The Best Moisturizers for Glowing Skin | Featured In Glamour

Dr. Mona Foad and Dr. Alexandra Bowles expand upon the insights they shared in Glamour’s most recent article on “The Best Moisturizers for Glowing Skin.”

Dr. Mona Foad and Dr. Alexandra Bowles insights on the best moiturizers for glowing skin

What moisturizer do you most recommend for glowing skin?

Dr. Mona Foad

When looking for a moisturizer, I first start by asking what type of skin someone has.  Are they oily, normal, sensitive, or dry?  For someone who is oily, I tend to suggest lightweight humectant-rich gel or lotion moisturizers. These are helpful because they are not going to block their pores and cause them to break out. If someone is more dry, I look for more humectant-rich creams or oils to help seal in their moisture.  Moisturizers help to lock in moisture and keep your skin barrier in tip-top shape. Without the right one for you, you can develop breakouts or your skin may get irritated. 

However, moisturizers are only part of the answer to more “glowy skin.”. You should evaluate why your skin is not glowing. Possible reasons may include:

  • Your skin is more dry: You may need to add in a topical hyaluronic acid to build hydration.
  • You are getting older: Your cellular turnover has slowed down, leading to a more dull appearance.
  • Environmental damage: Factors such as sun exposure and pollution that have caused you to lose that youthful glow.

A moisturizer is very important to lock in and seal your own hydration. To truly achieve more glowing skin, I recommend adding in skin care products that target changes in your skin. These include hyaluronic acid, exfoliants, antioxidants, retinol, and sunscreen.   

Dr. Alexandra Bowles

When I hear patients requesting glowy skin, I like to educate them that it’s not just about what you’re putting on top of the skin, but also how well you’re taking care of your skin holistically. My top tips for caring for your skin include:

  • Stay hydrated
  • Use sunscreen to avoid UV damage
  • Use proper active ingredients such as antioxidants and retinoids when appropriate
  • Seal all of those healthy skin cells in with a moisturizer that helps bring out that hydrated, glowy look

First and foremost, I always recommend a hyaluronic acid-based serum. Skinmedica’s HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator has 5 types of hyaluronic acid, each working with your skin to help draw moisture into the skin and lock it in. I like this serum specifically because I think it does a great job of providing that glowy look with an elegant finish that looks great alone or layers well under makeup. For a more affordable option, Vichy Mineral 89 Serum is also a HA-based serum that I love, especially as a base for my more dry patients, such as those taking isotretinoin.

To seal these serums in, I recommend a cream-based moisturizer. My favorite is the Skinmedica Dermal Repair Cream. It has a light finish and leaves the skin glowing. For a drugstore option, CeraVe Facial Moisturizer is a great option. They have both an AM and PM version, one with SPF and one without. 

What other products should we use to promote glowing skin?

Dr. Mona Foad

Hyaluronic acid (HA) acts as a “water grabber” and is important for building your skin’s hydration, or water content. Without enough HA, your skin will be drier and therefore look less glowing. As we get older, we lose our ability to make HA. For this reason, adding it to your skincare routine becomes even more important. My favorite is SkinMedica’s HA5 which has 5 cross-linked hyaluronic acids. This helps your skin build its own hyaluronic acid rather than just adding it topically.  

Our skin has a natural shedding process. As we get older, this slows down and can lead to dull, dry, and rough skin. Using exfoliants appropriate for your skin type is a great way to gently shed the top layer of dead skin. This gentle exfoliation can help unclog pores, smooth skin, and reveal healthier glowing skin below. They also help other products penetrate the skin better so they can be more effective. There are many options ranging from alpha, beta, and polyhydroxy acids. 

I always encourage a topical antioxidant to help fight environmental damage such as UV rays, pollution, and blue light. These environmental aggressors can make your skin look more dull and cause your skin to age. Vitamin C is the most well-known and common antioxidant. It helps to brighten your skin, protect against UV damage, and help build collagen.  

Retinols or a prescription Retin-A can help to stimulate cellular turnover and have the added anti-aging benefit of helping with collagen production. Both of these processes help with overall skin health and appearance. 

I would be remiss if I did not mention sunscreen! Make sure that you wear sunscreen daily to protect your skin from the most common cause of photodamage, the sun. 

What is the best moisturizer for dry skin?

Dr. Mona Foad

Moisturizers are made up of humectants, emollients, and occlusives.  If you have more dry skin, you will want to consider humectant-rich creams over lotions and add oils to your routine when needed, such as squalene oil. You may also want to consider occlusives, such as Vaseline or Aquaphor, to aid areas that are especially dry or flaking.  I tend to suggest fragrance-free products to avoid any potential irritation. I like Avene Tolerance Control Soothing Recovery Balm as a more affordable option for sensitive skin. Additionally, SkinMedica’s TNS Ceramide Treatment Cream is a heavier cream that is great for very dry skin thanks to its added ceramides. 

Dr. Alexandra Bowles

For dry skin, I recommend a cream-based moisturizer. I really like Cerave Cream Moisturizer for the body because it has a thick cream vehicle full of ceramides and hyaluronic acid to help improve the hydration of the skin and keep the skin barrier happy and healthy. It comes in a big tub that makes application a breeze. It is also a great option for sensitive skin as it was designed by dermatologists and is accepted by the National Eczema Association.

One thing I think a lot of patients miss is that you want to prevent dry skin, not just treat it after it happens. To help lock in moisture and prevent dry skin, I recommend moisturizing daily, preferably immediately following showering. By preventing dry skin, you’re also improving the integrity of the skin barrier and preventing micro-cracks and tears that can lead to chapped skin or flare-ups of other issues such as eczema. 

For dry or cracked hands, I recommend the Norwegian Formula Hand Cream from Neutrogena. For dry lips, I recommend Vaseline or Aquaphor. I prefer these as they are very gentle and provide an occlusive-like moisturization without dyes or perfumes that can irritate the lips.

How to Get Rid of Scalp Acne? | Featured In First For Women

Dr. Alexandra Bowles expands upon her insights on scalp acne from her recent First For Women feature: How to Get Rid of Scalp Acne According to Top Dermatologists.

Dr. Alexandra Bowles | Insights on how to get rid of scalp acne | Featured in First for Women


What is scalp acne?

