Munich based dermatologist Dr. Stefan Duve tells us how to make use of staying at home with advise for your best skin care routine
You might be very critical with the way you look when chatting with your colleagues on ZOOM these days. Do not be to harsh to yourself but sometimes looking at yourself through a different mirror gives you another perspective.
How to make the best use of the time staying at home and giving your skin an extra treat is the way to go. Or maybe even further by taking a video consultation with Dr. Duve himself.
IRMA: How can you make good use of all the time you’re spending at home? Tell us about some skin care rituals that you can easily build into your daily routine at home.
DR. MED. STEFAN DUVE: In general, the most important part of your beauty routine at home is always thoroughly cleansing the face – that is the starting point and the most basic principle for healthy, fresh and youthful skin. Quite apart from removing make-up and cleansing our skin in the normal way… we can use the “extra time” that we have at home at the moment to use exfoliating products, for example. And not just in a hurry, before applying our night creme, but exactly as recommended by the manufacturer. In terms of exfoliants for home use, we distinguish between mechanical scrubs (with sugar crystals, etc.) and chemical peels (with fruit acids, enzymes, etc.) Peels as well as a combination of both modes of action. Peels should ideally be applied once to twice a week according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Additionally, to calm your skin again after the peel, the use of a tonic is recommended. To round the ritual off, the skin is nourished with a moisturising creme or sheet mask.
It is also important not to neglect the area of anti-ageing: At present, time seems to be standing still for all of us… but our skin, of course, continues to age. Whether it is to take action against existing signs of ageing and light damage, or for the purpose of prevention, a mask that is both rich and contains plenty of active agents should be applied once or twice a week after the thorough cleansing of the skin – it doesn’t matter if it is a creme- or sheet mask. After that, as required, an anti-ageing serum can be applied – containing Retinol or hyaluronic acid, for instance – before applying the day or night creme.
We can also devote more attention to our body in our home spa at present – especially the weaker connective tissue in the area of the upper arms and the thighs. In this respect, a brush massage with body firming creams and lotions that stimulates the blood flow and metabolism in the tissue is very popular and effective. This ritual is also highly recommended before undergoing a professional cellulite treatment at a dermatologist.
IRMA: Being at home also allows for more frequent critical glimpses in the mirror, or seeing yourself on a video conference. Does being critical with oneself and noticing the first traces of tiredness and the less firmed parts of your face mark the start for thinking about how to prolong youthful, healthy skin?
DR. MED. STEFAN DUVE: The most important factor in having skin which stays young and healthy for as long as possible is ensuring moderate, or indeed careful, exposure to the sun. The speed at which it occurs depends on the type of skin, but the more frequent and intensive the exposure to the sun without sufficient protection is, the faster the signs of ageing appear on the skin. Your personal lifestyle also has an important role to play when it comes to skin and the ageing of the skin. Smoking, alcohol, or in the extreme case, taking drugs, as well as an unhealthy diet and too little sleep also have a negative impact on the skin and its appearance.
In addition to the above points are, of course, genetics and your personal disposition.
Action that you can take: If you are spending time in the garden or on your balcony, etc., or if you spend time in the sun once the pandemic is over, you should always make sure that you apply sun lotion with a high protection factor. Pay particular attention to the most sensitive areas of skin, such as your neck, cleavage, around the eyes and the backs of your hands.
Cosmetics which are rich in active agents are suitable for treating existing signs of ageing at home. In this respect, Retinol is considered the gold standard of active agents, and it doesn’t matter if it is in masks, serums or cremes. These days, hyaluronic acid, or what are referred to as radical inhibitors such as vitamin C, are also indispensable in any care product – for effective and intensive care at home. Retinol, etc. is increasingly used in the preliminary skincare stages, such as the cleansing or toning of the skin.
IRMA: During this time, you could also start finding out about the specific procedures that you offer in your surgery, for example. Is there a book you recommend for people who are thinking about invasive cosmetic surgery?
DR. MED. STEFAN DUVE: As a general rule, it is firstly necessary to say that there is no single aesthetic treatment which is a remedy for all problem areas, whether it is on the face or the body. Every wrinkle, etc. that upsets the patient requires an intensive assessment by the attending physician, followed by a treatment which is individually customised to the patient’s needs – and sometimes as a combination of different treatment approaches for the optimum outcome.
Whether it focuses on the more cosmetically invasive procedures, either surgery or the so-called Korean thread lifting which is very popular at present, or it is injections with Botox or fillers, informing the patient in full detail before the procedure is essential. Of course, information material, brochures and detailed descriptions and videos of the various treatments that are available at our Haut- und Laserzentrum an der Oper can also be found on our website. Due to the current restrictions and the social distancing requirements, my colleagues and I are also offering personal video consultations, which are especially useful for consultations and initial assessments of this kind.
IRMA: Our beauty routine might have changed, we are wearing less make up and spending more time on skin care, but can staying at home also harm your skin?
DR. MED. STEFAN DUVE: In this case, it is only possible to damage your skin if you use products that are not suitable for your particular type of skin. In particular, this applies to people with sensitive skin or those with a tendency to suffer from neurodermatitis. Those affected should be very careful using certain anti- ageing products such as stronger peels, or with the use of cremes, serums or masks which contain Retinol. Irritations, and in some cases, eczemas can occur.
Care is also required with oily skin or skin with a tendency to acne: Skin of this kind should never be applied too much oil to, and the excessive use of care products must be avoided. In these cases, the excessive use of care products can lead to what is known as perioral dermatitis around the mouth, which is also referred to as stewardess disease. Perioral dermatitis usually manifests itself in the form of areas of redness, small nodules and pimples in the area of the mouth or the eyes. To prevent this from happening, however, DOCTOR DUVE medical skin care Clarifying Face Cream is recommended for oily skin.
IRMA: What if you decide to wear a face mask? Will that make sensitive skin irritated, with blocked pores and blemishes? What is your solution?
DR. MED. STEFAN DUVE: Wearing a protective mask during the current corona pandemic will invariably lead to an increased incidence of pimples as well as inflammation in the area of the mask, i.e. the mouth area. In this respect, for instance, the DOCTOR DUVE medical skin care Glowskin Anti-Impurity Pads are suitable for treating all forms of impure skin, small pimples, oily skin, etc., and can be applied easily and within seconds.
IRMA: You might use the time at home for an extra morning run or workout to get or stay in shape. Which products are best to use on your body while exercising?
DR. MED. STEFAN DUVE: A product that contains caffeine should be used to tone the body (such as DOCTOR DUVE medical skin care Bodycurve Firming Lotion), as it also stimulates the blood flow in the tissue. Some of these firming body cremes also have a cooling and therefore refreshing effect – for that extra kick during your workout.
Dr. med. Stefan Duve is a Munich based dermatologist and co-owner of the HAUT- UND LASERZENTRUM AN DER OPER (Skin Care and Laser Centre) in Munich. Contact him directly for a video consultation during the pandamic.
You can order his skin care products via doctor-duve.com .