’m guessing it’s more than buying the hand held facial razor that comes in a pack of 3 for about $4 and you can do it at home once a month. We sell the ones by Tinkle at the clinic. Stop by and learn how to use them and get a skincare consult while you’re visiting!
  5. Retin-A. If you’ve been following me for any length of time you know that I want all non-pregnant/breastfeeding women on a retinol or retinoid. Previously, prescriptions have been over $100. Recently one went over the counter and can now be found at Target, Sams and Walgreens for $27! It’s called Adapalene gel or Differin gel 0.1%. It’s not even a dupe it’s just a lower strength prescription medicine that you can now get without a prescription. Go get you some and save money!

You may have noticed there is no dupe for SkinMedica Retinol, HA5, Lytera, TNS, Botox and Fillers. That’s because I don’t believe in those dupes. It’s not even worth it. Sometimes you just have to pay to play. The key is to know where a good dupe option is so you can save money on that and put it towards a higher end product to change your skin. Hope you all had as happy a weekend as I did.

Stay Skintastic, Nina


In hindsight…..

Hindsight is 20/20. I hear all the time from people that they wish they wouldn’t have done this or that or would have known better. Let me tell you my top 10 things you will be sure to regret you did to your skin.

  1. Waxing your brows while using retinol. You will rip your skin off, that simple.
  2. Getting a sunburn. It will hurt. It will peel. It will not be good.
  3. Getting unprotected sun exposure repeatedly. You will get brown spots, premature aging and maybe even skin cancer.
  4. Not wearing compression stockings. Varicose veins, enough said.
  5. Getting in a tanning bed repeatedly. Trust me. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, it may not be next year, it may not be in 20 years but one day you will say “wish I wouldn’t have”.
  6. Silicone lip injections. (Not to be confused with the amazing HA fillers) They may look great today but one day they are more than likely going to look funky, feel funky and be a funky problem to fix.
  7. Delaying treatment of a skin cancer. We all have our reasons. This is complicated. Some of us don’t go to the dermatologist because we fear financial strain or pain or answers we don’t want. But generally speaking it’s always better the quicker we catch that little booger.
  8. Choosing the cheapest injector. Okay you may not ALWAYS regret this but most of the time when it comes to fillers in particular you get what you pay for.
  9. Repeatedly pushing back your cuticles. Eventually you may get an infection or cause ridges and misshapen nails. Usually results in a loss not a win.
  10. Putting too much self tanner on your flexor surfaces. It will look dark and weird. I recommend mixing some of your self tanner with moisturizer for your hands elbows and knees to be able to bend and straighten without looking dirty.

I could go on forever but that would just be annoying. We have the lighten up and pucker up specials going on at JD until March! Buy a Lytera package and get a free chemical peel OR buy a TNS lip plump system and get $100 off a syringe of any filler. Hurry in, you don’t want to miss out.

“After the ship has sunk, everyone knows how she might have been saved.”

Stay Skintastic, Nina

Beauty Fad: Bust or Benefit?


Beauty fads come and go. When I was in NP school I had to take an entire course called Evidence Based Research. A class that taught us how to tell great research from not so scientific research and how to apply it to our practice. At the time it annoyed me but now I appreciate having that knowledge. With all the fads people ask me about I am forced to do a lot of checking into things I’ve never heard of before. I’ve had to research topics like using urine to treat acne, red light tanning beds, blue light devices, home lasers and all kinds of things patients have previously asked me about. I wanted to do a little post about beauty fads, whether or not I like them and what I recommend to get results.

