Skin care can be confusing, especially when every day there is something new and fabulous to consider.  Asking an expert is a great way to clarify.  Here, I had a Q&A with Debra Jaliman, NYC-based dermatologist and author of the new, Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist:

1. What strength of retinol is the best option?
A consumer should look for a product with at least 0.1% retinol.

2. What is the best way to treat dark spots/discoloration from acne scars or sun damage?
The most important thing is to use a broad spectrum suncreen of at least SPF 30 to prevent further darkening. Retinols are a good choice because they can treat acne and treat post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. I am a big fan of the new Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum from Neutrogena – it uses an accelerated version of Retinol that shows results in one week. Glycolic acid helps to slough off the dead skin and some of the darkness. You can also use both at- home microdermabrasion kits and in-office microdermabrasion treatments. There are over the counter brightening products that contain kojic acid, hydroquinone, melanozyme. If none of these work a dermatologist can prescribe hydroquinone mixed with retinol.

3. What’s the best routine for maintaining (or regaining) elasticity?
There are products that contain pentapeptides and growth factors which stimulate collagen which will support elasticity.

4. What are affordable options for women who can’t afford or choose not to use Botox?
Women can use GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid/gamma amino-butyric acid) topically to relaxe muscles.

5. Besides sleep and water, what is your best beauty secret?
I’m a big fan of exfoliation especially as the weather gets warmer. You can have the best skin but if it isn’t properly exfoliated it won’t glow. Use a sonic cleansing machine like the Clarisonic as it removes dirt and oil in one easy step. Other options are glycolic acid pads, salicylic acid pads, or a grainy mask.

6. Any favorite DIY Kitchen Facials?
My favorite mask for dry skin is 1/4 avocado mashed with 1 egg yolk and 1/2 teaspoon of honey. Mix it all together and leave on for 15 minutes. Your skin will be softer and it is a great moisturizer. Avocado contains avocado oil which is emollient and has Vitamins A, B, D and E. It also contains sterolins the fat in plants which soften the skin. Egg yolks are all fat and are very moisturizing.

For oily skin I mix 1 egg white that you beat with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Leave on for 15 minutes until it drys. It is an excellent to exfoliate and dry out the excess oils. It is very drying so you can only do it once a week. The lemon juice is acidic so it takes the oil out of the skin as well.

For more tips on keeping yours skin youthful, fresh and firm, read Skin Rules by Dr Jaliman!


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TAMMY GIBSON, founder of A Mom in Red High Heels, is a God-loving, coffee-drinking, heel-wearing, wife and mom offering up her best tips to help women look and feel fabulous so they can achieve their biggest dreams.


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  2. This is good to know. I have tried everything from Burts Bees but way to oily. I’ve tried every product too at whole foods almost. I do the at home facial with the Riiviva Microdermabrasion tool for my acne scarring and it’s terrific. Its here at
    Do you have any recommendations as to what avenue to take for mositurizing with out all the oily residue that happens when I use oils. Thanks

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