The Doctor is in: Skincare Guru Dr. Murad Debunks Common Skincare Myths

Dr. Murad

Dr. Murad

Here in L.A., the weather has been swinging wildly between beach-ready 80s to infinity-scarf 60s in one day, and it’s been wreaking havoc on our skin.  The shelves at our Sephora store are crowded with more and more skincare that promise everything from lifting and firming to beauty miracles with otherworldly ingredients like dragon’s blood. With the choices positively dizzying, we needed an expert’s opinion on what to do. So we sought out skincare expert Dr. Howard Murad, one of the nation’s leading dermatologists, to demystify some of the most common skincare questions and give us some of his favorite products from his own line.

If things get much worse, we’re going to ship ourselves over to Murad Inclusive Health Spa in El Segundo, Calif. to get a personalized skincare regimen. We can’t start spring with scaly skin!

FTD:  Is it true that you should use products from one brand from start to finish in your skincare regimen?

While it is not completely necessary, it is ideal to use products that are all from one brand. This is because products that are intended to be used together will have ingredients that work synergistically. All regimens should be customized based on an individual’s specific skin concern and what they would like to see improve.

For combination skin, Dr. Murad recommends his line of Energizing Pomegranate Products, like the Energizing Pomegranate Cleanser ($26) and Moisturizer with SPF 15 ($33).

Murad Pomegranate Skin Care

Murad Pomegranate Skin Care

FTD: Do we really need to use toner? Does it do anything?

For optimal results, I definitely recommend using a toner. Toner enhances the cleansing, normalizes pH and can be considered a pre-treatment, which ensures that cleanser residue is removed and helps prep the skin for the application of a treatment product. Toners bring added benefits such as antioxidants, hydrators, and anti-inflammatories.

FTD: If you have combination skin, what products are you supposed to use? Dry skin products? Oily skin ones?

Look for products that are formulated specifically for combination skin, but also chose products that target your specific skin concern, whether that is wrinkles, age spots, acne, etc. However, for any type of skin, and particularly for combination skin, I recommend a total body “inclusive” approach to care, focusing on topical products, internal supplementation and nutrition and reducing cell-damaging stress. Healthy skin is a reflection of overall wellness. When the body is at optimal health, the skin will follow suit.

FTD: We know that it’s important to use SPF every day, but is once enough? Do we need to reapply it even if we’re not out swimming or sweating?

I recommend applying a generous amount of sunscreen in the morning and reapplying every few hours. People often think that if you work indoors and have minimal direct sun exposure, you don’t need to wear sunscreen. That is a myth. The best sunscreens not only protect you from UVA and UVB exposure but also from environmental pollutants and free radical damage which can be found indoors and outdoors.  Additionally, light also reflects off surfaces, comes through building and car windows and penetrates through clothing.

Dr. Murad recommends his Oil-Free Sunblock SPF 30 ($31),  and the Murad Pomphenol® Sunguard Supplement ($36).

FTD: Is eye cream really essential or can I just use my moisturizer around my eyes?

Eye cream is extremely important. The skin around your eyes will likely be the first place that fine lines will appear and begin to “age” your skin. Eye creams are formulated specifically for the delicate eye area, which is 10x thinner than the rest of the skin on your face. You can begin using hydrating eye creams anytime, but the earlier the better.

Murad Hydro Dynamic Ultimate Moisture for Eyes

Murad Hydro Dynamic Ultimate Moisture for Eyes

FTD: Is eye cream something you need in your 20s? 30s?

Treatment eye creams that target a specific concern should be used starting in your early 20s, before the signs of aging appear. Use an eye cream both day and night to hydrate the skin around the eyes and increase suppleness. Try using an eye cream with a broad based SPF during the day to protect against both UVA and UVB radiation and a hydrating/moisturizing eye cream in the evening.

FTD: There are certain ingredients that are super trendy right now. Are they just hype or should we be paying attention to these newest and latest ingredients?

Science and technology never stops and so we constantly discover the benefits of new ingredients, especially botanical ingredients. Two popular and effective ingredients right now are Retinol and Hyaluronic acid. Retinol and hyaluronic acid work synergistically and products containing both those ingredients are highly effective.

Retinol has value for skin on several fronts: It is a cell-communicating ingredient and antioxidant. Skin cells have a receptor site that is very accepting of retinoic acid, which is a component of retinol. This relationship between retinoic acid and skin cells allows a type of communication in which the cell is told to function normally (that is, not like a damaged or older cell). Retinol helps skin create better, healthier skin cells, provides antioxidant support, and increases the amount of substances that enhance skin’s structural elements.

Hyaluronic acid  has been used for more than 20 years and is a natural moisturizer for the cells, helping smooth fine lines and wrinkles.

For the latest technology in skincare, Dr. Murad recommends his Sensitive Skin Soothing Serum® ($49.50 for 1.0 fl. oz.) and Complete Reform ($67).

FTD: People are really impatient, especially with skincare, how long should you use your products before you expect to see results?

Sometimes within 2 weeks people can begin to see results, and we’ve even had people say within a week they can see a difference while using Murad products. But generally skin cell turnover happens every 28-30 days, so it’s best to use the products for at least 30 days.

However, great skin is a long term process. For optimal results, topical care is only one piece of the solution. Making healthy lifestyle choices such as proper nutrition and supplementation will help the 80% of the skin in the dermis that isn’t reached by topical products. And concentrating on your emotional self-care by reducing cell damaging stress will help the new cells your body is producing be stronger and healthier.

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Author:Christopher Luu for Fashion Trends Daily

Christopher Luu is a Fashion Trends Daily Senior Writer and Menswear Editor.