Skincare Secrets with Dr. Smeena Khan, M.D. - Part II
Posted on November 28 2018
Welcome to Part II of Skincare Secrets with Dr. Smeena Khan, M.D., a board-certified practicing dermatologist at the Dermatology Center of Loudon who specializes in everything from anti-aging, cosmeceuticals, auto-immune skin diseases to acne. Previously, she discussed what to expect on your first visit to the dermatologist, plus how easy it is to begin an anti-aging routine at home for clear, healthy-looking skin (read Part I of Skincare Secrets). Today, we're taking an inside look at some of the most popular skin treatments: chemical peels, micro-needling and dark circles. And if you're wondering how Dr. Khan maintains her flawless, glowing skin, keep reading, because she'll be revealing her top-secret beauty regimen!
Dr. Khan, I’m a little squeamish, but what exactly is a chemical peel and how does it work?
There is a whole range of chemical peels available from your dermatologist, namely superficial peels, mid-level and deep peels. The purpose of a chemical peel is to use various chemical substances to exfoliate and stimulate the deeper parts of the skin to regenerate cells. The results are smoother, clearer skin. Over-the-counter superficial peels can be found in any beauty supply store, but mid-level peels must be supervised by a trained professional. Mid-level peels go deeper than superficial peels and may cause redness or temporary peeling, however, the results are long lasting, impressive and can do a good job at stimulating deep collagen. Deeper peels have by and large been replaced by laser treatments to access deeper parts of the skin.
We love visiting the spa and getting the royal treatment, but if I were to swap my next spa visit for a dermatologist visit instead, how would you help me achieve that fresh, ‘brand new’ feeling? And why would it be better than going to the spa?
If what you’re getting from the spa is relaxation and an escape from the stress of daily life, then by all means, keep going! However, typical estheticians don't have access to prescription anti-aging treatments. The FDA only regulates over-the-counter anti-aging products for safety, not efficacy. When you’re at the spa, you have no access to FDA studied products. The good news is, your dermatologist can design a skincare routine tailored to your specific needs.
Micro-needling? A trend, or here to stay?
Micro-needling is an ingenious process that takes advantage of your body's natural healing mechanisms. It uses the concept that when you prick the skin with the use of a derma roller, you automatically turn on your collagen healing mechanisms to refresh and revitalize the skin. For professional treatments, the derma rollers penetrate deeper, can incorporate growth factors or stem cells or even non-surgical radio frequency (RF) energy. In my opinion, micro-needling is definitely here to stay. In the long term, it will become better and better.
Even if I moisturize and get enough sleep, is there anything I can do about hereditary dark circles?
The appearance of dark circles can be caused by genetics or age-related sinkage. Genetics play a vital role in how our skin will age. Under the eyes, you could inherit a concentration of pigmented hemosiderin in the blood, which is difficult to hide, but can be reduced with the help of creams containing hydroquinone and supplements with Vitamin K. Sinkage occurs during the aging process when your skin begins to lose volume. Anything sunken tends to look darker. Filling in that space with injectable hyaluronic acid fillers helps tremendously.
I’m in my 30s and have noticed my skin isn’t as tight or bright as it used to be. Any thoughts on how to reclaim that Hollywood Glow?
If you feel your skin has lost its natural radiance or you just want to achieve a glowing, youthful appearance, I would first recommend consulting with your dermatologist to asses what is actually going on beneath the skin. If it is a textural issue, you may only need a prescription cream. If there is increased pigmentation, such as dark spots or patches, exfoliation to remove the coarse topical layers of skin, followed by a laser treatment to stimulate collagen could be in order.
Dr. Khan, your skin is amazing! Any skincare secrets you would like to share?
In my 20's, I started to be very proactive about taking care of my skin. Today, I'm 49 years old and a mother of five! I never skip my daily routine because I believe that you have to be willing to invest time in yourself if you really care and want to see results. I use the Obagi Nu-Derm system, which is available by prescription, and includes a range of products from a daily SPF 50 sunscreen, to foaming cleansers and moisturizers and most importantly, the strongest topical anti-aging products currently available! Since the skin around the lips and around the eyes is very similar, I prevent and treat age-related changes with Neocoutis Lumiere eye cream. In addition, I do weekly micro-needling treatments to stimulate collagen production. About every four months, I use Botox to prevent fine lines and wrinkles.