Teenage Acne Solutions | Teenage Acne 101

Welcome to a journey towards clearer, healthier skin! Whether you are dealing with occasional breakouts or consistent blemishes popping up, you are not alone in facing the challenges of teenage acne. Dr. Mona shares the science behind teenage acne solutions and some recommended treatment options.

What are the common causes of Teenage Acne?

There are multiple causes of teenage acne, ranging from bacteria, clogged pores, and hormonal changes. During puberty, our body undergoes many changes, one of which is that our sebaceous (oil) glands get bigger and secrete more oil. As a result, the increased oil production mixes with the cells of the hair follicle, creating a plug that we see as a white head or black head.  Acne can be aggravated by bacteria, but did you know there is a specific bacteria called Acnes, that our body produces that causes acne to get more red and inflamed? Those inflamed whiteheads or blackheads can become more inflamed and go deeper into your skin, creating deeper cystic lesions.

What can help with Teenage Acne?

At Mona Dermatology, we offer many treatment options for acne concerns. The first thing we do is look at what type of acne you have.  If you only have comedonal acne (lots of whiteheads and blackheads) we may recommend gentle exfoliation with glycolic or salicylic acids. You can pair it with over-the-counter retinol or prescription such as Retin-A, Differin, or Tazorac cream. These will help normalize your skin and treat the black or white head. Do you sweat or wear makeup? Make sure you are washing your face because sweat and makeup are a common cause of pore blockage, causing breakouts.  If you struggle with inflammatory acne, we will want to target the bacteria component such as. Benzoyl peroxide, a topical antibiotic, or an oral antibiotic. Acne can also be hormonal, especially if you get breakouts along your jawline or neck. Birth control and spironolactone are two ways to help target hormonal acne breakouts. Make sure it is not a progesterone-only birth control since this can oftentimes make your acne worse. Finally, if you cannot get your acne under control with the above methods. If you have been dealing with acne for a long time, oral isotretinoin, or Accutane, may be right for you. Accutane targets and shrinks your oil gland to normalize oil production. This is a very effective way to treat acne, this should only be prescribed by a qualified health professional who can help manage risks and side effects.


How should you wash your face?

Patients believe when you have acne you want to dry everything out, but in reality, you don’t want to over-dry your skin. If you are too dry your body will produce more oil, therefor you still want a healthy amount of oil on your skin. When you produce more oil on your skin it can cause you to break out more. Dr. Mona recommends a gentle cleanser and a lightweight moisturizer that doesn’t block your pores. Lastly, don’t forget your sunscreen! If you experience breakouts, the sun can make any marks you have from acne get darker and last longer. So don’t forget a lightweight broad-spectrum sunscreen.

Click the image below to watch Dr. Mona share the causes of teenage acne and her top tips for treating it.




Special Launch Offer: New Acne Products from SkinMedica

Our team was excited to be among the first to try the new acne products from SkinMedica: Acne Clarifying Treatment and Pore Purifying Gel Cleanser!

These innovative new products combine powerful ingredients like salicylic acid, Bakuchiol, and niacinamide to balance sebum production and clear breakouts while still hydrating skin and supporting the skin barrier. Thanks to this innovative formula, patients may notice clearer skin without the dryness and irritation that are often caused by acne products. It’s safe to say that these are some of our favorite acne products we’ve ever tried.

Our team recently shared their first impressions when trying the Pore Purifying Gel Cleanser: click the link below to watch!

Special Launch Offer: Try Both Products for $98

Here are the details on how to take advantage of our special launch offer on the new acne products from SkinMedica! If you’re as excited about these new products as we are, be sure to take advantage of our launch pricing. Typically, the Acne Clarifying Treatment retails for $88 and the Pore Purifying Gel Cleanser retails for $48 but to celebrate the launch we are selling the bundle for just $98! To take advantage of this promotion, simply add both products to your cart and the discount will automatically be applied. Note that launch pricing is only valid through 5/30/24.

