If you've been to a drug, discount or department store lately to buy skincare, you know it can be confusing!  A myriad of ingredients, constantly updated technology…it's hard to keep up.  This month's Beauty Bylines interview is with Dr. Jeanine Downie, a board certified dermatologist.  She'll help us to navigate skincare, sunscreens and skin disorders. Got skincare questions? Dr. Downie's got answers! Read on…

Dr Downie

Beauty411: It's about that time of
the year when we'll be switching our winter skin regimens to a lighter
one for spring.  What factors should we consider when we switch products
seasonally?  Is it a good idea to switch your skin care or do you recommend
a consistent skin care program throughout the year, regardless of the

Dr. Downie: There
are some things that you want to switch over. For example, when you
are talking about moisturizers for your face, you want to switch from
heavier, thicker moisturizers to lighter moisturizers. Now is the time
when a lot of people want to wear moisturizer plus an SPF together.  In general, I do recommend
that people keep up with their same sunscreen and same antioxidants
all year long. So, there are some things I would switch and
some things I wouldn’t.

Beauty411: In a tough economy, consumers
expect value from the skin care products that we buy.  What are the essential
skin care products that we should be using and what products represent
great value and efficacy?

Dr. Downie: The
essential skin care products that you should be using are sunscreen,
antioxidants, and night repair creams.  In terms of antioxidants,
I love VIVITÉ Daily Serum, Revaleskin CoffeeBerry Intense
and Prevage MD.  I like MD Forte Aftercare, in terms of a great consistent sunblock
to use all the time. In terms of night creams, I like TNS Essential
Serum and Retin A and Tazorac, since retinol helps to build
collagen. I think those products represent a great value and represent
total efficacy for the people who use them. 

Beauty411: More women (and men) are
seeking out aesthetic products/procedures, like injectibles.  Do you
have advice on how they should go about selecting a professional that
specializes in injectibles?  What are some questions they should ask?

Dr. Downie: In
terms of seeking a professional, the bottom line is that they should
get referrals from friends that they thing look very good. They should definitely
stick with board certified doctors and I prefer doctors that actually
do the injectibles themselves, rather than have their nurses do them.
They also want to ask how many years experience that “X” practitioner
has had injecting. If they have only starting injecting a year or two
or three ago that might give one pause.

Beauty411: Hyperpigmentation seems
to be on everyone's mind these days.  Do you have recommendations on
how to prevent, as well as treat this condition?

Dr. Downie: The best method of preventing hyperpigmentation
is to wear sunblock and reapply it every two hour rain or shine, January
through December, regardless of your ethnicity.  I recommend prescription
products, EpiQuin Micro and Triluma. However, the over-the-counter skin
cream I reach for would be AMBI. I do think that the VIVITÉ Vibrance
works really well.  Some of my patients will combine that with
a lower level hydroquinone like the two percent over the counter.  And I do think that
one should use an antioxidant.

Beauty411: Thinking about sunscreens
for daily use.  At a minimum, what level SPF do you recommend to your
patients?  Also, with many products (like foundation and moisturizers)
containing sunscreen, do we still need to add a "stand-alone"
sunscreen product on top?

Dr. Downie: At
a minimum, I recommend at least 30 SPF every day and I do like some
of the moisturizers with sun screen, but it depends on which one it
is. Aveeno Positively Radiant daily moisturizer is a good one. In general,
I like them separate.

Many thanks to Dr. Downie for sharing her expertise with Beauty411 readers!

B. Downie, MD is board certified and is the director of image Dermatology
P.C. in Montclair, N.J.  She has extensive training and experience
in all aspects of dermatology, cosmetic dermatology, laser and dermatologic
surgery. Dr.
Downie is a medical consultant for The Today Show, Good Morning America,
The Early Show, The View and Ten Years Younger.  She has been featured
on The Montel Williams Show, The Rachael Ray Show, MSNBC and many others.  Dr. Downie consults, lectures and
does FDA and investigator-initiated clinical trials for many of the
top tier pharmaceutical companies, including Allergan, which manufactures the VIVITÉ brand.


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