  1. The vampire facelift. This is a procedure where they draw your blood and separate the plasma to be injected back into your face. Although some people may have results with this the science isn’t quite behind it yet. I would recommend filler which we know works immediately and does have science to back it up.
  2. Microneedling. This isn’t new but for some reason over the past year, it has become popular again in the skin world. This is a procedure where needles penetrate the skin to stimulate collagen. This  results in tighter and smoother skin. Microneedling is not recommended for persons who have a history of keloid, but this procedure could benefit you. The level of pain and healing time depends on the type and depth of the needles. There is risk for infection deeper in the skin which makes me a little nervous. If you want even texture and less fine lines I like laser resurfacing or sublative which is radio frequency over microneedling.
  3. Painful peel off masks. One video in particular has gone viral recently of a young girl painfully peeling off a mask. If it hurts that bad to peel it off and you’re bright red afterwards it’s probably not a good idea. That inflammation and irritation can cause redness, acne flare and rashes. If you want smooth and radiant skin I recommend SkinMedica retinol. Retinol is the most researched, tried and true antianging product. Use for at least two months before deciding if you like it and add HA5 if you are impatient or have sensitive skin.
  4. 24k gold. I’m not going to lie, I laughed the first time I heard about these gold mask and real gold products. I was thinking “If I’m buying gold it better be timeless!” As in better not wash down the drain! In my opinion, the gold in primers and masks will cause a temporary shimmer on the skin but I doubt you sweat gold glitter after you use it. I think of the gold skincare products more like make-up, a temporary way to make your skin look good. Different metals have been researched quite a bit on the skin. Some of you may have even used a cream often prescribed for wounds and burns called Silvadene. As far as anti aging and lasting results go,  gold as a permanent skin glow doesn’t have the research to back it quite yet. If you are looking for an illuminating cream or you want a natural glow, then I recommend SkinMedica HA5 with TNS essential serum.
  5. The Kylie Jenner lip challenge. Honestly, I thought we left this in 2016 but I saw a beauty blog last week in which a girl picked up a shot glass, inserted her lips and sucked as hard as she could then applied her lipstick. To plump that pout? Really? Not only could this cause temporary pain, swelling and bruising but repeated attempts could cause discoloration and scarring. Just no. Try our TNS lip plump system for a topical (which gets you $100 off any syringe of filler the month of February) or my favorite lip fillers Juvederm Ultra Plus or Volbella and make that plump pout semipermanent!

Overall trends will come and go. Some that prove results will even stay. Before you jump on the bandwagon consult your dermatologist. I try to remind people that you probably have hundreds of dollars sitting in your bathroom drawer when you add up all the stuff you’ve bought over the years that didn’t work. See a derm and invest in good skincare and you will more likely save money in the long run and have visible results.

The month of February we are lightening up and puckering up at Johnson Dermatology. If you buy a Lytera system you will get a free chemical peel valued at $300(February only)! Plus the lip plumping special mentioned above so you better hurry in!

Keep your food, skin, and thoughts clean,

xoxo, Nina


Last night I took my one year old and three year old to get ice cream at 9:45 pm. They were in pajamas and slippers. As I ran them inside out of the cold without coats on and Charlee lost a slipper we both laughed out loud. The people sitting enjoying their ice cream were probably thinking “why are those babies out so late?” or “why don’t they have coats on?” or “should they be eating ice cream this late?”.  I don’t blame them, we were breaking all the rules. Out WAY past bedtime, sugar before bed and no real shoes in public! I mean we were seriously partaking in the cardinal sins. This morning I woke up not regretting it, thankful that we did it and had so much fun. Because sometimes it’s right to break the rules. Here are some reasons I let my kids break rules.

  1. There is no long term damage done.
  2. Because one day they won’t want to go with Mom and Dad to get ice cream and childhood is too short for me to miss any opportunities.
  3. One day they will be too old (and too cool) to go out in pajamas and slippers and still dance in the window with an ice cream cone and no one should miss out on that experience.
  4. They have no responsibilities but to be kids and sooner than later they will have bills to pay, people to keep happy, jobs to attend and responsibilities and life stressors. Right now they just have fun, and I’m going to make sure of that.
  5. They didn’t hurt anyone else breaking those rules last night.

Not all rules are are meant to be broken. And rules that are okay to be broken shouldn’t be broken on a regular basis. Bad behavior shouldn’t become a habit. But even the healthiest of people deserve a cookie every once in a while.

