Dr. Lin Skincare Blog

Celebrity Dermatologist Dr. Michael Lin

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  • 7 Tips to Achieve Photo-Ready Skin for your 4th of July Celebration!

    In today’s selfie-obsessed world, the need for picture-perfect skin has never been more urgent. Especially during holidays, when you know there will be countless photos ops! There’s no escaping the lens, even if your mug isn’t exactly camera-ready. But just because it may seem impossible, doesn’t mean a flawless, glowing complexion is out of reach. With a little bit of time and a lot of care and attention, your skin will be ready for its close-up before you know it. Here are Dr. Michael Lin’s 7 simple tips for achieving photo-ready skin.

    fourth of july

    (photo cred: @Taylor Swift Instagram)

    1. Don’t Over-wash Your Face

    Yes, washing your face is crucial in the journey to gorgeous skin, but there is such a thing as over-washing your face. “This can potentially irritate the skin, and make the skin compensate by overproducing oil and lead to more breakouts,” says Dr. Lin. “Washing twice a day, morning and night is the perfect number of times you need to cleanse to maintain a balanced complexion.”

    2. Be Gentle When You Cleanse

    You might think that exfoliating scrubs and face washes with tiny beads are working twice as hard as the normal cleanser, but in reality, harsh products can hurt you more than they can help. “Abrasive scrubs, harsh cleansers or alcohol-based toners do not decrease oil production. In fact, stripping the skin of natural oils can actually cause sebaceous glands to go into overdrive,” says Dr. Lin. “A better choice is a gentle, effective cleanser with salicylic acid to help open pores,” like the Dr. Lin Skincare Daily Cleanser.

    3. Fight Those Dark Circles

    If you didn’t think those dark under-eye circles were visible, you will after you see yourself in a photo. Dark circles are even more prominent in pictures. To camouflage your dark circles, consider using a soft concealer. “People who are predispositioned with darker under eye pigment can cover it up with make-up and under eye concealer,” suggests Dr. Lin. For a more natural remedy, head to the kitchen. “Applying tea bags, cucumbers or ice can reduce the swelling,” says Dr. Lin.

    4. Minimize the Appearance of Your Pores

    When the camera gets too close (i.e., during selfies), it can reveal problems that you never realized you had before. Large or clogged pores are one of them. Here’s how you can shrink them before your next close-up: “Reduce the appearance of visible pores by washing with a cleanser that contains 2% salicylic acid,” says Dr. Lin who formulated his Daily Cleanser with this powerhouse ingredient. This beta hydroxy acid is a gentle, chemical exfoliant that helps purify pores of impurities that can make them look enlarged.

    5. Calm Your Skin

    If you’re stressed out, your skin will inevitably be stressed out, too. This can lead to redness, swelling and unexpected breakouts. To control your complexion’s chaotic state, Dr. Lin suggests applying honey to a breakout to calm redness. “Honey is a naturally soothing ingredient with anti-inflammatory properties that helps heal the skin. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes then wipe away with a damp cloth,” he says.

    6. Hydrate Your Skin with a Water-based Moisturizer

    If you’re sensitive to creamy moisturizers or have particularly dry/combination skin, Dr. Lin suggests using a water-based formula to hydrate your skin, especially those extremely dry patches. “Use a water based moisturizer for dry areas: Unlike creamy moisturizers, water-based, gel moisturizer provide excellent hydration without clogging pores. For my patients with combination skin, I developed a very light, non-comedogenic hyaluronic acid moisturizer that absorbs quickly and improves skin texture (Dr. Lin Skincare Daily Hydrating Gel).” This will result in a dewy, glowing look that will look pristine in photos.

