Research shows clean skin still has trillions of microbes on it, and these bugs play a major role in our skin’s health. “Our skin is covered with trillions of microorganisms you can’t see, primarily bacteria, that are essential to healthy and beautiful skin,” says Whitney Bowe, MD, a dermatologist in New York City and author of The Beauty of Dirty Skin. “These microbial critters are part of your skin’s health and behavior, and many of them provide vital functions for your skin that the human body actually can’t perform on its own.”

Dr. Bowe explains that over-cleansing will not only strip away the skin’s natural oils, but it will also upset its sensitive microbial balance. “The bacteria on our skin exist in a very delicate equilibrium—a delicate balance or harmony even—that keeps our skin functioning at its optimal level,” she says. “When the bacterial balance is maintained, our skin is pumping out collagen, sealing in moisture with ceramides, and telling our immune systems to calm down. But when we upset that delicate balance by rubbing and scrubbing with loofahs, buff puffs, wash cloths, harsh soaps with a high pH, or antibacterial soaps with biome-sabotaging ingredients like triclosan, our skin begins to suffer.” This can lead to a number of skin issues, including eczema, acne, dry skin, and premature aging.

Healthy bacteria also acts as a protective shield. In fact, researchers recently found that Staphylococcus epidermidis produces a molecule called 6-N-hydroxyaminopurine (6-HAP) that may provide natural protection against skin cancer. “The presence of this strain may provide natural protection, or it might be used therapeutically to inhibit the growth of various forms of cancer,” Richard Gallo, a co-author of the study from the University of California, San Diego, writes in the journal Science Advances.

When the strain was introduced to mice with melanoma cells, the tumors were over 60 percent smaller than those that had not received the strain. “Not only did this substance appear to slow the growth of melanoma cells, but it also appeared to reduce the number of pre-cancers formed when mice were exposed to UV light,” says Dr. Bowe. “In my opinion, this science is truly groundbreaking, and represents a revolution in the field of skin care and dermatology. Scientists are turning towards probiotics to fight infections, fight chronic skin diseases such as acne and rosacea, and now even to fight cancer.”

To keep your bugs in check, steer clear of harsh, anti-bacterial soaps or cleansers with a high a pH. Instead, Dr. Bowe says to look for words like gentle, pH balanced, and hydrating. She recommends La Roche Posay Toleriane Cleanser ($15; ulta.com), which is formulated with prebiotic thermal spring water to help restore that healthy balance. Use only your fingertips when cleansing—no instruments or tools—and moisturize immediately after. “Moisture is critical to microbial growth on the skin, and moisturizers preserve the skin’s physical barrier and maintain the normal composition of the microbiome,” she explains. “If your skin feels tight or dry after you cleanse, you are not respecting your microbiome.”

In my office, this is the decade when my patients start to do a very particular move at our appointments: they lift and tighten their jawline and jowls by giving their skin a gentle tug in front of their ears. Even if each patient can’t exactly articulate what’s bothering her when I walk into the exam room, 9 out of 10 times, she will hold up a mirror and make the classic “50’s” move. Here’s why:

As cell renewal continues to slow, the skin’s outermost stratum corneum thickens, and elastin fibers in the dermis fall into disarray. In fact, when we biopsy mature skin, these fibers look clumpy and disorganized. This combo of piled-up dead cells on top and unhealthy elastin clumping down under can stop anti-aging ingredients from reaching their intended targets in the skin’s deeper layers. Menopause also ushers in a more pronounced skin dryness, and a further drop-off in collagen production, which leads to crepiness and some sagging. But do not fret: keeping your skin in its healthiest state is just a matter of knowing what steps to take next — which is why you are here!