Scalp acne is an informal term used to describe small pimples or bumps that appear on the scalp. In some cases, this is not technically true acne. Scalp acne, also known as scalp folliculitis, is a condition characterized by small, inflamed bumps on the scalp. These bumps often look similar to acne lesions on the face and body. Folliculitis is typically caused by inflammation or infection of the hair follicles. This is due to factors such as excess oil production, bacteria, yeast, or other irritants. 

Scalp acne can be relatively common in both men and women, but several factors contribute to its development in women. Hormonal fluctuations, stress, certain medications, hair care products, and underlying skin conditions can cause scalp acne in women. Additionally, women may be more prone to hormonal fluctuations due to menstrual cycles, pregnancy, or menopause. These hormonal fluctuations could potentially influence the frequency and severity of scalp acne outbreaks.

What is folliculitis?

Folliculitis is an inflammation or infection of the hair follicles. It typically appears as small red or white bumps surrounded by redness. It sometimes also forms with a central area containing purulent fluid. In more severe cases, folliculitis can lead to larger, painful lesions or cysts. While sunburn itself doesn’t typically cause folliculitis directly, sunburned skin can be more vulnerable to infection and may contribute to the development of folliculitis. Similarly, excessive sweating can create a warm, moist environment that promotes bacterial or fungal growth, increasing the risk of folliculitis in affected areas.

What exactly is dandruff? 

Seborrheic dermatitis, more commonly known as “dandruff,” is a common scalp condition characterized by flaking of the skin on the scalp. It typically appears as a formation of visible white or yellowish flakes. Dandruff can be caused by Malassezia fungus. This fungus is naturally present on the scalp and feeds on the oils produced by hair follicles. An overgrowth of Malassezia can lead to irritation and inflammation of the scalp, resulting in greasy yellow or white scales. These scales are what we commonly refer to as dandruff. Dandruff is not a form of acne. 

Inflammation of the hair follicles does not typically cause dandruff. Instead, scalp flaking is the primary cause. Wearing hats can potentially worsen dandruff in some cases. Tight-fitting hats or helmets can trap heat and moisture against the scalp, creating an environment that is conducive to the growth of Malassezia fungus. 

What is acne mechanica?

Acne mechanica is a form of acne that is caused by friction, pressure, or heat against the skin. It typically occurs in areas where there is repeated physical contact or irritation, such as the face, shoulders, or back. Acne mechanica is not usually caused by the same factors as traditional acne (such as excess oil production and bacteria), but rather by external factors that disrupt the skin barrier and lead to inflammation. Acne mechanica can appear as small, red bumps, pustules, or papules on the skin. It may resemble traditional acne, but it arises primarily from physical irritation rather than hormonal imbalances or bacterial presence on the skin. Tight clothing, backpack straps, sports gear, and other sources of friction or pressure on the skin are typical triggers for this condition.

How common is scalp skin cancer caused by the sun? 

Skin cancer of the scalp caused by sun exposure is relatively common, particularly in individuals with fair skin or a history of extensive sun exposure. The most common type of skin cancers affecting the scalp are basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). While melanoma can develop on the scalp, it’s not as prevalent as non-melanoma skin cancers such as BCC and SCC in this area. Areas exposed to the sun like the face, neck, arms and legs are commonly associated with melanoma. However, it can occur anywhere on the body, including the scalp.When melanoma develops on the scalp, it may present as an irregularly shaped mole or lesion that is asymmetrical, has uneven borders, exhibits various colors, and may change in size or appearance over time. It’s very important to protect your scalp from the sun whether that is with sunscreen or wearing hats.

Cryotherapy Skincare 101 | Featured In Good Housekeeping

Dr. Mona Foad expands upon the insights she shared in her recent Good Housekeeping feature: Your Summer Beauty Survival Guide.

Cryotherapy | As Seen in Good Housekeeping | Dr. Mona Foad

What is cryotherapy skincare?

Cryotherapy skincare is a cold therapy that uses extremely cold temperatures to treat various conditions and improve skin health. There are multiple methods for cryotherapy: cryogenic chambers, cryo facials, cryo tools, or cryo masks. The cold temperature constricts blood vessels, reduces inflammation, tightens pores, and promotes collagen production, improving skin tone and texture. It’s often used for rejuvenation, reducing puffiness, and decreasing inflammation. 

What are the benefits of cryotherapy skincare, and how does it work?

There are several potential benefits regarding how cryotherapy works on the skin. When the skin is cooled it causes the blood vessels to constrict. This constriction reduces blood flow to the area, which can help decrease inflammation and swelling, which is particularly beneficial for conditions like acne or rosacea.  Cold temperatures also help to tighten the skin and reduce pores by contracting the skin temporarily, leading to a temporary tightening effect.  

While cold temperatures initially constrict blood vessels, blood flow increases once the skin warms up again, leading to improved circulation. This can contribute to healthier, more radiant-looking skin by delivering essential nutrients and oxygen to the skin cells. The cold temperature can also stimulate blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, which may help eliminate toxins and debris from the skin, resulting in a clearer, brighter complexion. 

What skin types is cryotherapy skincare best for?

Cryotherapy skincare can benefit various skin types, but its effectiveness may vary depending on skin conditions and concerns. Cryotherapy can benefit oily or acne-prone skin due to its ability to reduce inflammation, minimize pore size, and temporarily decrease oil production. Cold temperatures can help soothe acne-related inflammation and redness while providing a refreshing sensation. Cryomodulation is a newer treatment that targets disorders of inflammation such as rosacea and melasma. It downregulates inflammation by decreasing pro-inflammatory mediators and increasing anti-inflammatory mediators. Melanin transfer is impaired, and pigmentation is normalized to help even out skin tone.  Individuals with sensitive skin may also find cryotherapy skincare beneficial, mainly if the treatments are gentle and tailored to their specific needs. Cryotherapy can help calm sensitive skin by reducing redness, inflammation, and discomfort.  

Cryotherapy skincare can temporarily benefit combination skin, addressing various concerns such as oiliness, enlarged pores, and inflammation. However, it’s essential to customize cryotherapy treatments to target specific areas of concern without over-drying or irritating other parts of the face. Individuals with normal skin may also benefit from cryotherapy skincare, which includes improved circulation, brighter complexion, and temporary pore reduction. 

Is there anyone who shouldn’t use cryotherapy skincare?

