Physical versus chemical sunscreens

September 11, 2019

You may have seen controversial articles in recent magazines regarding the safety of sunscreens. Some beach resorts have promoted limited sunscreen use due to its effects on undersea coral. Other concerns regard sunscreen absorption through the skin and its potential hormonal side effects. There are two types of sunscreens: Physical (mechanical blockers) and chemical (skin filters). The mechanical blockers are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. They sit on top of the skin and block all harmful skin rays. They are made from natural minerals that are non-allergenic and not harmful to you or the environment. On the other hand, even in the most elegant formulations, they are visible (though they don’t have to be neon colors!). Due to the visibility….


Surface Clinical Announces New Product Line, Alastin Skincare

September 13, 2017

How does the Surface Clinical Staff decide on what products to recommend? New products come on the market with great fanfare in popular magazines. So, which hype should you believe, what products actually live up to the descriptions they boast? When Surface Clinical evaluates products, we first group products into functional categories matching the biological mechanisms of skin care. Then, we look at the scientific data to see if there is sufficient evidence that the product(s) has some biologic potential. If the laboratory studies look like the product will be successful, we will conduct small internal clinical trials with our staff and a few willing patients. After that, if the product appears to generate a noticeable clinical benefit, then we….


What do skin care, neurotoxins, fillers, and surgery have in common?

August 24, 2017

How do skin care, neurotoxins, fillers, and surgery fit together? All four avenues play an important part in achieving beautiful skin, but each has a different role. Skin care – including intense pulse light, peels and lasers – deal with and enhance the surface quality of your skin. Neurotoxins (Botox, Dysport, Xeomin) – weaken overactive muscles of expression to soften animation. Fillers (Juvaderm, Restylane, etc) can serve two purposes. First, they can soften skin creases, particularly around the mouth. Placed deeper, they can add volume to patients with thin faces or who wish to have more prominent cheek bones. But in spite of all the current marketing, fillers do not lift! Finally, the only method to correct skin laxity and….


Retinol versus Retin A

August 16, 2017

Why use Retinol rather than Retin A topically? Over 20 years ago Kligman and Voorhees showed that retinoic acid (Retin A, a deriviative of vitamin A) topically applied to skin produced stimulation of both the epidermis and dermal collagen. As a result, the use of topical Retin A became the “gold standard” in skin care. Initially, Retin A applied topically was not user friendly. Many people experienced a red rash (hypervitaminosis A), which subsequently discouraged patient continuation. In an effort to minimize the initial rash, the concentration was reduced and alternate forms (retinol) were tried. When retinol is absorbed into the skin, it is converted to retin A. But it takes 20 times the concentration of retinol to reach the….


Surface Clinical product assortment

August 8, 2017

Why does Surface Clinical carry products from many different companies? As opposed to department stores and brand product centers, Surface Clinical is a medical skin care practice. The focus is on individual care of the patient – not retail sales. No doubt companies offer discounts for carrying their entire product lines, but not every company has the best product in each biologic category. At Surface Clinical, we divide products into their biologic activity categories. We constantly review the investigative science for each product and select only those which have credible evidence of benefit. So, patients may notice that from time to time we switch up products and brands we recommend most often. Our commitment is to provide our patients with….


Treating unwanted pigment spots

August 2, 2017

How do I deal with unwanted pigment spots? For practical purposes, pigmented skin spots are in two categories: Age spots (lentigines) and melasma. Melasma is caused by the accumulation of pigment deep within the skin – often even in the dermis. It appears to be hormonally stimulated – common in pregnancy or when taking supplemental hormones, like birth control. What’s more, melasma is very resistant to treatment. Age spots (lentigenes) are more superficial. Pigment producing cells (melanocytes) reside in the bottom layer of the epidermis. They produce pigment as a natural sunblock. Each melanocyte normally distributes pigment evenly to approximately 15-25 epidermal cells (keratinocytes). With age the coordination of pigment production and distribution gets out of sync. Pigment tends to….


Essential skin care steps

July 25, 2017

What are the essential steps in skin care? 1) Avoid detrimental effects First and foremost, don’t add to the problem. Sun protection (avoidance and sunscreen) and minimizing contact with alkaline substances (dirt, soaps) is the starting point. 2) Cleanse Use a gentle cleanser that is slightly acidic and not abrasive. People with oily skin may need a cleanser containing salicylic acid to break up oil (sebum). 3) Exfoliate Old, dry epidermal cells tend to accumulate on the skin surface, causing a dull appearance. Exfoliating exposes the plump, moist cells that reflect light easier. 4) Stimulate With age, cell turnover slows down. It may take 40-60 days for epidermal cells to migrate to the surface and shed. The “gold standard” of….


