23 Jun Dermatologist, Dr. Dennis Gross Answers Your Biggest Skincare Questions on Wrinkles, Dark Circles, Acne and Sensitive Skin
You asked, we listened. Dermatologist, Dr. Dennis Gross of DG Skincare is our skincare expert here to answer all of your questions. Whether you suffer from adult acne, wrinkles, spider veins or just problem skin, Dr. Dennis Gross is armed and ready with his professional answers. Read on to find the remedy you’ve been searching for!
Ever since I’ve had my first child, I’ve had an embarrassing “pregnancy mask.” I have been to numerous dermatologists and nothing has worked. It’s taking its toll on my self esteem. Makeup doesn’t even cover it. What do you recommend? Please help!
The brown discoloration you are experiencing is Hyper-pigmentation that comes in many different forms, including; sun spots, age spots, pregnancy mask, melasma and/or freckles. Hyper-pigmentation can be caused by hormonal imbalances resulting from birth control, pregnancy and hormonal replacement therapy. Furthermore, ask your doctor whether any medicines you take make you more sensitive to the sun, because this may also result in hyper-pigmentation, if you are not careful.
I recommend staying out of the sun and wear at least an SPF 15 every day, rain or shine and remember to reapply after swimming or perspiring. Alpha Hydroxyl and Beta Hydroxyl Acids combined with melanin-suppressing ingredients work best for daily treatments. Laser treatments also speed up this process. Visit us on Facebook at Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare for more skincare updates and advice!
Do you have any advice to rid my skin of pits and scars? I also have an uneven skin tone and dark circles under my eyes.
Definitely try gentle micro-exfoliation! The best way to bring back that fresh-faced look is daily, gentle chemical exfoliation with alpha and beta hydroxyl acids to help remove dead skin cells and reveal brighter, more even-toned skin. Skin can appear dull when dead skin cells are not removed. Try the Alpha Beta® Daily Face Peel.
It is possible to get rid of scars. In fact, we recently launched Trifix™ Acne Clearing Lotion, which contains over 20% active ingredients scientifically proven to treat acne, heal blemishes and repair scarring. Farnesol, Sulfur, Willow Bark Extract, and chelators are all important components that give Trifix™ such amazing results. Laser treatments can also work to erase scars.
Dark circles under the eyes may occur for several reasons-our blood vessels are lined with collagen, as they become more fragile and break more easily, which causes bruising or dark circles. Lifestyle habits such as smoking, drinking too much caffeine, overindulging in alcohol, and not sleeping enough can result in dark under-eye circles. Not all dark circles are directly caused by lifestyle choices – some people may have under-eye dark circles no matter how much sleep they get.
In addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, keeping allergy and sinus conditions in check can help to reduce dark circles. Helpful ingredients include Vitamin K, Vitamin C and retinoids. Look for ingredients that build collagen, which helps strengthen blood vessels, thereby preventing their breakage. Visit us on Facebook at Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare for more skincare updates and advice!
What is a good product to alleviate the redness of rosacea? I have a magnificent skin texture but in the last year I developed a bad redness and sometimes discomfort. What do you recommend that is all-natural?
For rosacea, try not to consume red wine, spicy foods or caffeine, as those aggravate the condition. For redness, try a cool compresses – or even cold cucumber slices.
As for a product selection, I would recommend using the Alpha Beta® Daily Face Peel. This gentle yet effective approach has helped many of my patients who suffer from Rosacea. This anti-aging product not only diminishes the appearance of wrinkles, but helps complexion problems, balances oil, tones skin, and increases clarity and radiance. Visit us on Facebook at Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare for more skincare updates and advice!
I have been using Dr. Dennis Gross’ peel kits, but I am still battling hyper-pigmentation, can you make any other recommendations?
My studies have concluded that a gentle combination of Alpha and Beta hydroxyl acids, such as those found in the MD Skincare Alpha Beta® Body Peel can effectively fade both sunspots and hyper-pigmentation as a result of sun damage. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant and when applied topically in a product, it can be extremely effective in fading those unsightly spots.
