Tips from a top New York dermatologist

Dr.Debra JalimanIf your skin isn’t perfect, don’t worry! Dr. Debra Jaliman, the author of Skin Rules:Trade Secrets From a Top New York Dermatologist, says, “Few people have naturally perfect skin, but no matter what skin you were born with, it can be made to look better – usually a whole lot better.”
Dr. Jaliman agreed to answer some of the most common questions she hears as a top skin care specialist. Here is the advice she shares with patients:
Q: What can I do to improve my dull, weak nails?
Dr. Jaliman:
 Far more effective than those “nail-strengthening polishes are a daily dose of biotin (vitamin B-7), which can be purchased at any drugstore. Most recent studies recommend 2.5 milligrams a day. Interestingly, there is also some evidence that taking biotin regularly makes hair thicker and healthier, so it’s a win-win situation.
Q: Which foods can I eat to improve skin?
Dr. Jaliman:
 Eating small amounts of lean protein, such as fish, egg white omelets, or turkey will improve skin, hair, and nails without increasing weight. Skin needs healthy fats, too, like those found in fish, extra-virgin olive oil, and nuts. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables in the more colorful varieties. I also recommend that everybody take a 1,000 milligram Omega-3 supplement daily.
Q: At what age should I start using anti-aging products?
Dr. Jaliman:
 Don’t wait until wrinkles appear to start using anti-aging products. Collagen production starts decreasing in the late twenties, so that’s when people should start using retinols, antioxidants, and collagen boosters, especially around the eyes.
Q: Which foods are potentially detrimental to my skin?
Dr. Jaliman:
 Alcohol, spicy foods, very hot beverages, and heavy consumption of caffeine, MSG, and NutraSweet (aspartame) can aggravate rosacea. If you have acne, consuming dairy products and sugar can make it worse. If you eliminate diary, be sure to take calcium supplements.
Q: I really want longer lashes! Is it safe to try eye lash extensions?
Dr. Jaliman:
 Fake eyelashes of any sort, including lash extensions, are a terrible idea. The glue damages the delicate skin of the eyelid and pulls out eyelashes, often permanently. Dyeing your lashes is an even worse idea and is illegal in many states for good reason, since they can severely damage the eye and even cause blindness.
Q: What’s the deal with green tea? Is it really that good for you?
Dr. Jaliman:
 Drink Green Tea – lots of it! It is full of polyphenols, antioxidants that appear to prevent skin cancer and protect against free radicals that age the skin. Green tea is a preventative, not a cure, so the key here is to start drinking it at an early age and to drink it every day.
Question: How can I avoid red shaving bumps?
Dr. Jaliman:
 An ultra-clean razor is essential. Before you step into the shower, place the razor in rubbing alcohol. Use a shaving brush, which helps lift hair off the skin, and a shaving gel instead of a cream. Don’t shave against the direction of the hair, and do not go over the area more than once.
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