Who is your skin expert?

So, I like to think I’m cool. I’m probably about 1/4 as cool as I think I am but hey, I try to keep up. I like fashion, I like pop culture, I love social media. Like seriously, how did people stay hip in their 30’s without social media. I often search hashtags like #skincare #skin #dermatology along with the usual #kimandkanye , #ootd and #widn. Some of the skin care tweets pain me. Such as the ones that recommend smashing berries and mixing them with honey and toothpaste and rubbing it all over your face for acne. As my little girl would say “ewww, gwoss”. Or the ones that list the top five exfoliators, all including beads and scrubs that I consider harsh on the skin and would never recommend. There are also tweets from dermatologist but let’s get real. There aren’t as many cool derms out there tweeting as there are hip, young skin bloggers. Most of my favorite derms have a couple thousand followers (at most) where skin bloggers usually have 20 thousand followers or more. So I started to wonder why?

How do you pick your skin expert? I mean it’s pretty cut and dry when you need brain surgery, the neurosurgeon. When you need a root canal, the dentist. When you need the dreaded colonoscopy, the gastroenterologist. But it’s not that easy when you have acne. Do you go to an aestetician, a spa, a family doctor, a make-up counter at a drug store or a dermatologist? How do you chose who is going to be your skin expert? I mean obviously, I’m not neutral and I think the dermatologist is the expert. I mean don’t dermatologist spend the most time in school learning about skin? Doesn’t that make them the experts? Or do you look at experience? Does an aestitician with 40 years of experience have more experience with skin than a dermatologist that just got out of residency? Or is the proof in the pudding? Does a make-up artist for the stars who makes celebrities’ skin look flawless and now travels the world sharing her tips get expert points over say a dermatology nurse practitioner in Fort Smith, Arkansas who has only treated the locals? I’m not sure what the answer is for you, for Americans. Do advertisements play a role? Are you persuaded by where your friends go? Do you have a dermatologist?

I would like to think that most dermatologist have an evidence-based practice(like Johnson Dermatology does). We go off of science. What the research says works is what we believe in and recommend. Did you know Dr. Brad, Dr. Sandy, Honey and I review the literature together on a regular basis? Do you think your skin expert does that? I hope so. I think that’s what sets us apart from other skin faux experts. Although I must say our experience plays a role and the products we prefer does vary somewhat within our specialty. But there are some things that don’t vary and those are the things that you want to be sure you don’t stray from. Here are my dermatology tips that you should never break from, no matter who tells you otherwise…. well as long as you trust me.

1. Be sunsmart. As a whole, the dermatology world has lots of research which shows that UV damage increases your risk of skin cancer, wrinkles and dark spots. Sure there are benefits from minor amounts of UV rays that some people will try to capitalize on but there are TONS of benefits from being sun smart. So wear your sun protective clothing, wear your SPF of 30 or higher and know you’re helping your skin stay healthy.

2. Don’t use harsh products. We all agree that scrubs, beads, exfoliators and harsh products irritate and inflame the pores of the skin. Use gentle products for your skin. No matter what product you use, avoid the harsh stuff.

3. Retinol is your anti-aging hero. Sure other fads will hit the market. Right now it seems like all the “green” and natural stuff is really popular but for now the oldest ingredient that hasn’t changed in the research and literature is Retinol. Retinol passively exfoliates so for all you exfoliators out there who say you can’t live without scrubbing, try a retinol. It’s the workhorse, it shrinks your pores, decreases oil production, decreases dark spots, helps fine lines and lightens and brightens. You can see this product working on the skin at a microscopic level. How cool is that?!?!?

4. Watch your skin- Just like women should do self breast exams monthly everyone should do skin checks on themselves. Watch your moles, look for new, changing, growing, and non-healing lesions. Of course I would love if you had a dermatologist look your skin over head to toe at least once a year.

5. Be happy and confident in your own skin. Throw away your magnifying mirrors. Be thankful for the skin you have been given because you are the only one in the world that has that skin. You are beautiful. Anyone who tells you to change your skin is wrong. Choose a skin expert that can bring out your natural beauty.

I hope I don’t offend anyone with this post. I realize there are people other than dermatologist who are great with skin. But I also realize there are people out there who are making money off of skin advice and selling skin products who are not experts, who don’t have the best advice and I don’t know how the consumers filter out the experts from the faux experts. Be aware, be alert, be smart. Always know that I am honored when you chose me as your skin expert and promise to always do my best to be the best for you and your skin.

Happy Weekend, stay skintastic, Nina


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