Daniel Bergman, MD, and Lauren Kole, MD, from the Department of Dermatology share tips on caring for your skin.
Written by: UAB Medicine
Media Contact: Anna Jones
With the happy but exhausting holiday season in the rear view mirror, the beginning of the year presents a time of reflection and renewal. Daniel Bergman, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, says that prioritizing skin health is a wonderful way to start the year.
“Our skin is the organ that we use,” Bergman said. “It is connected to our emotions, personality and self-identity. The way we take care of our skin says a lot about what we think of ourselves.”
For those ready to give their skin the love it deserves, Lauren Kole, MD, director of the residency program and assistant professor in the UAB Department of Dermatology, has some tips on how to prioritize skin health.
choose a cleaner
“It’s important that your cleanser matches your skin type,” Kole said. “Use a cream-based cleanser if you have dry or sensitive skin, or a foam cleanser if you have oily or acne-prone skin.”
For those with acne, Kole recommends a product with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.
“Look for a moisturizer that suits your skin type,” Kole said. “A lighter serum or gel-based moisturizer works well for oilier skin, while a thicker, creamier moisturizer is better for dry or aging skin.”
Adopt an anti-aging regimen
Kole recommends using a daily vitamin c serum in the morning and an over-the-counter retinol or prescription retinoid at night.
Daily use of sunscreen is a must, both for days spent indoors and outdoors.
“Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher,” Kole said. “Sunscreen in makeup is a plus, but it’s not enough on its own.”
Get checked for skin cancer
“One in four people will get skin cancer by the age of 67,” Kole said. “Even those in their 20s and 30s should get checked if they’ve had significant sun exposure, used tanning beds, or haven’t routinely used sunscreen.”
The UAB Department of Dermatology can perform skin cancer screening tests annually or as needed based on the patient’s risk factors.
Consider a cosmetic consultation
“If you have questions, make an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist,” Kole said. “A cosmetic consultation can be part of a skin care regimen for someone who is not ready for cosmetic procedures.”
Use the GRASS method
Bergman says it’s important to use the right products for each skin type, but it’s also important to use them in the right order. He advises patients to apply products using the “GRASS” approach:
G = Growth factors that help repair the skin
R = Retinols and retinoids, to improve pigmentation and fine lines
A = Antioxidants such as topical vitamin C, to prevent damage
S = Special products such as moisturizers, whitening creams and moisturizers
S = Sunscreen
“Taking care of your skin can prevent damage that can be hard to undo,” Bergman said. “An ounce of prevention a day is worth a pound of cure.”
Make an appointment with UAB Dermatology today by visiting uabmedicine.org.