We all know that cosmetic-plastic surgeons and dermatologists earn their living by operating or non-invasive procedures. Most of these endeavors are costly for patients.
It’s rare that any aesthetic surgeon will let us in on things we can do daily that don’t require us to visit them! We are fortunate to have Dr. Manish Shah, a Denver board-certified plastic surgeon share secrets with us, that in many cases cost nothing or less than a gourmet cup of coffee.
1) Clean your phone screens. Dr. Shah offers that, “A great way to avoid blemishes is to routinely clean the makeup and bacteria off of your phone screens. It is easy to spread harmful skin bacteria from the surface of your phone. Washing your hands goes a long way to avoid skin contamination as well.”
2) Make your own exfoliating scrub at home. Dr. Shah shares that, “A woman I consider my second mother taught me how to create my own organic exfoliating scrub. She would dry peeled skins of oranges, lemons, and limes in the sun. She would then finely grate the white inside rind of the peel and then mix it with any facial cleanser or even add it to fine facial oils. Using the scrub would exfoliate the skin, treat it with Vitamin C, and prevent over-drying of the skin because of the fruit oils.”
3) I recommend treating the enlarged pores of the T-zone with over the counter hydrogen peroxide. The bacteria in the pores create inflammation that increases pore size, and this leads to blackheads and whiteheads. Dr. Shah explains that, “These bacteria can’t survive in high oxygen environments. Three percent hydrogen peroxide is available over the counter quite inexpensively. Treating only the T-zone at night kills the bacteria, reduces pore size and blemishes. Because it can be quite drying, takes breaks from its use every now and then.”
4) Avoid fake nails. They harbor tons of bacteria that are easily transferred to the face when you touch your face. Instead, focus on growing your own nails with the help of oral vitamin C and any good quality hair, skin, and nails vitamin like Nature’s Bounty Extra Strength Hair, Skin, and Nails.
5) For teens, especially, it is so important to wash their pillow cases routinely. Dr. Shah is the father of three teens. From his first-hand knowledge he says that, “Teens aren’t very compliant when it comes to skincare and they suffer from hormones in a bad way. This one-two punch makes acne and blemishes the bane of most teens’ existences. Going to sleep at night on clean pillow cases after washing your face goes a long way to reducing bacterial burden and allows blemishes to heal.”
6) If you suffer from puffiness around the eyes, a quick trick is to use black tea bags. Wet them in ice water and lay them onto the eyes to soothe. The caffeine in the black tea causes blood vessels to constrict, reducing edema or swelling in the delicate, thin eyelid tissues.
7) Add baking soda to your toothpaste to easily polish away stains to keep your teeth white. Instead of bleaching your teeth, baking soda actually breaks the molecules that stain the teeth. It is less irritating to your gums as well, and way cheaper than teeth whitening strips.
8) Eat the rainbow. A white bread-based diet does not for clear skin make. That’s why Dr. Shah makes sure his diet is packed with brightly-colored fruits and vegetables. He says, “Fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants which give glow to the skin.” Specifically, research suggests that pigments called carotenoids—found in foods like carrots, spinach and other leafy greens, and tomatoes have been linked to good complexions.” Adding fish oil to your diet also improves skin compliance and radiance.
9) Avoid hot showers. Disappointing as it may be, Dr. Shah says, “Hot showers remove too much of your natural oils and brings blood circulation to your skin, creating inflammatory reactions that result in rashes and aggravate those with eczema or dry patches.”
10) You may just need a brow wax instead of a lift. “I had a patient who wanted a brow lift because she thought she looked angry all the time. I sent her for a brow wax instead. It took 15 minutes, she looked great, and she saved herself thousands.” Other brow techniques like brow tinting can change how your eyebrows frame the eyes, improving on your looks.
Manish Shah, MD, FACS, is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the Rhinoplasty Society, and the European Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery. After completing his formal plastic surgery training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Univ. of Tennessee College of Medicine, he moved to New York City and was selected for the prestigious Aesthetic Surgery Fellowship at Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital. He underwent extensive, advanced training in aesthetic surgery of the face, breasts, and body at the hands of some of the most renowned cosmetic surgeons in the world. Dr. Shah is one of only a select few plastic surgeons in the country who have undergone formal post-graduate training in aesthetic surgery.
Dr. Shah’s specialties include revision facial aesthetic surgery, rhinoplasty (“nose reshaping”), and aesthetic surgery of the breast (breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction). He is, however, well-trained in all areas of aesthetic surgery. Dr. Shah’s aim is to obtain a natural appearing transformation that complements the real you.