Some of you may have heard of the bill that recently made it to the Arkansas house floor that would ban tanning bed use to underage Arkansans. We know that tanning bed use is a carcinogen to skin cancer like cigarettes are a carcinogen to lung cancer. Every single day a patient tells me they didn’t know what all the sun damage would do to their skin. The wrinkles, brown spots and skin cancers. They all say “no one ever told us”. That’s why I support this bill. Because it’s a way to tell everyone, tanning is bad for your skin health. It’s also a way to protect our children who feel invincible by making a rule that’s hard for them to break. Will there be 17year olds that sneak into tanning salons anyway? Of course! Just like they buy cigarettes without getting carded sometimes but at least we have sent the message. Because cigarettes can’t be sold to anyone under 18 they get the message that tobacco isn’t good for your health. We need to be sending that same message about tanning bed use.

Rules are made to do good. Whether it’s a rule for your children to make the family life better or a rule that’s a law to help society. Rules aren’t meant to be harmful or hurt people. They are made with good intentions most of the time. Tanning bed use has long term harmful effects, it can hurt you and those around you. This bill is going to do good for us, for our children. That’s why this should be a rule you support too. Don’t be shy, tell your representative you do! Here is what Dr.Nelson had to say about the bill….

Dermatologist Explains Tanning Risks As Bill Advances

Have a great week! Nina

Need a refresher?

Have you ever felt so tired you’re not even tired anymore? As if your body readjusted to the level of exhaustion you are currently at to help you survive? All you Moms out there know what I’m talking about. I have felt some degree of that this past week. My one year old spent the week with the flu. I spent my nights rocking her, jiggling her, medicating her, laying on the couch with her, laying by her crib and any other activity I could think of other than sleeping. I kept reminding myself it was harder for her than me but as I walked past a mirror on my way to bed the reflection revealed puke in my hair, mismatch pajama set and make-up smeared over half my face and I couldn’t even get the energy to go brush my teeth. I knew I needed to refresh my skin and put some life back into it before I went to see patients the next morning. Even though I firmly believe in a good skincare regimen taking months to show visible results there are tips and tricks for “faking good skin” on the fly.  So here are some tricks I use to fake it until I make it in the skin department.

  1. Use a mist. Hydrated skin is happy skin. Honestly, this week my skin care products didn’t get a lot of love. But every morning before and after applying make-up I got that dewy look I love with a little mist. Takes one second. My favorite luxury hydration spray is Pommist by Jane Iredale. It smells like pomegranate and has the perfect amount of mist distribution with each spray. My favorite drug store most is Evian. You can get it at the dollar store, it’s straight up mineral water and it does the trick!
  2. Use extra glow. When I feel drab and need a pick-me-up I use extra highlighter and less pressed powder. Try the Jane Iredale highlighting pencil in white/pink. One side is a shimmering white and the other side pink. I highlight and blush with one pencil making it a quick and easy option to add color and glow for those days you need to look energized but don’t actually have the energy. The formula is so easy to blend!
  3. Botox for brow lift and opening the eyes. Never look tired with Botox. Did you know Botox can lift the brows? I have Botox injected around my eyes to give my eyelids an open brightness more than just for crows feet lines.
  4. TNS lip plump system. When you are tired and not caring for your skin like you usually do it’s the lips that often suffer first. Dry, cracking lips are not cool. The TNS lip plump system has growth factor that hydrates and helps with lines. The system gave my lips color, fullness and life this week!
  5. HA5 for immediate rejuvenation. HA5 is a great trick for eye pick me up throughout the day. Get your hands wet and then put a very small amount of HA5 under each eye. The HA5 will pull the water into your skin giving a tighter skin appearance. I did this at lunch everyday and it almost immediately woke up my skin making me appear less tired then I was feeling.

We have so many great tips and tricks at Johnson Dermatology. If you want to learn more of our skin secrets then I highly recommend a free consult with Bridgett or Dani about everything we have to offer!

“A strong woman is one who is able to smile in the morning like she wasn’t crying last night”

Loving life, Nina

My Falsies Experience

I have a shameful new YouTube beauty addiction. I love watching all the beauty videos about make-up and beauty tips. I started watching different colleagues doing injections and such and then I met the beauty youtubers community and now I feel like we are friends. Almost every eye tutorial ends in putting on false lashes. In my opinion, I don’t need falsies because my Latisse has my lashes thicker, darker and longer anyways. But for the sake of argument I had never worn falsies and thought I should give it a try before I knock it or think my lashes are too good for falsies.

