For all the guys who care about their skin!

Hello, Dr. Irwin! First of all, you are great! I appreciate that you take the time to answer questions and will continue to read your blog even if this question remains unanswered! You probably do not receive questions from many men, but I am not ashamed to say that I care about my skin just as much as most women- maybe even more! I have always seemed to have a problem, though, my facial skin always seems to look unhealthy- dry, large pores, uneven. I use sunscreen year round (I tried almost every one on the market, but can not seem to find on that is not too oily, not too drying, or not too ghostly. I use retinol (Skinmedica .25), and apply a moisturizer ( I have tried many of these too, but have the same outcomes as I have with sunscreens). My question to you is, what could I be doing wrong? I try and take great care of my skin and it still looks horrible. Some of my friends do nothing and their skin looks great. Do you think I should give up on skin care or am I just doing this all wrong? Looking forward to hearing from you, but if not- thanks,again, for providing us all with great information. One of your biggest male fans!

Thank you for writing (and the compliment)! Here are some ideas. When you or anyone else are persistently having problems with skin care products, there is a very high likelihood that you have become allergic over time, to one or more of the chemicals often used in skincare products – not the active ingredient.

Most skincare companies put a lot of chemicals – preservatives, fragrances, formaldehyde releasers, etc – in creams, gels etc. AND…….it can sometimes be devilishly hard to identify which ones might be bothering a patient.

So what now?

Try to find a dermatoolgist in your area who specializes in allergic contact dermatitis and does what’s called “patch testing.” These are small discs put on your back for 72 hours and will help identify which specific things might be causing the problem

In lieu of that, another strategy is to do an “elimination” diet for your skin. Find a very bland cleanser and one cream that you know you tolerate well. See the sensitive skin section here for ideas. Stop ALL products (yes even the sunscreen), for 3-4 weeks and let your skin rest until it’s good again. Once you are back to normal, then add products back one at a time a week apart so you can identify which specific ones are bothering you.

Hope this helps, Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

  • All our content is written and researched by myself.
  • My medical office in Seattle has treated thousands of patients for 15+ years.
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One of the best investments in your skin is your daily skincare. Why? Because you can prevent many problems with blotchy skin color, lack of glow, texture, some types of acne, and fine lines with good skincare products. You can also correct some of these problems with effective skincare products. Great skincare is often more expensive because quality ingredients are expensive. Some companies spend on research/development which benefits all of us and adds to the cost. Are they worth it? In general - yes! I have handpicked some of what I consider to be the best skin care products, and offer them for sale on SkinTour's shop. This is based on my team and I's testing and research at our clinic. Many of the products are in my own regimen. What could be better than using skin care products a dermatologist uses?!