While cryotherapy skincare can offer several benefits for many individuals, certain situations and conditions may not be suitable or advisable. For example, individuals with cryoglobulinemia, a rare condition characterized by abnormal proteins in the blood that thicken in cold temperatures, should avoid cryotherapy. Exposure to cold temperatures can trigger symptoms such as skin lesions, joint pain, and numbness in these individuals. Some people may have cold urticaria or cold-induced hives, a condition characterized by an allergic reaction to cold temperatures. Cryotherapy can exacerbate symptoms in individuals with this condition, leading to itching, swelling, and hives.

People with poor circulation, particularly in the extremities, may be at risk of complications from cryotherapy due to reduced blood flow. Cold temperatures can further constrict blood vessels, potentially exacerbating circulation issues and causing discomfort or tissue damage. Individuals with 

peripheral neuropathy or other nerve damage should avoid cryotherapy, as they may have decreased sensation and impaired ability to detect cold-related injuries. If you have open wounds or skin infections, you should avoid cryotherapy as the cold temperatures can slow down the healing process and increase the risk of infection. Individuals with heart conditions or who are pregnant should consult with their healthcare provider before undergoing cryotherapy. 

Do you think cryotherapy skincare is effective?

The effectiveness of cryotherapy skincare can vary depending on individual factors such as skin type, concerns, and the specific treatment protocol used. While some people may experience temporary improvements in skin texture, tone, and overall appearance, others may not see significant results.

Many people report positive outcomes immediately after undergoing cryotherapy treatments, including reduced inflammation, improved skin firmness, and a brighter complexion. However, we have limited research on the efficacy of cryotherapy skincare. We will need to conduct more studies to fully understand its benefits and mechanisms of action. There is not enough evidence to support the use of whole-body cryotherapy (WBC), and the American Academy of Dermatology warns against the use of this, citing reported injuries such as frostbite, frozen limbs, and rashes. Whole-body cryotherapy has been used to decrease muscle soreness and inflammation in athletes, but there is not enough evidence to support its use in the aesthetic world at this time, and the FDA has not cleared or approved WBC as a safe or effective treatment for any medical condition. 

What cryotherapy skincare products do you recommend?

When choosing cryotherapy skincare products, consider your skin type, concerns, and any specific ingredients or formulations that you prefer. I always recommend to my patients to patch test new products before using them extensively, especially if they have sensitive skin or allergies. 

Some popular cryotherapy skincare products that have received positive user reviews include Cryo facial tools, Cryo Masks, Cryo Serums and Moisturizers, and Cryo Facials. 

I like cryo facial tools, such as cryo rollers or cryo globes. These devices deliver the benefits of cold therapy to the skin in an at-home setting. Brands like StackedSkincare and ESARORA offer cryo facial tools that can massage the skin, reduce puffiness, and promote circulation. Results are temporary, but these can make your skin feel more refreshed.

Cryo masks are formulated with ingredients that provide a cooling effect on the skin, but they are not actually cryotherapy.  Ingredients such as menthol, peppermint, or eucalyptus can feel cooling and may help to soothe and refresh the skin, but these are not actual cryotherapy treatments. Always make sure to test products on non-facial skin to make sure you do not develop an allergic reaction. 

Some skincare brands offer serums and moisturizers that aim to deliver the benefits of cold therapy to the skin, but not the actual cold therapy. These products may contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and botanical extracts to hydrate, soothe, and rejuvenate the skin.

Many spas and skincare clinics also offer cryo facial treatments. During a cryo facial, a trained esthetician uses a cryo wand or cryo probe to apply cold temperatures to the skin, providing various benefits such as reduced inflammation, improved circulation, and a brighter complexion. One option that we offer at our office is Glacial Rx. Glacial Rx is a medical-grade facial treatment that uses Cryomodulation to decrease inflammation and target pigment. This can help treat rosacea, melasma. We also use cryo facials to decrease inflammation after laser treatment.

Vitamin C Serums for Women Over 50 | Featured In First of Women

Dr. Mona Foad and Dr. Alexandra Bowles expand upon the insights they shared in their recent feature in First of Women: 8 Best Vitamin C Serums for Women Over 50: Brighten Skin, Smooth Wrinkles + More.

Best Vitamin C Serums for Women Over 50 Featuring First of Women, Dr Mona & Dr. Bowles

What are the benefits of a vitamin C serum?

Dr. Mona Foad

Vitamin C serum has numerous benefits for the skin and is a popular choice in many skincare routines. This powerful antioxidant helps protect the skin by neutralizing free radicals caused by environmental stressors such as UV radiation and pollution. This protection can help prevent premature aging and damage to the skin. It’s also essential for collagen synthesis, a protein that provides structure and elasticity to the skin. By stimulating collagen production, vitamin C can help improve skin firmness and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C can also help brighten the complexion by reducing melanin production, the pigment responsible for dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Additionally, it has been shown to help improve skin hydration by enhancing the skin’s moisture barrier. This can result in softer, smoother skin with improved texture. 

Dr. Alexandra Bowles

There are plenty of benefits to using vitamin C on your skin. Not only does it help to hydrate and brighten the skin, but it also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent through its antioxidant capacity to soothe the skin and reduce puffiness. Vitamin C serums can help smooth fine lines by plumping and hydrating the under-eye area. Doing so helps to reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eyes.  While not a substitute for sunscreen, vitamin C can enhance the effectiveness of sunscreens by providing additional protection against UV damage. It helps to neutralize free radicals generated by UV exposure and can reduce the risk of sunburn. Moreover, vitamin C is crucial in the skin’s natural healing process. It can help promote faster wound healing and reduce inflammation, making it beneficial for acne-prone skin and other skin conditions.

What to look for in a vitamin C serum

Dr. Mona Foad

Different forms of vitamin C are used in skincare products, each with its own benefits and stability. Some common forms include:

  • L-ascorbic acid (the most researched and potent form)
    • L-ascorbic acid is the pure form of vitamin C. Although it can be very effective, it can also be unstable and prone to oxidation. It can also cause irritation to the skin.
  • Ascorbyl palmitate
    • Sodium ascorbyl phosphate is a water-soluble form of vitamin C, like l-ascorbic acid. Although it is more stable and more gentle on the skin, it is not as effective as l-ascorbic acid.
  • Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate
    • Ascorbyl palmitate is an oil-soluble form of vitamin C that is more stable than L-ascorbic acid. It is less likely to irritate your skin.
  • Sodium ascorbyl phosphate
    • Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is also a more stable, oil-soluble form of vitamin C.

