Posts Tagged ‘Skincare Regimen’

Skin Care Advice for Your Big Event

Written by Author on . Posted in Natural Skincare

Get Your Skin Ready for Your Wedding, Graduation or Other Major Event

By Kevin C. Smith MD FACP FRCPC

Everyone – guests and those who will be in the public eye — wants their skin to look its best on their big day. Here are some simple tips you can follow to help avoid skin problems on your special day:

  • Acne or Rosacea Skin:
    Plan ahead: if you have a skin condition like acne or rosacea, see a dermatologist at least 3-4 months ahead of the big day (and sooner, if possible), so that your condition can be brought under control and so that your skin can heal up in time for the occasion. Check out or for treatment information.
  • Wrinkles, Unwanted Hair or Sweating:
    Are you thinking of having treatments like Botox® (for frown lines, or to control excessive sweating), fillers like Restylane™, Juvederm™ and Artecoll™ for wrinkles, creases and scars, or laser treatments for unwanted hair or to remove broken blood vessels from the face? You should aim to have these treatments completed about 3 weeks before the event, so that the benefits of treatment will have fully developed, and so that any side effects of treatment like redness or small bruises will have resolved. Discuss the plans and timing with your dermatologist so that these things can be taken into account when scheduling your treatments. (Read more about Botox®)
  • New Cosmetics:
    If you want to experiment with cosmetics, you should do so well in advance, to reduce the risk that an allergic or irritant reaction will interfere with your enjoyment of the event.
  • Sun Tanning:
    Sun protection is important in the weeks leading up to an important event, to reduce the risk that you will have sunburn or peeling on the big day. It is also important to avoid experimenting with tanning beds in the weeks leading up to a major event, in case you have an undesired reaction to the UV light.
  • Self-Tanning:
    Self-tanning creams and spray-on tans should not be used for the first time within three weeks of a major event, in case there is an allergic reaction or an unusual or uneven color is created. If you want to use such products, start to experiment with them several months ahead so that you can learn how to obtain safe, reliable results. Remember that the pigment created by many self-tanning products can discolor fine clothing, so it might be best not to apply them within a week of a public event.

What if there is a dermatological emergency like a flare-up of acne or an allergic reaction on the face in the days before a wedding, graduation or other important day? Fortunately, many of these problems can be helped by modern medical treatments. Your doctor may be able to arrange a high priority appointment with a dermatologist if they explain that there is an important event coming up – most of us, and most of our staff have been through these things ourselves and we are very sympathetic.

About the author:
Dr. Kevin Smith is a dermatologist in Niagara Falls, Ontario with a particular interest in protecting the skin and in correcting skin problems resulting from aging, rosacea and sun damage. He is an expert in the use of Botox®, fillers, lasers and intense pulsed light to maintain and enhance the appearance of the skin, and have lectured on those subjects across North America, and in Europe, Asia and Mexico. Read more at

Shaving 101

Written by Author on . Posted in Uncategorized

Your legs must be wet for at least two to three minutes before applying your cleanser or scrub. That way the hair is soft and pliable, easier to cut. Don’t use soap, it just dries out your legs and makes for a poor shave.

Make sure you have the right tool. There are various styles of shavers, but not all legs or hair growth are the same. Triple blades work well, but no matter the blade type you use, change it frequently – but be careful with sharp edges – if not done carefully, shaving can irritate the skin, the hair follicle, and the oil gland, which causes a rash. Ingrown hairs also pose a chance of infection. See a dermatologist for the right solution.

Choose a shaving cream or gel that contains emollients for a hydrating effect, and one that is fragrance free to avoid irritation to your skin. So steer away from products that contain irritants including alcohol, menthol and peppermint. Find yourself out of shaving cream? Hair conditioner or body cleanser works just fine.

Apply even pressure and shave against the growth of hair. Follow up with a moisturizer to keep your skin moist and supple. (Read about Skin Moisturizers), but avoid creams with AHAs because the glycolic acid can irritate freshly-shaven skin.

Are there shaving alternatives?

Indeed there are. While temporary hair removal can be done by shaving, waxing or by epilation (electrolysis and thermolysis) another method is removing hair with a laser.

What is laser hair removal?

Light energy produced by a laser is targeted at the pigment in hair. This causes destruction of hair follicles while sparing surrounding structures (i.e., the skin). Total temporary hair removal, which lasts for several months, can be done in almost all patients. However, total permanent laser hair removal is not commonly done. Stable permanent hair removal may be possible in some cases and usually requires multiple treatment sessions. You can read about Laser Hair Removal frequently asked questions

Who benefits from laser hair removal?

Almost anybody, however, this process works well for light-skinned, dark-haired individuals. There is no laser treatment yet that is effective for white, blond or red hair.

Be aware of some cautions if you go this route; such as dealing with existing bacterial or viral infections, psoriasis, or if you are on certain medications such as Accutane®. See your dermatologist for more details if you are considering laser hair removal.

Laser hair removal facts

  • The process can be mild to moderately uncomfortable.
  • Most patients require three to six treatments. Long-lasting results depend on hair color, type of laser, and location treated.
  • Complications are rare if performed by an experienced physician.
  • Expect some pain, swelling and redness around the hair follicle after each treatment session.
  • Check with your dermatologist about pre-operative care concerns.

Folliculitis alert

Shaving can also cause a condition called folliculitis, which is an inflammation or infection of hair follicles. It most often appears in areas that become irritated by shaving, the rubbing of clothes, or where follicles and pores are blocked by oils and dirt. Ask our dermatologist about solutions such as Bactroban© ointment to help heal these irritations. (Read more about Bacterial Skin Infections)

What to watch for:

  • a reddened rash
  • raised, red, often pus-filled lesions around hair follicles (pimples)
  • itching at the site of the rash and pimples

How to prevent it:

  • shave with an electric razor instead of a blade razor
  • keep skin clean
  • avoid clothing that rubs against the skin, damaging hair follicles