Joel Schlessinger MD explains the link between deodorant and your skin

Sweating and odor are an issue that everyone deals with but thanks to deodorants and antiperspirants, most of us can keep this problem under control. While many people apply their products without a second thought, few think about how deodorants interact with their skin. Learn the link between antiperspirants and your skin and how these products protect against odor and wetness from Joel Schlessinger MD.

Deodorants work by combating bacteria while antiperspirants control wetness, explains Joel Schlessinger MD.

While sweat is naturally odorless, the scent of body odor is caused by bacteria on the skin surface that interact with sweat. Deodorants contain antibacterial ingredients that reduce bacteria and eliminate odor but are not as effective against wetness. If odor is your main concern, choose a product such as Dr.Hauschka Deodorant Fresh with masking ingredients.

Antiperspirants work by clogging sweat glands with ingredients such as aluminum compounds. This prevents sweat and moisture as well as embarrassing sweat stains. Hydrosal Professional Deodorant/Antiperspirant controls excessive sweating with 15% aluminum chloride. You can apply this product anywhere on the body where you experience excessive sweating.

There is some research that suggests deodorants and antiperspirants may actually make odor worse because bacteria becomes resistant. Studies such as this may encourage some individuals to skip deodorant altogether. Joel Schlessinger MD, however, views this research somewhat skeptically.

“Despite this research,” says Joel Schlessinger MD, “antiperspirants should still play a huge role in most people’s regimens.”

Joel Schlessinger MD says that the skin on your underarms can be just as sensitive as anywhere else on your body.

Products with aluminum, especially at high concentrations, can irritate sensitive skin types. If you have sensitive skin, choose an aluminum-free formula such as Dermalogica Environmental Control Deodorant that will not cause irritation. Many antiperspirant products can also contain ingredients such as alcohol that effectively dry out the skin but also cause irritation. NUXE Men 24 Hour Protection Deodorant is free of aluminum salts and alcohol to prevent redness, inflammation and itching.

Questions for Joel Schlessinger MD? Let him know below in the comments section.

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Joel Schlessinger MD discusses skin mistakes you're making at the sink
Most people don’t think twice about their skin care routine. Cleanse twice a day and exfoliate twice a week. But even if you’re diligent about taking care of your skin, there are small mistakes that could undo all your hard work. In this blog, Joel Schlessinger shares skin mistakes you could be making at the sink.

The way you wash your face affects how your skin care products work, Joel Schlessinger MD explains.

If you’re not cleansing correctly, oil, bacteria and other debris collect in your pores, preventing your skin care products from providing the best results. Before cleansing, wash your hands to remove any dirt and oil on your fingertips, which can transfer to your face and clog pores. If you’re wearing makeup, use a gentle makeup remover before cleansing to prevent irritation.

While washing your face, use tepid water as hot water will strip skin of its natural moisture and cause irritation. With most cleansers, you’ll only need to use about a dime-size amount. Massage the product into your skin for at least 30 seconds to help remove oil and debris. After rinsing the cleanser off your skin, splash your face with cold water and pat your skin dry with a clean towel.

Joel Schlessinger MD warns against cleansing with a washcloth.

While many people use a washcloth to exfoliate as they cleanse, Joel Schlessinger MD says it could do more harm than good for your skin.

“I recommend that my patients not use a washcloth when cleansing,” says Joel Schlessinger MD. “This is very irritating to the skin and ends up causing dry areas and even sores. Additionally, it frequently harbors bacteria that can make the face break out even more.”

For gentle exfoliation every time you cleanse, Joel Schlessinger MD suggests using a tool like Clarisonic Aria Skin Cleansing System along with your regular cleanser.

Properly washing your hands helps prevent the spread of bacteria, says Joel Schlessinger MD.

In addition to facial cleansing, it’s also important to pay attention to how you wash your hands. By practicing good hygiene, you can help prevent the spread of dangerous bacteria like MRSA.

Joel Schlessinger MD suggests washing your hands with CLn products. Bleach, the main ingredient in CLn, is a natural antibacterial that eliminates germs and bacteria without the worsening of antibiotic resistance.

Wet your hands with water, apply soap and scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Rinse your hands under clean water and dry them with a clean towel. Then, use the towel to turn off the faucet. These tips will help you stay healthy and prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.

Do you have a question for Joel Schlessinger MD? Share with us in the comments.