Oil-soluble forms of vitamin C penetrate the skin better than L-ascorbic acid. I look for serums with stabilized forms of vitamin C such as Ascorbyl palmitate, Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, or encapsulated formulas to maintain potency.

Another thing to consider is the concentration level. Serum vitamin C concentration can vary, typically ranging from 5% to 20%. Higher concentrations may provide more noticeable results but can also increase the risk of irritation, especially for sensitive skin. Start with a lower concentration and gradually increase if your skin tolerates it well.

Also necessary to consider is the pH level of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is most effective at a pH level below 3.5. Look for serums with a pH between 2.5 and 3.5 to ensure optimal absorption and stability of vitamin C.  Look for vitamin C serums that have ferulic acid and vitamin E which can help stabilize and increase penetration of whatever vitamin C you are using.  

Dr. Alexandra Bowles

When choosing a vitamin C serum, it’s important to consider several factors to ensure its effectiveness and compatibility with your skin. Look for serums that contain other beneficial ingredients like:

  • Hyaluronic acid: for hydration
  • Niacinamide: for brightening and anti-inflammatory effects
  • Antioxidants (such as vitamin E or ferulic acid): can enhance the effectiveness of vitamin C
  • Peptides: for collagen production

Consider your skin’s specific needs and look for serums that contain complementary ingredients. Consider your skin type and preferences when selecting a serum texture. Vitamin C serums come in various consistencies, including lightweight liquids, gel-like textures, and creamy formulations. Choose a texture that feels comfortable on your skin and integrates well into your skincare routine.

Tips for using a vitamin C serum:

Dr. Mona Foad

To maximize the benefits of a vitamin C serum and ensure its effectiveness, it’s important to use it correctly in your skincare routine. I like to use both Vitamin C and antioxidants in my morning skincare routine. Start by cleansing your face with a gentle cleanser to remove dirt, oil, and impurities. Pat your skin dry with a clean towel. If you use a toner in your skincare routine, apply it after cleansing and before applying the vitamin C serum. Toners can help balance the skin’s pH levels and prepare it to absorb the serum better. Dispense a pea-sized amount of the vitamin C serum onto your fingertips. Gently massage the serum onto your face and neck, using upward and outward strokes. Avoid the eye area unless the serum is specifically formulated for use around the eyes.

Give the serum a couple of minutes to fully absorb into your skin before proceeding with the next step in your skincare routine. This allows vitamin C to penetrate the skin and exert its effects. Apply your regular serums to address other concerns and a moisturizer to lock in hydration and further nourish the skin. Choose a moisturizer suitable for your skin type. Finish off your skincare routine with a broad-spectrum sunscreen to further protect your skin. Incorporate the vitamin C serum into your skincare routine daily for optimal results. Consistency is vital to seeing improvements in your skin’s tone, texture, and overall appearance.

 Dr. Alexandra Bowles

It’s generally recommended to use vitamin C serum in the morning as part of your daytime skincare routine, as it can provide antioxidant protection against environmental stressors like UV radiation and pollution. If you’re applying the vitamin C serum in your morning skincare routine, finish with a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Vitamin C can enhance the effectiveness of sunscreen and provide additional protection against UV damage. If you prefer to use vitamin C at night, you can still reap its benefits for collagen production and skin repair. If you’re new to using vitamin C serum or have sensitive skin, start by using it every other day and gradually increase to daily use as your skin adjusts. Monitor your skin for any signs of irritation. If you experience redness, itching, or discomfort, reduce the frequency of use or discontinue use altogether.

What are three of the best antioxidant serums?

Best Overall: SkinMedica Vitamin C+E Complex

Dr. Mona: “I recommend SkinMedica’s Vitamin C+E Complex to my patients because it uses tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, which is a more stable, oil-soluble form of vitamin C that can penetrate the skin better than a water-soluble form and causes less skin irritation. It improves the appearance of skin tone and texture by gradually releasing vitamins C and E throughout the day to help prevent free radical damage. It also helps to enhance skin brightness for a more youthful appearance.”

Best Splurge: SkinMedica Lumvive System

Dr. Mona: “Although Vitamin C is a fantastic antioxidant, there are many other antioxidants that have significant benefits. These can include protecting the skin, preventing environmental effects on aging skin, and helping to brighten and illuminate the skin. My favorite non-vitamin C antioxidant product is SkinMedica Lumivive System which is an antioxidant system that both helps to protect your skin during the day and repair the damage that was done while you sleep. This formulation of antioxidants is the next generation of ways to protect our skin and prevent the signs of aging.”

Best Drugstore: La Roche-Posay Vitamin C Serum 10%

Dr. Mona: “For a drugstore serum, I would recommend either La Roche-Posay’s Vitamin C Serum 10% or Pure Vitamin C Face Cream. These are both budget-friendly options that don’t compromise on quality. The 10% Pure Vitamin C Serum from La Roche Posay is good for acne-prone patients. I like that it is formulated with the water-soluble form of vitamin C (ascorbic acid). It also contains some salicylic acid to help with acne and exfoliation.  The Pure Vitamin C Face Cream is formulated with 5% vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. It also contains Madecassoside, a derivative of Centella Asiatica, which has healing properties.

“For a true vitamin C, I recommend Phloretin CF with Ferulic Acid. This highly potent and effective vitamin C serum combines 10% L-ascorbic acid with 2% phloretin and 0.5% ferulic acid for enhanced antioxidant protection and collagen synthesis. It helps brighten the skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and protect against environmental damage. Despite being pricier, its efficacy and proven results make it a favorite among skincare enthusiasts and professionals.”

Best Vitamin C with SPF: ColoreScience Total Protection Face Shield

Dr. Alexandra:”I always advise my patients to wear sunscreen to protect their skin’s appearance and health. I often recommend ColoreScience Total Protection Face Shield (Glow) as the best vitamin C serum with SPF. This antioxidant-rich mineral protector protects against UVA/UVB, pollution, blue light, and infrared radiation. The formula is hydrating while providing a pearlescent, illuminating skin glow.”

Best Vitamin C for Dry Skin: SkinMedica Dermal Repair Cream

Dr. Alexandra: “For individuals with dry skin, I recommend SkinMedica Dermal Repair Cream as the best vitamin C product for dry skin. With an elegant cream base, this product visibly improves uneven tone, radiance, elasticity, and firmness without irritation. With vitamin C, vitamin E, and hyaluronic acid, this product brightens the skin and improves sun damage while hydrating the skin.

