A few weeks ago, I got a chance to sit down with the sovereign of skin herself, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Loretta Ciraldo, in her Florida office. If her name sounds familiar, it could be from any one of her appearances on Good Morning America, Rachel Ray/Human Lab, Today in South Florida or her magazine features in O (Oprah), Shape, New Beauty and now BeautyNewsNYC.com, to name just a few.
Dr. Loretta’s expertise goes beyond skin-deep. In the 1970s, she was involved in ground breaking research at Harvard Medical School that is still considered to be the gold-standard in dermatology today. With decades of experience and a loyal clientele, she founded Dr. Loretta Skincare in 1993 as a way to help her clients and many others take care of their skin.
I’ve highlighted some key questions and take aways from our time together and hope you find it as enlightening as I did.
BN: What are some of the most common mistake you see women make (in their 20s-30s-40s) when it comes to skin?
Dr. Loretta: Overworking their skin! So many women come to see me with faces that are red and flaky and they tell me that this is the result of a new exfoliator, or Retin-A. If you overwork your skin it can make you red and more susceptible to the sun and possible skin staining.
BN: Could you talk about how the hormonal changes women experience throughout their lives affect their skin and hair?
Dr. Loretta: Many women get premenstrual flares of acne. If you know this happens to you, consider a plan that can be as simple as asking a dermatologist for a prescription of a topical antibiotic which may totally eradicate the problem. Another big thing is that perimenopausal skin can get red very easily and hair can thin. Then again, I will be 60 my next birthday and I did not experience any real skin or hair problems going through menopause and truly the majority of my patients tell me the same thing. We do get dryer as we age, and you need to be sure to hydrate, with diet and hydrating skincare, more with each year!
BN: Can you elaborate on Botox vs Fillers? I have read a lot about Botox being a preventative measure. What are your thoughts?
Dr. Loretta: Botox causes muscle relaxation and it is effective to areas like frown lines and crow’s feet, as these are the result of repetitive muscle movements that result in formation of creases or lines. Many women in their late twenties to early thirties have been receiving Botox treatments, especially within the last decade. So far, the data seems to indicate that if you start treatments at this young age, before these “lines of expression” as they are called are obvious, you may be able to prevent their onset as you reach your later years.
BN: I’m in my mid-30s and have had a lot of friends mention hair thinning? There are so many products on the market that it can be daunting. What are your thoughts on this? Is this common amongst women?
Dr. Loretta: Hair thinning can result from many causes, including things like thyroid disease and iron-deficiency anemia. If you are suffering from significant hair thinning, it is best to consult a doctor (dermatologist) for some blood exams and hopefully the doctor can detect the cause, treat it and help you to have good hair regrowth. If you hair thinning is mild, a wonderful line of over the counter products is Nioxin, which is widely used and recommended by doctors to encourage hair growth in people with thinning hair. I do recommend this and you can usually find it at beauty supply shops as well as certain hair salons.
BN: Any special tips for skin protection in cooler weather?
Dr. Loretta: Our skin starts to get dry by the fall, as generally lower humidity levels actually result in lower levels of skin lipids (the water trapping molecules at the skin surface). Start to use a moisture-trapping serum before your moisturizer (I use my own Essential Boost, with essential vitamins in a lipid base). And it is also a time of year to consider revving up to a slightly heavier moisturizer.
You can buy Dr. Loretta’s Skin care products at: http://www.dermstore.com or http://www.drloretta.com and if you’re in the S. Fla area and would like an appointment with her, you can do that via her website as well.