Skin Care Tips and Secrets from Dr. Piasecki

Dr. Justin Piasecki is a world renowned plastic surgeon and Director of The Skin Center in Seattle and Harbor Plastic Surgery Center in Washington state. Dr. Piasecki is a skin cancer expert who knows a thing or two (or thousand) about what we're all doing, good and bad, to our skin. StyleList sat down with Dr. Piasecki to find out some of his biggest skin care tips, secrets, and everything in-between.

StyleList (SL): What is easiest summer skin care tip to follow (excluding spf)?
Dr. Justin Piasecki (DJP): The easiest – and I would say the most important – skin care tip to follow is to simply be aware of your skin. By acknowledging the importance of taking care of your skin, and committing to being sunsmart you will put yourself in a much better position to actually apply common sense to your skin. For example, when planning activities outside, if possible, it's smart to try and avoid being out between 10 and 2pm when the sun is strongest; if you're going out all day, remember to pack your sunscreen so that you can reapply it; bring a hat, etc, etc.

SL: How does the sun affect women's skin differently than men's?
DJP: Radiation is radiation, but women's skin is a bit different than men's in that it is thinner and thus shows fine lines easier (so the same amount of damage will show up more on a women's face compared to a man's). Moreover – and entirely unfair in our society, but reality - an aged appearance in a man can be seen as "distinguished" or "refined" while the exact same lines on a women's face can be viewed as "premature aging."

SL: What is the most common skin care issue you see on women?
DJP: Trying too hard. This is often done without meaning to, but most skin care regimens – particularly the cleanser portion – involve a fair bit of trauma to the skin (abrasive exfoliants, microdermabrasion, ultrasonic brushes, facial scrubs, etc). These are all marketed in the name of removing dead skin and freshening the face. The problem with this is that the skin is a dynamic organ that is very good at adapting. And just like calluses that form on the hands of a laborer or weight lifter, the facial skin will respond to a traumatic skin care regimen by accelerating the production of dead skin cells to protect itself from future trauma. Thus most regimens tend to chase their own tails so to speak. This is why most women report a new skin care regimen working well for 2-3 weeks, but then the results fall off.

SL: What products do you use on your skin during the summer?
DJP: I use skin care products which I've developed myself based on my background in chemistry, biology, skin cancer and cosmetic surgery – an atraumatic cleanser with anti-acne properties, a patent pending moisturizer with zinc oxide (SPF 30), and a nighttime cream with retinols (vitamin A), vitamin C, D and E. We are actually working to bring these to the market in the next year to raise money for charity.

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