Initially I feared trying them for multiple reasons.

  1. What if I had an allergy to the glue and my lids swelled shut?
  2. I wear contacts. What if my eyes watered and burned all day from the glue?
  3. What if I am talking to a patient and one pops half way off and I look like a fool?
  4. What if the glue pulls all my great Latisse lashes right off?

But for the sake of research I proceeded.

The first step was applying lashes. I must say on you tube videos it looks pretty easy. Quite the opposite. I couldn’t get my fingers close enough to the lash line and I glued my false lashes to my real lashes at first try. Then, when I did get them on my team member had to adjust them for me. It was definitely much harder than it looks and I would say it would add at least 5 minutes to any morning routine.

Next step, simply wear them. Wasn’t so simple. At the beginning of the day I wanted to claw them off. I could see them, which was distracting. They felt like they were pulling at my lid-like I put a sticker over my eyelids. I must admit as the day went on I got used to the feeling and they felt more comfortable. One annoyance was the length of the false lashes was causing my blinking to grab my hair, pulling it into my face. At one point in the middle of the day one false lash came loose from the inner corner of my eye and I had to stop and reapply. This was more than likely a user error complication.

Last step: removal. Honestly, I couldn’t wait until I got home. As I drove to pick up my girls from daycare I grabbed those suckers and just pulled them off. I don’t recommend this technique because it was slightly painful but mainly it just felt good to get them off. If you’re a woman than you could relate this feeling to the feeling when you get to pull your underwire off at the end of the day, ahhhhh {insert elongated exhale}.

I think there are some pros and cons to false eyelashes. For me I prefer to stick with Latisse but here are my list of pros and cons.


  1. Dramatic look. You will never get that exaggerated length and fullness with Latisse. It’s like glitter eyeshadow. It’s not natural appearing at all but it still can be pretty for the right occasion.
  2. One time experience. If you only want longer, thicker, darker lashes for one event and don’t want a big investment than you could do this for $10.


  1. Slightly uncomfortable.
  2. Can cause irritation, rashes, dryness, swelling.
  3. If you want longer, thicker, darker lashes daily falsies are more expensive than latisse.
  4. False lashes are less natural. People always comment on my Latisse lashes by saying “your lashes are beautiful”. People commented more often on the falsies but it was always “are your lashes real?”. Not the attention I was necessarily looking to attract.
  5. Time consuming to apply.

I think to sum it up it’s really a personal decision. I love Latisse because it is a more cost effective, natural, daily look. It’s easy to apply two times/week to maintain. Maybe takes 60 seconds of my entire week. I also think that false eyelashes blend more naturally and appear more natural when used with Latisse lashes. If you don’t follow Johnson Dermatology on snapchat and Instagram you missed the live stream of my day with falsies. Don’t miss my next personal experiment and go there now @johnsondermatology on Instagram and jdermatology snapcode on snapchat! See you there!

Remember the eyes are the windows to the soul and the eyelids are the window treatment you see on that window. Need fresh curtains? Call JD this week to see if you are a good candidate for Latisse or our other eyelid treatments! 479-649-3376 See you there!!!

xoxo, Nina

New Year, New Us, New Best

Uggghhh you guys! I literally was about to post my blog with New Years resolutions and had an epitome and was like nope- change of plans! Just wrote this post on the fly from my heart. My very first blog post was four years ago today. I love the New Year holiday. I enjoy reflecting on the past year and thinking about what the next year will hold. How I will change, what goals I want to achieve, what I want to do more of and need to do less of- it’s fulfilling to me dreaming and brainstorming.

This year has been memorable at Johnson Dermatology. We turned 10 years old. We grew to over 50 employees with new devices(IPL, Velashape, UltraShape), new addition to the building, new fillers (Volbella is lit) and even a new dermatologist (YAY, Dr.Nelson).  We don’t plan to become stagnant in 2017. We plan to serve The River Valley and all their skin needs better and better every year. So I wanted to talk to you guys tonight about my goals at JD this Year.

