When we think about aging, wrinkles are the first thing that comes to mind. Some people say the lines on our face are earned and something to be proud of. Others are willing to try any peel, injection or cream to look younger. But what if there was nothing to either accept or correct in the first place? There is so much we can do to keep age from showing its face in the first place. Today top New York City dermatologist Bobby Buka, MD teaches us how to preserve your youthful glow.
Tell us about your dermatology practice, what makes you different?
I’ve always rejected the idea that doctors should separate themselves from patients with white walls and clinical atmospheres. Instead, Bobby Buka MD harnesses the energy of the “country doctor” by providing a space and bedside manner that is comforting and relatable. You’ll notice our offices are designed with quirky details meant to feel authentic and homey, and our practitioners are trained to care for patients as they would a family member or close friend.
What is the number one thing we can all do to protect our skin for the long term?
Use sunscreen! Premature aging and wrinkles are primarily caused by overexposure to UV rays, which is easily preventable by simply wearing skin protection everyday. Leading a healthy lifestyle in general is also key: if you eat healthy and stay active, your skin will retain its elasticity for longer.
When it comes to peels and creams, what do you recommend to achieve a young, fresh glow?
Products with organic elements can do wonders for the skin. A lot of beauty products have hidden toxicity, so you really need to be careful about what you’re buying and applying. Creams that contain natural plant extracts and lipids will hydrate the skin and restore its natural moisture, while peels with natural enzyme exfoliants can help break down dead skin cells for a younger, more radiant looking complexion. Ultra Repair Skin Cream by FAB, which uses colloidal oatmeal, shea butter and licorice root, is one of my favorite creams.
What are the top things people do that cause their skin to age prematurely?
You’d be surprised by the number of people who don’t take basic care of their skin by washing and moisturizing every day. For women, makeup can be a huge issue: they use products that clog their pores and fail to cleanse before going to bed, leading to breakouts and other skin issues. A lot of people don’t include their hands and neck during their skincare routine, however these areas are just as vulnerable to premature aging as the face.
Aging is optional. Schedule a free conversation with a Parsley Health expert and learn about our comprehensive approach to aging.
At what age should people start thinking about taking care of their skin?
It’s never too early to start taking care of your skin! While I don’t recommend an extensive anti-aging regimen for young people, parents should teach their children how to properly wash their faces. In the pre-teen and teenage years, extra steps may be necessary to combat hormonal breakouts and acne. Unbeknownst to many, a good deal of wrinkles emerge in our 20s; thus it’s wise to be thorough and thoughtful about the state of our skin in just about every stage of life.
A lot of our patients have moles that they are concerned about. When should you worry about a mole or new spot?
The changes a mole undergoes when it becomes atypical are very noticeable, so if that spot on your arm starts to look different, it’s a sign that you should have a doctor take a look. Most of my patients identify suspicious moles well before I do. When it comes to checking your skin, I advise patients to follow the A B C D rule: A is for Asymmetry, B is for Borders that are jagged, C is for moles with three or more Colors, and D is for moles larger than 6 millimeters in Diameter. If your moles have any of these factors, it’s a good idea to give your dermatologist a call.
How often should you have your skin examined by a dermatologist?
How often you should see a dermatologist depends on your history and your skin. Some people need to be examined as often as once every few months, while others could theoretically go years (or a lifetime) without getting a skin exam. That said, I don’t recommend going years, or a lifetime, without exams because so much could go wrong. A good rule of thumb is to have an exam once a year
What is your favorite brand of non-toxic skin care?
I’ve been the Chief Science Officer at First Aid Beauty (also known as FAB) since its early days. The products are effective and made with safe, soothing ingredients. My patients appreciate FAB’s all-natural approach to skincare and have had a lot of success with the products, many of which can be bought at Sephora or online.
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Bobby Buka, MD is one of New York City’s leading cosmetic and medical dermatologists. Dr. Buka is a graduate of the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and completed his internship in internal medicine at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Buka completed his residency at the University of California, San Diego and a fellowship in pediatric dermatology at Children’s Hospital San Diego. He is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology and is affiliated with Mount Sinai Hospital. He is the author of Buka’s Emergencies in Dermatology and is a contributing founder and Chief Science Officer of First Aid Beauty. Dr. Buka believes in bringing authenticity and comfort to patient care and provides each patient with cutting edge medical care and a personalized experience.