Ask a Dermatologist: Skin Care During Social Distancing | Do Say Give

Ask a Dermatologist: Skin Care During Social Distancing


Several years ago our Ask a Dermatologist post with Dr. Claire Reddick was hugely popular and so helpful to many DoSayGive readers in finding a good skincare routine. Today Dr. Reddick and her partner, Dr. Molly Austin, are back answering reader questions related to skincare during the COVID-19 pandemic. And sharing the products they recommend to their Dallas patients. 

Q: How are you handling appointments right now? 

Recommendations for the last two weeks have been that all non-emergent care and procedures be deferred or done with telemedicine.  We are currently offering virtual visits via FaceTime and other video platforms. 

We are already making plans in accordance to the recommendations made by Gov. Abbott, the Texas Medical Board and Judge Clay Jenkins to safely reopen our office and care for patients in person, but we certainly have the ability to meet all care needs either online or in person!  

Q: What if I have a skincare issue or a mole I am worried about?

During this time when it’s recommended we remain home and socially distanced, you don’t have to let concerns like a new or changing mole, acne, a rash, flaring eczema or the like worry you or go untreated.  We are able to evaluate most complaints with pictures and videos. In the event that a concern is emergent or demands further attention, we are capable of in person visits if deemed appropriate.

Q: Why is it important to still keep up with skin care even while at home?

A: Despite having our typical daily routine disrupted by shelter at home rules, we are still getting lots of exposures during the day that add to the slow damage and accelerated aging of our skin. UVA, the wavelength that causes the most photodamage (as opposed to UVB which is more associated with sunburns) travels through glass and clouds! So even if you have no plans to leave the house, applying a sunscreen daily to your face is recommended.

Also, blue light, those wavelengths emitted by screens (think your phone, tablet, laptop and desktop computer) is getting so much attention, and for good reason! Blue light has been shown to penetrate deeply in the skin, inducing significant and long-lasting hyperpigmentation (melasma, anyone??) as well as generating molecules called reactive oxygen species (ROS) that cause a number of harmful effects: degrading collagen, increasing inflammation, darkening the skin (hyperpigmentation) and disrupting the basic barrier function of the skin.

Applying an anti-oxidant counteracts ROS and reduces the effects of the damage they cause. We recommend Alto which was specifically tested with respect to its ability to protect the skin from exposure to blue light, as well as ozone-induced damage. With all of us increasing our screen time these days (how else can we stay connected with friends and family?!), Alto is the best way to keep our skin healthy and protected.

Note: Austin and Reddick will deliver products mentioned to Dallas residents inside the 635 loop at no charge. Call to purchase. To purchase online, set up an account here. Free shipping over $100. 

Q: Now that we are home so much so many people are rethinking their daily skincare routines. What products do you recommend to your patients? 

There are definitely certain things every good skin care routine should have: a good facial cleanser used 1-2x/day, an antioxidant every morning, a broad spectrum sunscreen applied every morning (and reapplied as needed during the day!), and a retinoid every night. 

There are certainly multiple options in all of these categories, but we have our favorites for good reason! Skin Better’s Oxygen Infusion Wash and Elta’s Foaming Facial Cleanser top the list in the wash categories. Both of these cleanse without stripping. Alto Defense Serum is hands down our favorite antioxidant.  The best daily sunscreens are made by Elta (UV Daily, UV Clear and UV Elements offer tinted and non-tinted options), and Skin Better’s AlphaRet offers PRESCRIPTION STRENGTH retinoid (think prescription Retin-A) without the prescription and WITHOUT the irritation.  

Q: Since we can’t do treatments like hydrafacials and BBL (see my videos here of me doing them at Austin & Reddick Dermatology) right now how can we get a skin refresh while at home? 

Taking a little time for self-care during this quarantine I think should be a priority for everyone. A mini peel is great (and safe!) way to do this.  You will get all the benefits of a chemical peel (brightening, deep cleansing, exfoliation and improvement in texture) WITHOUT actually having to endure peeling skin for 3-7 days.

1. Start with cleansing your skin well with the Oxygen Infusion Wash.

2. Gently towel dry your face, and apply the Oxygen Infusion Wash again to your skin.

3. Using a dime sized amount, apply Skin Better’s Deotxifying Scrub Mask using a circular motion with your fingertips to your whole face.

4. Let it sit for 10-15 minute.

5. Rinse clean with warm water and towel dry.

6. Use an AlphaRet Exfoliating Peel Pad next, over the whole face (and neck!)

7. Apply 1 pump of AlphaRet Overnight or Overnight Intensive

8. Moisturize—we recommend Skin Better’s Trio Rebalancing Moisturizer.

Thanks so much Dr. Austin and Reddick for all this helpful information! Watch Austin and Reddick’s Instagram Stories today for a video explanation of the whole process as well as recommendations for their favorite hand cream for dry skin and non-invasive product for wrinkles.

Learn more about Austin and Reddick Dermatology and book appointments here.   

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