dermatologist vs. over the counter (video)

I didn’t go to see a dermatologist about my ass, for the record. I planned on showing it to him, mind you, along with the rest of me. Nekked in Tahiti for my annual skin check. He measures markings and an assistant transcribes. It would probably make sense if I rang up all my other dermatologists and got copies of their records, though not sure they’d release them to me, as I can’t come into the Austin office and sign anything. I would like to know the measurement of a certain brown spot on my back. I need to find someone in New York, who accepts insurance, who does Mole Mapping (very precise body photos taken annually that can detect any changes in color or size when compared to earlier photos). Especially after reading the latest findings about redheads and the link to melanoma (even without ANY exposure to sun). There should be some vitamin or medication or something we can take for prevention. Get on that.

Back to the great and powerless Dr. Ass of Great Neck, New York… video below I get a bit more detailed:

After choosing to chop off a good 10 inches of hair, my hair is now shoulder length and healthy appearing. My nails are far stronger now that I take 5000mg of Biotin daily. I tried to use Minoxidil 3% twice daily. I tried, then stopped because I randomly broke out into cystic angry red spots around my chin, cheeks and mouth regions. This may have been caused by:

Minoxidil 3%
Retin-A Micro 0.04%
Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF 15, Tender Rose (I hope not because I love this)

I suck in the patience department and want to try everything at once. Which leads to stopping everything at once.

While strictly on a diet of Murad and REN products, my skin was getting to a place of perfection. Glowing, acne free, clear and even. Loved it. Except, I believed that I needed more Vitamin A in the diet as a longterm approach. I still had dehydrated skin around my eyes (making wrinkles) and faint bumps on my forehead (flesh toned small bumpy texture from a certain angle). I know the only scientific proof behind anti-aging topicals proven to work are: Tretinoins, Vitamin C, and AHAs. So, I walked into my dermatologist’s office with my demands. I walked out feeling taken. Sucker. I bought it all. Poor susceptible moi. Shelling out a pretty penny for glorified garbage.

Then, oh then, I used the stuff. And I totally changed my tune. The SkinCeuticals products are my favorite. I’ve recently added 3 new SkinCeuticals products into my routine (1: Blemish + Age Defense; 2: Retexturing Activator; 3: Neck, Chest & Hand Repair) trying them out to see what they do for a month, since I’ve been so impressed by the other two products I’ve tried. I’ll let you know.

– SkinMedica TNS Eye Repair Cream is what the doctor recommended, but it pilled (rolled right off) under makeup, and even without makeup. That just won’t do. I returned it.
– Gentle Alternative to Retin-A: REN Bio Retinoid Anti-Aging Concentrate (You don’t need redness and peeling side effects for the Vitamin A to be effective!)
Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Moisture-Enhancing Gel (Holy Grail)
Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser Facial Scrubs
Murad Resurgence Line
CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM
Olay Regenerist Wrinkle Revolution Complex
Stay On Night Bonnet
– Retin-A Micro 0.04%
– Hydroquinone 5% Cream, bleaches away any brown spots, lightens freckles and skin

FTC disclaimer: None of the companies mentioned are paying me for this video. Some of these products were sent to me for review, others I purchased myself. All opinions are my own and 100% honest… because that’s the way I roll. This is NOT a sponsored video. I look like the Purple Pie Man. Yeah, I said it.



  1. Oh that Skinceuticals Blemish and Age Defense is a life changer! I walked into my derm about six months ago with the worst breakout of my life. Cheeks, forhead, chin–all a red, cystic mess. At 33, and after a course of accutane 10 years ago, I thought that those days had passed. Anyway, I was prepared for another letdown, but the dr gave me a very simple regimen: Purpose cleanser morning and night with clairsonic as often as I could handle, Skinceuticals in the morning, and Ziana ( a prescription retinoid) a couple times a wek at night. Lo and behold, my skin cleared within weeks and had stayed perfect. Ive stopped the retinoid but the skinceuticals still feels amazing every morning, and even though it smells like you’re pouring Chardonnay on your face, it’s totally worth the $80+ it costs. hope you like it too!

