Monday, March 5, 2007

Ultimate Skin Care Products

Now that winter is here and most New York buildings are running at their overheated pace, our skin is drying out. Some of us, in addition to naturally drying skin, also have things like fine lines and creeping wrinkles, rosacea, large pores, sun damage or eye puffiness that we'd like to treat with non-prescription skin care products. New York dermatologist, Dr. Joel Kassimir, outlines the four key elements in the skin repair-and-maintenance process: removal of the dead, dull topmost layer of skin; stimulation of collagen and elastin, hydration, and the use of antioxidants to help repair damage. "Traditionally, we had petrolatum…and you added a little water and got an ointment; a little more water and it became a cream, and with even more water, it became a lotion that you could spread all over your body. However, the more water you added the greater the increase in bacteria, which increased the possibility of allergies, which fueled the need for preservatives, and so on. Today we have so many more possibilities."

There are so many excellent doctors producing so many quality, non-prescription products today that it is hard to decide where to start. So, we turned to a handful of New York's finest who are making some of the most high profile, often breakthrough skin care products today. We asked them to pinpoint the one product that he or she would recommend, explain why it is different from anyone else's, clarify what it is and what is does, and highlight what makes it so great. We talked to Dr. Frederic S. Brandt, Dr. Dennis Gross, Dr. Gregory Bays Brown, Dr. Patricia Wexler, Dr. Mauro C. Romita, who also owns New York's Ajune Spa; and Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, and following, in alphabetical order, are their choices:

Dr. Frederic S. Brandt

Known for his contributions to Botox®, Restylane® and other innovative products, his use of anti-oxidants and especially the introduction of green tea to fight free radicals in his skincare line, Dr. Brandt singles out Pores No More, as the one product that does not duplicate or overlap anyone else's. Launched almost a year ago, and being used by men and women, Dr. Brandt says that this product is very unique as it not only mattifies shine, it instantly hides pores, while treating oily, acne prone skin. That's the secret: It hides and treats. We use microspheres and flax seed to absorb oil immediately, along with a salicylic to give the skin an immediate smooth, uniform finish and tea tree oil as an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. That's what the consumer loves… instant gratification.

Dr. Gregory Bays Brown

Dr. Brown's RéVive® line started with a single product, a night cream that combined a rich, elegant formulation of glycolic acid (an organic exfoliant) with EGF (epidermal growth factor, which kick-starts cell activity, and although it exists naturally in the body, it decreases with age).

"Moisturizing Renewal Cream still stands the test of time, and is our most important product," says Dr. Brown. "This rich, snow-white cream exfoliates, retexturizes uneven skin, improves skin clarity and creates a luminous, firm and youthful complexion within two weeks. If a person were to make only one purchase from RéVive, this should be it."

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Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank

Known for minimally invasive cosmetic surgery at his Fifth Avenue Dermatology Surgery and Laser Center, Dr. Frank created a niche for himself in 2005 when he introduced a basic skin care line for those of us with sensitive skins.

"These products are for everyday use and are not anti-aging, but they can be used in conjunction with other anti-aging products," says Dr. Frank, noting that Kinerase Lotion is his choice as the all-around best product for the skin. "It is the closest thing you can get to a prescription Retin-A product, in terms of anti-aging, without the downside of irritation and sun sensitivity."

The key ingredient is plant-based kinetin, which boosts moisture and improves the appearance of aging and sun-damaged skin. According to Dr. Frank, daily use will help skin retain more moisture and improve the look of freckles and blotchiness.

Dr. Dennis Gross

New York dermatologist and dermatological surgeon, Dr. Dennis Gross, approaches his MD Skincare® line as a surgical procedure alternative that delivers immediate results. He singles out The Alpha Beta Daily® Face Peel as the one product of his to include in your skin care regimen. "Unlike the harmful glycolic peels of the past, this daily face peel uses a synergistic blend of five different alpha and beta hydroxy acids at low concentrations for maximum and immediate results," says Dr. Gross. He goes on to state, "It is for all skin types and ages, even those with the most sensitive skin. Continued use of this product will improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, reduce breakouts and improve skin tone, density and clarity for an overall healthier and more vibrant complexion."

Dr. Mauro C. Romita

"For routine skin care and resuscitation, I very much like Natura Bisse Diamond Drops,"” says New York plastic surgeon and owner of the medical day spa, Ajune, on the Upper East Side. "It's a combination product containing full molecular weight DNA extracted from marine algae that transfer their ultraviolet protection and repair factors to the collagen layers in the dermis."

It contains beta glucans for collagen repair, grape seed extract, lavender essential oil, and a proprietary ingredient called cph4 which helps the skin retain water. It answers moisture retention by intensely hydrating in a rapid manner, adds a certain amount of luminosity, and reduces fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes. "I've never had a patient who did not respond well to it," he boasts, ever so unpretentiously.

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Dr. Patricia Wexler

When asked which product in her Patricia Wexler M.D. Dermatology line was different from anyone else's, the New York dermatologist answered: MMPi20 Skin Regenerating Serum. "It is a gel/serum which has a unique texture that lends itself to layering beautifully. I consider it the heart and soul of the line and a core part of my 4-step regimen," says Dr. Wexler. "The topical formula, with patented MMPi20 technology, stops the harmful effects of all 20 MMPs [matrix metalloproteinases or naturally produced enzymes that affect the skin's ability to repair itself] in the skin, while also inhibiting the expression of new MMPs and interrupts the inflammatory process responsible for the most common skin problems — aging, acne and sensitivity. This product will boosts skin's own regenerative powers to diminish the lines, the sink and sag. The result: skin is visibly renewed and improved from the inside out. It feels like silk."