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WHAT IS HYALURONIC ACID?

Hyaluronic acid, also known as hyaluronan, is a clear, gooey substance that is naturally produced by your body; it’s found in virtually every tissue of your body. The largest amounts of it are found in your skin, connective tissue and eyes. Its main function is to retain water to keep your tissues well lubricated and moist (aka, the ultimate plumper). Hyaluronic acid is an ideal moisturizer because it can attract and retain 1000 times its own weight in water (a feat unmatched by any other substance in nature). “The volumizing effect it has on your skin adds vital fullness that can minimize facial wrinkles and create a smooth appearance.” Dermatologist, Dr. Gary Goldfaden

WHY DO I NEED IT?

Hyaluronic acid is found in great abundance in youthful skin, the cumulative damage caused by free radicals drastically depletes these hyaluronic acid reserves (on average, a person. As a key ingredient in your skin’s extracellular matrix, it plays a significant role in maintaining moisture, plumpness, and softness.

WHO SHOULD USE IT AND WHEN TO INCORPORATE IT INTO MY REGIMEN?

We all strive for that youthful appearance and that’s exactly why Hyaluronic Acid has become such a popular ingredient in skin care for all ages as it’s never too early to start using products that contain HA — in fact, just a single gram can hold supposedly hold up to six liters of water, and research suggests it can help protect against environmental aggressors like pollution, too. Best of all, it works for every skin type — especially in serum form, where it can be more easily absorbed and work its skin-plumping magic at a deeper level.

Hyaluronic acid works exceptionally well alongside other protective ingredients like antioxidants – in particular vitamin C so look for serums containing both (like Dr. Goldfaden’s Brightening Elixir) or layer them up, waiting a few minutes in between each application to allow the product to settle.

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Hydrate + Shield

Whether your skin type is oily, normal, combination or dry, moisturizing should be a regular part of your daily skin care regimen. Unfortunately, many people with oily skin believe that using any moisturizer would be counterproductive and only serve to compound their problem. The truth is that it all depends on the moisturizer you use. Everyone needs a moisturizer, but different skin types require different types of products.

For Oily Skin

If you have oily skin, instead of avoiding moisturizers altogether, you should select one that’s “water-based”. Water-based moisturizing formulas are the most common type found on the market today. These moisturizers list water as their chief ingredient and often include such active constituents as hyaluronic acid to help improve their water-binding properties.

Hyaluronic acid is a large, sugar-like molecule that’s found in virtually every tissue of your body. As a key ingredient in your skin’s extracellular matrix, it plays a significant role in maintaining moisture and softness. Hyaluronic acid is an ideal moisturizer because it can attract and retain 1000 times its own weight in water (a feat unmatched by any other substance in nature). The volumizing effect it has on your skin adds vital fullness that can minimize facial wrinkles. This type of moisturizer often comes in a lightweight gel and may be labeled “non-pore clogging”, “oil-free” or “noncomedogenic”.

Another excellent emollient that we highly recommend and use in many of our formulations is squalene. Derived from olives, squalene is a natural, organic compound that leaves skin soft and supple without an unpleasant, greasy feel, making it an attractive choice for people with oily complexions. Squalene absorbs quickly and penetrates deeply to help accelerate new cell growth. It even discourages microorganisms that can block normal healthy cell development by forming a protective coating on your skin.

For Dry and Sensitive Skin

The most important thing to consider when picking a good moisturizer for dry skin is the degree of dryness. Generally speaking, there are only a few basic types of moisturizers to choose from: gel, lotion, or cream. The heavier and denser a moisturizer is, the more moisturizing elements it contains. Gel is the lightest preparation, followed by lotion, with cream providing the heaviest dose of moisture. If your skin happens to be only slightly dry, a lightweight gel that’s water-based can sometimes get the job done. If your skin is somewhat drier and loses moisture more quickly, you may require a lotion that supplies a heavier dose of moisturizing ingredients. If your skin is extremely dry, however, you might need to use an oil-based cream or an oil. You should steer clear of products that use mineral waxes, mineral oils or other ingredients that can clog your pores and trap perspiration. This makes a fertile breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria.

Sensitive skin types should be very careful when choosing a moisturizer as many products on the market contain synthetic ingredients. Although these moisturizers generally don’t cause an adverse reaction in the majority of people, they can be very irritating to women with sensitive skin. If your skin is easily irritated, you should look carefully for a moisturizer that’s labeled hypoallergenic. These moisturizers are free of all dyes, preservatives, and fragrances. Simple is better. Products that contain the fewest ingredient are best, especially when they include natural oils and other nutrients like vitamins and minerals that nourish and rejuvenate your skin.

Protect + Shield

Even with all the public service warnings today concerning the damage caused by UV exposure, there are still some people who don’t seem to realize they need sunscreen.

The truth is that anyone can suffer the harmful effects of overexposure to the sun. Even if you happen to have olive or darker skin, you should still wear sunscreen. While it’s true that people with dark skin don’t need to worry as much about sunburn as those with fairer complexions, anyone can suffer the deleterious effects of sun damage. Every person, regardless of their ethnic background, can benefit from wearing a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 at all times, especially if they’re going to be spending a lot of time outdoors.

Certain people also believe that they only need to use sunscreen at particular times of the year. It’s important to realize that just because you don’t feel the heat of the sun, it doesn’t mean that harmful UV rays are not affecting you. You can get sunburned in the middle of winter when there’s three feet of snow on the ground and it’s 10 degrees below zero. You should always wear sunscreen if you’re going to be spending time outside, no matter what time of year it is.

Pore refinement is one of the most sought after outcomes in Dr. Goldfaden’s practice. During the month of August we will embark on a full examination of how to achieve smaller pores, which products to choose and how to maintain.

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What are pores?

Pores are the tiny little openings in the skin where the body’s natural oil (called sebum) is produced in the sebaceous glands and are also the opening at the top of our hair follicles.

Why do we have them?

Pores allow oil to travel up to skin’s surface and lubricate it. Pores are also our hair follicles and are there for the hair to grow from.

Why can they appear large?

Large pores are genetic so you have your parents to thank, however abusing the skin can cause them to appear larger. Over time, especially if you’ve incurred a lot of sun exposure in the past—you start to lose the collagen and elastin that support the pores. Sun damage and aging also cause the skin to thicken that causes a thick rim around pores making them appear larger. This is where exfoliation comes into play and is crucial in shrinking the appearance of pore size.

Oily skin types tend to have larger pores and thus produce more oil in those pores. While this may be an annoyance during adolescence and young adulthood (due to breakouts and Acne), excess oil is beneficial as we age in keeping wrinkles and dry skin at bay.

A common question Dr. G is asked is ‘Can certain foods playing into the effect of large pores and oily skin?’. As mentioned earlier large pores are genetic but yes food can play a part in large pores. Glycation is the main enemy when it comes to the skin and the aging process of the body in general. The glycation process, which is basically, sugars (from food and alcohol) breaking down the collagen fibers in the skin and therefore speeding up the aging process. Foods that feed glycation and cause inflammation in the body and the skin are carbohydrates, fried foods, sugar, fatty meats and alcohol.

Steps to refine pores?

Exfoliation will help pore size, by removing dead dry skin cells and signs of sun damage the skin will appear smoother and less wrinkled.

Use Hyaluronic acid based products, which help to bind moisture to the skin and fill fine lines and wrinkles, making pores appear smaller.

Use products rich in Vitamin C and/or retinol, these stimulate cell renewal and collagen production, which will firm up the connective tissue around the pores.

Eat a clean diet of fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants and stay clear of fried foods, sugar and alcohol, which all cause glycation.