    7. Camouflage Stubborn Pimples

    If you wake up on an especially important photo day and find a noticeable zit on your face, don’t freak out: Dr. Lin has a couple of secrets on how to hide the unwelcome guest. “I recommend applying egg whites directly onto a pimple to shrink a breakout. The protein in the egg will help dry out the pimple.” If you’re looking for a stronger fix, Dr. Lin suggests applying a benzoyl peroxide treatment to a pimple, like his acne spot corrector, to reduce redness and its size before applying a cover-up.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • 5 Ways To Minimize Your Pores

    We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you cannot get rid of your pores. Much like the other parts of your body, you get the pores you are born with, be it minuscule and small (lucky!) or open and enlarged. In addition to genetics, there are a handful of other factors that affect your pore size, including sun exposure, age, skin type and skin regimen. And although there’s nothing you can do to physically shrink the size of them, the good news is that taking care of your pores can make them appear less noticeable. So while you can’t make them go away for good, you can certainly minimize their appearance.

    Here are Dr. Lin’s five tips for reducing your pores.

    1. Fractional skin-resurfacing laser treatments

    Fractional skin-resurfacing laser treatments (such as CO2 laser) can help diminish the appearance of large pores with minimal downtime,” says Dr. Lin. How does it work? Laser resurfacing uses, yes, a laser, to send out brief pulses of high-energy light that are then absorbed by water and substances in the skin. New skin then grows to replace the damaged skin that was removed. What’s more is that these laser treatments also smooth and tighten the skin, treating fine lines and wrinkles.

    2. Chemical peels and extractions

    A salicylic, trichloroacetic, or glycolic acid peel with extractions performed by a licensed skin professional can help remove trapped dirt and sebaceous deposits from swollen pores.

    3. Chemical exfoliators (instead of physical exfoliators)

    When clogged pores become enlarged, they can sometimes form blackheads and whiteheads. Using abrasive scrubs may be able to slough off dead skin cells, but they are not strong enough to penetrate into the pores.  Instead, Dr. Lin suggests looking for a beta-hydroxy acid exfoliator, like salicylic acid. This ingredient is commonly found in cleansers and peels to penetrate deep into clogged pores. “I formulated my Daily Cleanser with 2% salicylic acid to help treat and prevent breakouts, while minimizing the appearance of pores. It’s effective yet gentle enough for sensitive skin,” says Dr. Lin.

    4. Wipe down after a workout

    It’s extremely important to wash your face after you work out, even if it was a brisk walk during lunch. The sweat can clog your pores if you let it linger long enough. To prevent your pores from getting clogged, keep towelettes like our Acne Cleansing Wipes that are moistened with gentle cleansers and salicylic acid in your gym bag. The more convenient you make the towelettes available for yourself, the easier it will be to remember to cleanse your face after your gym sesh!

    5. Use a water-based moisturizer for dry areas

    Unlike creamy moisturizers, water-based, gel moisturizers provide excellent hydration without clogging your pores. “For my patients with combination skin, I developed a very light, non-comedogenic hyaluronic acid moisturizer that absorbs quickly and improves skin texture,” says Dr. Lin.  When your skin is properly hydrated, it looks supple and dewy, reducing the appearance of your pore size.

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  • Spring Cleaning: How Often Do I Really Need to Wash My Face Everyday?

    No matter how much of a skincare rookie you may be, theres one aspect of it that youre likely comfortable and confident withwashing your face. Whether youre a soap bar loyalist or a foam cleanser devotee, cleaning your mug has hopefully been a part of your daily beauty routine since middle school. But no matter how experienced you may be with washing your face, theres always that looming question hanging above your head: am I doing this right? How often should you really be washing your face on a daily basis? Were here to down to the bottom of this frequently asked question.

    How often do I really need to wash my face everyday?

    Heres the quick answer: 2. According to Dr. Lin, all skin types, whether you have dry or oily skin, should be washing your face twice a day once in the morning and once at night. Over-washing can leave your face dry and irritated, which can cause your skin to become more vulnerable to breakouts.

    Wait, why is over-washing bad?

    Sure, washing your face doesnt seem harmful, but heres why too much of a good thing can be bad: over-washing your face (including cleansing, scrubbing and exfoliating) can strip the natural, essential oils your face is producing, which your complexion actually needs to help take care of itself on its own. Stripping the skin of natural oils can actually cause sebaceous glands to go into overdrive,says Dr. Lin. The result? Greasy skin, which can often lead to breakouts.

