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We are proud to introduce our latest exclusive dermatologist interview, this one with Dr. Luigi Polla, M.D. A world-renowned cosmetic dermatologist, Dr. Polla was the first medical doctor to introduce laser technology to Europe. He is also the founder of the Swiss Society for Aesthetic Medicine, a board member of the Committee on the International Union of Aesthetic Medicine and a member of the American Academy of Dermatology. He is active in practicing dermatology at the Forever Laser Institut, and his work supports Alchimie Forever as the foundation behind the brand’s new learning and discovery. Welcome, Dr. Polla!
Nicki: Hi, Dr. Polla! What do you feel are the best ingredients for all men and women as they age?
Dr. Polla: The best ingredients in terms of preventing skin aging and preserving the skin’s youthfulness are retinoids, antioxidants, ceramides (for hydration), and hyaluronic acid (in cream formulation).
What are your recommendations for acne?
Dr. Polla: The most important thing for acne-prone skin types is to never use creams that are too rich or oily. Furthermore, retinoids (adaptalene specifically) are ideal to treat and correct breakouts. Products containing glycolic acids are ideal for at-home care, as long as the concentration does not exceed 15%. In terms of treatments, I recommend monthly superficial peels containing salicylic or azelaic acids followed by extractions.
What are your recommendations for skin brightening?
Dr. Polla: The best products for skin brightening (i.e. increasing the skin’s luminosity and promoting an even complexion) are combinations of glycolic acid, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory products.
What are your recommendations for rosacea?
Dr. Polla: Rosacea skin is best managed by pulsed dye laser treatments to eliminate both broken blood vessels and diffuse redness. In terms of at-home care, creams containing molecules such as metronidazole, crotamiton, and benzyl benzoate are ideal. Finally, any molecule having vaso-constricting properties (such as quercetin) will help maintain capillary health.
What are your recommendations for eczema?
Dr. Polla: Eczema-prone skin types benefit from gentle and rich products high in emollients. Furthermore, it is essential to use soaps that have a neutral or slightly acidic pH. Finally, baths containing oat-based oils or cream baths are important. In terms of more treatment-oriented creams, products containing antibiotics that are anti-Staphylococci and corticosteroids are effective.
What products do you swear by?
Dr. Polla: My daily skin care routine is quite simple actually! I still love Palmolive Gillette shaving cream – I have tried others, but can’t find anything that is as adequate for my skin. I always follow shaving by an application of our age-defying serums, and then our antioxidant skin repair gel. Both products are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients, and are light and oil-free, which I love.
What is the biggest mistake men and women make on their skin?
Dr. Polla: There are three mistakes that I see on a daily basis, that are so avoidable:
1. Using products that are too rich for your skin type, which occludes the skin.
2. Using products that are too aggressive and that lead to inflammation.
3. Changing skin care products too often; it is not true that you skin “gets used” to a product and that thus it stops working; on the contrary, changing products too frequently will often increase sensitivity.
What is the most money-saving product or tip?
Dr. Polla: To make sure you are investing in your skin care as cost-effectively as possible, make sure you observe the results of creams and treatments, and speak with your therapist at length. Try to see if you can get great results from your Botox injections very 5 or 6 instead of 3 or 4 months. See if perhaps a facial every 6-8 weeks gives you results similar to every 4 weeks. Optimizing your cost-benefit ratio, whether for treatment or for products is really a question of self-investigation.
What is the easiest thing for a person to do to stave off aging?
Dr. Polla: The best thing to do to age gracefully is to have a healthy lifestyle: avoid excess sun, excess alcohol, and excess calories (specifically, sugars and bad fats are pro-agers).
If a person has $100, what should they buy or do?
Dr. Polla: With $100 to spend, invest in the highest quality morning and evening moisturizer. Indeed, these creams, applied daily, are the best investment for beautiful skin (but of course they need to be used daily, not just sit in your vanity!).
Many people nowadays have a skin care line. What makes yours different?
Dr. Polla: Alchimie Forever is different from other skin care lines, specifically other medically-formulated skin care lines, because we combine anti-aging efficacy (through our use of antioxidant technologies), and anti-inflammatory effects. Thus, we are not creating inflammation (which is a pro-ager) with aggressive ingredients, and our products are ideal even for the most sensitive skin types.