Best Vitamin C for Sensitive Skin: SkinCeuticals Silymarin CF

As for a vitamin C serum for sensitive skin, SkinCeuticals Silymarin CF is a patented daytime vitamin C antioxidant face serum that provides advanced environmental protection and diminishes the appearance of fine lines and discoloration.”

6 Best Wart Treatments | Featured In Very Well Health

Dr. Mona Foad expands upon her insights shared in her recent Very Well Health feature, The 6 Best Wart Treatments.

6 Best Wart Treatments | Featured by Very Well Health featuring Dr. Mona

What are warts and why do people get them? 

Warts, or verruca, are small, grainy, bump-like growths that develop on the skin. They are especially common in areas like the hands and feet.  Warts are caused by strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are many different types of warts, including common warts, flat warts, plantar warts, filiform warts, and genital warts. All types of warts can vary in appearance and location.

  • Common warts usually grow on the hands, fingers, and around the nails.
  • Flat warts typically develop on the face, arms, or legs and are generally smaller and smoother.
  • Plantar warts grow on the soles of the feet. These can be very painful while walking or standing.
  • Filiform warts often appear on eyelids, lips, face, or neck.
  • Genital warts are typically sexually transmitted and grow on and around the genital and anal areas.

Warts are transmitted through direct contact with the virus. This can occur through skin-to-skin contact with a person who has warts or by coming in contact with surfaces or objects that the virus has infected. Warts tend to be more prevalent among children and teenagers because their immune systems are still developing and, therefore, not strong enough to combat the virus. Additionally, some people are more susceptible to the virus because their genetic makeup and immune system are not as equipped to fight the virus when they come in contact with it. For example, it’s quite common to see warts on multiple siblings in the same family or children of parents who had warts as children.

Over-the-counter wart removal options 

Two of the most recommended over-the-counter wart removal options include products with Salicylic Acid and Cryotherapy (freezing) products. Salicylic acid products come in a range of formulations, including liquids, gels, pads, and plasters, each designed to gradually dissolve the wart tissue. A popular OTC salicylic acid treatment that I like to recommend is either Compound W® One Step Pads or  Dr. Scholl’s ClearAway Wart Remover.  Both of these have salicylic acid in an easy-to-apply bandage and can be effective, non-painful ways to decrease the size and potentially remove warts.  

OTC freezing products usually come in the form of a spray. By spraying the product directly onto the warts, the tissue is frozen and killed. These products commonly contain dimethyl ether or propane. These cold substances freeze the wart, causing it to turn into a blister, and ultimately fall off. For these types of products, I like to recommend Compound W Freeze Off or Dr. Scholl’s Freeze Away.  Although this can be an effective way to remove smaller warts, it can be a more painful process than the salicylic acid options and generally does not work on larger warts or plantar warts, which go deeper into the skin.

In-office wart removal options 

There are also in-office and prescription treatments for warts that might be more resistant or difficult to treat with OTC products. The most common treatment used by most dermatologists is cryotherapy, or freezing therapy, which involves using liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart. The liquid nitrogen used in an office setting is more effective than the OTC freezing options. Only a trained professional should use liquid nitrogen. With this treatment, the wart will blister and eventually fall off.

Another in-office procedure that we use to treat small warts is electrosurgery. We place a thin, needle-like tip on the wart that burns and kills the skin cells. Lasers can also be an effective way to treat warts.  A pulse dye laser, such as a VBeam, uses a specific wavelength to target and shut off the blood supply that feeds the wart. The treated wart turns purple or black and falls off.

We can also use injections for stubborn and hard-to-treat warts. These can include 5-fluorouracil, bleomycin, and candida. Only a trained professional should perform these injections to minimize damage to the surrounding tissue. Although we can surgically cut out warts, this is not an effective treatment because they tend to recur at the edge of the excision site.  Any method, no matter whether at home or in the office, may require several treatments to effectively remove the wart.  

What products/ingredients are most effective at removing warts at home?

Over-the-counter (OTC) wart removal products usually include salicylic acid or freezing agents (cryotherapy) as the main ingredient. Most wart treatments focus on removing the top layers of skin where the warts reside. Warts and plantar warts are commonly treated with salicylic acid. It is slowly absorbed into the skin and causes the skin cells that contain the wart to shed and peel off. By softening the hardened skin of the wart, salicylic acid products effectively destroy the wart without causing significant damage to the surrounding skin. OTC salicylic acid products range in strength from 17% to 40% and can come in the forms of liquids, gels, and pads 

Freezing agents, such as dimethyl ether, isobutane, or propane, work by quickly freezing and destroying both the wart tissue and a small area of normal skin around the wart, causing it to dry out and eventually fall off. These products can be effective in treating common warts. However, it is necessary to perform several treatments to remove the wart entirely.  Plantar warts, on the other hand, go deeper into the skin of the foot and are harder to treat. For this reason, freezing agents may not be as successful on plantar warts.

Best Tinted Sunscreens With Light Coverage | Featured In Vogue

Dr. Mona Foad expands upon the insights she shared in her recent Vogue feature: 19 Best Tinted Sunscreens That Combine Light Coverage With All the Benefits of SPF

Dr. Mona Foad expands upon the insights in Vogue on 19 Best Tinted Sunscreens That Combine Light Coverage With All the Benefits of SPF

Is a tinted sunscreen as good as a untinted?

Depending on the context and usage, tinted sunscreens can be just as effective or more effective than non-tinted sunscreens. The choice between them often comes down to personal preference, specific skin care needs, and any additional benefits desired. For example, some products may have protection against visible light or more elegant cosmetic coverage.

Both tinted and untinted sunscreens can provide broad-spectrum protection against UVB and UVA rays if they contain appropriate ingredients. The active ingredients in the sunscreen determine the UVA protection and efficacy. Zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or avobenzone are examples of active ingredients in sunscreen. The tint does not impact this UVA or UVB protection. Additionally, tinted sunscreens often provide better protection against visible light (including high-energy visible light or blue light). This is due to the presence of iron oxides and pigments in the tint. Visible light can contribute to hyperpigmentation, particularly in individuals with darker skin tones.

