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The Answers to Your Biggest Skin Care Questions, From a Top Dermatologist

We love giving you answers to skin care questions from derms! When it comes to skin care, you guys really know what you’re talking about. But even skin care enthusiasts like you still have questions. Want to know what its like to talk to a derm? We asked a derm some of YOUR toughest questions during a recent Klog Chat. Keep reading to find out how she responded.

In one of our recent Klog Chats, we asked you to send us your most confusing and perplexing skin care questions, and that anything we couldn’t answer, we would ask a dermatologist for you! Well, we’re here to uphold our promise! We’ve selected four of the toughest questions we received, and sent them off to Kavita Mariwalla, a dermatologist in West Islip, New York.
Want to know if your question was chosen? Or curious to see if any of our readers had the same question you’re having? Keep reading.

Question #1 from a woman with PCOS:

“After I cleanse and moisturize my skin, it’s always super shiny but not oily. Could shiny-ness be a sign of over-exfoliation? I currently use a light exfoliator and an exfoliating pad every day, and my serum contains AHAs and BHAs, so basically my issue boils down to having shiny skin right after I wash my face and then oily skin later for the rest of the day. What should I add to my routine?”

Dr. Mariwalla’s answer:
That glow is one of exfoliated skin, and while that looks great, your routine may actually be over-doing it. I would choose either a chemical exfoliator or physical exfoliator and only a few times a week at most.  In the summer, please be aware that AHAs and BHAs make the skin much more sensitive to the sun. If I was choosing, I would do an exfoliator pad two times a week. Make sure you are using a good sunscreen and an antioxidant daily to maximize your routine.

Question #2:

“I’m naturally pale and fair-skinned, but my scars are all super white, rather than the dark purple color people usually get. Any tips for blending them out, fading them, or anything to use to stop a scar being so bad from me picking a spot?”

Dr. Mariwalla’s answer:
Unfortunately, some people with really fair skin do scar that bright white you are noticing. There is not much that can be done to re-pigment the scar to a natural skin tone. But if you do get an injury, making sure the area heals as well as possible will minimize the scarring. I recommend a product called StrataMed which I have found to do exceptionally well with rapid scar healing. If you get a fresh wound, I would start using Vaseline on it right away and make sure you keep it covered. This is probably the best way to minimize scarring.”

Question #3:

“I believe I have melasma on my forehead and I have been trying to lighten it. I have been using a vitamin C serum for three or four months already. I also apply sunblock on my face every day. Is there anything else that I can do to help quicken the process. Would getting a chemical peel help? Does exfoliating help? Also, if I’ve read that birth control can give you melasma, should I not take it if I already have melasma?”

Dr. Mariwalla’s answer:
Melasma is often attributed to hormonal changes and birth control pills but can happen even if you aren’t taking birth control pills. My favorite melasma routine is as follows: Use a vitamin C serum that is actually potent. I recommend Serum 10 from SkinCeuticals or CE Ferrulic from SkinCeuticals. I am also a fan of using Avene Compact Paste. It is one of the only makeups that has iron oxide in it. Iron oxide has been shown clinically to improve melasma, but the problem is it typically comes in only red, yellow, and black. Avene makes one that is more of a skin tone and it can be blended with sunscreen and other foundation to make it a useable color. I also prefer mineral based sunscreens. At night I would use a topical with tranexamic acid which is one of the newer agents used for lightening areas of dyspigmentation.

Question #4:

“What is the one product that people use that you don’t think is helpful at all?”
Dr. Mariwalla’s answer:
Apple cider vinegar. People use it for all kinds of things and it often ends up just causing irritation and more skin problems. It is probably the ingredient that is used most incorrectly in DIY remedies. 

 + Do you love reading answers to skin care questions from derms? Have another skin care question that wasn’t answered? Leave it in the comments below and we’ll get back to you! 

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