    What do I do after the gym during the day?

    It's important to cleanse after working up a sweat. For the ultimate convenience, look for towelettes moistened with gentle cleansers and salicylic acid. They're great to toss in your gym bag.Why are towelettes and pads OK? They wont strip your skin the way water often can, says Dr.Lin. Try Dr. Lins Cleansing Towelettes or Cleansing Pads for gentle, on-the-go cleansing.

    What’s a good morning and evening cleansing routine?

    Your morning cleansing routine should be quick and simple.

    MORNING:

    Step 1: Cleanse

    For acne prone skin, wash with a 2% Salicylic Acid Cleanser in the morning to unclog pores and gently exfoliate.

    Step 2: Treat

    If you have active acne, apply a 2.5% benzoyl peroxide treatment to kill acne-causing bacteria. This will help prevent and shrink breakouts. Using a harsh toner is also an unnecessary step for acne prone skin because it can cause irritation, redness and over-drying.

    Step 3: Hydrate if Needed

    For acne patients with combination skin, I recommend applying a water-based gel moisturizer, which keeps skin light and supple without heavy oils. Moisturize only the dry areas.

    Step 4: Use a daily sunscreen

    Apply a broad-spectrum SPF of at least 30 before heading out. UVA and B rays can still cause damage that isnt always immediately visible even when its cloudy outside.

    Your evening regimen should be as simple as your morning routine.

    EVENING:

    Step 1: Cleanse

    Wash with a 2% Salicylic Acid Cleanser to unclog pores and help prevent breakouts.

    Step 2: Treat

    If you have active acne, apply a 2.5% benzoyl peroxide treatment to kill acne-causing bacteria. This will help prevent and shrink breakouts. Using a harsh toner is also an unnecessary step for acne prone skin because it causes irritation, redness and over-drying.

    Step 3: Hydrate if Needed

    It is a myth that people with oily skin also need a moisturizer. Moisturize only the dry areas to maintain a balanced complexion.

    Step 4: Retinol treatment

    If you’ve tried using an over the counter acne treatment and haven’t seen results after 2 months, it may be time to consult a dermatologist. Sometimes a topical retinoid prescription will help. This ingredient helps exfoliate the top layers of skin to prevent and treat whiteheads, blackheads, and acne. 

  • Salicylic Acid: Everything You Need to Know About this Common Acne-Fighting Ingredient

    If you’ve ever browsed the list of ingredients on the back of your face wash or read through a beauty magazine or blog, you have likely heard of salicylic acid. But even if you’re familiar with the term, you probably have zero clue what this active ingredient actually is or does. Allow us to help break down this mystery skincare component.

    Salicylic acid is a type of beta hydroxyl acid that is widely used topically as a treatment for countless skin conditions, from acne and warts to psoriasis and eczema. So, what does that mean for your skin?

    “Salicylic acid works by exfoliating the top layers of the skin, penetrating deeply to purify clogged pores,” says Dr. Lin.

    As a result, it helps renew the skin and unclog pores to prevent acne-causing bacteria from forming. Unlike scrubs that physically exfoliate the skin, salicylic acid is a chemical exfoliant. This gentler alternative is ideal for inflamed acne prone skin that often times cannot handle harsh, irritating scrubs.

    Dr. Lin recommends using a salicylic acid wash twice daily, “morning and night to maintain clear, healthy skin.” However, excessive washing isn’t necessary, especially for oily skin types because “it can cause skin to overproduce oils to compensate and cause further breakouts.” But with proper and consistent use, salicylic acid wash can effectively help maintain clear skin.

    This renewing ingredient can be found in a ton of skincare products, including Dr. Lin’s Daily Cleanser, which he recently re-introduced with a new and improved formula for better breakout fighting benefits! It’s also found in exfoliating acne treatment medications such as acne pads, wipes and professional chemical peels.

    Over-the-counter acne products often contain 0.5 - 2% salicylic acid and are considered safe for all skin types, ages, tones and textures. Of course, it’s important to check with your dermatologist before you add it to your regimen to make sure it’s the right fit for you and that you don’t have any allergies.