  • Look for Multi-Tasking Products. I love to recommend products that work on both your face and neck, so that you smooth and firm your face and neck as a unit and maintain consistency in the health of your skin in these key areas. One of my favorite multi-tasking products is No7’s Restore & Renew Face & Neck Multi Action Serum. As I describe on my Dr. Whitney’s Picks page, this serum delivers results AND is budget friendly. Made with a skin strengthening complex of calcium amino acids and ceramides, I find that this serum is lightweight and highly effective in evening skin tone, smoothing lines and tightening skin on both the face and neck.
  • Stock Up on Sheet Masks. In your 50s, the biggest barrier to seeing results from anti-agers is your skin barrier itself. A serum is very different than a moisturizer and is meant to be applied underneath a moisturizer for maximum product benefits. Applied over the top, saturated sheet masks can help push in actives by occluding them-that is, trapping them and preventing evaporation. I always look to Korea and Japan for the most advanced versions. One ingredient that I am seeing more and more in these masks: biocellulose. I typically recommend using a sheet mask one or two times per week.
  • Switch to Hyper-hydration Mode. Dry skin results in more pronounced fine lines whereas hydrated skin appears plump and healthy. Therefore, as skin loses its ability to trap moisture, you’ll want to consider adding a few drops of a nourishing face oil to your night cream to help seal in moisture, or simply look for ingredients like omegas, coconut oil, ceramides, and dimethicone.

Everyday mistakes can damage your skin and speed up the aging process. Keep your skin healthy and glowing with these key tips!

Surprising new research shows that exercise not only keeps your skin healthier, it can actually reverse aging in people who begin an exercise regimen even later in life! How much exercise? Check out my video for all the details!

On my social media channels, you guys asked about the safety of chemicals in sunscreen, why certain sunscreens make you look like a ghost, what’s the best type of sunscreen for kids, and how often you should reapply!

In this video, I will answer your questions and more!

To start, I explain the difference between chemical blockers and physical or mineral blockers.

Next, I share which sunscreen choices I make for myself and for my 5 year old daughter who is a fair skinned redhead and therefore, burns easily. As a dermatologist mom, I want to give my daughter the most safe and effective options for sun protection and I love sharing this information with you and your family!

Finally, I share my five key tips about sun protection.

Xoxo,
Dr. Whitney

I love to be on the pulse of technology both for in-office and at-home use! When a product works well, I want you to know about it. I also look for opportunities to provide cost efficient – but also EFFECTIVE – product recommendations.

My patients and I have been impressed with at-home results from an FDA cleared, hand-held, anti-aging device called the “Truth Vitality Lux Renew.” The device costs $279.

Here’s how it works:

The device combines ultrasound technology with red and blue LED light therapy.

Ultrasound: improves the skin’s elasticity and firmness. There are five settings on this particular device.

Red LED Light: Smooths wrinkles, helps the body to generate new collagen, helps reduce the appearance of rosacea and broken veins.

Blue LED Light: Destroy acne-causing bacteria.

How to use it:

You apply a serum first.

Then, you set the timer for a full 19 minute-session or for a 4 minute per treatment session.

You use it 3-5 times per week on your target area (for example, “angry 11s” on your forehead or “marionette lines” around your mouth).

The clinical trial results for this device are excellent! After twelve weeks of use, 60 participants experienced the following:

100% showed improvement in skin firmness

89.7% showed improvement in overall appearance of the skin

86.2% showed improvement in facial lines and wrinkles

79.3% showed improvement in forehead lines, wrinkles, and radiance.

My recommendation:

If you are needle-phobic or not quite ready to take the plunge for injections, this is a great option! I also recommend it to my patients for use in between our appointments to maximize their results from in-office procedures! It can complement procedures for tightening (Ultherapy, Thermage), redness (V-beam) or acne (Peels and Theraclear), allowing you to get more out of each treatment and extending the results so you can space those treatments farther apart. For a cost-saving option, this is one of the better products I’ve tested!

@DrWhitneyBowe

RT @DrOz: Could you be buying fake beauty products online and not know it? @DrWhitneyBowe reveals what could be in these counterfeit items.…

@DrWhitneyBowe

Instagram

Become a Bowe Glow Insider! Sign up to have exclusive news, VIP product giveaways and events, and early access to glowing skin tips and videos!

This site offers health, wellness, fitness and nutritional information for educational purposes only. The information on this website is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

© 2018 - Dr. Whitney Bowe

Terms of Use

Join my email community

Become a Bowe Glow Insider! Sign up to have access to exclusive news, VIP product giveaways and events, and early access to glowing skin tips and videos!

Become a Bowe Glow Insider! Sign up to have exclusive news, VIP product giveaways and events, and early access to glowing skin tips and videos!