No Comments | Category: Skin Care, Skin Care Myths

 Indoor tanning involves using a tanning bed or booth that emits ultraviolet radiation in order to achieve a cosmetic tan. In recent years, the FDA and the American Academy of Dermatology have found more and more links between indoor tanning and an increased risk of serious health issues like skin cancer. In his latest SlideShare presentation, Dr. Joel Schlessinger answers frequently asked questions about the health risks of indoor tanning.

There are many misconceptions about indoor tanning, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

In Western culture, bronzed skin has come to be associated with health and vitality. However, there is nothing healthy about a tan. Tanned skin, whether it is from the sun or an indoor tanning bed, is no different than a sunburn. It means that your skin has sustained cellular damage.

The tanning industry would have you believe that using tanning beds is somehow safer than spending time in the sun. In reality, a tanning bed’s ultraviolet emissions are two to three times stronger than normal sunlight and particularly effective in causing skin cancer!

Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains the health issues that can arise from indoor tanning.

Even those who have reported using tanning beds according to industry guidelines have experienced serious health issues. Skin cancer is the number one concern of those who are regularly exposed to natural and artificial UV radiation. Squamous cell carcinoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, has been linked to indoor tanning, and the risk of developing melanoma increases 75% if regular tanning sessions occur before the age of 35.

In addition, those who tan frequently are more likely to experience premature signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots. Repeated UV radiation exposure may weaken the immune system, leaving you more susceptible to all disease. Tanning can also cause irreversible damage to the eyes, and exposure to contagious viruses and fungi often occurs due to unsanitary tanning bed surfaces.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger reminds us that the only safe tan comes from topical treatments.

Sunless self-tanners are topical products that allow you to build a temporary tan safely over time, and they are the only tanning solution advocated by dermatologists like Dr. Schlessinger. For natural, streak-free color, try jane iredale Tantasia Self Tanner & Bronzer. The formula can be applied daily or weekly for subtle, customizable color. TanTowel Classics are also a convenient way to get a tan, even on the go. These handy towelettes offer gentle exfoliation for smoother, more even application and healthier skin.

Remember, a self-tanner never stands in for a sunscreen. You’ll still need daily SPF protection. Dr. Schlessinger recommends EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen for the face and EltaMD UV Sport Water Resistant Broad Spectrum SPF 50 for the body. These gentle formulas won’t clog pores, exacerbate acne or irritate sensitive skin, and they offer superior protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Do you have a question about the risks of indoor tanning? Let us know in the comments section.

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Skin care travel tips from Joel Schlessinger MD

While traveling can often be relaxing and rejuvenating, being away from your arsenal of skin care and beauty products can wreak havoc on your skin. Changes in altitude, climate and the environment can also cause trouble for your complexion. Often times, we cannot take all of our products with us and our skin suffers. Follow these tips from dermatologist Joel Schlessinger MD on how to keep your skin healthy while you travel.

Keeping skin clean and free of bacteria while you travel is key, says Joel Schlessinger MD.

The surfaces of airplanes and trains can be the site of bacteria and germs. Not only is this dangerous for your health, it can also cause problems for your skin including irritation and infections. Avoid touching the surfaces more than necessary and always travel with hand sanitizer or disinfectant.

It is also a good idea to bring a cleanser that is antibacterial when you travel. The CLn cleansers contain bleach, which is one of the few antibacterial ingredients that doesn’t lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These cleansers are also beneficial for athletes and anyone prone to staph infections, eczema, acne or rosacea.

Joel Schlessinger MD recommends travel products that keep skin hydrated and free of irritation.

Traveling, especially on an airplane, often leads to dehydrated skin and irritation. Before your trip, drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated. To keep skin moisturized during the trip, use a travel-size product such as Obagi Hydrate Facial Moisturizer with shea butter and glycerin. To relieve dryness, itching and irritation, carry FixMySkin Healing Body Balm with 1% Hydrocortisone wherever you go. This mess-free balm heals skin to restore a soft and smooth texture.

Many of your favorite brands including Obagi, NeoStrata, Murad and StriVectin carry sets of travel-size products to make packing and your journey a breeze.

Which products help you maintain healthy skin while you travel? Tell us in the comments.

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Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares a study on how your skin is smarter than you think
A recent study published in Nature Neuroscience found that your skin processes touch information before sending it to the brain. Researchers from Umeå University in Sweden found that neurons in human skin perform advanced calculations that scientists previously believed only the brain could execute.

The results of this new study are fascinating, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

Researchers found that the skin actually calculates geometric data before sending signals to the brain. This allows the neurons in the sensitive skin on your fingertips to send information about how and when an object is touched, as well as details about the object’s shape.