For those getting laser treatments and peels, and/or using bleaching products, it is HIGHLY important to use an SPF daily. All of these therapies make your skin more susceptible to sun damage. I would recommend an SPF 30 or higher, applied in the morning, and 30 minutes prior to any sun exposure.
Because bleaching creams increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, it’s best to use them at night. Apply them to completely dry skin one hour before bed so the cream cannot slide into your eyes. If irritation occurs, bring your treatment down a few notches until you can accurately gauge how much is too much. And as always, notify a doctor or a dermatologist of any adverse reactions. Visit us on Facebook at Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare for more skincare updates and advice!
I’m 52 with aging skin, but still get milias, quite frequently, and they stay around for almost a year or so, I use an exfoliating wash and some mild home peels, what can I do?
Milia are a common skin condition that consists of little white bumps that usually occur in the fragile eye area; however, they can also appear across the upper cheeks. Milia are caused by using creams that are too heavy for the skin. Gentle exfoliation with Alpha Hydroxyl and Beta Hydroxyl acids might improve the condition, which can be found in the Alpha Beta® Daily Face Peel. To have the milia removed completely you will need to see a dermatologist.
For the future, invest in an eye cream that will hydrate the sensitive under-eye area without being too heavy, such as the Continuous Eye Hydration Advanced Technology. I specifically formulated this product so that it would not cause Milia. Visit us on Facebook at Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare for more skincare updates and advice!
Where should I go to have a mole removed from my face-a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon? I’m afraid to use an over-the-counter product since the mole is in the middle of my forehead.
I recommend taking a vvisit to your dermatologist for a yearly skin-check. I also recommend a self examination every 3 months. It’s as simple as looking at each part of your body, front and back, for any new moles or moles that seem to be changing in shape, color, or size. The best way to differentiate a potential tumor versus a harmless mole is in looking for the A, B, C, D’s – it is the most effective method because it increases your chance of early detection.
Look out for:
B= Borders that are jagged
C= Color- If it is changing/more than one
D= Diameter- if it is greater than a pencil eraser
Are there any products on the market for stretch marks and spider veins that actually work?
The Lira Laser has been successful in treating spider veins and broken capillaries in the leg. A series of 4 to 6 treatments is recommended. There have been many new developments in the laser field that have proven to have better results.
Sclerotherapy is a simple procedure to improve the appearance of the legs by removing clusters of the small, thin veins that lie close to the skin (spider veins) and small varicose veins on the upper leg, thigh, calf and ankle. A solution is injected into these veins, causing them to collapse and fade. Repeated sessions (two or more) produce permanent results, although spider and varicose veins may arise in other parts of the legs.
Vitamin K can decrease the appearance of bruises and spider veins. It also works to help prevent against the leakage of the blood vessels. Visit us on Facebook at Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare for more skincare updates and advice!
How can I keep my oily skin not looking so shiny when I have makeup on?
Try Trifix™ Acne Clearing Lotion, which contains colloidal sulfur to fight oil production. Apply the lotion after cleansing and before your makeup application, it acts as a matifier. Vvisit us on Facebook at Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare for more skincare updates and advice!
I have very oily skin with breakouts. Can you make any recommendations on how to control this?
I recommend the All-Over Blemish Solution, which goes deep into the skin to disband to unclog pores while delivering active ingredients. All-Over Blemish Solution is an excellent pore-minimizer. Many of my patients use this product every morning as a make-up primer.
I would also you recommend you use Trifix™ Acne Clearing Lotion, which contains three natural acne-fighting ingredients – colloidal sulfur, farnesol (natural alternative to salicylic acid) and willow bark extract (natural alternative to benzoyl peroxide). With over 20% active ingredients, Trifix™ is scientifically proven to treat acne, heal blemishes and repair scarring. This is great for oily skin, and provides a flawless, matte finish- perfect for layering make up.
Lastly, remember that treatment has to be consistent. Prevention is really the best treatment because it is important to realize that a blemish can begin to form up to 2 to 3 weeks before it appears on the surface of the skin. Adult acne is a chronic, gradual, ongoing process. Use acne-fighting products and take care of your skin on a regular basis. Visit us on Facebook at Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare for more skincare updates and advice!