Why not just wash my face with soap and keep it simple?

July 10, 2017

Your skin’s ability to prevent evaporative moisture loss, i.e. transepidermal water loss, is dependent upon the integrity of the fatty acid “mortar” between your skin cells. For the mortar to maintain a water seal it must remain acidic. Normal skin is slightly acidic (pH 5.6-5.8), and this acidity maintains the fatty acid mortar barrier. Almost everything in the environment that contacts our skin is basic: dirt, common bath soaps, dish detergents, makeup, some lotions and moisturizers. As a result, the water barrier is constantly under deterioration. Ever wonder why soaking in a bubble bath makes you itch? Maintenance of the water barrier can be achieved in two ways. First and foremost, use a cleanser that is slightly acidic. Second, add….


Mother of the Bride Cosmetic Enhancement Timeline

February 10, 2017

­­Wedding season is just around the corner, and if you’re the mother of the bride or groom then you should start preparing for your own walk down the aisle. All eyes are undoubtedly on the bride, but as MOB/MOG you will also find yourself sharing some of the spotlight with the happy couple. To get yourself into tip top (cosmetic) shape for the wedding, Surface Clinical’s Liz Newman has put together a timeline of what treatments and procedures should be considered and when. 6 Months The wedding countdown is finally under 200 days. It’s time to schedule an appointment and formulate a treatment plan for your skin’s needs. The first component we look at when developing a skincare plan is what….


Non-invasive fat removal versus liposuction

January 27, 2017

With all the different types of surgical and non-surgical fat removal and fat reduction treatments available today, you may be wondering what’s the difference and which one is best for me? Board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Fritz E. Barton, Jr., MD who oversees and manages Surface Clinical, breaks down the different options: Non-Invasive Fat Removal There are three basic mechanisms of non-invasive fat removal: heat, mechanical, and cold disruption. At Surface Clinical, we have evaluated all these technologies. Heat is usually delivered either by ultrasound (LiposonixTM), or radiofrequency (VanquishTM). These methods can be both painful and inconsistent. Laser heat disruption of fat, aka Smart LipoTM, is not truly non-invasive, which means some downtime post-procedure is required. Mechanical fat disruption can….


How does CoolSculpt work?

CoolSculptTM is the non-invasive, FDA-approved procedure that freezes, kills and eliminates fat cells from the body. CoolSculpt has received generous news and media attention since its inception because of the procedure’s effectiveness, minimal downtime and patient satisfaction. CoolSculpt works by attaching a cooling applicator to regional areas of the body and applying controlled freezing. More than one area is likely to need treating to achieve a balanced, circumferential result. But, the number of areas needed could also depend upon your fat distribution. The applicator contacts the skin and cools the fat beneath the surface. A treatment area usually takes 30-45 minutes and with Surface’s newest applicator discomfort is minimal to none. One treatment usually removes about 3.5 mm or 1/8….


Be Careful With Home Treatments

January 14, 2015

Monday, on my way to work, I got a text from a good friend needing help.  She had tried a “home made” face peel she had seen on Dr. Oz and her face was blistered! I like Dr. Oz just fine, but ….. not everything you see on TV or read in your fashion magazine is as good as it sounds.  Or maybe I should say “is good for you”.  She told me it was a few spices mixed in ???something, maybe olive oil and then applied on the face. She did not hear or maybe know to be gentle and not use any of her corrective products she usually applies.  She reacted to the spices themselves or to the combination….


Moistuizing Ingredients

Top 3 Ingredients for Most Effective Moisturizers It’s funny. I am not even a big fan of moisturizers, but i have a few more things I want to tell you about them. The most effective moisturizing agents are:  Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, and Ceramides. Glycerin is a humectant, which means it pulls water from the atmosphere into your skin. It’s fairly heavy so glycerin is more commonly found in body products. Hyaluronic Acid is an acid, but not an acid acid.  Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in your skin and it can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water…like glycerin on speed.  The most effective moisturizers contain “pricey” dehydrated hyaluronic acid which swells up to retain more water.  Several of….


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