Skincare Tips from a Dermatologist

Read more about my interview with a board-certified dermatologist, where she talks about skincare tips, routine, and product suggestions!

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We had the privilege of having Dr. Katina Miles participate in an IG LIVE session to answer a few follower’s questions about skincare while giving us tips on how to have that young, glowing skin!  

About Dr. Katina Byrd Miles

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I met Dr. Katina Miles last year when I tried Emsculpt (read more about my experience here).  She is a board-certified dermatologist with over 15 years of experience and owner of Skin Oasis Dermatology.  Skin Oasis Dermatology offers general dermatology services to diagnose and treat skin conditions such as acne, eczema, skin cancer, etc. and cosmetic dermatology like fillers, Botox, laser hair removal, and body contouring like Emsculpt.

Skincare routine

Dr. Miles advises that skincare should only take less than a minute. “I’m a mom. I’m a business owner. I don’t have a lot of time.” 

Her suggested routine is to wash every day (twice a day) and NEVER go to sleep with makeup on! She likes to use a glycolic acid cleanser like GlyClear Cleanser. “It flies off the shelf. When I closed the office, people called in a panic to hoard my cleanser like toilet paper!” 

Vitamin A (retinols) help fine lines and wrinkles and texture of skin.  It keeps the skin nice and supple, keeps it bright, and helps keep acne away, too. Vitamin C serum (antioxidant) helps protect you from the elements.  

“Regimen really depends on skin sensitivity and resilience. For instance, I use a retinol and Vitamin C serum both morning and night. It’s because I’ve been using it for years. My skin can tolerate it. I also have oily skin, so I have skin of steel. For newbies and those with sensitive skin, use retinol at night and a vitamin C serum in the morning. It takes about 1 month for the skin to get acclimated to a retinol/retinoid. Some people have super sensitive skin and cannot tolerate a retinol at all. For those patients, I will use a glycolic acid cream.”

For over-the-counter products, Dr. Miles recommends Olay Regenerist and ProX.

Don’t forget your neck

“Whatever I use on my face, I like to use on my neck and hands.  A lot of the products for the neck tend to have more hyaluronic acid and collagen. A lot of times I look at the face and think it looks great, but then look at that neck! It’s important to take care of that neck.”

Handcare treatment

We’ve all been washing our hands quite a bit lately (thanks COVID-19), and with the frequent handwashing, it tends to leave our hands feeling dry, even to the point of cracked skin. 

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

“Welcome to my world!” says Dr. Miles (she washes her hands frequently in between patients, up to 20 to 25 times a day).

Her advice on keeping hands moisturized is to put lotion on right after cleansing your hands. Her favorite products for hydration are La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm (great for eczema patients) and Aveeno Cracked Skin Cica Ointment (great for cracked skin). “Or you can use  Vaseline. Put on gloves to seal in the hydration overnight.”  These are especially great for those of us who wash our hands frequently, do house chores like wash dishes, those parents who wash baby products like bottles, etc.

If your hands are already dry and cracked, stay away from hand sanitizer as much as possible. The alcohol dries your skin. Soap and water will be better and will cause less irritation. Be sure to use lukewarm water, not hot, as this additionally adds to the dryness.

How about masks or scrubs? 

Dr. Miles says charcoal masks are good, as it helps to brighten the skin texture, skin tone, and pore size.

How about coffee scrubs?  “Coffee has antioxidants, but be sure to use soft and not coarse. It will cause more irritation on the skin – more acne, believe it or not.”

Overall, she is not a big fan of scrubs and prefers retinol treatments.

How to get the glow post-baby

“Sleep is crucial. Make sure you’re eating right. Treat the whole person – take care of yourself! As a mom, we are busy taking care of everyone else.”  

“For skincare – if not nursing – retinol helps exfoliate (get rid of all that dead skin packed on) and brighten up the skin (product suggestions include SOD Melanage 2 Crème or SkinCeuticals 0.3% Retinol for sensitive skin). If nursing (or have even more sensitive skin), stick with glycolic acid (use SkinCeuticals Glycolic 10 Renew Overnight).”

You can exfoliate, but don’t OVER exfoliate! People tend to over-exfoliate with scrubs and spinning brushes. If you do it long-term, it causes the skin to become dull and thick.  

How to get rid of those bags under your eyes

“Get enough sleep. Limit salt intake – a lot of salt intake causes puffiness. Drink a lot of water. Take care of your overall wellness.”

Regarding eye serums: “I like them, but they never get rid of puffiness and under-eye bags 100%. They help to prevent additional puffiness and additional dark eyes.” Her product recommendations include SOD Kojilac Eye Brightener and SkinCeuticals AOX eye gel for puffiness.

I see spots: sunspots! 

To prevent sunspots, it’s so important to use sunscreen. Dr. Miles suggests using zinc-based sunscreen. “Mineral sunscreen before looked pasty, but now they are making them sheer. Zinc-based sunscreen is safer; other sunscreens were causing hormonal imbalance and destroying the coral reefs. The keywords to look for are mineral sunscreen and sheer (so you don’t look like a ghost).” Skin Oasis Dermatology (SOD) sunscreens are suitable for all skin types.  

