The Best and Worst Ingredients for Your Skin: Exclusive Interview with Dr. David Bank, M.D.

Expert Advice, Retinol, Retinol Serums, Skin Care, Skin Care Advice, Sunscreen
The Best and Worst Ingredients for Your Skin - Dr. David Bank

While all physicians take advanced physiology courses, some dermatologists are more science-minded than others when it comes to evaluating formulations. That’s why Dr. David Bank, M.D., is amongst my favorites. The assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Columbia University treats everything from skin cancer, acne, and aging to excessive perspiration, and he does so with a science-minded approach. For more, read on:

Nicki (FutureDerm):   What ingredients are the best for general preventative and anti-aging purposes?

Dr. Bank: Sunscreen and retinol are both important ingredients for anti-aging purposes. Sunscreen will protect skin from harmful UV rays and reduce wrinkles and blotchy skin. Retinol is one of the top ingredients for anti-aging because it is a Vitamin-A derivative that boosts collagen and elastin production to help regenerate skin cells. It treats wrinkles, fine lines and evens skin tone leading to a more youthful appearance.

We often explain on FutureDerm that concentrations of ingredients and delivery systems matter. Do you agree; if yes, why? If no, why?

Concentration and delivery of products do matter. Everyone should find out from their dermatologist what their specific skin type is so that a treatment plan formulated to their skin type can be created. For example, a high concentration of retinol that works effectively for one person may be too drying for another person. Likewise, many products need to be used in the correct order to reap maximum benefits. Serums should always be applied first because they tend to penetrate skin the skin better. Moisturizer should be applied next because it is an emulsion, meaning it will create a protective barrier for your skin. If your moisturizer doesn’t contain an SPF, your next product should be sunscreen to protect against the sun’s harmful UV rays. Your last step can be to apply makeup.

What is the biggest mistake people often make with ingredients?

When considering skincare products you should look to avoid a few ingredients. DEA and DEA related compounds, in non human studies, were shown to have a link to cancer. Also, it is good to stay away from synthetic dyes and artificial fragrances as they can irritate skin as well.

Which skin care active ingredients should never be combined?

Retinol and Benzoyl Peroxide are both useful products when used separately, but when combined can cause adverse skin reactions- both products tend to dry skin out so using them simultaneously can cause irritation, peeling and in extreme cases even blistering. Another ingredient combination to watch out for is mixing Alphahydroxy Acid with a retinol. A tolerance must be built up over time before these two products can be successfully used together without causing skin sensitivity. Instead of using these products together try using one product in the morning and the other at night instead.

Are there any upcoming ingredients you are excited about?

RoC Multi Correxion with Hexinol
Hexinol works as an anti-inflammatory to decrease the aging of skin cells.  This can decreases the signs of aging including fine lines, uneven pigmentation and photo damage. [Hexinol is available in RoC Multi Correxion 5-in-1 Daily Moisturizer, shown above).

Rhamnose works similar to retinol but is gentler on the skin. Instead of generating cell turnover like retinol, it works by signaling the current cells to act younger thus boosting collagen, elastin and protein production. [You can find it in Vichy Lifactiv Night, $54.89, Amazon.com].

Are there ingredients you feel are overhyped? If yes, why?

Skincare products that contain stem cells are a bit overhyped.  At this time the science demonstrating stem cells ability to generate new skin and fresh collagen/elastin have not been scientifically proven to occur in healthy intact skin.

If someone only has $50 to spend on skincare, what should they get?

Shiseido Ibuki
For $50 a great moisturizer like “Shiseido Ibuki Refining Moisturizer Enriched,”  can help correct unevenness and breakouts, I also like NeoStrata Ultra Smoothing Cream and Skin Ceuticals B5 Hydrating serum.

More About Dr. Bank

David E. Bank, M.D., FAAD, a skilled dermatologist, author and founder/director of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery in Mount Kisco, New York, is proficient in all types of procedures, including chemical peels, laser treatments, filler injections such as Juvederm, Restylane, Voluma, Sculptra, Belotero and Botox injections, as well as many other therapeutic areas. Dr. Bank authored the popular consumer book, Beautiful Skin – Every Woman’s Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age (Adams Media Corporation, 2000).  His published medical articles have appeared in prestigious scientific journals, including the Journal of Dermatologic Surgery, Cosmetic Dermatology, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, and the American Journal of Physiology.

As one of the country’s foremost expert in dermatological conditions and procedures, Dr. Bank is frequently called upon by the leading network television shows including The Today Show, Good Morning America (whose hosts refer to Dr. Bank as their “favorite dermatologist”), The Early Show, Fox & Friends, and 20/20 as the go-to skincare expert discussing various topics ranging from skin cancer to the latest anti-aging treatments and technologies.  He also appears on the tri-state area’s local news programs including CW11, Fox 5 News, WCBS, and WNBC’s Today in New York.  Additionally, renowned for his timely knowledge and common sense advice, Dr. Bank is a regular resource in the country’s top health and beauty magazines including Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, InStyle, Elle, Allure, Redbook, Prevention, Fitness, Women’s Health, and Men’s Health, and is on the advisory board at Shape. Dr. Bank is also a regular in newspapers such as The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times, and journals and trades such as The Aesthetic Guide, American Society for Dermatological Surgery and Medesthetics.

Dr. Bank is affiliated with Northern Westchester Hospital Center (Mount Kisco, New York) and Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital (New York City).  He is an active member of the American Academy of Dermatology, American Medical Association, and American Academy of Dermatologic Surgery, and former president of the New York State Society for Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery. Dr. Bank is a lead investigator in FDA clinical trials, an expert witness for the Federal Trade Commission as well as past president of the Westchester County Medical Society. For more, please visit The Center for Derm website.

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