2017 New Year, New Us, Best Us Resolutions

  1. Educate everyone about VelaShape and UltraShape. I consult and make anti aging recommendations for people everyday and totally forget to go below the head, neck and décolleté! Body contouring is an awesome liposuction alternative! I promise to teach you guys more about it this year!
  2. Build positivity around cosmetic procedures. Do you look down on women who color their hair or wear make-up? We all just want to feel pretty and fresh. This year I want to empower women to not feel vain for taking care of their skin. Encourage women to support each other instead of judging each other.
  3. 2017 is the year for men to join us in skincare. This means sunscreen, retinol, Botox, fillers and lasers! In 2017 I want your husband to come with you every three months for your Botox. Men shouldn’t feel feminine for wanting to care for their skin. Moisturizing is masculine might be my motto.
  4. Pale is the new tan needs to be cool. I want kids, teenagers and college students to put sunburns and cigarettes in the same category of carcinogens they don’t like. In 2017 I want to spread the word on fashionable sun protective clothing better. If you have any ways I could reach this goal let me know because this is hard for me.
  5. Increase skin cancer checks for the River Valley. Since Dr. Nelson has joined our team he has been going out into the community and offering skin cancer screenings at events. In 2017, I want to do my part to let people know they should get a full body skin check at least once per year! Get in your birthday suit and get to the clinic! Do you have an event coming up that you can help spread the word? E-mail Shelly@johnsondermatology.com and see if your event would be something Dr. Nelson could speak at or do exams! Or is it an event where I could bring the cosmetic team and do free consults? Let us know, in 2017 I want to get out there and get your skin needs met!

What else should we resolute this year? Lets make our skin healthier than ever this year. Lets build our relationship.  Do you have tips for JD? Do you have skin education needs I could meet for you on the blog? E-mail me! Comment! I love hearing from you guys! 2017 is a new year and I can’t wait to make it the best us, the new us!

Cheers, Nina

Myth Bustin’ Infrared

This past Thursday I talked skin care at Roots Hair Salon girls night. Go follow them @allaboutroots on Instagram now if you don’t already. They have the BEST GNO events with local boutiques and the hair/make-up tips are priceless (if you see me with wing eyeliner this week don’t be surprised-they dropped that trick in my toolbox Thursday night).  It’s just a friendly, fun environment and you don’t want to miss the next one.

I get so excited talking skin care and products. I love educating people about skin and mixing that with beauty is what makes my heart happy. At these type of events I usually spend about half the time debunking skin tip myths people ask about. It’s hard work filtering through good sound advice and marketing these days.

One of the things my patients have asked about a lot lately that also came up at the event was infrared light treatment for anti-aging purposes. Recently lots of gyms and tanning salons are getting “red light tanning beds” that advertise anti-aging effects instead of giving you a tan.

This confuses people because the sunscreen I use protects against infrared. It’s called total defense and repair and the science behind it proves that infrared rays from environmental sun exposure cause sunDAMAGE to the skin. Did you know that we used to only think UVB rays damaged the skin (1960’s)? Then we discovered later that UVA rays also damaged the skin(1977). Most recently brought to light (pun intended) are infrared rays that also damage the deeper layers of the skin. This is one of the many reasons I chose to use SkinMedica total defense and repair. Although other sunscreens have tried to duplicate the infrared protection claims, there have been no studies to prove those claims that I am aware of and you know I like to have science back me up.

The confusion comes when you hear about a red light tanning bed making you more collagen. Did you know I’ve actually recommended light for skin conditions? You can pick your jaw up off the floor. Controlled narrowband UV light three times per week is something we offer at the clinic for people suffering with psoriasis, occult pruritus, vitiligo and more! I don’t let those patients get a tan, there is a difference. Sometimes benefits of treatments outweigh the risk of that treatment. There is research out there that supports infrared light therapies to treat wound healing, protect muscles from stress (see references at end of blog if you want to geek out in research) and more. The difference in these infrared rays is time of exposure, intensity and heat production during exposure. Simply said, in a tightly controlled environment we can use red light for good causes but when coming from the sun and other uncontrolled devices it causes damage to the skin.