    While 2% salicylic acid is the maximum strength available over the counter, chemical peels with a concentration higher than 2% can be administered by licensed professionals and dermatologists.

    The final verdict: it’s great! If used correctly, salicylic acid can be the beneficial, skin-renewing ingredient that can result in minimizing the appearance of pores and smooth, clear skin.

  • 9 Tips to Maintain Healthy Skin Over Winter Break

    winter skin

    Winter is officially here and with it, comes colder temperatures, blustery winds and blasting indoor heaters that will take some getting used to, especially for our skin. As a result: our faces feel a little drier, making it weaker and perhaps even more prone to breakouts than usual. So, how can you make sure your skin stays safe this winter break? Here are a handful of easy-to-follow, no-fail tips from Dr. Lin to ensure your face stays smooth and soft all season long.

    Exfoliate Your Skin Exfoliating your skin will get rid of the dead, dry layers and dirt that are making it impossible for your moisturizers and oils to really penetrate through. Find a gentle exfoliator or a product with exfoliating capabilities, like Dr. Lin’s Acne Cleansing Pads, to get rid of any excess dirt on your skin. Even better, gift yourself a professional facial to really get your complexion looking bright and feeling fresh.

    Unclog Your Pores Even though you would think the hotter summer months would leave your skin oiler, it can be the exact opposite for some people, which can result in seasonal breakouts. Combat unexpected pimples by washing with a cleanser that contains 2% salicylic acid to unclog pores, like Dr. Lin’s Daily Cleanser. After cleansing, use a benzoyl peroxide lotion or spot-treatment for blemishes, like Dr. Lin’s Acne Spot Corrector.

    Hydrate Your Dry Patches Between the icy temperatures outside and the roasting temperatures on the inside, your skin will probably feel confused and worse, dry and damaged. In addition to being drier than usual, you might develop patches of dry skin, too. Use a super hydrating moisturizer or lotion, like Dr. Lin’s Daily Hydrating Gel, to fight dry and itchy skin. It contains a soothing aloe vera, too, to make sure your irritated skin is no longer.

    Use a Moisturizer Over a Serum If your skin is feeling extra dry this winter, consider layering a moisturizer over a serum to prevent extreme dryness and irritation.

    Catch Up On Sleep and Exercise Now that you have a little extra time this break, why not spend it catching up on much-needed sleep and squeezing in some extra exercise? Doing a little bit of both can greatly alleviate stress-induced breakouts.

    Don’t Let Holiday Parties Get in the Way Winter breaks are filled with late nights that turn into early mornings. For those days, remember to squeeze in a quick and easy cleanse with Dr. Lin’s Acne Cleansing Wipes. It’ll remove makeup while medicating to prevent breakouts. For an added boost, use the Acne Cleansing Pads to gently exfoliate and treat whiteheads and blackhead along the t-zone. You might be exhausted from all the holiday partying, but you won’t regret spending the extra five minutes taking care of your face when you wake up looking clean and refreshed.

    Drink Lots of Water In case you haven’t already noticed the running theme of this post, it’s all about hydration, hydration, hydration this winter break. Make a conscious effort to drink extra water over this break to keep your skin feeling soft and hydrated.

    Use a Humidifier If your skin is feeling extra dry over the break, consider using a humidifier while you sleep (or even during the day, if you can). The humidifier will ensure that your room has the optimal moisturize levels, leaving your skin soft and clear. It’ll also help you breathe even better and can help fight sickness, too.

    Keep Your Showers Short Long, steamy showers might seem like the perfect way to stay warm this cold winter, but it can actually strip your skin of moisture. Make sure to keep your showers short.

  • How to Get Photo Ready Skin for Holiday Pictures

    holiday selfie skin

    With the holidays coming up and your party card getting filled up, one definitely wants to be camera ready. Taking pictures with friends, family and of course the selfies are coming your way. Whether they are going to be posted on social media or framed for many years to come, here are Dr. Michael Lin’s tips for photo ready skin this season!

