I want to share my favorite products and why all of us at The West Institute love them so much! I try so many medical skin care lines and there are a ton of great brands, but we have narrowed them down to the most effective and most suitable for all skin types.
Most of the complaints I hear from our patients are, “my skin is dull,” “my pores are so big,” “I hate my fine lines,” “my skin is so uneven,” etc. There are a few great products out there that really target these concerns. I would like to share them with you and I personally use them.
When first meeting a patient, I assess their skin, find out what they are currently using and want to know what type of lifestyle they live. If someone is using only one or two products, I will make sure to put them on a very simple routine. Otherwise, these products are going to just take up space in the medicine cabinet and won’t give them the results that I want to see!
The most important thing any of us can do is WEAR SUNBLOCK!
And not just any sunblock–it needs to have physical block in it, meaning zinc or titanium dioxide. I really like Dr. West’s personal brand and I also love Elta MD. Both have physical block. It is very important to use an antioxidant (vitamin C) on your skin in the morning before your sunblock.
This not only protects you against harmful environmental factors, it stimulates collagen, reduces inflammation, promotes skin elasticity and evens out skin tone. Used in conjunction with sunblock, a potent antioxidant adds more SPF to your skin, which is a bonus!
We carry several different formulas at our office. Phyto-C manufactures an excellent antioxidant serum that is very effective. Make sure you purchase this type of product through a physician to ensure the most effective and powerful strength. Formulation determines whether the product actually works.
The next most important product to use on your skin is a retinoid. Retinoids promote cell turnover. As we age, cell turnover slows down and the skin appears more dull, uneven pigment starts presenting itself more, and fine lines and wrinkles appear. Retinoids stimulate collagen and elastin and improve texture, tone, pore size and acne.
The one downside to prescription retinoids (ie. Retin-A, Tazorac, or tretinoin), is that many people get very irritated which leads to infrequent use and a lack of results.
Skin Better Science, in my opinion, makes one of the best retinoids I have ever used. They have a patent on their formulation and combination of retinol, lactic acid and glycolic acid without the irritation that normally accompanies retinoid application. Skin Better Science AlphaRet is tolerated for use every night and highly effective.
Restorsea PRO is a botanical pharmaceutical company that offers very high quality anti-aging products which are especially great for pregnant or lactating women. They are free of chemicals and retinol so they are completely safe to use.
Restorsea uses an enzyme released by baby salmon which digests the dead skin cells, leaving the healthy living cells untouched. Because of the anti-inflammatory properties, the skin is left exfoliated with no redness or irritation. Brown spots, fine lines, wrinkles and overall texture is improved. Don’t worry, no animals are harmed in the process!
Many patients suffer from sun damage, which leaves their skin uneven, blotchy and in some cases, leads to melasma (hormonal pregnancy mask). As you may or may not know, over the past few years the ingredient hydroquinone has been the subject of controversy. Many skin lighteners have traditionally relied on HQ as the active ingredient, which is very toxic and is an oxidant.
Long term HQ use may be harmful. Skinmedica has just come out with a new product called Lytera 2.0, which is an amazing skin lightener and has other great benefits such as reduction in pore size and glowing skin. Lytera 2.0 is not only hydroquinone-free, but also is free of retinol, so it is safe for pregnant and breast-feeding women.
The last two products that I LOVE are also from Skin Better Science. The first is called Lines, which is a product has a patented, state-of-the-art Interfuse technology which drives in injectable grade hyaluronic acid faster and deeper to re-volumize the appearance of the skin. Lines works by using four types of hyaluronic acid to bind water to the surface of the skin to plump the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
This formula has a combination of peptides, amino acids and vitamin C. You use this product twice daily as the first step of your skin care regimen. Skin Better Eye Cream, or “recharger,” is used in conjunction with “Lines” to reduce eye puffiness with a blend of caffeine and a highly-specialized yeast derivative. Vitamin C and a blend of humectants brighten the eye and help diminish dryness.
We carry several amazing pharmaceutical grade skin care products at The West Institute and these are just among a few. Call us to schedule a skin care consult and to learn more about our practice.