I have an oily T-Zone and cheeks that are normal. Is there a scrub out there that would benefit both skin types? I prefer a product with a light texture. What would you suggest?
Exfoliating masks or scrubs can often be harsh and leave skin irritated. Instead I recommend gentle microexfoliation™ on a daily basis with a combination of Alpha and Beta Hydroxyl acids to revive skin and create radiant, even-toned complexion. Using a daily peel, such as the Alpha Beta® Daily Face Peel at home and alternating with a stronger chemical professional peel once a month, will help boost collagen production and reverse the trend of collagen breakdown. Exfoliation in little amounts every day will be most effective instead of radical amounts which can be harsh and cause redness since the skin is not tolerant of such acids at those high levels. Visit us on Facebook at Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare for more skincare updates and advice!
Do you have any good tips to manage skin’s sensitivity-environmental in particular?
If you are prone to redness, avoid spicy foods, red wine & caffeine. Both spicy foods and red wine can cause facial redness and aggravate rosacea…even among those who have it to a minor degree. Also, be careful with salt and alcohol consumption. Salt collects in the skin and brings water, which in turn causes puffiness. Alcohol causes blood vessels to become leaky, so the water exits skin, causing puffiness in vulnerable, or delicate spots, like the under eye area. Avoid processed foods and sugars if you can—I believe raw food added to the diet helps the skin as well. Sulfur-rich foods are good for the skin. Take omega fatty acid supplements (fish-oils).
Products with sulfur or glycolic acid, when overused on sensitive skin can create redness. You should also minimize your exposure to temperature fluctuations such as hot baths, etc. and avoid temperature extremes. Of course, always wear SPF! Visit us on Facebook at Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare for more skincare updates and advice!
I get eczema and wondered what causes it and how to avoid getting it? What products can I use to relieve it?
Eczema can be defined as an inflammation of the skin that is irritated so skin appears dry, red, flaky and itchy. It is not considered an infection because there is no bacterium present. For mild cases, I recommend an intense facial moisturizer such as the Hydra-Pure™ Intense Moisture Cream. Heavy metals found in tap water (such as iron, lead, zinc, copper and magnesium) can irritate skin that is already prone to eczema. The above product contains a chelator (key-lay-tor) which sequesters heavy metals from the tap water and prevents them from doing further damage. I also recommend a mild cleanser such as the All-In-One Facial Cleanser with Toner.
As a dermatologist, I see plenty of patients who have had eczema as children and continue to have the condition as adults. Like allergies and asthma, the condition does seem to improve with age. The immune system changes and becomes less hyper-sensitive as an adult. There are some people who only have flare-ups in the springtime with increased levels of pollen or during the cold temperatures of the winter months. See a dermatologist when the itching is profound or when the rash covers a broader area than just a few spots on the body. Visit us on Facebook at Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare for more skincare updates and advice!
I have extremely dry skin and I am fighting wrinkles. I have some wonderful Olay products, but I haven’t used their toner. Should I be using the toner? What do you suggest?
I advise my patients to select a toner with alcohol-free ingredients to prevent stripping of the skin. You may also want to consider a multi-functional product that includes a toner, like our All-in-One Cleanser with Toner, which gently removes makeup without harming the skin. It is applied to dry skin with wet hands to maximize cleansing properties. Visit us on Facebook at Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare for more skincare updates and advice!
What lifting and firming cream on the market really works best?
Your best bet is to select a cream that has the following ingredients, which are known to provide a firming effect.
-Peptides (Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide) – Protein derivatives that firm and tone the skin; increase collagen synthesis.
-Retinols – Stimulate collagen production/cell growth and inhibit breakdown.
-GABA (amino butyric acid) – Immediate tightening and long term effects.
-Vitamin C – Potent antioxidant that helps prevent collagen breakdown; produces collagen.
-Centella Asiatica – Firms, soothes and repairs skin.
-Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Lactic/Malic Acids – Help build elastin and collagen (long-term firming, particularly when using a 2-step product such as the Alpha Beta® Face Peel)
Visit us on Facebook at Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare for more skincare updates and advice!
What would you say is the best active ingredient for fine lines? There is so much info out there and so many actives, you can’t possibly use them all!
Use products with active anti-aging ingredients, specifically Vitamin C and Alpha Hydroxyl acids, in pads, gels, and serums that won’t add unnecessary oil to skin. Over the counter topical supplements can be just as effective as a prescription for some people. Remember to start your anti-aging regimen off with the least aggressive at-home procedures and over-the-counter products. Then you can gradually work your way up the ladder in terms of aggressiveness to prescription products and in-office treatments, if need be.
Believe it or not, retraining ourselves not to make some very basic facial expressions, such as scowling, can make all the difference in minimizing the appearance of lines. Whenever we feel tense or angry, if we consciously take a moment to take a few deep breaths, it will not only benefit our psyche and ability to make a clear decision, but also our skin, since it will force us to relax our facial muscles. Taking B-complex vitamins or so-called stress tabs have also been shown to ease tension. Visit us on Facebook at Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare for more skincare updates and advice!
I’m 35 and starting to get wrinkles around my eyes. What’s the best for that?
Kick off your anti-aging regimen by using a moisturizing under-eye cream or gel. Typically, the eye area is the first part of the face to look a little worse for wear, because the skin there is especially thin and so more prone to the lines caused by wear and tear and sun damage. Treat lines around the eyes with a moisturizing eye cream that also contains antioxidants, Vitamin C and retinol. Visit us on Facebook at Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare for more skincare updates and advice!
What is a good wrinkle cream?
Active ingredients for home skin care products have reached a sophisticated level and can reduce and prevent wrinkles but you must a) know what ingredients to look for, and b) use products with multiple active ingredients in them. The days of one active ingredient are passé. For example, Genestein reduces collagen breakdown; Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that builds and stimulates collagen; Retinol also helps reduce collagen breakdown. In your forties and fifties, it is especially important to look for moisturizers that contain Hyaluronic Acid. This ingredient actually brings water from the atmosphere into your skin, so it will look plumper and firmer. This age group is also prone to redness and irritation, so look for products that include Green Tea Extract. It soothes the skin, and studies show it can help prevent skin cancer. Visit us on Facebook at Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare for more skincare updates and advice!
I have very delicate skin on my hands, and often notice freckles and age spots from the sun. We always think about applying sunscreen to our faces and body, but is there a good product out there such as a hand lotion or cream that contains sunscreen for your hands?
There are many sunscreen application types – lotion, spray, sticks, and packettes. I recommend you experiment until you find one that you like. It is important that you find a sunscreen or application method that you like, because you will not use sunscreen if you don’t like it. Powerful Sun Protection SPF 30 Daily Sunscreen Towelettes are a convenient option – the portable towelettes are easy to take on the go.
Get in the habit of wearing sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher EVERY DAY, even in the winter and even when you are not planning to spend a lot of time outdoors. Research shows that a substantial amount of premature aging comes from incidental sun exposure when we’re unaware of it – such as when we’re out shopping or even grabbing lunch. Wearing sunscreen every day will help to prevent the signs of premature aging. Visit us on Facebook at Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare for more skincare updates and advice!
Hi, I’m 36 years old, I have adult acne and my skin is very dry. I wear top of the line makeup and I still breakout. I would like to try your line of skincare, where can I buy products?
Adult acne is also often associated with dry skin which can exacerbate an existing acne condition. When the skin is dry, the dead skin cells flake off and can further block pores that already have an oil flow problem incubating the bacteria and leading to acne. These clogged pores aka “flat acne” may result in the form of blackheads or they may simply appear as enlarged pores on the skins surface-this is generally the beginning stages of acne.
I’m happy you are eager to start a skincare regimen to treat your condition. My products can be purchased on dgskincare.com. You can always visit us on Facebook at Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare for more skincare updates and advice!
I’m a man, I shave my head bald and I found that I develop pimples on the back of my head. Is there anything I can use to control that? Are they ingrown hairs?
