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The Skin We're In

Dermatologist’s Guide to Healthy Skincare and Latest Industry Innovations

Dr. Skotnicki shares skincare routine essentials, podcast insights on debunking myths, and the future impact of AI on dermatology.

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Dr. Skotnicki, can you outline key steps and ingredients our readers should be focusing on to ensure a healthy skincare routine?

Maintaining skin health involves nurturing both the skin barrier and the intricate microbiome that inhabits it. For the uninitiated, our skin microbiome constitutes a bustling ecosystem teeming with millions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi, residing not only on the skin’s surface but also within hair follicles. This diverse community plays a pivotal role in preserving skin vitality, fortifying the skin barrier, and even aiding in the early development of our immune system.

It’s rather ironic to consider that our efforts to cleanse can sometimes undermine skin health. While hand hygiene remains crucial for curbing disease transmission, much of our daily washing rituals in the modern era seem more driven by social conventions than genuine skin care. Striking a delicate balance is key—achieving cleanliness and pleasant fragrances without subjecting our bodies to excessive scrubbing with harsh soaps and detergents. Steering clear of alkaline products like traditional soaps, natural soap bars, and high-pH options like Ivory (which registers at pH 10) is advisable.

For those compelled to wash frequently due to occupational or personal reasons, prioritizing moisturization becomes imperative to repair the skin barrier and mitigate potential damage.

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My friend Marlo Sutton and I embarked on this podcast journey with a mission to delve into the depths of skincare controversies, countering the shallow allure of clickbait and fearmongering headlines. Through episodes tackling contentious subjects like Clean Beauty, sunscreen toxicity, skincare regulation, and the evolving landscape of beauty influenced by AI, we challenge the oversimplified narratives rampant in 30-second social media blurbs. It’s disheartening to see unfounded claims like “benzene in skincare causes cancer” or the demonization of parabens without context or nuance. For instance, did you know there are twelve types of paraben preservatives, each with its own characteristics? While some have been rightfully restricted, others remain innocuous at regulated percentages. Can we really ignore the consensus of seventeen toxicologists from the European Union Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety? These fear-inducing posts don’t aim to educate; they thrive on instilling anxiety for clicks. In our podcast, we dissect these issues meticulously, providing the depth and clarity necessary for understanding complex topics like sunscreen safety. Over the course of thirty minutes, we unravel the science, debunk myths, and highlight the nuances often overlooked in the rush for sensationalism.

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Can you discuss any recent advancements or innovations in skincare you find particularly promising or exciting for the future of dermatology?

My podcast delves into the fascinating intersection of beauty and AI, exploring the exciting prospects it holds for the future. Among the myriad advancements on the horizon, one standout feature of AI in skincare is its promise of safety. Sophisticated algorithms will revolutionize product formulation by seamlessly integrating stringent consumer safety guidelines from around the globe. From meticulously regulating ingredient percentages to flagging fragrance allergens and overseeing the usage of essential oils and extracts within permissible limits, AI empowers manufacturers and cosmetic chemists to craft products that prioritize consumer well-being. This shift transcends the nebulous marketing terms like “clean beauty” and “all-natural,” which, all too often, are exploited to boost sales rather than ensure genuine safety. As I scrutinize various purportedly “clean” beauty offerings, it becomes evident that many still harbor allergenic essential oils. Cleanliness in beauty isn’t synonymous with naturalness; after all, some of the most potent substances, both beneficial and harmful, originate from nature’s bounty.

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