We'll do just about anything to look younger and take care of our skin. But, wading through all the lotions and potions on the market can be enough to put a wrinkle in anyone's day. So, we turned to renowned dermatologist Ranella Hirsch, M.D. for her favorite face creams.
What is the best cream for fighting fine lines and wrinkles? Can you really do that with a lotion or potion?
Yes. The ingredient with the best long term research and results for anti-aging are those derived of vitamin A, or retinoids. You can get them in a variety of strengths, from retinols which are available over the counter, to retinoic acids, which you get by prescription from your dermatologist. For OTC choices, I really like the RoC product. A bit stronger than that is the Skinceuticals retinols. A nice addition of an antioxidant is found in the widely available Reti-C from Vichy. Prescription strength options include Tazorac, Refissa, and Retin-A.
What do you recommend for someone with sensitive skin?
I look for products that are labeled specifically for sensitive skin. The new lines featuring feverfew and licorice extract are good starting points. Some good choices are: Aveeno Active Naturals with feverfew and Eucerin Redness Relief with licorice root.
What daily face cream do you like best for women who are in the sun a lot?
Everyone should include sun protection in their daily face product, so I am not sure I would separate them out. Rarely is there a circumstance where we would recommend someone avoid using sun protection. That said, Vichy Aqua Thermal is great, as is Neutrogena Healthy Defense.
What about women in their 20's and 30's? Is there a cream that's best for skin in its prime?
Sunscreen as a preventative is critical for everyone, and then they do well to start with ingredients to help bolster the skin, like those containing peptides and vitamin A.
What about age spots and pigmentation issues? Is there a face cream for that?
Retinoids are a top choice. Antioxidants can bolster the effect and can certain ingredients that help to lighten spots. Good examples of product lines in the Retinol family are Roc and Skinceuticals.
Can you wear the same creams at night or do you actually need a different potion when you get some shuteye?
Night time allows you to use formulas with slightly greater intensity because they have more time to be processed by the skin. Also the delivery systems are thicker, so you can have more effective activity in the skin.
Board certified dermatologist Dr. Ranella Hirsch is a frequently quoted expert in the fields of cosmetic and laser dermatology. She often lectures to physicians in the fields of laser surgery and cosmetic dermatology, and is currently involved in a number of clinical studies of laser technologies and skin care. The author of many scientific articles, abstracts, and textbook chapters, Dr. Hirsch serves on the editorial boards of several leading dermatology journals including Dermatology Times, Cosmetic Dermatology, Skin and Aging, and Cutis and has recently completed her second Aesthetic Dermatology textbook for McGraw Hill.
Currently, she is working on several clinical trials for topical skincare products to improve the condition and appearance of aging skin and her innovative research continues to develop and foster new cosmetic dermatology technologies and techniques. Because of her access to the latest technologies and ingredients, Dr. Hirsch is frequently asked to consult to the media. She is also a principal investigator for a number of prominent laser companies. Dr. Hirsch is the author of several articles and book chapters on the subject of injectable neurotoxins and other dermal fillers. Her most recent textbook, "Aesthetic Regional Rejuvenation" was released by McGraw-Hill in 2009.
Dr. Ranella Hirsch received her medical degree from the State University of New York School of Medicine. She completed an internship in internal medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine, residency training in dermatology at the State University of New York, and advanced laser and cosmetic dermatology training at the Massachusetts General Hospital of Harvard Medical School. She is currently on faculty at the Boston University School of Medicine.
A fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery, the International Society for Cosmetic Dermatology, and the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, Dr. Hirsch has recently completed a three year term of service as the Scope of Practice Committee Chair for the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, and was an honored recipient of the 2007 President's Award for her work on patient safety by ASDS President Alastair Carruthers.
Dr. Hirsch is the Past President of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery (2008), and is recognized as the youngest person to ever hold elected leadership of a major dermatology society. During her tenure, she is credited with spearheading the collaborative efforts to unify the two largest Specialty Dermatology organizations for their first ever Joint Annual Meeting (ASDS-ASCDAS), as well as the creation of the ASCDAS Educational and Charitable Foundation, a 501c(3) non for profit Foundation with a core mission to create and support innovative programs in the academic aesthetic realm as well as the continued support of charitable endeavors.