    Do: Use an anti-aging moisturizer that contains ingredients like hyaluronic acid. If you are looking for a less invasive alternative to keeping your skin looking smooth and firm during the holidays, use a daily moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is found in most fillers to instantly plump skin, but can also be applied topically to help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Dr. Lin’s Daily Hydrating Gel contains hyaluronic acid and aloe vera to fight pre-mature aging and soothe skin.

    Do: Cleanse, but don't go overboard. Abrasive scrubs, harsh cleansers or alcohol-based toners do not decrease oil production. In fact, stripping the skin of natural oils can actually cause sebaceous glands to go into overdrive.  A better choice is a gentle, effective cleanser with salicylic acid to help exfoliate clogged pores.

    Do: Wipe away sweat right away after a workout. Don’t wait until after a workout to wipe away make-up. Leaving make-up on when going from work to the gym clogs pores, which can lead to breakouts and pre-mature aging. Use a wipe that’s pre-medicated with salicylic acid like the Acne Cleansing Wipes to treat and prevent breakouts caused by sweat and oil after a workout. These convenient wipes are perfect for keeping in your purse, gym bag or locker.

    Do: Apply a benzoyl peroxide treatment to a pimple.  “My medicated Acne Spot Corrector helps reduce redness and the size of a breakout,” says Dr. Michael Lin. Be sure to use this treatment before applying a cover-up. You can also look for a non-comedogenic concealer with a green undertone to even-out the appearance of redness.

    Do: Apply egg whites onto a pimple to shrink a breakout. The protein in the egg will help dry out the pimple.

    Do: Apply honey to a breakout to calm redness. Honey is a naturally soothing ingredient with anti-inflammatory properties that helps heal the skin. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes then wipe away with a damp cloth.

    Try out these tips and let us know how you it helped you get photo ready. Happy Holidays and cheers to healthy and glowing skin.

  • 3 common skincare ingredients to avoid

    download

    We have all heard of what foods we should avoid for glowing clear skin, but what are the ingredients you should look for in a skincare product? As we are very conscious of what we eat, it is also important to know what ingredients are in your skincare products and how they can affect you. Some of them can do more harm than good and some of the most common skincare ingredients to avoid are parabens, hydroquinone and oxybenzone. But what are these ingredients and why are they bad? Read on to find out what you should be looking out for:

    Parabens

    What are parabens? You may have noticed lately that “paraben-free” labels have been popping up on some beauty products at the drugstore and elsewhere. Parabens are the most widely used preservatives in personal care products; they stop fungus, bacteria and other microbes from growing in your favorite creams and makeup, especially in the moist, warm environment of a bathroom.

    What are they used for? Parabens are used in skincare products because they allow for a longer shelf live, and they are cheap and effective. Their names are a mouthful and can come in different forms such as: —methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben. You’ll find them listed on thousands of personal care products such as body lotions, foundations, mascara and shampoos.

    Why are they bad? Parabens can induce allergic reactions, hormone disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity. They can also cause “estrogen disruption” which has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues.

    What to look out for: When looking for your next go to product, be sure to look at the ingredients on the back. Skincare brands have now become aware of the dangers of parabens and some even go further to list their skincare product as being “paraben-free.”

    Recognizing these potential risks, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michael Lin formulated his Acne Clarifying System out of his practice in Beverly Hills without parabens to avoid any issues associated with this ingredient.

    Hydroquinone:

    What is hydroquinone? Hydroquinone is a topical agent used in a variety of skin products for reducing skin pigmentation. Hydroquinone is used to lighten areas of skin affected by dark spots, acne scars, age spots and freckles.

    What is it used for: Hydroquinone is used to reduce the amount of melanin (your natural pigment) your skin produces, which in turn makes your skin lighter in appearance.

    Why is it bad? In doing so, this makes your skin more susceptible to UVA and UVB rays which can lead to dangerous sunburns, and over a prolonged period of time, an increased risk of certain types of skin cancer. Regular use of hydroquinone can cause serious irritation of the skin, especially for people that already have sensitive skin or allergies. In some cases, hydroquinone can cause extreme redness, itching or even a burning sensation when it is applied to the skin.