For dark spot treatments, she recommends using SkinCeuticals CE Fyaluric to help with sun damage and aging skin (which is also an antioxidant). SOD Kojilac serum treats melasma and acne spots, and hyaluronic acid to help with hydration and retain moisture while keeping everything looking nice, young, and supple.

Skin cancer

“Skin cancer is an increased risk for everyone regardless of complexion. Personally, check your skin once a month (head-to-toe). Get to know your moles. For the back, use a mirror or have a loved one take a look. Go to the dermatologist for a skin check once a year. If there is a lot of sun exposure, we recommend every six months, just to make sure.”  

“For protection, use sunscreen. I can’t talk about sunscreen enough! Regardless of your skin type and complexion, it’s super important.”

“Use EVERY DAY! When you drive back and forth to work, the sun rays coming down the car window causes cumulative effect of sun exposure. If you’re outdoors long-term (park or beach), you have to re-apply sunscreen every two hours. On an average size person, a shot glass size is good for the entire body.”  

Use at least SPF15 for daily wear. If outdoors long-term, use at least SPF30. Regardless if it’s a 15 or 30, re-apply every 2 hours.  “Disregard the labels that state they last all day.” Dr. Miles says you have to re-apply, as there is no such thing as waterproof.  If you’re in/out of the water, you have to re-apply.  

“A lot of people are dying from skin cancer because of sun exposure from the sun and tanning beds. Tanning beds are more dangerous, as they use UVA lamps, which penetrates the skin and can cause more damage and result in skin cancer. You increase your risk of skin cancer by about 75%.”

Have trouble sleeping?

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Dr. Miles advises to “…stay in the moment. Try not to drink caffeine later in the day, as this makes the brain active. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try to have it before noon. I like CBD oil. There’s a company in Baltimore called RxRemedies Inc.  They have good stuff and not a lot THC. Indica helps with sleep and anxiety.” She also advises you to learn how to manage your stress.

“Teas are great, too (chamomile and soursop tea). I like to use soursop for myself, as this helps me to sleep. Soursop is from Jamaica. My husband is Jamaican, so I’ve been introduced to a lot of different teas. That knocks me right out!” She recommends Omura and Gevetto brands. 

What’s the best way to boost collagen?

Retinol and Vitamin C will help with collagen production. “There are lots of creams that talk about collagen – I’m on the fence about them. “

Her opinion on collagen water: “I’m on the fence. A lot of those things just pass through the body.”  

Ways to look young in an instant

“Botox is one of my favorites. When I was a chief resident, I became a guinea pig for my residents, and ever since then I was hooked! I couldn’t frown, and I look pleasant all the time!” says Dr. Miles, laughing. “It lifts your spirits, makes you feel better. Gives you a nice, relaxed look.”

While Botox is used primarily on the upper face, it can also be used on the lower face. Fillers are more so for the lower face.  “Fillers help raise cheeks and soften your look. I call fillers ‘playdough’ that helps rejuvenate the volume we lose over time.”

Fillers are comprised of hyaluronic acid. We lose hyaluronic acid, collagen, and elastin as we age, and this helps to retain moisture as it attracts water, which helps restore the body. We determine which filler you use depending on the volume loss (Juvederm, Restylane, to name a couple).

“We usually lose volume in the cheek area, so that is where we typically fill as this gives a nice lift. It looks more natural. Then we move to the frown lines and marionette lines.”

Different fillers last for various lengths of time. “For the cheeks, I like to use Juvederm Voluma, and that normally lasts for two years. Some people will go through fillers a lot faster, especially if you exercise a lot, but it can last.”

For the laugh lines, Dr. Miles likes to use Restylane and Juvederm, and those last about a year.

“Once the filler wears off, you can’t just deflate like a balloon, so you won’t go back to your baseline. It won’t make you look worse. As the filler goes away, you just go back to your baseline.”

What’s the latest technology in dermatology?

Emtone is great for cellulite as it helps smooth the tone of the skin. It’s great for legs, arms, stomach.

Ultherapy and Pelleve are for skin tightening of the face. Pelleve uses radiofrequency, and Ultherapy uses ultrasound. They heat your collagen, help build it over 3-4 treatments, and take up to 6 months to get that nice skin tightening. These treatments are suitable for the jowls and neckline too.

Favorite prescription brands  

“For dry skin treatments, there are prescriptions (medical grade lotion), but the difficulty with them is a lot of insurance doesn’t cover them anymore. They are great, but it’s hard to get insurance coverage for them.”  

She endorses the following products: EpiCeram, Mimyx cream, Neosalus, and AmLactin lotion.

You may also find Skin Oasis Dermatology products available to purchase online.

Does diet affect skin health?

“Diet is super important. “Eat to Live is one of my favorite books, …food is our best medication ever – eat to live, not live to eat. You’ll want to minimize sugar, minimize processed food, and dairy. Those are things that will cause us to be sick internally (high blood pressure, diabetes, acne).”  

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“Don’t stress eat. Have your ice cream once in a while, but also eat your vegetables. Have a balanced diet.”

Want to book a consultation with Dr. Miles?

Want to learn more or have a consult with Dr. Miles? Call the office at 410.451.0500 or check out her website for services or products available:  www.skinoasisderm.com

Thank you, Dr. Miles, for your time and informative interview!

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