The study also found that the neurons in your fingertips perform the same type of calculations done by neurons in the cerebral cortex. Simply put, your skin is able to process what you’re touch before sending information to your brain.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger says this study shows how complex skin is compared to other organs.

Dermatologists are always reminding patients that it’s important to take care of your skin. As the largest organ in your body, your skin needs proper care to stay healthy. This study proves that skin does more for the body than previously thought.

“I love this study because it shows just how superior the skin is to all the other organs,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger says. “And that makes me even happier to be a dermatologist!”

Do you have a question for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Share with us in the comments.

No Comments | Category: Dermatology, Skin Care, Skin Care Innovation

In a recent viral video, videographer Thomas Leveritt shows people on the street what they look like under ultraviolet light, exposing sun damage beneath the skin. The ultraviolet camera reveals changes to their skin that aren’t yet visible to the naked eye such as freckles, wrinkles and other signs of UV damage. With this video in mind, Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares what you can do to protect yourself from sun damage and keep your skin looking youthful.

Applying sunscreen every day protects your skin from premature aging, sun damage and skin cancer, Dr. Joel Schlessinger says.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a safe tan. Any change in your skin is a sign of sun damage. This damage doesn’t make itself known right away, either. Over time, sun exposure can lead to signs of aging like dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles. UV exposure also creates an uneven skin tone and breaks down collagen and elastin in the skin, giving the complexion a saggy appearance.

Most skin cancer is caused by too much UV exposure. In the early stages, it usually resembles a freckle or a mole that can change in size, shape or color. The best way to avoid skin cancer is through regular self checks and visits to your dermatologist. This will also improve your chances of catching it early when it’s easily treatable.

The best way to protect your skin from sun damage is to wear sunscreen every day and stay out of the sun. Apply a daily sunscreen and avoid outside activities during peak hours when the sun is directly overhead. Following these basic rules will help keep your skin looking youthful and healthy, Dr. Joel Schlessinger says.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends applying a broad spectrum sunscreen every day for healthy skin.

When shopping for sunscreen, many people only look at the SPF, which is not the best way to determine if your sunscreen is adequate. SPF only explains how well a produce protects against UVB rays, not UVA. Both UV rays cause skin cancer so it’s important to choose a broad spectrum formula. Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, which protects against both UVA and UVB rays without irritating sensitive skin.

As a general rule, Dr. Joel Schlessinger and other dermatologists recommend applying a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 and reapplying every two hours. For optimal sun protection, avoid excessive sun exposure between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun is most intense. It’s also important to protect your skin with proper clothing such as loose-fitting long sleeve shirts and pants, as well as wide-brimmed hats.

Do you have a question for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Share with us in the comments.

No Comments | Category: Aging Skin Care, Dermatology, Skin Cancer, Skin Care, Sun Damage, Sun Protection, Sunscreen Tips

Joel Schlessinger MD shares tips and tricks on how to spot skin cancerMore than two million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every year, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers and early detection is the key to survival. The easiest way to avoid becoming part of this statistic is to protect your skin and know how to identify areas of concern. In this blog post, Joel Schlessinger MD will explain how you can spot skin cancer in its early stages.

There are several types of skin cancer and some are more dangerous than others, Joel Schlessinger MD shares.

The types of skin cancer include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. All of these types of skin cancer are serious diseases, but some are more dangerous than others.

Actinic keratosis is a pre-cancerous lesion that is characterized by red or pink scaly patches on the skin. This can be a precursor to squamous cell carcinoma, a more serious form of skin cancer.

Basal cell carcinoma is identified by raised, waxy pink bumps that may bleed or feel tender to the touch. This type of skin cancer rarely spreads to other parts of the body but is very invasive to the location of the mole.

Squamous cell carcinoma usually has dull red, scaly and rough raised lesions on the skin. These lesions occur frequently on the areas of the skin that are most exposed to the sun.

Melanoma is one of the most dangerous types of skin cancer. Although only 4 percent of diagnosed skin cancer cases are melanoma, this deadly type accounts for 77 percent of all skin cancer deaths.

Self examination and yearly checkups are important to catching skin cancer, Joel Schlessinger MD says.

If diagnosed and treated early, skin cancer is easily cured. A monthly self examination and a yearly checkup with your dermatologist can alert you to changes in your skin and prevent the spread of skin cancer.

A change in a mole or growth is generally the first sign of skin cancer, Joel Schlessinger says. Look for signs of change over time including bleeding, irritation, itching or dark coloration.

