Best-kept summer skincare secrets

A dermatologist's secrets to better skin
By Dr. Marie Jhin:

1) Dark Eye Circles/puffiness - Dark circles under the eyes can indicate allergies, sleeplessness, dehydration and aging. Vitamin K eye creams strengthen the capillary walls and reduce the visibility of blood vessels through the thin skin under the eye. Add retrinol with Vitamin K cream if the dark circles do not respond. Preparation H contains an active ingredient called pheylephrine, which temporarily shrink swollen tissue by constricting the nearby blood vessels. However, if your under eye bags are hereditary or caused by fat pads, no amount of hemorrhoid cream is going to help. For a safer, more natural option try using coffee pods that are individual sized packets that look like tea bags except it contains coffee. After brewing your coffee, put the pods in a Tupperware container in the refrigerator. To help de-puff under eye bags, press the cold coffee pod over each eye for 5-10 minutes. The cold and the caffeine will help shrink swollen tissues. Another option is to use gel like sheets called Second Skin that can be used after refrigeration to reduce puffiness in minutes.

Dr Jhin's secret for dark circles and undereye bags - use a Vitamin K eye cream for dark circles and refrigerated coffee pods or Second skin.

2) Acne emergency/oily skin - Regardless of age, oil - also known as sebum - is always produced by the sebaceous glands. To get from the glands to your skin, the oil flow into nearby follicular pores, and eventually works its way to the surface. Here it plays a vital role in the health of both skin and hair. It helps seal in moisture, to give hair a healthy sheen and keeps skin plump and hydrated. But in some people, too much oil is produced and can make hair and skin took greasy, slick and even dirty. Oil production is nature's response to irritation. So harsh cleansing may produce more oil. Instead, treat oily skin with thorough but gentle cleansing.

Dr Jhin's secret for oily skin - use oil-inhibiting products such as OC8, which uses an absorbent technology to reduce shine and it's very effective for all skin types. Antiperspirant can also do the trick but not for all skin types since it can be irritating.

What can you do if you suddenly develop a large pimple and you have a big date, prom or wedding? Dr Jhin's secret for an acne blemish - if you have a large acne zit and have a big event in the next day or two, apply a small amount of hydrocortisone cream and this will reduce the inflammation and redness quickly.

3) Keys to avoid dry skin - Unless you have really oily skin or work with oils or gases, you do not need soap to get yourself clean. Pure water does the job to get you clean. However, you do need to use soap on your face, under arms and in the groin area. As you get older, the use of soap on the rest of the body can unnecessarily dry your skin. Also to keep skin moist, take shorter and less hot showers and moisturize as soon as you come out of a shower or better yet a bath.

Dr Jhin's secret to avoid dry skin - do not use soap all over your body. Moisturize right away to seal in the moisture especially after a bath.

4) Fingernail infection/care - tips for strong, healthy fingernails and to avoid infections, and improve appearance, try the following tips:

Keep your nails clean and dry; avoid nail-biting or picking; apply moisturizer to your nails and cuticles daily. Creams with urea, phospholipids or lactic acid can help prevent cracking; file nails in one direction and keep tips round; don't remove the cuticles or clean too deeply under your nails; don't dig out ingrown toenails; avoid nail polish removers that contain acetone or formaldehyde; bring own instruments if you get frequent manicures; if you have artificial nails, check regularly for green discoloration - a sign of a bacterial infection; eat a balance diet and take vitamins containing biotin.

Dr Jhin's secret for nails and hands- avoid over washing hands and remove rings to avoid a rash and use vinegar/water soaks if any signs of infection.

5) Antiaging care - Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. Use sunscreen daily, preferably with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher and has broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Nowadays, the sunblocks with ingredients such as Mexoryl or Helioplex provide longer protection but do re-apply. If you've already applied sunblock and makeup in the morning, use a titanium dioxide makeup or sunblock powder to reapply. Don't smoke - it's bad for your skin and causes wrinkles. Deep-set wrinkles will appear around your mouth from puckering, your skin will be dehydrated and dull and you may experience premature aging.

Dr Jhin's secret - Don't smoke and reapply sunblock - use a foundation is formulated with titanium dioxide, a sunscreening ingredient. Smoothing it over sunscreen offers extra protection.

Products recommended by Dr. Jhin:

1) Auriderm Vit K eye cream
2) Vita K solution
3) Folgers Coffee pods
4) Second Skin
5) Clinac OC 8
6) Maximum strength hydrocortisone ointment
8) Cereve moisturizing cream
9) Colorscience SPF sunforgettable powder
10) Biotin vitamins
11) white vinegar

About Dr. Marie Jhin:
Board certified dermatologist, Premier Dermatology
Adjunct Clinical Instructor, Stanford University

Dr. Marie Jhin is a graduate of Wellesley College. She received her medical degree from Cornell University Medical College. She completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine from the New York Presbyterian Hospital receiving a board certification in Internal Medicine. She continued her training as a resident and chief resident in dermatology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Jhin is a board certified dermatologist and a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. She is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgeons, the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery, the San Francisco Dermatological Society, and the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. Dr. Jhin is an adjunct Clinical Instructor at Stanford University School of Medicine, as well as a staff member at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco and at Sequoia Hospital.Dr. Jhin has appeared in Oprah and Seventeen Magazines, and on the local news stations.

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