Talk Takeaway: Beauty with Dr. Tess

Posted on Aug 12, 2013 10:45am

Dr. Tess Mauricio is back for our "Talk Takeaway" series to share some simple beauty secrets for repairing damaged skin.  She will discuss five types of damage and share great tips for treating each of them - from sun spots, to acne marks, loose skin, body scars, and cellulite. Dr. Tess is a Board Certified Dermatologist, a graduate of Stanford University School of Medicine, and a Summa Cum Laude graduate of The University of California San Diego. She is the founder of Scripps Ranch Dermatology & Cosmetic Center and co-author of the new book "California Total Beauty."



Like all types of heat, the sun can ruin your skin.  Yet damage from ultraviolet (UV) radiation penetrates far beyond the top layer of skin.  The sun creates sun spots on the skin that are typically flat, oval dark spots that appear on the face, backs of the hands, shoulders, upper back and tops of the feet. They are darker than your typical skin shade due to increased pigmentation. Sun damage spots can be as small as a freckle or span over a centimeter across. It can also cluster with others to be more visible than it would be alone.  See your doctor if any of your sun damage spots has dark pigment, is increasing rapidly in size, has an irregular border or has a combination of colors.  A doctor will be able to evaluate it to determine whether it is cancerous or gauge whether it has the potential to become cancerous.  But, there are some treatments... Apply glycolic acid and sunscreen to sun damaged skin.

Glycolic Acid: You want to smooth your skin to create brightness and luster, and chemical exfoliation is the best way to start.  When choosing one, opt for a product with a 5 percent to 8 percent concentration of glycolic acid.  The active ingredient is vital in removing the extra layers of dead cells that are holding all of the brown pigment that has clumped and accumulated over the years.  

Sunscreen: Yes, we all know that we should apply sunscreen everyday to our skin but do you know what kind of sunscreen to buy?   Many of us purchase the first sunscreen bottle we see and we have to educate ourselves to buy the proper sunscreen especially if we have sun damaged skin.  Use sunscreen every day! As a dermatologist, I recommend using sunscreen labeled "Broad-spectrum SPF sunscreen" (15 or higher) because it offers the best protection for your skin... Meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays.  



Acne affects about 90 percent of the human race at some time in their lives. Acne marks are leftover scars from acne that has been treated and disappeared. Even without picking, acne can lead to marks on the skin because of the intense, collagen-damaging skin inflammation with which they are associated.  Acne marks are the flat red or brown dots left behind by pimples. They are also a type of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.  There are treatments for acne marks.... Buy natural skin lightening creams.

Lightening Creams: You'll want to concentrate on lightening any hyperpigmentation left from the acne mark.  Kojic acid (a natural skin lightener derived from mushroom extract), arbutin (aka bearberry extract), and even vitamin C (ascorbic acid) are great alternative ingredients to look for in over-the-counter lightening creams. These creams are available in most drug stores and are affordable.  No need for a prescription.  It reduces inflammation, itching, and swelling.  The best part is it works on adults and teenagers... It helps fade acne marks on the face and other parts of the body.  



Saggy skin is a problem commonly experienced by people during their middle ages or after. Saggy skin can occur in younger people too, especially if they have lost weight suddenly. Many pregnant women experience saggy skin around their belly, a few months down post delivery. Saggy skin occurs when the skin loses its elasticity, resulting in a number of problems like droopiness around the face and under the arms. There are a number of changes that a person can make in his or her lifestyle to prevent or get rid of saggy skin. Here are some very effective tips on dealing with a saggy skin... Find over-the-counter products high in vitamins.


For a skin moisturizer to tighten and firm loose saggy skin it must be formulated correctly with the right ingredients in sufficient quantities. If your skin is losing it's tone, a moisturizer can be a good first step in the search for younger-looking skin. Using a moisturizer that also includes vitamin A, vitamin C, alpha hydroxy acid or beta hydroxy acid may provide some visible tightening.  It keeps skin from having a dry, droopy appearance.

Antioxidants: Taking antioxidant vitamin supplements can also improve your skin's overall health, which may just make your skin tighten as well.



Going through life without ever experiencing a scar (no matter how big or small) is in fact possible—but highly unlikely.  Scars can be an unsettling and unsightly reminder of previous traumas like accidents or prior surgeries. Scarring is a natural part of the healing process after an injury, but its appearance and treatment depend on multiple factors.  The depth and size of the wound or cut and the location of the injury matter. When they can't be completely be removed, there are treatments to make a scar less noticeable and more aesthetically pleasing. The redness of your newly healed wound is the result of irritated skin and broken blood vessels underneath the skin. The scar redness is usually very noticeable and can take many months to fade. To speed up this process there are several things you can try... Use silicone gel and an aloe vera plant.

Silicone Gel: Silicone gel creates a protective barrier over your scar and can greatly reduce the visibility it. It will soften and flatten your scar, and at the same time it can also reduce redness and discoloration.  Scientific studies have shown that gel-based products have the ability to absorb into the skin faster than cream-based products because they are lighter.  Silicone gels are easy to use and help moisturize the area.  Once absorbed into the skin, you can easily apply makeup to the area or wear your favorite outfit over the area without any concerns.

Aloe Vera plant: Aloe Vera can soften your skin and help it heal faster. Don't use an Aloe Vera lotion or gel, as the heating and processing will render it useless. Get an Aloe Vera plant and crack open the leaves and apply it directly to the scar. Make sure your wound is completely healed before doing this. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which will help reduce irritation and redness.



Cellulite is a condition in which the skin appears to have areas with underlying fat deposits, giving it a dimpled, lumpy appearance. It is most noticeable on the buttocks and thighs, and usually occurs after puberty.  Although cellulite can affect both sexes, it is much more common in females, mainly because they are more likely to have particular types of fat and connective tissue.  Hormones likely play an important role in cellulite development. People who eat too much fat, carbohydrates, or salt and too little fiber are likely to have greater amounts of cellulite. This is what you should eat to minimize cellulite:

Fruits: A healthy diet is the key to really targeting cellulite at the root.  A great cellulite reducing diet involves eating a lot of natural foods and eliminating processed food and unnecessary fats. Some fruits specific to getting proper cellulite treatments are oranges and watermelon. A simple fruit found almost year round, oranges contain a component known as methoxylated bioflavonoids, which increases blood circulation and in turn can help treat cellulite.  Watermelon contains the antioxidant lycopene which is also proven to improve blood circulation.  

Grains and Fiber: It's also important to add whole grains and fiber to your diet, and to create a regular exercise routine for yourself.  Toning your muscles will also smooth out the affected area.

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