Since melanoma is the most dangerous and aggressive type of skin cancer, it is important to examine your moles and birthmarks using the ABCDE rule, which can help spot the early signs of melanoma:

  • Asymmetry
  • Borders with irregular edges
  • Color is varied from one area to another
  • Diameter is larger than a pencil eraser
  • Evolving over time, changing in size, shape or color

Even if you are diligent about looking for changes in your skin, it is still essential to make a yearly appointment with a board-certified dermatologist like Joel Schlessinger MD. These experts are uniquely qualified to recognize, evaluate and treat skin cancers, ensuring the earliest possible detection.

Do you have questions about skin cancer for Joel Schlessinger MD? Share with us in the comments.

No Comments | Category: Dermatology, Skin Cancer, Skin Care

Dr. Joel Schlessinger discusses how to treat and prevent hair lossIf you suffer from hair loss, you’re not alone. About 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States have hereditary hair loss, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. In this blog, Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares the different types of hair loss and what you can do to treat and prevent it.

Some hair loss is permanent while other conditions are temporary, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains.

Permanent hair loss is usually caused by genetics. The most common type of hair loss is male and female pattern baldness, which is characterized by a receding hairline and a thinning crown.

Hormones, stress, illness, childbirth, dieting and some medications are all causes of temporary hair loss. Telogen effluvium is thinning on the scalp, which can be more severe in certain areas. Often caused by childbirth, stress, dieting or medication, this type of hair loss is fully reversible.

Alopecia areata is another type of temporary hair loss. This condition occurs when the immune system targets follicles, causing sudden bald patches on the scalp. It’s unclear how or why alopecia areata develops but researchers believe it is an autoimmune disease.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger suggests using hair loss treatments to keep your strands healthy.

A board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Joel Schlessinger can suggest a personalized treatment regimen to tackle hair loss. If an office visit isn’t an option, there are specialized products that can provide treatment from the comfort of your own home.

Rene Furterer FORTICEA Stimulating Shampoo strengthens and restores thinning strands. The unique formula uses essential oils to stimulate microcirculation, encouraging strands to grow stronger, thicker and healthier. Rene Furterer TRIPHASIC VHT Revitalizing Formula for Thin Hair is a unique scalp treatment that promotes stronger, faster and more noticeable growth by targeting the three major causes of hereditary hair loss.

Taking care of your strands can also help prevent hair loss. In the shower, gently shampoo your hair and never skip conditioner. Don’t brush your hair while it’s wet as this can cause breakage and damage weak strands. Let your hair air dry, if possible, and always apply a heat protectant spray like Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Heat Protect Spray before using styling tools.

Do you have a question about hair loss treatments? Share with us in the comments.

No Comments | Category: Dermatology, Hair Loss

Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains the right way to shampoo and condition hair

Shampooing and conditioning our hair is something we do so often that we probably don’t give it much thought. However, the right cleansing and conditioning techniques can make all the difference when it comes to achieving your healthiest head of hair. Next time you’re under the stream, incorporate Dr. Joel Schlessinger’s tips to get the most out of your products and routine.

Hot showers can cause hair to become dry and damaged, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

Before wetting your hair, brush or comb it thoroughly. This will remove knots and tangles and make your hair much easier to manage post-shower. Next, massage your scalp with the pads of your fingers to loosen any buildup and debris, making it easier to cleanse away. You may shed 150-200 hairs a day if you shampoo daily. This number could increase if you wash your hair less. Though it may be alarming to see hair in your hand or comb, this isn’t cause for concern. If you suspect that you’re shedding more than normal, consult with your physician.

When you’re ready to turn on the water, it’s crucial to make sure that it doesn’t reach an overly hot temperature. “Hot water may feel relaxing, but it can strip the hair of its natural moisture, causing it to become dry, damaged and brittle,” says Dr. Schlessinger. Warm water is optimal for shampooing and conditioning, as it effectively removes oil and buildup without over-drying.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger stresses not to judge a shampoo’s quality by how much lather it produces.

Thoroughly saturate your hair by standing under the water for two to three minutes. Then, squeeze a quarter-sized amount of shampoo in your palm and begin to gently rub it over your scalp, working up a lather for about a minute. Note that a shampoo’s lathering capability has nothing to do with how well it is working to cleanse your hair. Lather differs between products and has to do with how much foaming agent a formula contains.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends conditioning only the bottom half of hair.