Key Benefits & Ingredients

The Acne Clarifying Treatment has a new proprietary SebumBalance Complex with Bakuchiol that balances sebum, supports skin health and clarity, and reduces the appearance of pores. It also includes encapsulated 2% Salicylic Acid that releases over time to treat and prevent breakouts without drying out skin and 2% niacinamide that soothes skin and visible redness and supports a healthy, strong skin barrier. The Pore Purifying Gel Cleanser is formulated with antioxidants, bakuchiol, salicylic Acid/BHA, and soothing botanicals Aloe and Olive Leaf. This product is a non-irritating gel cleanser with clinically proven ingredients that gently dissolve makeup, oil, impurities, and dirt to cleanse and purify pores while supporting the skin’s barrier and improving the appearance of skin texture.

Results from Clinical Studies

In a clinical study of patients using the Pore Purifying Gel Cleanser and the Acne Clarifying Treatment:

  • 95% of patients said the products did not dry out their skin  24 hours after use
  • 90% of patients said their skin looked clearer in just 48 hours
  • 93% of patients said their skin looked and felt less oily in just 4 weeks
  • 86% of patients said their pores looked smaller in just 4 weeks

Results courtesy of SkinMedica.

How to Take Advantage of the Special Launch Offer on New Acne Products from SkinMedica

Simply click the links below to add both items to your cart and the discount will automatically apply! Alternatively, you can also call the office at 513.984.4800 to purchase.

CoolSculpting 101 | CoolSculpting Near Me

How does CoolSculpting Elite work?

CoolSculpting Elite is an FDA-Approved treatment that uses a cooling technology that causes apoptosis, killing unwanted fat cells.This targets the areas of your body that are resistant to diet and exercise or to debulk areas of resistant fat. 

How many treatments will you need and how long does it take? 

Typically you can expect your appointment to last anywhere from one to two hours.  To start your treatment your provider will begin by placing the applicators in the area being treated, then the cooling process will begin. Each area takes anywhere from thirty-five to seventy-five minutes. At Mona Dermatology, we are able to treat multiple areas of the body at the same time, thanks to having two devices. 

How does CoolSculpting Elite feel?

First, your trained provider will attach the applicator and you will feel a slight suction. Once the treatment begins you may feel a cool tingling feeling that will last for about five minutes. The area you are having treated will go numb, amking the rest of the procedure is pretty comfortable. Overall the treatment is fairly comfortable. Commonly patients will read a book, watch a movie, or work on their phone or laptop, depending on the position they are in. 

Is there downtime?

After your treatment is finished you may experience numbness in the treated area. How long the numbness lasts is patient dependent. You may also experience swelling, tenderness, or in rare cases bruising for about a week after your treatment.

Your CoolSculpting Journey

When you choose Mona Dermatology for your CoolSculpting treatment, you choose unmatched
care and quality. Our skilled providers will guide you through a personalized consultation,
explaining the process and answering any questions you might have. From your first
appointment to your last, expect a seamless and comforting experience that is aligned with your
wellness and beauty goals.

Click below to watch Kylee, RN share the different applicators we offer for CoolSculpting Elite.

Click below to watch Amanda, LME share the different areas we can treat with our CoolSculpting Elite device 


To learn more, schedule a consultation online or give us a call at 513.984.4800.

7 Best Peptide Lip Treatments | As Featured in Elle

Dr. Mona shares The 7 Best Peptide Lip Treatments for Plump Lips Without the Sting | ELLE Feature

7 Best Lip Peptide Treatments for Plump Lips Without the Sting | As seen in Elle | Dr. Mona

What are peptides?

Peptides are molecules that are made up of short chains of 2-50 amino acids that we have naturally occurring in our bodies. They play crucial roles in our biological system, functioning as hormones, neurotransmitters, signaling molecules, and enzyme activators, among other things. These bioactive peptides have been shown to decrease inflammation, improve immune function, act as antioxidants, lower blood pressure, and slow down the aging process. Peptides can be found naturally occurring in plants and animals or can be synthetically produced in laboratories. They are more easily absorbed by the body than proteins and can more easily penetrate the skin and intestines so they can more quickly get into the bloodstream. 

Collagen peptides are important for the skin because they have been shown to help build collagen and improve hydration and elasticity in the skin. Effective ones are short-chain hydrolyzed collagen that the body can more easily absorb. There are even some studies looking at their ability to decrease bone loss but more research is needed. Collagen and creatine peptides may also help increase muscle mass, which decreases as we age.

