Skincare 201 with Dr Tina Alster

Welcome to round 2 of my skincare enlightenment series. This time, I bring to you various words of wisdom and skincare gems from none other than dermatologist extraordinaire, Dr Tina S. Alster.

I recently had the pleasure of attending a press event held in the fabulous Peninsula Spa, where attendees gathered to get the 411 on skincare from an industry leader. With a resume that reads like an honor student’s report card, it becomes clear that Dr Alster is an expert in her field, a wealth of skincare knowledge, and one of the best and brightest in the business. I can also attest to the fact that she also has a fabulous personality, and a killer fashion sense (she is a fan of Jason Wu). Pluses in my book, though completely optional in a good dermatologist.

Now about the event, we all listened in rapt fascination as Dr Alster walked us through her own skincare tips, guidelines, and gotta have it home treatment tools. Being newly obsessed with skincare, I found the background information to be especially interesting. You might not know this about me, but I am a bit of a nerd. Factoids excite me, and I just can’t help it.

While the topics were varied, and covered everything from sun protection and body shaping to exfoliation and antiaging, the general message to take home was that skincare is as important as ever, and that skincare trends are a’changing. In an effort to bring professional grade beauty to the masses, new methods and gadgets are constantly in development, both revolutionary, and potentially life-changing. People are becoming more aware of the skin they are in, and want to do everything they can to keep it looking amazing with as little cost as possible.

Here are some of the most important tips/facts I took away from the presentation to share with you:

  • When choosing sun protection, higher is always better. For the most effective coverage, choose SPF 20 and above. If possible, give your SPF a boost in the morning by using an antioxidant rich product with it.
  • The future of body shaping rests in the hands of a revolutionary new device used in office by dermatologists called Zeltiq. Going against traditional liposuction which dissolves fat by melting it with heat, the Zeltiq actually freezes fat cells, causing them to burst and then eventually disappear. Promising news for the adipose (fat) tissue prone indeed. Just don’t be tempted to stick yourself in a freezer, in a typical d.i.y. fashion. This method only works on targeted cells, when performed in a clinical setting, with all the proper equipment.
  • Exfoliation is the key to smooth, even, radiant looking skin. For best results, use some form of mild exfoliant daily.
  • Contrary to popular belief, we are not born with freckles (darn!). Freckles are the result of sun exposure and photo (light) damage. 

I was once freckle-less, sigh
  • Do not under any circumstances use brightening skincare products with hydroquinone in them. The ingredient causes skin to become dependent, rendering it useless and even contributing to hyper-pigmentation.

Now, on to the gadgets. With the invention of various in-home treatment devices and methods, consumers have more and more power to bring the very best from the dermatologist right into their homes. These are Dr Alster’s can’t live without ’em products:

Silk’n SensEpil.

I have already chronicled my adventures with this miracle at-home hair remover, but I am happy to say that Dr Alster is also a fan. It is the only device that even comes remotely close to in office laser hair removal treatments. In fact, let us revisit what my leg looks like after having had only 2 treatment sessions, and not shaving for 3 entire weeks:

I am a believer, and the good doctor is too.

Another beauty gadget that Dr Alster swears by? The Clarisonic. She uses hers daily, and absolutely doesn’t travel anywhere overnight without her handy Clarisonic Mia in tow. The newest item to get excited about is the Clarisonic Opal, just launched this month.

Rounding out the presentation was a mention of beauty foods, a topic I have visited before. During the presentation, we all munched on a delicious bento box meal positively brimming with nutrient-rich superfoods.

What looks like apple and walnut salad, grilled chicken with lentils, avocado and tomato soup and tofu, is really a meal packed with anti-oxidants, polyphenols, beta carotene, and various other vitamins and minerals.

The presentation with Dr Alster was an absolute delight, and I really did learn so many new and exciting things to share. Stay tuned for a bit more on the Peninsula Spa, which is a whole other post in and of itself.

*This event was hosted by the great folks at Silk’n SensEpil, and the Peninsula Spa. 

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