What does all this mean to you? Ask your dermatologist before you decide on treatments for your skin. Whether it’s a facial, a product, a device or an injection you should first consult a dermatologist. It’s a very complicated world out there and I think if you are reading this blog you are smart enough to know some people are padding their pockets first and foremost. Don’t be a victim of marketing ploys. Consult an expert who took an oath to first do no harm.

We are honored if you trust us with your skin at Johnson Dermatology. If you read this blog and don’t have a dermatologist I highly recommend you find one. Your skin is the largest organ in your body and it should be in the hands of someone who is an expert on skin.

“A market is never saturated with a good product, but it is very quickly saturated with a bad one.”      -Henry Ford

Merry Christmas, Nina

P.S. For those of you into science here ya go…..

a. Grether-Beck et al, Photoderm Photoimmunol Photomed 2014: review on photodamage from sun exposure other than UV
b. Robert et al., Skin Pharmacol & Physiol 2015: effect of IR-A on extracellular matrix
c. Schroeder et al, J Invest Dermatol 2008: infrared radiation increases MMP1

Great Advice

We go to Branson as a family every year at Christmas time. Our annual trip was this weekend and it was a doozy. Saturday morning my 20 month old little darling puked all over the breakfast table.  The smell was so bad the waitress brought me a washcloth and a bucket of water with the advice “napkins won’t take care of that”. I stayed in and snuggled her until she felt better that evening and then we headed to Silver Dollar City to see the lights-she wasn’t better, she puked there too. We left early and missed the parade. On the way home my 3 year old told me she needed to pee while we were in bumper to bumper traffic. I begged her to hold it and denied her request to “get out and go in the grass”. While stuck in traffic my one year old started to vomit. I crawled into the back seat to try to catch some of it and console her. My husband remained in the front seat where he gagged from the smell. He kindly rolled down the back seat windows to let the smell out and the freezing cold wind in to blow against our soaked in puke clothing. At this point my three year old yelled out the window “someone help us”. I said a little prayer that no one would call the police to check on the situation. We finally made it back to our home away from home where my three year old could no longer “hold it”. As we all sat there soaked in a variety of body fluids I laughed and cried hysterically, simultaneously. There is not one single parenting book or piece of advice that could prepare me for that moment. Thats life, Mom life to be exact. The kids went to bed and the adults stayed up playing cards, just hours later we were all laughing so hard about it our bellies ached. Talking about how no parenting advice can prepare you for those moments.

I give skin advice everyday. Whether with my patients, friends, family or blog readers. What makes you take my advice? Do you weigh the benefits versus the risks? Do you take into account my licensure or certifications and their value? I am thankful for those of you that trust me and take my advice on skin care. Often times people don’t take my advice because there is a cheaper option, easier option, less time consuming option or just simply because they disagree from personal experience. Today I want to share tips that people often don’t follow but in my opinion should be taken seriously. Skin advice that some people have disregarded previously.

