Posts for tag: skin care

By Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery
June 21, 2019
Category: Skin Care

Simple tips from Dr. Toula Berti for how to build your best skin-care routine…..


What most people do: Rinse their face in the morning with water (occasionally use a facial specific cleanser) in the shower and use a healthy skinwipe in the evening that is used to remove make up and dirt.  Some then rinse that off their face.

What Dr. Berti says:  Remove eye make-up if wearing with a simple eye make up remover, such as Neutrogena oil-free eye make up remover; then, use a non-comedogenic gentle facial cleanser. Apply with clean hands and possibly use a clean washcloth to help remove excess make-up.  “Remember it’s not just makeup that’s going to build up on your skin, it’s also the products you’ve used during the day, pollutants, and debris that build up during the course of the day,” she says. The use of expensive cleansers is unnecessary, it is simply a process remove the oils, dirt, makeup and products from your skin.  The key in choosing the right cleanser for you is asking the question, “does it irritate your skin?” Dr. Berti loves Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser, “there are no parabens and it is non irritating for even the most sensitive of skin types and it lathers, unlike the other gentle cleansers out there that feel like cleaning with a lotion.  If you have acne prone skin, you would not want to apply a heavy oil based product.  On that note, if you are using anti-acne products, you may not want to use a product that is too drying with salicylic acid, or rough scrub base, unless this is prescribed for your specific type of acne treatment. If you have really dry skin, you may want to use a cleanser with a moisturizing component.  And in general, one should avoid the use of facial cleansing brushes. Realizing these are popular and that some people may have spent some serious money for them makes reading this not so popular, but when I ask patients “how do you clean the brushes after using them?”  The subsequent look from them speaks volumes.  In my opinion they are similar to using the same washcloth over and over again with no actual washing of the cloth in between use.


What most people do: Exfoliating is one thing most people turn to when they think their skin looks dull or their pores are clogged.

What Dr. Berti says: Exfoliating is important to start in your mid-20s because cell turnover starts to slow down around 25. This can make the skin look dull and scars can take longer to fade. Depending on how dry or oily your skin is, you only need to exfoliate once a week to once a month, depending if you are using a prescription strength retinoid (vitamin A derivative) that provides a natural exfoliation.  Since most retinoids are a prescription strength vitamin A derivative, it is best to discuss with a doctor which one would be best for your skin.  There are also over the counter strength Retinols that are significantly reduced strength vitamin A derivatives available, which may be a good starting point for some people. Discussing the difference and choosing what is best for your individual skin type is usually best.  Choosing an at home exfoliating product can be overwhelming as there are so many products out there.  Clinique has a nice line of exfoliating scrubs specific for our body or face that compliment most skin care regimes nicely.  Though Dr. Berti adds, do not over exfoliate as our skin gets angry with over aggressive treatment and typically ends up looking overly ruddy and irritated, which is exactly the opposite of what is desired.  Having in office microdermabrasions, some combined with glycolic acids once a month are a wonderful way to keep our skin looking and feeling its best as well.  


What most people do: Many people in all age groups admit to using moisturizers, even those under 10 years old and even those with oily skin.  Most like to relieve any dryness or tightness they feel after washing their face and many believe it will prevent wrinkles, acne, sundamage and blotchy skin. Many like to mix up the consistency of moisturizers from morning to evenings. At night, many older adults prefer to use a rich hydrating cream to give skin the extra moisture it needs after being out all day and use a lighter one in the morning to provide some hydration.

What Dr. Berti says: The marketing for skin moisturizers has been phenomenal.  It is amazing to hear that so people are using one every day and that many of them may not need one or as heavy of one.  It is true that our skin’s ability to hold onto moisture decreases as we get older, however, most younger people especially those with acne prone skin produce enough of their own natural oils that additional oils or moisturizers are simply not needed, or at the very least sparingly.  Dr. Berti states, “It all really depends on your skin type. If you are acne prone an oil-free lightweight moisturizer is generally the way to go, but if you have mature dry skin perhaps a richer moisturizer is necessary.” Dr. Berti adds, “ask yourself does my moisturizer irritate my skin, does it break me out, if not then it probably is helping to keep your skin happy.”

Eye creams

What most people do: Eye creams are formulated specifically for the delicate eye area, so some people like to use them in place of moisturizer on that part of their face.  Many people request creams that would take the place of botox or that would reduce puffiness or darkness under the eyes.  Subsequently, many people over spend looking for the miracle under eye cream that will help all of the above and become frustrated when they do not help.

What Dr. Berti says:  Many eye creams exist with various claims, though there are some that are good with realistic expectations, there are many more with unrealistic claims and high price tags.  First, there is no cream that can replace what botox can provide, significant decrease in crows feet lines around our eyes.  Dr. Berti thinks Lumiere and Micro-Eyes from Neocutis are the best eye creams on the market today.  She adds, “there is scientific data proving that this line of products increase collagen thus making our skin look more youthful as well as caffeine making our puffy under eye look tighter.”  Serums with vitamin C are also helpful as they assist in making collagen and also provide an elegant moisturizing effect to the delicate area surrounding our eyes, she adds, “La Roche Vitamin C cream is the best product on the market.”

Sun Protection

What most people do: In the mornings, they use a moisturizer with SPF because it means “I’ll never forget my sunscreen protection or my moisturizer.” And they feel that they don’t have to use two separate products in the morning (unless at the beach and need to add something more heavy duty).

What Dr. Berti says: “For day-to-day use, if all you’re doing is going to the office and grabbing lunch, then you can use a moisturizer that contains SPF,” says Berti. “If you’re going to be outdoors for a prolonged period of time, like the beach, biking, or hiking, then you really need a more dedicated sunscreen.” Dr. Berti recommends the La Rocher-Posay line of sunscreens as they are light weight, non-comedogenic and provide excellent coverage. She also promotes the Vanicream line, especially for those with sensitive skin or those who prefer water resistant coverage. She says to make sure to apply all your treatments down to your neck, ears, and décolletage (places that are often forgotten and are prone to sunburn).

Mineral sunscreens—physical blockers with ingredients like zinc and titanium dioxide—should be applied at the end of your regimen, says Dr. Berti. (Derms often recommend mineral sunscreens for sensitive skin types.) Chemical sunscreens work by being absorbed into the skin, so “if you have a very thick moisturizer, and then apply a chemical sunscreen, it won't absorb as well as when you apply it to clean skin,” says Berti. In these cases, you’ll want to put your sunscreen on after cleansing and serum (if you’re using one) but before your moisturizer.

The lesson to be learned

There’s nothing wrong with getting a head start. No matter your age it’s about building good habits now that will last for the rest of your lifetime.  Cleanse your skin daily with a mild cleanser, protect your skin, keep it covered during peak sun hours or use a good sunscreen and moisturize as needed.  For more information about maintaining healthy skin or to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Berti of Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery in Willowbrook or South Barrington. Call (630) 321-0303 for Willowbrook and (847) 304-0303 for South Barrington. What we eat is important too, next time more comments on that topic.

Always remember Healthy skin is Beautiful.