Why are peptides suddenly becoming so popular?

Over the years, peptides have grown in popularity. They offer some promising therapeutic potential for a wide range of diseases and conditions because they can precisely target specific biological pathways. Because they are naturally occurring, they tend to be well tolerated. They also affect their desired change more readily, thanks to the fact that they are easily absorbed by the skin and intestines. This makes them more efficient in getting into the bloodstream and their target.  

Over the past decade, advancements in peptide synthesis have made it easier and more cost-effective to produce peptides in the lab. This has lead to increased research into peptide-based drugs and therapies.  Additionally, peptides can be engineered to specifically target certain cells or tissues in the body. This helps to enhance the efficacy and safety of peptide-based therapies. There is also a growing demand for peptide therapies in personalized medicine. This allows practitioners to tailor treatments to individual patient’s genetic makeup, physiology, and disease characteristics. 

Why are peptides good for the skin?

Peptides offer several benefits for the skin, making them popular ingredients in skincare products. As we age, we lose collagen, and elastin in our skin leading to fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging. We also lose our ability to make hyaluronic acid, which is very important in maintaining our skin’s hydration. Peptides have been shown to help stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, improving skin firmness, elasticity, and texture. 

Certain peptides have been shown to support skin repair and renewal processes. Peptides do this by helping to accelerate wound healing, reduce inflammation, and promote the regeneration of damaged skin cells. Peptides can also help to attract and retain moisture in the skin. Due to their antioxidant properties, they can also help to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. Furthermore, peptides are generally well-tolerated by the skin. This is beneficial because they are less likely to cause irritation or sensitivity compared to other active ingredients, such as retinoids or alpha hydroxy acids. 

Why are peptides beneficial in a lip treatment?

The skin of the lip is different from the rest of your skin. It is thinner and more susceptible to environmental factors such as sun, wind, temperature changes and topical products. Our lips can get more dry, chapped and lose moisture faster than other parts of our bodies. In addition, our lips change as we age:

  • They get thinner as we lose volume with collagen loss.
  • Fine lines appear around the mouth.
  • We lose the definition along the lip border, causing lipstick to bleed into the surrounding skin. 

When it comes to a lip treatment, peptides can be valuable ingredients that help to attract and retain moisture in the delicate skin of the lips. This keeps them hydrated while preventing dryness, chapping, and flakiness. Some peptides can stimulate collagen production in the lips, leading to improved firmness and volume. Moreover, peptides with skin-repairing properties can support the healing process of chapped or damaged lips. They do this by promoting cell regeneration and tissue repair, soothing any irritation, and restoring the natural barrier function of the skin. Peptides can also contribute to a smoother and softer lip texture. They do this by promoting cell turnover and enhancing the skin’s natural moisture levels. 

What should you look for in a peptide lip treatment?

When considering a peptide lip treatment, look for a product that contains peptides linked with a lipid to enhance penetration. Secondly, look for one specifically targeted to address your areas of concern. These concerns may include stimulating collagen production, promoting hydration, or repairing damaged skin. Pay attention to the concentration of peptides in the product, in that higher concentrations of peptides are generally more effective. 

Consider other ingredients included in the lip treatment formula like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and shea butter that help to keep the lips moisturized. Choose a lip treatment with a texture and formulation that you find comfortable. This may include to a lip balm, cream, serum, or mask. Opt for lip treatments packaged in tubes, jars, or applicators because they minimize exposure to air and contaminants.

Who can benefit from a peptide lip treatment?

Peptide lip treatments can benefit many people, especially those who experience common lip concerns like:

  • Dry or chapped lips
  • Thin or aging lips
  • “Lip lines” or “smoker’s lines”
  • Uneven lip tone or pigmentation

Peptides help to minimize these concerns by promoting collagen and elastin synthesis, and improving hydration and skin renewal for smoother and more evenly textured lips. 

Why should you use a lip treatment?

