The human body is home to trillions of microorganisms, outnumbering even the human cells. And a host of these diverse bacteria ecosystems (over 1,000 species approx.) reside on your skin. Research shows that some of these microbes actually promote skin health. They reinforce your skin’s natural barrier against bad bacteria, balance your skin’s pH levels and may even protect against skin cancer.

But constant use of harsh facial cleansers and antibacterial soaps strip your skin of these healthy bacteria or the ‘good bugs’ — consequently damaging your skin’s natural bacterial ecosystem. This, in turn, makes your skin stressed and dry, causing skin issues like breakouts, eczema, rosacea flares and psoriasis.

So, what can you do to build back your skin’s natural defenses and healthy function? Enter probiotics.

Here, two skin care experts explain how probiotics work on your skin and why they deserve to be a part of your daily skin care routine.

There is good news on the horizon: temperatures are expected to climb into the high 50s in parts of the Northeast next week. But before officially swapping out snow shoes for suede flat booties, consider a similarly ritualistic approach to skin care. While most of 2019 has been spent layering on moisturizers and shrouding wind-chapped faces with cashmere scarves, it’s officially time to put your best face forward. Spring-cleaning starts now, with the help of hardworking treatments designed to reveal a glowing complexion, just in time for the season ahead. Here, New York City dermatologist Whitney Bowe, M.D., shares four ways to get your best skin yet.

Try a Radio-Frequency Treatment

“It feels like a hot-stone massage,” Bowe says of ThermiSmooth Face, which she labels “the perfect post-winter” cure for thawing out from the cold. Bowe pairs the in-office device, which delivers radio-frequency energy to “firm and tighten,” with moisturizing coconut oil—moving back and forth in sweeping motions under the eye area. “It has been shown that when the skin is heated and held to 42 to 45 degrees Celsius, the collagen beneath is naturally stimulated,” she adds, meaning it also reduces fine lines and wrinkles. The resulting fresh-faced, wide-awake glow makes it the equivalent of “a big drink of water for your skin.”

Trust Your Pores to a Professional

To clear out congestion beneath the skin, a little more than a light exfoliation may be required. Bowe’s favorite deep-clean comes by way of TheraClear: a photo-pneumatic device that physically pulls out dirt from the pores and shines a broad-spectrum light onto the skin to kill bacteria. “It works as a really efficient vacuum cleaner,” she explains. “The combination of the blue and red light calms any inflammation that may have occurred with the cold.” Plus, it’s great for acne- or rosacea-prone patients looking to get results in 10-minute treatments. Bowe suggests getting the treatment once a month leading up to summer for a happy and breakout-free face.

These days, it’s possible to do a whole lot more with your morning smoothie than get an added dose of protein. A dash of ashwagandha may lower cortisol levels, a pinch of reishi mushroom powder may boost immunity, a sprinkle of keratin may strengthen hair, a scoop of collagen powder may keep skin supple—the list goes on. Yes, these days, keeping your skin healthy comes from the inside out, and it’s more than just drinking a lot of water; what was once was topical is now edible. With keratin, collagen, and hyaluronic acid all available for consumption, you can’t help but wonder, does consuming all of these powders and potions really make a difference? Here, Dr. Whitney Bowe, dermatologist and author of The Beauty of Dirty Skin, breaks it down.

No matter how many luxury oils, creams, and sprays you’ve got in your arsenal to help up the shine factor of your strands, the true secret to gorgeous hair is protection. It’s why hairstylists are constantly singing the praises of pre-hot tools heat protectants, and urging you to rinse your hair with cold water at the end of every wash. And while these are important steps for keeping your hair healthy, what you may not realize is that your strands actually have a built-in protective layer of their own, and true defense against damage relies on keeping it in-tact.

Think about it like this: You’ve likely heard the phrase “microbiome” as it applies to your skin, which is essentially an ecosystem made up of an invisible layer of microbes that acts as an extension of your immune system and helps ward off infection. Well, just as your skin has this shield of armor around it, your hair also has a sheet of protection. “The protective layer of our skin can be likened to the protective layer of our hair in terms of function,” explains dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD, author of The Beauty of Dirty Skin. “Healthy human hair is coated by seven layers of cuticle cells. The outermost layer is called the epicuticle and it helps to protect the hair from damage.” This is the layer that all of those products are working to keep healthy, in order to ensure that the strand underneath keeps doing its thing.

Would you try the latest skincare trend celebrities are swearing by that uses your own blood as the key ingredient?

Blood Cream, a personalized moisturizer created by Dr. Barbara Sturm in Germany, literally uses plasma from an individual’s blood as the key ingredient to complete each unique formula.

Celebrities like Emma Roberts and Hailey Baldwin are on board, and other companies are starting to create their own versions of the blood cream, but with a $1,400 price tag, some dermatologists are wary.

I had always thought Botox was for older women and socialites, but when my friends and I started turning 30, it was suddenly a topic of discussion at every dinner party and girls night out. It felt like there was no longer question of “if”— but only a question of “when”— for many of my friends.

Around that same time, I started getting questions from you guys about my thoughts on the matter. And I’ve never really had a good answer. So I tapped my friend Dr. Whitney Bowe to answer the most frequently asked question I get about the injections that everyone loves to hate. She has been working with Botox and Dysport for years on literally hundreds of patients and can explain the science behind it in a way that helps us better understand what all the fuss is about.

