Sensitive Skin Secrets

Sensitive skin can be a problem at all ages and stages. But you needn’t be a shrinking violet. We’ve got tips and tricks to care for your sensitive skin this spring, and all through the year.

Just what is sensitive skin? Generally speaking, sensitive skin tends to overreact to the environment and to topical applications like soaps, skin care products, and makeup. The reaction can run the gamut from redness (inflammation) to itching, burning, blistering, or peeling.

There are many reasons for skin sensitivity. Age is one. Babies’ skin is sensitive because it has not yet acclimatized to the environment. During puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, hormonal surges and withdrawals increase the skin’s sensitivity. As we get older, our skin–long exposed to the elements, and depleted of natural oils and moisturizers–becomes as sensitive as a baby’s again.

Some people’s skin is always sensitive. Others experience sensitivity for brief periods–such as during hay fever season, or while recovering from laser rejuvenation procedures or skin surgeries. Skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, and eczema are associated with added sensitivity. So are topical allergic reactions (called contact dermatitis) to skin care products or makeup, which can develop even after years of problem-free use.

Whether your sensitive skin is a lifetime given or a temporary annoyance, here are some tips for calming the inflammation and babying your face.

Know your ingredients. If you’re going to put anything at all on your sensitive skin, be sure to check the contents. Over-the-counter products may be labeled hypoallergenic (less likely to trigger allergic reactions) but may still contain ingredients that irritate. Fragrances are a number one offender. Choose products labeled fragrance-free (not just unscented, which means substances may have been added to tone down the natural smell of the product). If you have pollen-related allergies, products that contain bee propolis or floral essences (especially lavender, jasmine, and chrysanthemum) can be irritating. See our cosmetic consultant Mary Lou for advice on physician formulated skin care products suited to your needs.

Avoid harsh scrubs, deep peels, and microdermabrasion. Use a cleanser formulated for gentleness, like SkinMedica’s Sensitive Skin Cleanser. For refreshment and gentle hydration, our aesthetician Sandra recommends our Sensi-Peel, especially developed for sensitive and acne-prone skin. Instead of mechanical exfoliation, choose dermaplaning, a gentle, nonabrasive technique that removes dull skin and fine facial hair without irritation. During periods of sensitivity, also avoid treatment with retinols and other drying ingredients.

Protect your skin from UV radiation. We know, we know–but it’s a mantra that bears repeating. Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen is essential for cherishing your sensitive skin, especially if you’re post-procedure. Many people with sensitive skin have trouble finding a sunscreen that doesn’t add to the problem, so we recommend checking with us at Comprehensive Dermatology Center of Pasadena for the sun protection that’s right for you. EltaMD UV Clear SPF46, which is available in both clear and lightly tinted formulas, is popular with our post-procedure and acne-prone patients for its gentle, effective protection.

Contact us today for more help keeping your sensitive skin comfortable and glowing!




Let There Be Laser!

Laser technology is not just for lightsabers! As a recent report from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) notes, laser treatments are among the most popular cosmetic procedures for a variety of applications, from hair removal to rejuvenation.

Developments in laser technology have allowed this powerful form of harnessed light energy to be used as skilfully as a scalpel and as gently as a warm massage. Different laser properties can be combined to address multiple cosmetic issues in one treatment or series of treatments, says Dr. Tina Alster of Washington DC’s Georgetown University.

As a result, she says, a dermatologist may use one device to treat redness, another to treat brown spots and another to treat sagging skin — all during the same patient visit.

“These ‘mega combination’ treatments allow dermatologists to provide patients with truly revitalized skin in just one treatment session,” she says. “We can optimize their results while minimizing the amount of time they have to spend in the office.”

In our office you can see our registered laser nurse, Kimberly Bailin, RN, for a variety of cosmetic procedures. Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) uses photosensitizing medication and the application of blue light to treat acne and rosacea and to address the precancerous lesions known as actinic keratoses. IPL (intense pulsed light) Fotofacials zap away sun damage and stimulate the production of fresh new skin cells. Laser hair removal is an ever-popular solution for year-round skin-baring smoothness.

You can also see Kimberly for Pellevé® tissue tightening, which uses RF (radio frequency) technology to firm and smooth sagging skin. For treatment of deep lines and wrinkles rejuvenation, Kimberly is also skilled in sublative rejuvenation with the Matrix laser.

Our Board-certified Dermatologists also specialize in the most popular advancement in laser rejuvenation, treatment with the SmartSkin® Fractionated CO2 Laser from Cynosure. We offer full facial rejuvenation as well as the laser eye treatment known as the Madonna eyelift. As the AAD report notes:

Fractionated lasers use the same amount of energy as older models, but that energy is broken up into smaller doses, offering safer, more effective treatment. “Today’s lasers allow us to provide a rejuvenating effect with less trauma to the skin,” [Dr. Alster] says. “That means a lower risk of complications and shorter recovery time for patients.”

The AAD report reminds patients that even with all the developments in laser technology, it’s the human hands that wield the light that matter most. Always seek laser treatment from qualified medical professionals, preferably with experience in dermatological applications. At Comprehensive Dermatology Center of Pasadena, we’re proud of our experienced laser team of Dr. Sara Gaspard, Dr. Han Lee, and Kimberly Bailin. Contact us today to find out how laser treatments can light up your healthy, beautiful skin!

Dermaplaning: Peachy Skin, No Fuzz!

Dermaplaning is a traditional spa treatment making a fresh new return. If you’re looking for a gentle, effective way to boost the smoothness and glow of your complexion, this procedure might be for you.

Using featherlight strokes of a special instrument, the aesthetician painlessly “planes”–or gently shaves away–the dead skin cells on the surface that muddy your glow. The exfoliation exposes new skin cells and promotes healthy skin cell turnover. It also removes fine facial hair, or “peach fuzz,” without causing nicks or stubble. The results are baby-soft smoothness, tightened pores, and a natural Georgia-peach glow no matter what your skin tone.

Dermaplaning Before and After

Dermaplaning is suitable for all skin types, but it’s an especially great choice for those who want exfoliation without the effects of deeper microdermabrasion. If you have sensitive skin, deal with acne or rosacea, or are pregnant, this gentle polisher is your friend.

For a full spring makeover, combine dermaplaning with one of our luxurious signature facials, which include a customized mask, treatment serums, and a light peel. A bonus: the treatment helps your skin absorb skin care products better for more lasting results.

April is a great time to schedule your dermaplaning treatment with our aesthetician, Sandra. This month only, Comprehensive Dermatology Center of Pasadena is offering a 20% discount on all spa services. Contact us today to take advantage of these great stress-relieving savings in this taxing month!





Our treatment suites are equipped with the latest dermatological lasers, for advanced, safe, comfortable treatment of your skin's medical and cosmetic needs. Our in-house Acne Treatment Center offers complete care for all ages and acne stages. We offer a full line of skin care products designed to suit your unique...

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