A lip treatment can help with keeping your lips hydrated and protected. Moisturizing and antioxidant ingredients protect your lips from dryness and environmental damage. Lip treatments can also help to repair lips that are already dry or damaged. Ingredients like ceramides, fatty acids, and peptides support the skin’s barrier function, promote healing, and accelerate the repair process. 

Some lip treatments also contain ingredients like peptides, retinol, and collagen boosters. These ingredients help to stimulate collagen production and improve lip firmness as the skin ages and becomes more susceptible to fine lines and wrinkles. The regular use of lip treatments can help improve the texture, health, and vitality of the lips. You may notice softer, smoother, and more supple lips thanks to incorporating a lip treatment.

Dr. Mona’s recommended peptide lip treatments

  • SkinMedica HA5 Smooth and Plump Lip System: A two-step lip treatment that includes a peptide-rich serum and a moisturizing balm to hydrate, plump, and smooth the lips.
  • ColoreScience Sunforgettable Lip Shine SPF 35: I love that it offers sun protection in addition to peptides and essential oils.
  • Rhode Skin Peptide Lip Treatment: Offers a great eco-friendly option thanks to their packaging made from upcycled post-consumer materials. 

Volume Loss For The Face

As we begin to age you may start to notice volume loss in your face; this is due to the decrease of your collagen and elastin production. When you begin to lose volume in the face you may notice areas tend to hollow out or your skin may begin sagging. At Mona Dermatology, we use filler treatments to help with areas where you may be experiencing volume loss such as the cheeks, temples, or under the eyes. Filler allows us to replace lost volume and restore that youthful shape to your face in a natural-looking way.  


Volume loss is unfortunately a part of our natural aging process; you may notice changes to your facial shape as you begin to age. While this is a normal process of aging, injectable treatment options such as fillers are great for targeting these concerns. At Mona Dermatology, we start every treatment with a full-facial assessment. Whether you are treating one area or multiple, we will assess your facial anatomy in the same way. Though injectables will not be able to treat everything you may be concerned about, they are still an amazing tool to help give your face that youthful look.


Typically most patients’ filler results will last anywhere between 8-18 months. This is patient dependent, though, as everyone metabolizes filler differently. We love filler treatments because you are able to see instant results right after treatment.  Your results will continue to improve over the next few days as the filler settles in and attracts water. 


Volume loss for the face

We used a combination of Juvéderm Voluma XC & Vollure XC to restore lost volume to her cheeks, chin, lips, and mouth.

Volume loss for the face

We used 1 syringe of Juvederm Voluma XC to her temples & piriform, 1 syringe of Voluma XC to her cheeks & chin, 1 syringe of Volbella XC to her chin, mouth corners, & necklace lines. As well as 1 round of Kybella treatment to her jowls and chin.


Anyone can be a candidate for a Filler treatment! To learn more, schedule a consultation online or give us a call at 513.984.4800.

Questions About Microblading with Dr. Bowles | Popsugar Feature

We’re thrilled to see our provider, Dr. Alexandra Bowles, featured in a recent article on Popsugar: “What Is Microblading? An Expert Answers All of Your Questions”

Expanding on her insights revealed in the interview with Popsugar, Dr. Bowles is sharing the inside scoop on Microblading with you, and what to consider if getting a treatment.


What is Microblading?

Microblading is a cosmetic technique that tattoos the eyebrows to help enhance and reshape them. The practitioner uses small, fine-point needles to deposit pigment into the superficial layers of the skin. Unlike traditional eyebrow tattoos that use a machine, microblading is done by hand. This allows the practitioner to create fine, hair-like strokes that mimic the natural pattern of the eyebrow.

How long will my results last?

It typically lasts between one to three years but it can vary for each individual. Those with oily skin might find that their pigment fades a bit more quickly versus those with less oily skin. In order to get the most out of your microblading treatment, it’s important to follow specific aftercare instructions. This can include moisturizing properly and even avoiding certain activities such as swimming and excessive sweating. Avoiding these activities will help the pigment last longer. 

Other factors that determine the longevity of the pigment include:

  • Your exposure to sunlight
  • Your body’s own healing process from the procedure
  • The quality of the pigment.

A combination of using a quality sunscreen, working with your practitioner to determine if any touch ups need to be done, and finding a qualified practitioner to perform the service all play a major factor in the longevity of the service. 

