Carter, a Dallas-area dermatologist, says she has had patients
try several unusual methods in their quest to be all-natural.
can be very inventive with what they put on their face,"
she says. "Iíve been surprised at what people have
problem is, just because a skin-care product is labeled
natural or organic doesnít mean itís right for you.
sheís had patients use lime to exfoliate their faces, but
the sun can cause a blistering reaction to lime on the skin.
hard because I tell people, ĎPoison ivy is natural!í And
people donít use that," she says.
Wilson, who practices naturopathy in Plano,Tex., agrees.
"Just because youíre using something natural doesnít
mean itís the right thing for you, but there is much less
potential of causing future damage."
does work? We asked for their best advice on skin-care
products. Hereís what they said:
overdo it. Carter says the main issue with her patients isnít
whatís in their products ó itís that there are too many
lot of patients will come in and bring the products they
use," she says. "Thatís very helpful, but what
happens is they have these huge bags of stuff. Theyíll pour
it out on the counter, and itíll be 15 different products.
patients ask me what I use, I say I use a face wash, a
moisturizer and a tretinoin-based acne product," she
says. "If I donít keep it simple, how do I ask patients
to do things that are so complicated?"
time. Carter says another issue is that people arenít using
a product long enough.
looking for something that fixes their skin next week,"
she says. "You really should give it six weeks to see if
itís going to work for you."
what you eat. Wilson says that many skin issues start from
within. She urges her patients toeat more vegetables and avoid
fried foods. She also says patients should limit the amount of
animal products they eat because theyíre harder for the body
think we underestimate what we take in does to our skin,"
your sunscreen. Carter and Wilson both say sunscreen is a
critical component of skin care, but if patients are having
reactions to it, they recommend products with titanium or zinc
notes that some people have had reactions to propylene glycol
and parabens, but she says theyíre not necessarily bad. If
they irritate a patientís skin, she recommends testing in a
says she typically has patients avoid parabens, which she says
have the ability to mimic estrogen and have a weak correlation
to the onset of early puberty.
says she sends patients to the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database
run by the Environmental Working Group, which rates thousands
of products on their potential irritants and what problems
they could cause. Itís available at
or as a mobile app.
yourself. Wilson tells patients to be mindful of their
allergies and what ingredients are already affecting their
bodies. For example, if a patient has celiac disease and isnít
eating gluten, it shouldnít be in the patientís skin-care
or makeup products, either.
buy? Carter says consumers shouldnít be afraid to purchase
products at a drugstore or a dermatologistís office.
over-the-counter brands she recommends include Cetaphil,
Cerave, Aveeno and Neutrogena.
acne, she recommends tretinoin-based products, such as
prescription Retin A, that also are approved for their
anti-aging benefits and to minimize fine lines and wrinkles.
over-the-counter versions with retinol, such as Oil of Olayís
Regenerist line, are not as strong as what a doctor can
prescribe, but she says the moisturizing benefits may help.
says coconut oil is a fine moisturizer for the hair and the
body, but she doesnít recommend it or shea butter for the
face because the pores are much more sensitive, which can lead
says she likes DeVita products, which can be found at Whole
Foods and Natural Grocers. She uses several DeVita items,
including the aloe vera exfoliating cleanser, rose oil toner
and a sunscreen moisturizer.
patients are first starting out on their journey to get rid of
toxins, I will send them to Whole Foods. They do a fair amount
of scrutiny with the products they sell," Wilson says.
"But itís like I tell my patients who are diabetic,
Whole Foods also sells some really yummy cakes, but theyíre
not necessarily good for you."
help. Carter says the most important component to taking care
of your skin is getting good advice from a board-certified
is not necessarily better, more is not necessarily
better," she says. "If we keep it simple and make
sure weíre wearing moisturizer and sunscreen, things will be
taken care of."