Skincare FAQs

Home > Skin Care

Last Update: 13 Jan 2020

Author: Dr Andrea Suarez (Dr. Dray)

Dr Dray (Dr Andrea Suarez)

In this article, we have compiled all the common questions related to skin care products, treatments and concerns related to Acne, Sebaceous Filaments, Alpha Arbutin, Hyperpigmentation, Sunscreen, Retinoid, Vitamin C, Cleansers, Moisturizers, Essential Oils, Skin care ingredients and Skincare treatments.


These questions and answers are contributed by Dr. Andrea Suarez and compiled from her instagram profile. Check out Dr. Dray on Instagram.


Acne FAQs

  1. If I have fungal acne, do I need to avoid skin care products?

Answer: Not exactly. First of all, fungal acne is related to an inflammatory response to malassezia yeast. It can happen to people who are immunosuppressed (having a weakened immune system) or have been on systemic glucocorticoid therapy. While oily skincare products and cosmetics may aggravate this condition, the explosion of “malassezia safe” ingredients lists that have surfaced all over the internet is largely bunk.

  1. Is winter acne a thing?

Answer: Acne can get worse in the winter as moisture is pulled from the skin with dry winter air. The dryness makes the skin more prone to irritation, which can flare acne. 

  1. Can hormonal acne occur on other locations of the face?

Or is it only the jaw & chin?

Answer: Hormones can flare acne at any location. The jaw and the chin area are more commonly associated with hormonal acne, but they are not the only sites.


Sebaceous Filaments FAQs

  1. How to get rid of Sebaceous Filaments?

Answer: Consistent use of a salicylic acid product or a leave on product can help.

Alpha Arbutin FAQs

  1. Is it safe to use Alpha Arbutin long term?

Answer: Yes, it is safe to use Alpha Arbutin long term because the active ingredient is slowly released and is less irritating than other skin lightening agents. There are no known negative interactions between arbutin and other skincare ingredients, so it can be combined with other ingredients.

Hyperpigmentation FAQs

  1. How to get rid of Hyperpigmentation on the lips?

Answer: Avoid irritating cosmetics, wear sunscreen, and protect your skin from the sun with hats and scarves. See a dermatologist to rule out any other causes. If appropriate, certain topicals may be prescribed that can help fade the discoloration.


Sunscreen FAQs

  1. Can you recommend a matte sunscreen for dry skin that won’t pill under makeup?

Answer: Try Image PREVENTION+® daily ultimate protection moisturizer SPF 50

Retinoid FAQs

  1. Can retinol eye creams improve the look of blue veins under the eyes where the skin is thin?

Answer: No, they don’t make a difference for the visible veins. Topicals don’t address these (besides covering them with makeup). They can be treated with laser sclerotherapy, filler or microphlebectomy.

  1. Is tretinoin superior to Adapalene for anti-aging?

Answer: Hard to say for sure. Tretinoin has been around for much longer, so obviously we are going to have more studies on it for anti-aging, than we do for adapalene. There are no head-to-head comparison studies between the two for anti-aging. However, there are a few studies that show adapalene is helpful for improving the visible signs of photoaging.

  1. Does Tretinoin 0.05% have the same anti-aging benefits as 0.1%?

Answer: Yes. The main difference is that lower percentages are less irritating.

  1. Will I lose results from tretinoin if I decrease the frequency of use from once a day to a few times a week?

Answer: Tretinoin is still effective for acne control and improving wrinkles when used a few times a week. Decreasing the frequency from daily to a few days a week is unlikely to change the results.

  1. Can the Im from Rice toner be used with Differin?

Answer: Yes. Rice is rich in moisturizing humectants that can help reduce irritation from topicals.

  1. Can you recommend a retinol eye cream?

Answer: Neutrogena Rapid Repair Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream ($17.99 | 0.5 Fl Oz)

 Retinol Eye Cream for Wrinkles

  1. Can topical retinol cause nasal polyps?

Answer: No.


Vitamin C FAQs

  1. Can you use Vitamin C serum and Peptides together?

Answer: No. Copper Peptides can accelerate the rate of degradation of L-ascorbic acid. The acidic pH of Vitamin C serums can denature (take away or alter the natural qualities of) the peptides in your peptide serum

  1. Is Vitamin C serum necessary? Can you recommend one?

Answer: Not necessary. I recommend Skinceuticals CE Ferulic. It is a patent formula that is stable and able to penetrate the skin to raise the levels of vitamin C in the skin.

Cleanser FAQs

  1. Can you recommend cleansing oil for the body?

Answer: Eucerin skin calming body wash is essentially a cleansing oil.

Moisturizer FAQs

  1. Can Hyaluronic Acid supplements help with dry skin?

Answer: Small studies suggest improved skin hydration with HA supplements. However, the extent to which it is due to just drinking more water is hard to say. More studies are needed.

  1. Can you over moisturize?

Answer: You can overdo anything. If you were to apply moisturizer at some extreme frequency (15x a day for example), you can over hydrate the skin which leads to maceration and ultimately worsens transepidermal water loss from the skin.


  1. Is Q10 a good body moisturizer?

Answer: Topical Q10 may help fight off free radical damage that contributes to photoaging.

  1. Can retinol body moisturizer help with stretch marks?

Answer: Yes, retinol can modestly improve the appearance of stretch marks with long term use.

Essential Oils FAQs

  1. Are oils, like RoseHip Oil, good for acne prone skin?

Answer: Plant oils can aggravate acne for some people. This is not predictable, and there is variability from brand to brand, as well as batch to batch. We don’t have any actual studies looking at the efficacy, safety or tolerability of rosehip oil for acne.


Skincare Ingredient FAQs

  1. Can topical Clindamycin be used with azelaic acid?

In what order?

Answer: Yes. The order of applying them does not matter.

  1. Can you use topical Clindamycin for too long?

Answer: Yes. Prolonged use comes with a risk of bacterial resistance and gram negative folliculitis. Using it with topical benzoyl peroxide reduces the risks. Always discuss with the dermatologist how long you should use the medication.

  1. What is arnica and can it be used on the face?

Answer: Arnica comes from a flower, and is used topically after procedures to reduce pain, swelling and bruising. The data are mixed as to whether or not it is effective, but it seems to be well tolerated. You can of course develop allergy to topical arnica, but yes it can be applied on the face.

Skincare Treatments FAQs

  1. At Home remedies for Skin Tags?

Answer: No, just no. See a derm to have them removed. At home stuff doesn’t work and puts you at risk for infection and scarring. Also, not everything that looks like a skin tag is one. So best to see your derm for this.

  1. Is at-home microdermabrasion safe?

Answer: These kits are essentially just facial scrubs that use aluminium oxide crystals and are not really any different from facial scrubs that use beads or grains to rub away dead skin. They can create micro tears in the skin that lead to dryness and irritation, and can worsen hyperpigmentation. The amount of active ingredients in at-home products are much lower than those used by professionals. Also, the tools used when done professionally require training and need to be used properly in order to avoid damaging the skin.


Comment Form is loading comments...

Table of contents