Body acne is similar to the acne you get on your face, oil glands (pores) fill or clog with oil and bacteria get trapped in that canal. The germs reproduce and pimples form on the skin’s surface. It is important to cleanse the skin and I recommend an antibacterial body wash used in conjunction with the Alpha Beta® Daily Body Peel. The Alpha Beta® Daily Body Peel is a two-step system used to treat and prevent problems such as acne and helps diminish ingrown hairs. It was developed to help open clogged oil glands and microexfoliate away ingrown hairs. Another good idea would be to steam the area before applying. Visit us on Facebook at Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare for more skincare updates and advice!
I’m 37 years old, I have combination skin with an oily t-zone and I tend to get acne on my chin area. I also have fine lines around eyes, lips, smile lines and the 11’s. Is there anything you can recommend for both of my conditions?
For the acne on your chin area, try Trifix™ Acne Clearing Lotion, with over 20% active ingredients including colloidal sulfur, farnesol (natural alternative to salicylic acid) and willow bark extract (natural alternative to benzoyl peroxide) – it is scientifically proven to treat acne, heal blemishes and repair scarring. Do not over-cleanse or use a drying cleanser as that can exacerbate the breakout problem. Try All-In-One Cleansing Foam.
If you are concerned about fine lines , try incorporating exfoliating acids into your daily skin-care regiment. Using a daily peel, such as the Alpha Beta® Daily Face Peel at home and alternating with a stronger chemical professional peel once a month, will help boost collagen production and reverse the trend of collagen breakdown. Boosting collagen also helps treat acne scars. Visit us on Facebook at Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare for more skincare updates and advice!
PUFFY EYES/DARK CIRCLES
I’m 52 years old and I don’t have many fine lines and wrinkles, just a few crow’s feet. I do, however, have puffy eyes and I can’t seem to use the right products. I need help, what can I do?
Puffy eyes can be caused by too much salt or alcohol. Salt collects in the skin and brings water, which in turn causes puffiness. Alcohol causes blood vessels to become leaky, so the water exits skin, causing puffiness in vulnerable, or delicate spots, like the under eye area. Lift & Lighten Eye Cream can help reduce puffiness and swelling. You can also try an old trick that works-freezing either green or white tea bags and apply them directly to the eye area. Visit us on Facebook at Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare for more skincare updates and advice!
Do you have any recommendations for an eye cream that helps with minimal upper eye lid droopiness?
There are many ingredients out there that can dramatically improve the look of aging skin. It is best to use products with a diverse cocktail of Antioxidants (Antioxidant Firming Face Serum), Vitamins C & E, Lycopenes, Green Tea, Grape Seed Extract, etc. They will help to fight the free radicals that breakdown collagen.
Chelators are another set of ingredients to look for. Their primary function is to prevent the harmful unbound metals (found on the skin from tap water and perspiration) from causing redness, irritation, and even aging. They also help to keep skin healthy and to increase the efficacy of other skincare products used in a daily regime. Chelators allow you to extract, in a healthy way, the minerals that the skin needs while removing the harmful minerals that it does not. Try the Hydra-Pure® Firming Eye Cream. Visit us on Facebook at Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare for more skincare updates and advice!
What are the best products to eliminate dark circles?
Dark circles occur for several reasons. Our blood vessels are lined with collagen and as we age the quality diminishes, causing the blood vessels to become fragile and break more easily, which is what causes bruising or circles. The number one thing we can do is get more sleep! When the skin is getting less than optimum fuel, it can become dull and pale with dark under-eye circles. Lack of sleep can be so stressful that it actually causes our bodies, including our skin, to generate free radicals. In addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, keeping allergy and sinus conditions in check can help to reduce dark circles. Helpful ingredients include Vitamin K, Vitamin C and retinoids. Look for ingredients that build collagen, which helps strengthen blood vessels, thereby preventing their breakage. You can also try freezing green tea bags and putting them on your eyes for 15 minutes before you go to sleep. Lift & Lighten Eye Cream will also help. Visit us on Facebook at Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare for more skincare updates and advice!
Compiled by Allison McKenna