    What to look out for: When looking for a product that will fade and erase dark marks and acne spots, be sure to check to see if this ingredient is in the product.

    A natural alternative to hydroquinone is arbutin, which is derived from bearberry tree extract to address hyperpigmentation. If you’re looking for a 2-in-1 treatment that clears acne and fades the dark marks left behind, look no further than Dr. Lin’s hydroquinone-free Acne Spot Corrector with arbutin.

    Oxybenzone

    What is Oxybenzone: Known as a penetration enhancer, oxybenzone is a common ingredient that can commonly be found in sunscreens that functions as an ultraviolet light absorber and stabilizer.

    What is it used for: Oxybenzone is used in sunscreens, hair sprays, and cosmetics due their potential to prevent damage from sunlight exposure.

    Why is it bad? According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) base Oxybenzone as a moderate to high danger hazard level. Oxybenzone can potentially disrupt hormones (i.e., mimics, blocks, and alters hormone levels) which can throw off your endocrine system.  This ingredient is also highly associated with skin allergies. Despite its sun protective abilities, it has been shown to penetrate the skin and cause photo-sensitivity. It has also demonstrated an increase in the production of harmful free radicals and an ability to attack DNA cells; for this reason, it is believed to be a contributing factor in the recent rise of melonoma cases with sunscreen users.

    What to look out for: When buying a sunscreen, Dr. Lin recommends a sunscreen with SPF of 30 to 50 with good UVA protection. The SPF tells you the level of UVB protection and to determine the UVA protection, it is important to do some sleuthing by looking at the ingredients list. Some key ingredients he looks for are a chemical UVA protectant, such as avobenzone (3%) or a Mexoryl SX, or a physical UVA protectant such as, zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.

    So the next time you hit up your favorite drugstore.

  • 3 Dermatologist Tips for the Winter Season

    Just as your wardrobe changes throughout the seasons, so should your skincare routine. No matter what time of year it is, it is important to pay attention to your skin, and what it can be telling you. Ultimately, you should always protect your skin and supply it with beneficial ingredients to keep it healthy year-round.

    Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 12.53.11 AM

    Dr. Michael Lin recently shared his advice with the LA Times for updating skin care routines for the winter ahead. Here are 3 ways to winterize your skincare routine that you won’t want to miss:

    1. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize. The skin can get extremely dry in cold weather.  Skin is stripped of its natural moisture by wind, central heating, and low humidity. The human skin is the body’s largest organ and requires regular attention to stay healthy. Skin also sheds cells more rapidly than any other part of the body and therefore needs moisture to repair itself.

    Moisture allows for younger skin cells to rise to the surface and the massaging effect that is used when applying lotion helps stimulate blood circulation and new cell generation. Be sure to use a moisturizer morning and night. In the AM use a moisturizer after washing your face and in the PM right after your serum.

    Dr. Michael Lin advises that in extreme conditions “the thicker the moisturizer, the better.”

    He also recommends that a good moisturizer can include mineral oil or beeswax that are occlusive- which serve as a physical barrier to prevent water loss from evaporation. Most importantly, Dr. Lin says that if you can’t find one moisturizer to do it all, its OK to layer two or three.

    2. Always wear sunscreen. “I have a lot of patients who develop skin cancer on the lips, one of the most dangerous places to get skin cancer,” Said Dr. Lin.

    Even though summer may be over, it is still important to wear sunscreen no matter the season. Dr. Lin recommends a broad spectrum SPF 30 and to remember to reapply every 2 hours of sun exposure.

    3. Clean gently. For the winter season, Dr. Lin recommends switching to a hydrating, low-sulfate or sulfate-free cleanser that removes dirt and oil. Avoid over wash the face and using water that it too hot which can be too harsh and over dry the skin.

    Be sure to check out more of what Dr. Lin has to say at LA Times Fall - Winter Skin. What are your go to skincare tips for the winter season?

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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