I like to recommend to my patients Sunforgettable® Total Protection® Face Shield Classic SPF 50 | Colorescience because this is an all oil free, mineral sunscreen which is well tolerated by all skin types. It is tinted  for added protection and has EnviroScreen® Technology which protects against UV Rays, Blue (HEV)  light,  Infrared, and pollution. Another favorite is ISDIN’s Eryfotona Ageless Tinted Sunscreen, which is an ultralight mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide peptides and DNA Repairsomes® technology which help to repair the damage caused by the sun.  

Tinted sunscreens can also even skin tone and cover imperfections. For this reason, many people like to use them as a makeup base or even a foundation substitute. This dual function can be convenient and might encourage more consistent use. The tint provides a visible indication of where the sunscreen has been applied. This can help ensure more even coverage of the product and prevent missed spots. 

What should you look for in a tinted sunscreen?

When choosing a tinted sunscreen, you’ll want to ensure it meets your needs while still providing effective protection. For SPF levels, choose a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, which blocks about 97% of UVB rays. Another good option is  good option is  EltaMD UV Clear Tinted Face Sunscreen, for a light weight tinted option.   Furthermore, ensure the sunscreen offers broad-spectrum protection, meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. This is essential for preventing skin aging and reducing the risk of skin cancer.

Additionally, consider skin types when choosing a tinted sunscreen. For oily skin, look for non-comedogenic formulas that won’t clog pores. You can look for “oil-free” or “matte finish” on labels as this often means it is a non-comedogenic formula. One product I like to recommend to my patients with oily skin is EltaMD’s UV Physical SPF 41 Post-Procedure (Tinted). For dry skin, opt for sunscreens such as Alastin’s Hydrant PRO Mineral with hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or ceramides.  If you have sensitive skin, choose physical or mineral sunscreens such as Colorscience’s Total Protection Face Shield (FLEX) with gentle, non-irritating ingredients that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. For acne-prone skin, non-comedogenic and oil-free formulas are ideal, so look for sunscreens that also contain anti-inflammatory ingredients like niacinamide.

In addition, you’ll want to consider the shade range available for a particular product. This is important when looking to find a tint that closely matches your skin tone to ensure a natural look. Some brands offer a wide range of shades, which can be particularly beneficial for people with darker skin tones. The sunscreen should blend well into your skin without leaving streaks or an uneven finish. Testing a small amount on your jawline or neck can help determine the best match. Other factors that you may want to consider:

  • Finish (matte, dewy, or natural)
  • Ingredients such as antioxidants (vitamin C, vitamin E) that can provide extra protection against environmental damage
  • Water-resistant formulas

How To Get Rid Of Adult Acne | Featured In Woman’s World

Dr. Mona Foad expands upon the insights she shared in her recent Woman’s World feature: How To Get Rid of Adult Acne, Plus Doctors Pinpoint Why Women Over 40 Deal with Breakouts


Dr. Mona Foad's insights on" How To Get Rid of Adult Acne", Plus Why Women Over 40 Deal with Breakouts

What causes skin to be acne-prone?

A combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors can cause acne-prone skin. One factor is excess sebum production by the sebaceous glands in the skin, which can clog pores. Hormonal changes, particularly androgens, can also increase sebum production. This is why acne is common during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and in conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Another factor is clogged pores, whereby dead skin cells that do not shed properly can mix with sebum and clog hair follicles, forming comedones (whiteheads and blackheads). Bacterial growth in clogged pores and inflammation caused by this bacterium in the pores also play a crucial role in acne development, leading to redness, swelling, and pus. 

Additionally,  genetics can determine how much sebum your skin produces, how your skin cells shed, and your body’s inflammatory response, all of which can make you more prone to acne. Some studies also suggest that diets high in refined sugars and dairy products may exacerbate acne. Stress is another factor that can cause acne since it increases hormone levels that stimulate sebum production. Frequent touching of the face, wearing tight clothing, or using items like helmets and backpacks can cause further friction and pressure on the skin, leading to acne mechanica.

What is a good skin care regimen for someone with acne-prone skin?

A good skincare regimen for someone with acne-prone skin should focus on keeping the skin clean, reducing excess oil, and minimizing pore blockage without causing irritation. I always recommend a morning and evening skincare routine for my patients.

For a morning routine, start by using a gentle, non-comedogenic cleanser such as La Roche-Posay Effaclar Gel Facial Wash to remove excess oil and impurities. Using a toner is optional, but if you choose to do so, opt for one that is alcohol-free and contains soothing ingredients like witch hazel or glycolic acid to help exfoliate and remove any leftover impurities.

Next, apply a serum with active ingredients like salicylic acid, niacinamide, or tea tree oil to target acne. Niacinamide can also help reduce inflammation and control oil production. I like to recommend SkinCeuticals Silymarin CF to my patients. Use a lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizer to hydrate the skin without clogging pores. Elta MD Moisture Seal is a moisturizer I typically recommend to my patients. Finally, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Sunscreen is crucial to protect the skin from UV damage, which can worsen acne and cause hyperpigmentation. EltaMD UV Facial SPF 30+ Dry is a great sunscreen product I highly recommend. 

For an evening routine, start with cleansing the skin to remove makeup, sunscreen, and daily grime. Next, apply targeted acne treatments that can be stronger, like retinoids, which can promote cell turnover and prevent clogged pores. Finally, make sure to use a non-comedogenic moisturizer (same as your morning routine) to keep the skin hydrated. It’s essential even for oily skin to maintain the moisture barrier.

What ingredients should they look for?

Certain ingredients can help manage and prevent breakouts for acne-prone skin while keeping the skin balanced and healthy. Some ingredients to look for include salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid (BHA)  that penetrates pores to exfoliate and reduce sebum production, and glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that exfoliates the skin’s surface to remove dead skin cells. For serums, look for niacinamide to reduce inflammation, retinoids to promote cell turnover, unclog pores, and reduce the appearance of acne and fine lines, and zinc to help control sebum production.

When it comes to moisturizers, look for hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin without clogging pores, ceramides to restore and maintain the skin barrier, and aloe vera to soothe and hydrate the skin. For sunscreens, opt for non-comedogenic formulations specifically designed not to clog pores, as well as mineral sunscreens with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that provide broad-spectrum protection with less risk of irritation. If you like to use mask treatments, look for products that include charcoal to draw out impurities and help detoxify the skin and clay, which helps to absorb excess oil and unclog pores. 

What ingredients should they avoid?

