Dermatologist to the stars, Dr. Ellen Marmur, is an author, founder of Marmur Medical, and leading expert on all things skincare. Having founded Marmur Medical on 12 E. 87th St., Dr. Marmur has a team of wellness experts who help you to better your health from the inside out. Having recorded this unique approach to skincare in her highly acclaimed book, Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman’s Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin, Dr. Marmur has revolutionize skincare having been on the Katie Couric show and in Vogue and The New York Times (to name just a few) to share her approach. And, here, we are lucky enough to have Dr. Marmur give us her skin tips and dispel rumors so we can let our inner beauty shine outwards.
HC NYU: What are some of the causes of acne and how can we prevent it from getting worse?
EM: Acne is frustrating because there seem to be so many causes! Hormones, oily skin, dry skin, chocolate, stress, sweat. It’s really how the skin fails to mature normally and traps the extra oil and protein beneath the surface that causes the zits and blackheads.
HC NYU: Can students aged 18 to 21 grow out of acne?
EM: Absolutely yes! Usually as the stress of college reduces and as the lifestyle of the later 20’s becomes a little healthier (maybe better sleeping habits), the skin improves.
HC NYU: What are some ways young people can naturally help regulate their skin?
EM: Young people can improve their skin tremendously by simply not picking their face! This triples the time that pimples look red and of course leads to longer lasting marks or even scars.
HC NYU: Is Vitamin D really as effective for acne as some of us have heard? Can it disrupt the anti-aging process?
EM: No! This is not well established. But be sure your Vit D levels are normal.
HC NYU: When it comes to buying products, are there any chemicals on the labels that we should avoid?
EM: I would avoid the sulfates that can be harsh on the skin or even alcohol, which dries out the skin.
HC NYU: How can we utilize make-up without damaging our skin? How much does makeup contribute to skin damage?
EM: Make-up is normally not a probably a big problem. But a good tip is to use a foaming make-up remover or one with salicylic acid in it to remove all excess make-up debris in the open pores.
HC NYU: Tell us a little bit about your skin routine. What are some basic principles we must know when cleaning our skin at night?
EM: My routine is quick and simple. I can get ready for work in about 7 minutes from PJs to shower to dress to make-up! (comes with being a mom of 4 and a good ponytail!) Morning: cleanse gently with Previse Purify, an organic/vegan wash that can be personalized to your skin type (previse.com; so oily skin should be type 3); next I apply a serum to address my skin concerns - which are now wrinkles! but acne patients should apply their spot treatments like benzoyl peroxide and then a light moisturizer that is non-comedogenic with niacinamide in it to reduce inflammation, like Strivectin sensitive skin. At night, I wash off residual make up with a little Previse Purify on a baby wipe! This exfoliates and cleans--good for acne. Then be sure to spot treat and add a zone treatment of a retinoid in a creamy base. Try Atralin, or SkinCeuticals Retin A. Mix it in your skin moisturizer to prevent irritation.
HC NYU: In your lecture at The Carlyle, you mentioned body checks. Tell us about the importance of getting to know your body and what girls our age should look out for.
EM: Melanoma is a lethal skin cancer that is now, sadly, a problem for women in their 20's. Right at the age when you feel invincible! Totally ban tanning salons and smoking--both known skin cancer agents! And look at your body, every nook and cranny, to take inventory of your constellation of moles. Look twice at any dark or multicolored moles. Every month--take another close look. If you ever feel that spider sense that something has changed in any way, this means the mole may be evolving and we want to see it STAT. Schedule a skin exam every year, even if everything looks fine, so that you have immediate access to a dermatologist when you most need it. Any delay in diagnosis, even weeks, may make the difference between life and death.
HC NYU: Are there any last tips you have?
EM: Caring for your skin, even acne or blemishes, is not vain. It is really important to empower yourself with ways to be healthy. They say "knowledge is power" and "presentation matters." The skin reveals so much about us. And we never want to reveal our cards (stress, anxiety, illness) unless we choose to. Taking care of your health from the outside and the inside with good exercise, 7 hours of sleep, and healthy foods balances the care we take of our skin. And finally, don't pop those pimples!!!!