  1. Sun protect even when you don’t think you need to. I tell people to wear sunscreen everyday and I often hear “but I don’t go in the sun”. We all go in the sun. Do you drive a car with windows? Do you see the light of day? How many parking lots do you walk through every day? If you see the light of day the suns rays see you. Even if you think you don’t need it, use sunscreen!
  2. Don’t tan to get ready for a beach vacation. I hear this all the time, like it’s okay to tan if it’s just one month per year. Would you smoke for one month per year? The best a tan could get you is an SPF of 4 which means you’re still going to burn. The American Academy of Dermatology says “Using indoor tanning beds before age 35 can increase your risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 59 percent; the risk increases with each use.” Melanoma kills people. It’s proven, researched, scientific facts- don’t get in a tanning bed if you don’t want skin cancer.
  3. Use retinol even if you think “it isn’t working”. You may not have used it long enough, you may not be using the best retinol (I use SkinMedica 1.0 Retinol) or you may be preventing more than “fixing” problems. Researchers have taken biopsies of skin and then applied retinol and taken a new biopsy and there is proven change in the skin underneath the microscope. When you are using retinol you are preventing acne, brown spots, enlarged pores, dull appearing skin and more. This is one case where if you use retinol for a year and can’t tell the difference, it’s you- not the retinol so I wouldn’t break up with it. Be married to retinol and the difference in what your skin will be in 20 years compared to what it will be without it will be mind blowing! Promise- I got the science to back that!
  4. Be gentle even if you want to “feel something happening”. I advise you guys over and over again not to scrub and use harsh products. Repeatedly I hear “but I want to feel the burn, the tingle, feel something happening”. You’re letting marketing techniques manage your skincare products instead of me. Companies know that if you feel something happening you will connect that to results. It’s a crock of poo. That ingredient that is burning or tingling your skin is actually more likely to be causing inflammation and dehydration of your skin rather than helping it. I know you are all too smart for that ploy though.
  5. Dont pop your pimples. “But Nina what do I do then when it’s full of pus and has to come out?” Answer: Apply your prescribed medicine, let me inject it, let me laser it, let me peel it, let me put it under a blu-u light! Whatever you pop out you’re popping that much in too. You’re causing inflammation and worsening of redness. You’re making it stay longer and scarring your beautiful face. It doesn’t NEED to be “popped” this is a common myth and I need you all to raise your right hand and repeat after me “I will not pop my pimples”.

The point is I give a lot of advice that people don’t like and that’s hard to take to heart. But as I sat in Branson in the worst possible Mommy situation, I had no parenting advice regrets. On the other hand, you are likely to regret ignoring the advice I have put here today. I don’t want you in my office in 20 years saying “I wish I would have worn sunscreen”. Don’t let that patient be you. Or maybe you will be that patient with skin regrets. I’m just a girl trying to save skin….. you may have different dreams and desires.

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all find yourselves crying until you laugh and laughing until you cry with only those regrets that are worth learning a valuable lesson.

xoxo, Nina

The “A” Team

This week I have found an extra appreciation for the meaning of a team. I am so blessed with family, friends, a job and a great community. None of these things have been achieved all on my own. My parents molded me into an adult to pick a husband. My friends, husband and OB (shout out to Dr. Riche at Mercy) all worked very hard for 5 years through infertility before I had children. Professors, doctors, nurses, supervisors and more were part of the team that helped me become a nurse practitioner. Mayors, small business owners, outreach programs and churches are all part of the team that makes Fort Smith great. What has brought great things into my life is great team members. It takes a team in life. Friday night was our staff Christmas party. Our largest one of the five  I have attended. Looking around brought to reality just how many people it really takes to care for your skin. When you make an appointment with me (or any of our providers) your outcomes and experience are the responsibility of the entire team. From the person you talk to when you make your appointment to the member that walks you back, to the surgical tech that gives you a stitch, the laser tech that lasers your scar, the billing department that files your insurance claim, the person that checks you out and educates you about skin care. You are touched by so many people with that one appointment you made with me. That’s what makes people love Johnson Dermatology, the team.

Thank you to all my team members, the ones who have helped me achieve a beautiful family. The ones who helped me achieve my professional goals. The JD team that helps me save skin. The Fort Smith team that makes me love this community of mine. Thank you for being an active team member and making my life a better one.

I encourage all of my readers to evaluate your team. Thank your team. What you have achieved took a team. What you have not achieved yet will require a team. Do not underestimate the value of a good team. Do not take advantage of a great team.

I promise that a little humility will strengthen your role in the team and make you a stronger team member. I found some of that humility looking around at my work team Friday night and I will be a better health care provider Monday morning because of that realization.

Finally, when it comes to healthy, refreshed skin it takes a team. A dermatology office is just one part of the team. Good products, dedication and support to help compliance are all required to reach your skin goals. Be smart on who coaches your skin team. Thank you for trusting me and Johnson Dermatology as your skin coaches.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” -African Proverb

Merry Christmas, next week I will get back to talking skin{insert wink face emoji} -Nina