Avoiding certain ingredients that can exacerbate breakouts or cause irritation is crucial for someone with acne-prone skin. Avoid comedogenic ingredients like heavy oils and butters, waxes, and silicones that clog pores and contribute to acne formation. Additionally, steer clear of irritating ingredients such as alcohol and both synthetic and natural fragrances. You’ll also want to avoid harsh exfoliants like apricot and walnut shell powder. All of these ingredients can cause inflammation, irritation, and worsen acne. 

Product recommendations for acne-prone skin

For acne-prone skin, using products that help keep the skin clear without causing further irritation or breakouts is essential. The cleanser I typically recommend is the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser. I like that it contains 2% salicylic acid to target acne and clear pores. For a serum, I like La Roche-Posay Effaclar Serum. For a moisturizer, CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion is a non-comedogenic, oil-free moisturizer with niacinamide and hyaluronic acid. These ingredients will help to control oil. EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 is a lightweight sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. It is also formulated with niacinamide to help calm the skin. Differin Gel is an over-the-counter retinoid that helps prevent and treat acne by promoting cell turnover.

The Best Acne Light Therapy Devices | Featured In Cosmopolitan

Dr. Mona Foad expands upon the insights she shared in her recent Cosmopolitan feature: The Best Acne Light Therapy Devices Are Worth Adding to Your Routine, Stat

What is light therapy?

LED light therapy is also known as light-emitting diode therapy. This is a non-invasive skincare treatment that uses specific wavelengths of light to stimulate various cellular processes in the skin. It’s a popular treatment because it can help decrease inflammation in the skin. It can also treat a variety of skin conditions, including acne, fine lines, and eczema.

LED light therapy is a versatile treatment, with different colors of light offering a range of benefits for the skin. For instance, red light stimulates collagen production, reducing wrinkles and enhancing skin texture. It also aids in controlling inflammation and promoting wound healing. Blue light, on the other hand, targets acne-causing bacteria, effectively reducing breakouts. It’s a popular choice for mild to moderate acne treatment. Green light works to even out pigmentation and enhance skin tone while also providing a soothing effect. Lastly, yellow light promotes lymphatic flow, improving overall skin health and reducing redness and irritation.

What light kills acne bacteria?

Blue light therapy is the type of light commonly used to kill acne-causing bacteria. Specific wavelengths of blue light, typically in the range of 405 to 420 nanometers, are used to target and destroy the bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), which is a major contributor to acne.

Blue light therapy penetrates the skin and reaches the sebaceous glands where P. acnes bacteria reside. When exposed to blue light, the bacteria produce molecules called porphyrins, which then generate free radicals that ultimately destroy the bacteria. This process helps reduce inflammation and prevent new acne breakouts from forming.

Blue light therapy is often used as a non-invasive and drug-free treatment option for mild to moderate cases of acne. It can be administered on its own or in combination with other acne treatments. Depending on the severity of your acne and other individual factors, your provider may recommend other acne treatments. These can include over-the-counter skin care, prescription topical medications, oral antibiotics, birth control pills or isotretinoin.

Dr. Mona’s favorite devices  

When recommending LED devices to patients, I take into consideration individual preferences, skin types, and specific needs. Belowa are some of the more notable options I like to recommend to my patients:

  • LightStim for Acne LED Light Therapy Device uses blue light to destroy acne-causing bacteria, and red light reduces redness to help soothe and calm the skin. LightStim has advanced NASA’s LED technology to simultaneously emit multiple wavelengths (colors) of light that work together to help clear existing breakouts and give your skin a more radiant and clear complexion. This device is great for adults and teenagers and is maintenance-free with no cartridges, LEDs or battery replacement costs.
  • The Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask is an over-the-counter mask that uses blue light to target acne-causing bacteria and red light to reduce inflammation. It’s a convenient and accessible option for at-home use and is suitable for mild to moderate acne.
  • Foreo ESPADA is a handheld device that emits blue light and low-frequency pulsations to target acne bacteria and stimulate faster healing, thereby promoting clearer skin. It’s portable, rechargeable, and suitable for treating individual acne spots. This device uses a smart skin sensor that only turns on the blue light when it is in contact with your skin. I like this feature because it protects your eyes from any harmful LED light exposure.
  • Dr. Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro is a wearable LED mask that combines red and blue light therapy. By offering both light options, this device can target acne and promote skin healing. It’s designed to be worn for just a few minutes daily and is suitable for all skin types.
  • The Environ Omnilux Contour FACE  is also a handheld LED device that emits blue and red light therapy for acne treatment. It’s portable, easy to use, and suitable for spot treatments or larger areas of the face and body.

How to choose the best acne light therapy device for you? 

Choosing the best acne light therapy device involves considering several factors to ensure it meets your specific needs and preferences.

Determine Light Type

First, determine whether you prefer blue light therapy, red light therapy, or a combination of both.

  • Blue light targets acne-causing bacteria
  • Red light reduces inflammation and promotes healing.

Some devices offer both types of light for comprehensive acne treatment. If possible, I would recommend getting a device that has both red and blue light to target both the acne and the inflammation that can cause hyperpigmentation.

Determine Design That’s Right For You

Consider the size and design of the device and whether it’s suitable for treating the areas of your skin affected by acne. Some devices are designed for spot treatments, while others cover larger areas like the entire face or back.

Next, check the intensity and wavelength of the light emitted by the device. Higher intensity and specific wavelengths are often more effective but may also increase the risk of side effects. Look for devices with adjustable settings to customize treatment intensity according to your skin’s sensitivity and the severity of your acne. 

Determine Desired Features

Additionally, opt for a user-friendly and convenient device to incorporate into your skincare routine. Consider factors such as portability, ease of setup, and whether the device is rechargeable or requires disposable batteries. To guarantee its safety and effectiveness, ensure that the device is FDA-cleared or CE-marked for acne treatment. Avoid purchasing unregulated or uncertified devices, as they may not provide reliable results and could pose risks to your skin. Make sure to research customer reviews and recommendations from reputable sources to learn about the experiences of other users with the device. Look for feedback on effectiveness, ease of use, durability, and customer service. Finally, compare the prices of different devices and consider the overall value they offer in terms of features, effectiveness, and long-term benefits. While investing in a high-quality device may require a larger upfront cost, it can provide better results and durability over time.

Ensure Eye Protection

It is very important to protect your eyes while using an LED treatment. If used incorrectly, LED light therapy has been shown to damage your eyes. At-home use can be safe if you follow the appropriate guidelines. Make sure to use a high-quality, reputable device that meets all safety standards, and be sure to read and follow the instructions and guidelines included. Some devices, as mentioned, only turn on when in contact with your skin, some are made to be used around the eyes with a lower intensity of light and have built-in safety features, while others may require eye protection. Make sure to research the right device for you.