I love Dr. Bowe’s approach to skincare in general because she is one of the few derms I’ve met who truly preaches and believes in beauty from the inside out and touts the benefits of a healthy diet and lifestyle on your skin. If you’re at all interested in skincare and wellness, her book, The Beauty of Dirty Skin, is a must-read.

Full disclosure, I have done Dysport in the past and loved the results, but that doesn’t mean I’m encouraging any of you to do the same. My personal belief is that if something makes you feel good, beautiful, and happy, go for it. But if you want to age gracefully and naturally, there’s something really beautiful about that. Basically… you do you!

You may have seen Dr. Whitney Bowe on TV (Dr. Oz or Good Morning America or Rachael Ray Show) or perhaps read her book, The Beauty of Dirty Skin, as she is after all one of the most sought-after Dermatologists in the country. Dr. Whitney Bowe took some time off from her busy schedule to talk to Suburbs 101. She gives us a peek into her life in Chappaqua, NY and shares some of her beauty secrets with us.

Describe your journey to Chappaqua, NY

I was living in Park Slope with my husband when we had our daughter, Maclane. It was the perfect location during my residency training, as I covered a number of hospitals in Brooklyn and Long Island during my weekends on call. Access was key! I needed to be able to get to any of these hospitals as quickly as possible in the middle of the night for emergencies. But when my residency ended and our little Maclane started crawling around our apartment, we realized it was time for a change. Josh and I both had very positive childhood memories of hours spent playing or swimming in our backyards and riding bikes around our neighborhood. We wanted that for Maclane, so the hunt began! Chappaqua called to us because it’s a convenient commute to the city, but each property has the space and proximity to nature of a country home. We see families of deer crossing the street and walking through our yard all the time. In the Spring, I often have to stop my car to let a family of wild turkeys cross the road, and in the summer we often find a turtle or frogs in our backyard, and we listen to the crickets as the sun sets each night. I often say my blood pressure drops several points on my commute home from the city. Chappaqua is incredibly peaceful and beautiful and has a small town charm that is truly unique.

What are your go-to places in Chappaqua or in the area?
The Chappaqua farmer’s market is amazing. I love visiting the “Pie Lady” for whatever pies are in season, and picking up fresh tomatoes and homemade kombucha! We love shooting over to The Cliffs at Valhalla for some indoor rock climbing and bouldering on the weekends, or heading to Mount Peter to hit the slopes. For dinner, Le Jardine du Roi and Crabtree’s Kittle house are two of our favorite local spots, and the Inn at Pound Ridge is just a short drive away. We just went to the new tapas restaurant, Ibiza, in downtown Chappaqua for the first time. It was a home run! I can’t wait to go back. When I want to get super decadent and indulge my sweet tooth, I head to Armonk’s Sugar Hi for their “garbage pail” cookie and their twist on Pop Tarts- an improved version of a childhood favorite of mine! Chappaqua’s Susan Lawrence makes a mean kale salad and cedar plank salmon to go, and it’s easy to pick that up on my way home from work. Oh, and Lange’s Little Store is the perfect place to get your cold cuts, but be ready to bump into Bill Clinton who is always warm and friendly!

What has your experience been with schools in the area?
You kind of can’t go wrong with the schools. Chappaqua public schools are very strong and most families move to the area specifically for the schools. The private schools in the area are also excellent, and ultimately it’s a personal decision for each family and each child within each family. I know a handful of Chappaqua residents who send one child to the public schools and another to a private school.

There’s no doubt about it—healthy hair begins at the scalp. While many of us focus on having a routine for our faces and even products that promise to deliver shiny hair, the scalp is often an area of the body that gets overlooked until there’s an issue.

Renowned New York-based dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe tells me, “Our scalp doesn’t get much attention until it demands attention. One of the most important tips I provide to my patients is to let go of their love for lathering! So many people believe that when they are lathering their hair, they are thoroughly cleansing it. In fact, as I tell my patients, the more suds and bubbles, the more damage the shampoo is doing to your hair.”

Not everyone has the money—or the time—to drop on a series of cosmetic dermatology procedures. Thankfully, although cutting-edge, in-office treatments are often touted as the sole solutions to sagging skin, plenty of at-home remedies can be safe and effective.

To get to the bottom of what does and doesn’t work, we enlisted the help of leading dermatologists Dr. Whitney Bowe and Dr. Dendy Engelman. Engelman in particular is optimistic about what can be accomplished at home. “We have so many potent actives that really can change the quality and health of our skin,” she says. “And new ingredients are being discovered daily!”

Below, Bowe and Engelman reveal their favorite at-home skin-tightening treatments, ingredients, and strategies.

Wake up at six a.m., get ready to jet out the house and commute to work. Two-hour team meeting from nine to eleven, quick bathroom break and short scurry through emails. Hop on a conference call then venture out for a quick lunch break before heading to an afternoon professional development meeting and an event later in the evening. Attend professional development, then prepare to deliver a presentation at the next event. Deliver presentation, run home, squeeze in another meal, friends/family time, personal obligations, sleep and repeat. Ever had a busy day or season like this?

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