Treat Your Skin
Dermatologist Rosalyn George reveals her skin care routine
As the owner of Wilmington Dermatology Center, ROSALYN GEORGE, a board-certified dermatologist, takes advantage of living in coastal Wilmington while also protecting her skin.
George received her Doctor of Medicine from Virginia Commonwealth University and completed her dermatology residency training at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
In 2008, she opened Wilmington Dermatology Center.
“I wanted to be able to provide a wide range of services with the most up-to-date treatment options in a warm and opening environment,” she says.
George shares her daily skin care routine, tips for skin care during winter months, and ways to prevent and combat sun damage.
WILMA: What does your daily skincare routine look like, from morning to night?
George: “My skincare routine does change depending on the season, but the basics stay the same. I wash morning and night with a gentle cleanser, I also use an exfoliating cleanser twice a week. People with oily skin can look for the buzz word “purifying or clarifying” on their cleansers. These tend to remove more oil. It is important not to over-cleanse as that can actually irritate your skin and even cause worsening of acne or additional oil production.
I then apply vitamin C. I use a product called Phloretin CF from SkinCeuticals. It provides additional sun protection and can help brighten and tighten the skin as well. Not all vitamin C products are created equal. Since it is a hard molecule to stabilize, so many non-medical grade products have very little active ingredient.
Third, I apply a mineral-based sunscreen with at least an SPF 30. I do this every day. In the winter, I may need to add a heavier moisturizer. I tend to look for moisturizers with ceramides in them which help enhance the skin’s natural barrier protection.
At night, I wash my face and apply a retinoid which has the most evidence in slowing the aging process in the skin. I use a prescription-strength retinoid, but you can get an over the counter one called differin which is also great for acne. There are also medical grade retinols which can be purchased through a physician’s office and have much more active ingredients than over the counter options. I then apply a moisturizer. I use a lighter one in the summer and a heavier one in the winter.
In general, for treatment products like vitamin C and retinoid, I recommend using a small amount. Four drops of my vitamin C and about a pea-sized amount of retinol. I am more liberal with my moisturizer.
I also will add in growth factors into my routine which may have an added anti-aging benefit, but the above are what I consider to be the basics.”
WILMA: “What are some things people can do to combat dry skin during winter? What skin treatments are apt for the wintertime?”
GEORGE: “To combat dry skin, I recommend people turn down the heat on their showers (warm not hot), try not to linger for a long time in the shower. Use a gentle soap like Dove and avoid true soaps like Irish Spring which can strip your skin on natural oils. Even a lot of the “all-natural” soaps will strip your skin. Moisturizing body washes are a good option as well. I do try to avoid overly fragranced options. After you shower, it is imperative that you moisturize immediately. I tell my patients to gently dry their skin and put on a ceramide-based moisturizer immediately before the skin has time to dry completely.
Winter is a good time to think about correcting any sun damage. This is the time to think about chemical peels and laser treatments as we don’t recommend treating in the summer.”
WILMA: When should someone approach a dermatologist versus trying to solve a skin issue themselves?
GEORGE: “If you have tried treating something for 2-4 weeks, I would recommend seeking help.”
WILMA: With Wilmington being a coastal town, what are some best ways to protect against the sun? If someone already has sun damage, are there treatments that can help with sunspots or other sun-related issues?
GEORGE: “I tell people that I enjoy all of the benefits of living in a coastal town and I am very active outdoors. I wear sunscreen every day of at least an SPF of 30, with broad-spectrum coverage, and with water-resistance for 80 minutes. These attributes are now clearly marked on the bottle. I re-apply every two hours if I am outside and I wear protective clothing including a hat and sunglasses.
We have lots of treatment options for sun damage, sometimes as easy as a topical cream to the more aggressive laser procedures but I recommend seeing a board-certified dermatologist for a skin check to make sure the sun damage is not something more serious.”