Rinse away all shampoo suds and gently squeeze the excess water out of your hair. Then apply a quarter-sized amount of conditioner to just the bottom half of your hair, focusing on the ends. Avoid applying conditioner directly on your scalp. The new hair growth at your roots doesn’t need nearly as much moisture as the older, dryer growth at the ends, and applying conditioner to your roots could leave them oily and unbalanced.

Leave the conditioner on your hair for two minutes before rinsing completely. Before you step out of the water, seal the cuticle with a blast of cold water. This helps protect hair from damage, minimize frizz and lock in shine.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger and other dermatologists can help you determine how often to shampoo and condition your hair.

How often you’ll need to shampoo and condition your hair depends largely on your hair type, the condition of your hair and any treatments you’ve had. Though hair is normally shampooed every day, those with naturally dry or brittle hair may find that this strips hair of its natural oils and causes it to become frizzy. Some individuals with straight hair shampoo every other day or three to four times a week, while others with curly or aging hair only wash it every one to two weeks. If you need to go a long time between washes, you may experience a buildup of keratin on the scalp and subsequent itching. Dr. Schlessinger recommends a tar shampoo, like Tarsum Professional Shampoo, to help improve excessive buildup and itching. The medicated gel works to diminish redness, itching, flaking and irritation with a blend of proven ingredients.

Hair that has been colored, relaxed or permed is more brittle, so avoid shampooing the day after receiving a styling treatment. Dry shampoo can help absorb oil at the roots to add volume and keep your hair fresh between washes. Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk is suitable for all hair types. It contains protective ingredients to help clean the hair and soothe the scalp, making it great for balancing oil production and absorbing odors and impurities.

Try salon-quality shampoos and conditioners, selected by Dr. Joel Schlessinger, from offers a wide variety of shampoos and conditioners for every need and hair type. If you have significant allergies, Dr. Schlessinger recommends Free & Clear Shampoo and Free & Clear Conditioner. The formulas are free of harsh fragrances, preservatives, chemicals and dyes. Cleansing agents remove oil and product buildup from hair while calming ingredients hydrate and minimize breakage. Hair is left clean, balanced and smooth.

The TIGI Hair Reborn line uses advanced technology to help restore and revive dry, damaged, frizzy hair of every type. The different products are formulated for multiple levels of damage and help to strengthen hair for the future. One of our bestsellers, TIGI Hair Reborn Sublime Smooth Shampoo, helps to bind down the cuticle so that hair is shinier and easier to manage. The shampoo is color-safe and perfect for all hair types. Rene Furterer hair care features essential oils and plant extracts to naturally enhance your hair. These salon products are formulated to target specific needs and conditions like lifeless hair, flat hair and an oily scalp. Rene Furterer FORTICEA Stimulating Shampoo targets the scalp in order to improve hair strength and promote growth. Microbeads of essential oils help improve microcirculation to restore life to thinning hair.

Do you have a question for Dr. Schlessinger about shampooing and conditioning? Let us know in the comments section.

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Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains the link between vitamin D and your skin
We’ve all heard the myth that sun exposure is a must if you want your daily dose of vitamin D. With sunscreen use on the rise, some are worried that constant UV protection could cause a vitamin D deficiency. Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains the link between this essential vitamin and your skin.

Sun exposure isn’t the best way to boost your vitamin D levels, Dr. Joel Schlessinger says.

When exposed to direct sunlight, skin reacts with the UVB rays by producing vitamin D. The body’s ability to create this vitamin decreases with age so it’s impossible to get enough vitamin D without harming your skin in the process. Even people with tan skin can have low levels of this essential vitamin, so the idea that tanning will increase levels of vitamin D isn’t always true.

UVB rays, along with UVA rays, can cause skin cancer. For this reason, it is important to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen like EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen every morning. Instead of risking harmful sun exposure, Dr. Joel Schlessinger suggests taking vitamin supplements that provide about 2,000 units of vitamin D3 each day. These will also help support healthy teeth and strong bones.

Vitamin D can also be applied topically for additional skin care benefits, explains Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

In addition to daily supplements, vitamin D can also be applied topically to provide skin care benefits. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Active Vitamin D Serum-Oil helps minimize acne, improve skin elasticity, stimulate collagen production, enhance skin radiance, minimize fine lines and diminish dark spots. Unlike most vitamin D oils, this serum does not need sunlight to activate the vitamin D. You’ll enjoy a more youthful complexion with regular use of this anti-aging formula.

Do you have questions about vitamin D for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Share with us in the comments.

No Comments | Category: Dermatology, Skin Cancer, Skin Care, Skin Care Myths, Sun Damage, Sun Protection