Resolution #1


Happy New Year guys!  This week will consist of 5 days of beauty resolutions.

I get SO many question in my Ask Me Anything about acne and blackheads, and I always give the same advice … so, Resolution #1 for flawless skin:

See a dermatologist!  If you have health insurance or can afford it and need an excuse to leave work for 2 hours, make an appointment with your derm.  Not only is it important for your overall health (skin cancer check etc.), they can totally revamp your beauty routine. I’m talking swapping out your creams for prescriptions - whether you’re looking to treat blackheads, acne, and/or signs of aging … they’ve got an arsenal for flawless skin.  Certainly if you thought it was Accutane or bust, read on.

I consulted with Dr. Anne Chapas, Director of Union Square Laser Dermatology on her top five topicals for acne and blackhead concerns. You might be surprised by the range of treatments they can tailor for your skin: 


1. Tretinoin (Retin A) - You’ve probably heard of this for anti-aging wrinkle-fighting, but did you know it’s also amazing for oily skin, clogged pores and pigmentation?  (This was my personal go-to for acne/blackhead treatment and I love the glow it gives). Your doctor will prescribe the right formulation for you. Note it’s not suitable for sensitive skin or those trying to become pregnant (or already pregnant, of course).

2. Salicylic Acid - Great for exfoliating and helping clogged pores.  Your doctor will decide if you should pair up your retinol treatment with this and can guide you in using the right percentage vs. experimenting at the drugstore with treatments that might be too harsh.  Also not suitable for sensitive skin/those trying to get pregnant.

3. Retinol - Helps fight clogged pores and wrinkles and ideal for oily skin, skin with age concerns, and even sensitive skin.  Dr. Chapas notes that recent studies have shown that certain non-prescription retinols are just as effective as rx version and better tolerated, so ask your derm for their advice. Also not suitable for those trying to get pregnant.

4. Azelaic Acid - This is a mild but effective treatment for clogged pores and pigmentation.  I recently switched to this from Retin-A because it’s safe in pregnancy (not that I’m pregnant!! But we’re open to the idea so it’s better to be safe in my treatment choices).

5. Adapalene (Differin) - Anti-acne treatment that fights clogged pores and is also an anti-inflammatory.  This is available in many formulations so it can be tailored specifically for your skin type.  Not suitable during pregnancy.

In terms of cost, it depends on your insurance.  My prescriptions run me anywhere from $20 to $75 co-pay, but compared to what I’d spend on creams at Sephora, and considering how far these tubes go, I feel good about the price.

Dr. Chapas also performed my Isolaz pore vacuuming/laser treatment, so if you’re in the market for out-of-pocket stuff - including laser hair removal, tattoo removal, botox etc. (see the site) - she’s got you covered (or uncovered, as the case may be).

Image credit: via Fashion Gone Rogue. Note rx pictures above for example only, not necessarily the manufacturer Dr. Chapas would prescribe.