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Curly Nikki

Dr. Perry Talks Healthy Skin

By January 27th, 202119 Comments

Our Resident MD is kicking off this fabulous series with tips on how to achieve glowing, healthy skin.

Dr. Perry Talks Healthy Skin

SKINTASTIC! How to make your face shine

by Patricia Perry, M.D.

Your chocolate sweetness . . .

Dipped in the sugar of innocence

Sprinkled with kindness and respect

Seasoned with the tincture of time and evident in your cordial restraint

Salt and pepper grace your chin, shining light emanates from your eyes

Your smooth skin glides its way through my memory and

Your bright smile is like lightning to my soul

I wrote this poem after seeing someone who had the most beautiful, clear skin. Does your skin inspire thoughts like this? If not, maybe I can help you get your best skin.

The skin is the largest organ of the body. Like any living being, it is dynamic, constantly changing and responds to what it is exposed to.

Top five terrible things you can do to be unloving and disrespectful to your skin:

    1. Unprotected sun exposure. Apply a moisturizer with SPF 30 daily to sun exposed skin (UV rays pierce clouds and windshields). When going outdoors for extended periods of time, apply sunscreen of SPF 30 about 30 minutes before going out and reapply every 2 hours. Please reapply after going in water (i.e. beach/lake/pool).
    2. Smoking. In addition to causing lung disease and cancer, smoking assists in aging the skin at a faster rate. If you’ve already started, put down those cancer sticks. If you haven’t started, don’t!
    3. Poor diet/ Poor hydration. As with all other aspects of health, ingesting five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables daily along with adequate amounts of water daily are great for your skin, nail and hair well-being. A general multivitamin daily and an Omega-3 fish oil supplement are also beneficial to skin health.
    4. No exercise/ regular and consistent physical activity. Thirty to forty-five minutes (3-5 times a week) of an activity which raises your heart rate is not only beneficial to lung and heart health, the skin benefits as well.
    5. Poor/No skin care regimen: A consistent regimen of cleansing and moisturizing is of paramount importance in achieving your best skin. Dry skin may need the regular assistance of exfoliation.

Wash your face with clean hands or a soft washcloth and a mild cleanser (i.e. Aveeno, Basis, Cetaphil, Purpose, Neutrogena product lines) every morning and evening. After cleansing in the morning, apply a moisturizer with sunscreen of at least SPF 30. In the evening, depending on specific skin care needs, apply a basic moisturizer or a polishing alpha-hydroxy acid/ glycolic acid containing cream. Many antiaging products which contain retinol, pentapeptides (i.e. ROC and Oil of Olay) are best used at night. These products can improve very fine lines and wrinkles, but are not able to successfully eliminate deeper lines and wrinkles. A visit to the dermatologist for antiaging treatments can be a good way to improve more intense wrinkles. Be careful with harsh alcohol containing astringents and toners (i.e. rubbing alcohol and witch hazel). They can dry out the surface of the skin and lead to irritation. If you have acne prone skin, be careful with excessive scrubbing. You may worsen your breakouts and cause irritation.

Exfoliation can be an effective way to eliminate dead cells which build up on the skin surface. A mild facial scrub which contains salicylic or glycolic acid used a few times a week can assist with this process. (i.e. St. Ives Apricot Facial Scrub). Always moisturize after exfoliating. A visit to the dermatologist can provide you with the opportunity to have a chemical peel. Chemical peels are a wonderful way to rejuvenate the skin and even out the tone. Ask your dermatologist about the Vitalize peel. This is a wonderful peel which works well in skin of color. It contains salicylic and glycolic acid. Treat yourself!

Keep your lips protected by using a lip balm with sunscreen (i.e. Neutrogena and Kiels).

Tip: Always test new products before using over your entire face. It can take up to three days before a reaction occurs, therefore, a test trial should be performed under the chin or on the inner arm area for 72 hrs. Apply the product once a day, for three days, in the same designated area. If redness, swelling, burning or itching occur in that area, discontinue use of that product.

Until next time . . . Take care of yourself, so you can care for others. Do your best to be your best. The better you are, the brighter the world gets.

Disclaimer: This information does not serve as a substitute for individual medical care by a physician. This article is an informative guide to point you in the right direction. All product recommendations and advice are suggestions which may or may not work for your individual needs. Specific medical issues and concerns should be addressed by your health care provider. Patricia Perry, M.D. is a dermatologist in private practice in Southern California who can be reached for consultation at 2625 W. Alameda Ave., Suite 504, Burbank, CA 91505. Phone: (818)559- SKIN (7546). The contents of this article are the literary property of Dr. Perry and are copyrighted.