At-Home Laser Hair Removal Devices | Featured in Vogue

Dr. Alexandra Bowles shares her insights on at-home laser hair removal devices from her recent Vogue feature: The Best At-Home Laser Hair Removal Devices, According to Experts

Is laser hair removal permanent?

Laser hair removal is often marketed as a permanent solution to unwanted hair, but in reality, it generally results in long-term hair reduction rather than permanent hair removal. Many people experience significant hair reduction after a series of treatments. The treated hair may become finer, lighter and grow slower but not necessarily be completely removed. The FDA considers laser hair removal devices as providing “permanent hair reduction,” not “permanent hair removal.” This means that while treated hair follicles may not regenerate, new follicles can develop due to hormonal changes or other factors. It’s also important to keep in mind that results can vary widely among individuals. Some may experience nearly complete and long-lasting hair removal, while others may see regrowth over time.

Does laser hair removal hurt?

The sensation experienced during laser hair removal varies from person to person. However, most people describe it as uncomfortable rather than painful. Some of our patients who have undergone laser hair removal compare the sensation to a rubber band snapping against the skin or a quick, sharp sting followed by a feeling of warmth. The level of discomfort can vary based on individual pain tolerance, the area being treated, and the type of laser used. 

For example, areas with thinner skin or more nerve endings, such as the upper lip and bikini line areas, tend to be more sensitive than others, like the legs and back. Hair and skin type can also affect the level of discomfort, whereby dark, coarse hair typically absorbs more laser energy, which can make treatments more intense. Oppositely, individuals with lighter hair might feel less discomfort due to the lower absorption of laser energy. 

Is laser hair removal safe?

Laser hair removal is generally considered safe when performed by a trained and licensed professional. However, as with any cosmetic procedure, there are potential risks and side effects to always keep in mind. 

For example, some common side effects are redness and swelling, which usually subside within a few hours, and temporary discomfort around the treated area. Less common or rare side effects include pigment changes, skin irritation, and scarring if the skin is improperly treated. Nevertheless, when undergoing laser hair removal, patients have to make sure to follow any pre and post-treatment guidelines provided by their physician to ensure the best results. 

How does laser hair removal work?

Laser hair removal uses concentrated light energy to target and destroy hair follicles, inhibiting future hair growth. The laser device emits a beam of light that is absorbed by the pigment (melanin) in the hair. The absorbed light energy is then converted into heat, which damages the hair follicle, specifically the bulb and bulge responsible for hair growth. The laser inhibits or delays future hair growth by damaging these key structures within the hair follicle.

Is laser hair removal safe for all skin types?

Laser hair removal is generally safe and effective for all skin types as long as the laser and settings used are appropriate for the skin type. The effectiveness and risk of side effects however can vary based on skin tone and hair color. For this reason, it’s important for patients to always have a thorough consultation with a licensed professional who has experience treating your specific skin type. Qualified practitioners would typically administer a spot test. This will allow them to determine how your skin will react to the laser and to choose the appropriate settings. 

What to look for in an at-home laser hair removal device?

When choosing an at-home laser hair removal device, it’s essential to consider several factors to ensure safety, effectiveness, and convenience. For one, look for FDA clearance, which indicates that the device has undergone testing for safety and efficacy. Check if the device is suitable for your skin tone. Some devices may not be effective or safe for darker skin tones. Verify if the device is effective for your hair color. Lighter hair colors, such as gray or blonde, may not respond well to certain devices.

Decide whether you prefer a laser or IPL device. IPL devices emit broad-spectrum light pulses, while laser devices use specific wavelengths of light. Laser devices are generally considered more effective for permanent hair reduction. Look for devices with adjustable energy levels and settings to customize treatments based on your skin sensitivity and hair thickness. I also recommend patients obtain proper eye protection if they choose to use these devices at home. 

Which ones do you recommend?

Specific recommendations may vary based on individual needs and preferences. Some popular and highly-rated at-home laser hair removal devices that I have come across include:

  • Philips Lumea Prestige IPL Hair Removal Device
  • Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4X
  • Silk’n Infinity Hair Removal Device.

These devices are popular for their effectiveness, versatility in treating a range of skin tones and hair colors, and user-friendly features such as adjustable settings and ergonomic designs. Additionally, they have received positive reviews from users, highlighting their reliability and noticeable hair reduction results over time.

Nail Strengthening Habits | Featuring Body Network

Dr. Alexandra Bowles expands upon her insights on nail-strengthening habits from her recent Body Network feature: Nail Strengthening Habits for Thicker, Longer Nails

When it comes to strengthening your nails, incorporating certain habits into your routine can promote stronger, thicker nails and encourage healthy nail growth over time. Dr. Bowles shares 9 nail strengthening habits to incorporate into your routine. 

Maintain a Balanced Diet

For one, it’s important to maintain a balanced diet that includes essential nutrients such as protein, biotin, vitamins (particularly C and E), and minerals like iron and zinc, which are important for nail health.


Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water to keep your nails hydrated and prevent them from becoming brittle.

Wear Gloves

Protect your nails by wearing gloves when doing household chores or working with harsh chemicals to prevent damage and breakage to your nails.

Avoid Acetone

Avoid harsh chemicals by limiting exposure to nail polish removers containing acetone, as it can dry out and weaken your nails. Opt for acetone-free formulas instead.

Moisturize with Hand Cream

Moisturize regularly by applying a moisturizing hand cream or nail oil to your nails and cuticles daily to keep them hydrated and prevent them from becoming dry and brittle. 

File Nails Carefully

Use a gentle nail file to shape your nails, avoiding harsh filing motions that can cause damage and weaken the nails. 

Take a Break From Nail Polish

Limit Nail Polish use by occasionally giving your nails a break from nail polish to allow them to breathe and recover. When using nail polish, opt for formulas free of harsh chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). 

Be Gentle with Your Nails

Be gentle with your nails by avoiding using them as tools for tasks like opening packages or scratching surfaces, as this can cause them to break or become damaged. 

Protect Them From Trauma

Protect your nails from trauma by being mindful of activities that can cause trauma to your nails, such as biting or picking at them or wearing acrylic tips, which can weaken and damage the nail structure.

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