The Skincare Hacks A Derm Swears By (That You Haven’t Heard Before)

Expert Advice

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We like to get our facts straight from the experts when it comes to skincare! After all, who knows skin better than the people who spent 10 years studying it. So, we reached out to one of our go-to derms and Founder of AziMD Skincare and the La Jolla Dermatology & Laser Surgery CenterDr. Azadeh Shirazi– who you might recognize as the gorg @SkinByDrAzi on TikTok.

We’re always hearing from derms, but we wanted to know some amazing skin tips we haven’t heard a hundred times before, plus the skincare products that get a bad rep they don’t deserve! Dr. Azi did the most, and we can truly say we’re trying all these new-to-us skin hacks asap!

Tell us 3 skincare tips we haven’t heard before?!

1. Short Contact Therapy

“This is a great technique if you’re sensitive to effective ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide or even Retin-A. Benzoyl peroxide kills acne bacteria and exfoliates dead skin cells, but many people have a hard time tolerating it. It can make the skin red, flaky, and irritated.”

“I suggest applying it for 10 min and washing it off. It gives it time to work but not enough time to cause sensitivity or irritation,” Dr. Azi tells us. We’re definitely going to give it a go next time we use ingredients we know our skin doesn’t love – glycolic acid, we’re looking at you!

2. Breaking your Nighttime Skincare into Two Parts 

I use this a lot when starting my patients on prescription Retin-A or a powerful exfoliant. I have them cleanse and hydrate their skin with moisturizers and serums earlier in the evening (like 5, 6, or 7 pm) and then wait until closer to bedtime (9 or 10 pm) to apply their prescription Retin-A on its own. The skin is best hydrated when moisturizer is applied immediately after cleansing.

When the skin is well hydrated, it will better receive and tolerate powerful ingredients like Retin-A, reducing side effects such as purging and irritation that many people experience when starting a powerful exfoliant.” Dr. Azi blows our minds again. Deffo trying this one!

3. Black Tea and HoneyInfused Cucumber Slices Applied Cold to Depuff Eyes

Dr. Azi explains this delicious concoction: “The caffeine draws out the fluid that can get built up around the eyes overnight since we lie flat. The honey is anti-inflammatory. Cucumbers applied cold are anti-inflammatory and reduce swelling and puffiness.We love a DIY, so we’ll be planning these for a Saturday morning, stat!

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Tell us your fave derm hacks we haven’t heard before?

Try:Rogaine (Minoxidil) 3x a week to grow or maintain your eyebrows.

Try:A little peppermint oil diluted to plump up the lips.

Try:Afrin (oxymetazoline) to temporarily reduce redness associated with Rosacea.

Get the full scoop on these hacks from Dr. Azi:

What are some skin products/ techniques that get a bad rep that are actually okay?

1. Pore Strips: They are not suitable for sensitive skin, but most people tolerate them well on the nose. They are most helpful at removing little tiny hairs on our nose, which can be mistaken for blackheads.” We agree with Dr. Azi; we’ve had great results with pore strips without any skin stress. And we’re not the only ones; skinfluencer Young Yu (@yayayayoung) agrees:


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A post shared by Young Yuh 🙂 (@yayayayoung)

2. Parabens: Like many other derms we speak to, Dr. Azi believes “Parabens in skincare are not all bad. They are preservatives used in personal care products to prevent bacteria or fungus from growing in the products, and they keep our products fresh by increasing their shelf life.

Dr. Azi explains why they have a bad rep: “They are linked to cancer based on one research study that only looked at 20 people and has many flaws. The scientists didn’t bother comparing the diseased tissue with healthy tissue. If parabens were found in healthy tissue, too, then they CAN’T be the cause of cancer. Also, the research didn’t actually record if those patients used skincare with parabens. It’s just based on an assumption.”

Others claim it interferes with our hormones, but those studies were done on rats given 4000 times the amount of parabens found in skincare. So as long as you don’t eat the tube, they are ok! I don’t have them in my skincare because of this public fear for them, but I believe we need to do a better job of looking at the research (or lack thereof) more objectively.

What surprised you guys the most from Dr. Azi’s incredible tips and insights? Let us know in the comments.