What is the downtime?

This procedure involves the use of small yet fine-point needles. You can expect a bit of swelling and redness immediately after the procedure, as you would any other invasive procedure. 

You may even notice your skin adjust over time to the procedure and show signs of scabbing, flaking, itchiness, darkening or even fading. This is all part of the healing process. Over time your skin will adjust and the pigment will lighten as it settles in. You should then start to see the final result. If you have any concerns, questions, or you don’t feel your skin is healing well, it’s best to talk to your practitioner.

What does the aftercare look like?

Aftercare is a crucial part of the microblading process to ensure proper healing and long-lasting results. General guidelines include keeping the eyebrows clean and dry for 24-48 hours following the procedure. This includes keeping the eyebrows dry to allow for them to heal. Additionally, applying an ointment will help keep the skin moisturized and protected. 

Similar to any procedure on the skin, you’ll want to avoid excess exposure to the sun. This includes direct sunlight, tanning beds, and more. Make sure to apply plenty of sunscreen and even consider covering the eye area for added protection.

Aftercare will also include refraining from applying makeup and skincare products for at least one week following the procedure. Not doing so could interfere with the healing process. This is also a good time to simply be gentle with your skin. For example, avoid rubbing your eyes or causing any additional irritation to the skin. 

How much can it cost?

The cost of microblading can depend on a number of factors, such as the city you live in, experience of the practitioner, and more. On average, the cost for the procedure can range from $500-$1,000. 

Is it permanent?

It’s important to note that microblading is considered a semi-permanent procedure. The pigment will gradually fade over time and may need to be refreshed with touch-up sessions to maintain the desired appearance. The frequency of touch-ups will depend on individual factors and personal preferences.

There is also a level of risk associated with microbladed brows. Improper technique and poor quality pigment can leave behind a less than ideal color to the skin. I have seen this in a few patients who required laser treatments to attempt to remove the pigment. This is difficult to do in a hair-bearing area, as laser removal can also cause permanent hair loss. I caution all of my patients to make sure that their microblading is performed by an experienced professional using a high quality product. 

What does the Microblading feel like?

The pain level experienced during microblading can vary from person to person. Some factors that can impact the pain level include individual pain tolerance, the skill of the technician, and the techniques used. Generally, most people describe the sensation of microblading as uncomfortable rather than painful. 

In most cases, a topical anesthetic will be applied to aid in numbing the area. You will most likely feel the strokes of the pigment being deposited onto the skin. Be sure to communicate to your practitioner if you have any discomfort during the procedure. To ensure a more comfortable and positive microblading experience, it’s important to choose a skilled and experienced technician who uses high-quality tools and techniques.

What is the process of Microblading?

Your experience may vary depending on the practitioner you are seeing. However, most will likely start with a consultation before the actual procedure begins. This will include your ideal eyebrow shape, color of the pigment, and the general look you desire. The practitioner may also assess your eyebrows to customize the treatment for your facial features and your desired outcome.

Following the consultation, the topical numbing agent will be applied allowing it to take full effect before beginning. While that sets, your practitioner may map out your eyebrows and ensure your pigment aligns with your eyebrow, skin, and hair color. 

Using a sterile, handheld tool with fine-point needles, the technician will carefully map out and shape the eyebrows according to the agreed-upon design. This involves creating precise, hair-like strokes that mimic the natural growth pattern of the eyebrow hairs. The technician may also use a special pencil or marker to outline the shape and arch of the eyebrows before starting the microblading process.

Once the eyebrows are mapped and shaped, the technician will begin using the handheld tool to deposit the chosen pigment. This pigment goes into the superficial layers of the skin, creating fine, crisp, and natural-looking strokes. An experienced technician will work meticulously to fill in sparse areas, define the shape, and enhance the overall appearance of the eyebrows. Throughout the microblading process, the technician will periodically apply more pigment to the eyebrows, allowing the color to penetrate the skin. The technician will also ensure that the pigment is evenly distributed and that the strokes blend seamlessly with the natural eyebrow hairs. The entire microblading process typically takes about 2-3 hours to complete. This can vary depending on the complexity of the design and the individual’s needs.

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