Related Articles:
Dr. Perry Talks Skin Care and Natural Hair


  • Baldgirl says:

    Dr. Perry Thanks for your blog, i like to read some more bit about hair loss Women's hair loss can be a very traumatic experience; simply because hair is a defining pint of personal style for almost all women. Right now I am having intensive hair therapy. Hope I will find good result.

  • Carol says:

    Dr. Perry, great articles on skin care. I especially like the one on Ethnic Skin and Acne. While reading your profile I was surprised because I know your sister Diana. I was her roomate freshman year at Skidmore College. (small world) can you let her know I would like to say hello to her. Also my husband Everton Green met you at Atlantic Dermatologist in Valley Stream Long Island a few years ago. He said you were a very good doctor but, you left that practice shortly after. Please email me and let me know how Diana is doing. Take care.
    Carol Green

  • LoveLaughLiveLife says:

    Dr. Perry, I have been researching face moisturizers with SPF 30+ and see that a lot of reviews are mixed for the sometimes "white" results of these moisturizers. Being a student on a budget with not much money to waste, I was wondering which one you would personally recommend. Thanks!

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks, Patricia, for this helpful info! It seems in the busy nature of our lives as female physicians, professionals, or whatever the nature of our work may be, we sometimes forget to look after our skin. I will remember to take better care of mine!

    Tiffany Perry (wife of Victor Perry, #7 after Patricia's #6)

  • Maria says:

    Dr Perry, I think you and I are related LOL Somebody mentioned that you and I look alike, I agree! LOL

  • InTransition_RN says:

    I would like to add that the Clarisonic skin care brush works WONDERS on acne prone skin!!! It's expensive, but I'm telling you I don't regret my purchase at all!!!

  • Angela F. Perry, MD says:

    You rock Pat! I am SO proud of you (as are Mom, Cousin Doll who first pressed our hair, Aunt Avanelle who gave us our first relaxer, Mrs. Franklin at LaCharme in Houston, Donald at Oriental Oasis in DC, Sayne who gave you your BC in Silver Spring, and both of our Grandmothers).

    I just want all of you to know Dr. Patricia Perry (aka "Flippie") is one of ten children born and raised in Houston, TX (five girls, five boys, and lots of humidity). All of the girls are MD's as are two of the boys, but Pat rocks the BEST hair, skin and nails of all five of us girls (Mom may have her beat though)!

    This forum is critical to the overall physical as well as spiritual health of today's woman – natural or not, Black or not. Self-love, self-acceptance, education, support, fellowship . . . this is what He wants for All.

    Thank you,
    Nina (#5 in the line to Pat's #6)

  • Anonymous says:

    what is the best moisturizer with spf 30 that doesn't leave your face looking oily? i have a daily moisturizer from neutrogena that protects me but leaves my face oily!

    advice and product recommendations please!!

    –student on a budget

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks CN. I'll check it out.

  • Anonymous says:

    Good info. Thx, Doc. 🙂

  • missmoni4x4 says:

    Wow! I recently started eating a lot of fresh fruit and started noticing that my face brightened up and even lightened up a bit. I'm fairly dark brown skinned, but I can tell a HUGE difference when I eat fresh apples, oranges & grapes in my skin complexion & texture. I thought maybe it was all in my mind…but she just proved it to me! 🙂

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    Anon 8:40, here's the link to a thread that is going on in the forums about breakouts–

    maybe that will help until next months post 🙂

  • NaturallyMe says:

    I love the poem. I look forward to future articles!

  • Anonymous says:

    Excellent, excellent post Dr. Perry and CN! I look forward to more info on skin care, especially dark spots and stretch marks.

  • Anonymous says:

    Beautiful poem, and I agree with your statement about eating right. As soon as I eliminated greasy, fattening, sugary foods from my diet, I lost weight, and my skin cleared significantly. Thanks again!

  • Kells says:

    Great post!

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    anon 8:40, sorry to hear about your acne 🙁 Dr. Perry has written an article on acne prone skin. This was more of an into to healthy skin in general. I'll be posting that article next month!

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you Dr. Perry and Nikki! This is great information, and i'll be adding a few things to my current routine

  • Anonymous says:

    Not to be negative, but I already do (and have been doing) all of the suggestions she gave, but I still struggle with acne. I've had acne since I was 11 yrs old and have tried everything, but it still plagues me. Since I went on birth control a few years ago it cleared up A LOT, but I'm far from having clear skin. Just a note to the other females that really struggle with acne…don't feel bad if you are doing all that you can and it still doesn't go away.

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