  2. Your hair is longer than shoulder length- you look fantastic! Natural makeup you look very young here (Well 36 is not old either lol). Love these product videos but my god I could imagine the cost of all of that stuff from the derm. Anyone have just one or two products? Ever since we had kids I chopped my beat-tay budget way down:O

  3. Have you tried anything from the Glytone line at all? Glytone products are based on regular, higher-level glycolic acid (AHA) exfoliation that gradually increases the amount of free glycolic acid in the products you use across a series of “steps.” I’ve been using the step 1 cleanser, day and night lotions, and anti-oxidant eye cream for about 6 weeks and really like the results (so much that I recently bought the step 2 products way ahead of needing them when had a sale). Glytone has done wonders for my skin texture, pore size, and gotten rid of a number of mila. It is a good option if your skin doesn’t handle retin-A and retinols very well and you don’t want the after-effects/cost of a deep chemical peel. It’s also something you can combine with a series of mid-level salicylic/lactic/glycolic/Jessner peels bi-weekly at a day spa or dermatologist’s office.

    Apart from Glytone, I’ve seen good dermatologist-based reviews for Obagi NuDerm (which does have retinols) that tout its faster anti-aging transformative power.

    Generally speaking, the DermTV videos on Youtube are helpful for understanding skin conditions and what will or will not work.

    My facialist has also convinced me to try a 30-day dairy fast to see if that will clear up some bumpity bumps on my forehead. I love yogurt and cheese, but after googling around a bit it seems a reasonable thing to try.

    That said, your skin/makeup/hair/photoshopping always look gorgeous and what you are doing works for you! Thanks for the tutorials/reviews you do — I always enjoy them.

  4. Two last things: (1) is useful for checking out the efficacy of products and whether they might give you unwanted skin issues; (2) hydorquinone can give you some general all-over redness while you are using it that isn’t related to the rest of your regimen and can be confusing.

  5. You are amazing! This really did feel like a conversation between girlfriends, I love your personality. Thank you so much for the honest advice, I like it that you really tell us what you think. Will you do a video on hair products too? I love your locks and can’t seem to do anything with my wavy hair although I would love to know how to help it keep a curl.

  6. Thanks for the disclosure, but you’re supposed to also prominently disclose affiliate links. (From the FTC guidelines: I’m an affiliate marketer with links to an online retailer on my website. When people click on those links and buy something from the retailer, I earn a commission. What do I have to disclose? Where should the disclosure be?

    Let’s assume that you’re endorsing a product or service on your site and you have links to a company that pays you commissions on sales. If you disclose the relationship clearly and conspicuously on your site, readers can decide how much weight to give your endorsement. In some instances, where the link is embedded in the product review, a single disclosure may be adequate. When the product review has a clear and conspicuous disclosure of your relationship – and the reader can see both the product review and the link at the same time – readers have the information they need. If the product review and the link are separated, the reader may lose the connection.

    As for where to place a disclosure, the guiding principle is that it has to be clear and conspicuous. Putting disclosures in obscure places – for example, buried on an ABOUT US or GENERAL INFO page, behind a poorly labeled hyperlink or in a terms of service agreement – isn’t good enough. The average person who visits your site must be able to notice your disclosure, read it and understand it.)

    I enjoy your blog, respect your assiduous research into this stuff, and would be happy for you to get $$ for products you recommend that I end up purchasing. But I think you should disclose affiliate links.

    1. Author

      Thanks for that. You’re totally right, my bad. In the past I have added that. This time I forgot. I need to just have my disclaimer ready to go each time. If I forget in the future, I hope you’ll remind me again.

  7. Stephanie, talk to me about coconut oil. Both for the hair and skin. No pressure, but cover everything. Go.

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