Skin Care Blog

Dealing With Excessive Hair Growth

By: The DermaCenter Aestheticians


There are many aspects of woman’s health, from internal medicine, emotional well-being, nutrition, even skin health and appearance. The Rittenhouse Women’s Wellness Center, strives to address a number of issues for overall health and wellness. Many internal hormonal issues that women deal with throughout different stages in life, like PCOS or Menopause, affect the physical appearance as well. These issues can cause excessive hair growth on the face, dry and/or oily skin conditions, or melasma. DermaCenter Medical Spa, is a vital part of the Rittenhouse Women’s Wellness Center, and has treatments and services to minimize the effect of certain physical issues for women living with these conditions.

Excessive hair growth, especially in the facial area, is often seen on females struggling with PCOS. Our Aestheticians can perform laser hair reduction treatments that will inhibit growth making the hair that does come in lighter, finer and less abundant leaving the skin feeling and looking much smoother.

Other treatment options include Chemical Peels, Microdermabrasion and Micro Planning which can help combat dry/oily skin as well as hyperpigmentation. All three of these treatments are a form of exfoliation of varying degrees.  Microdermabrasion is a physical and superficial form of exfoliation that lightly buffs the surface of the skin allowing the dead skin cells that collect on the surface to be removed without causing any physical damage to the outer layer of skin.  Chemical Peels use a chemical form of exfoliation which allows the exfoliation to get to the deeper layers of skin, pushing out any damage that may have been cause by hormonal issues or sun damage.  Micro Planning uses a combination of both but also removes the hair off the surface of the skin allowing for better makeup application and a smoother feel to the touch.The DermaCenter also has a wide range of products that can be customized to individual’s needs.

If you are living with a condition that affects your skin, talk to our Aestheticians about our available treatments to find one that is right for you!  

Fall Back into your Skin Care Routine

By: Jayme Hudson, Aesthetic Director


Now that summer has come to an end, it is time to think ahead and repair the damage that has been done from the season’s intense heat and sun. Some of the most common concerns among clients in the early fall months are pre- mature aging and hyper pigmentation caused from over exposure to the sun. Transitioning from a summer skin care routine to a fall routine not only entails an at home regime of proper care and products, but can also include aesthetic treatments to help facilitate the repair process.

You can switch from products focused on high potency sun protection to those with a “repair and protect” strategy for the skin.  You still need to be very conscious of the sun, even in the fall and winter months, but your nightly routines should have some added Vitamin C and Vitamin A to begin to reverse the damage that was done over the summer.  Treatments such as IPL and Chemical Peels are also a nice way to jump start the repair process. These treatments can be beneficial in reversing some of the summer’s effects on the skin.  At the DermaCenter, our Aestheticians, can customize a post summer treatment plan that fits with your lifestyle.

The two most common aesthetic treatments to help with damage from summer months are the IPL(Intense Pulse Light), or Photofacial, and Chemical Peels.  These procedures are extremely beneficial for clearing the damage off of the skins surface.  The IPL will combat Pigmentation caused by the sun as well as reds caused by Rosacea, and broken capillaries.  A Chemical Peel is a nice way to remove the buildup of dead skin cells that clog pores and sit on the surface of the skin making it look dull and dry. 

At the DermaCenter we use peels consisting of medical grade acids that will not completely ablate the surface of the skin which could leave you with weeks of downtime.  With our Chemical Peels, most of our patients notice a “slight flaking” for a day or 2, and then are left with skin feeling smoother, brighter, and a more youthful glow.

We will work with our patients to get them on a good skin care regime appropriate to their skin type to and also combat the signs of aging, and other skin issues.  At the DermaCenter our Aestheticians take a total wellness approach to skin care, through procedures and at home products.  Contact our office at (215)735-7990 for a complimentary consultation.

Love the Skin You're In!

By: Molly Hagen, Aesthetic Director

Skincare is a very important aspect of a women's overall wellness because it's really about how you feel inside and out. When you look your best, you feel your best and this is going to overlap into other areas of your life. Living a healthy lifestyle is about eating right, staying active and taking care of yourself. When you treat yourself; whether that be a chemical peel or a facial, you are slowing down the aging process and doing something to better your health. It's always easier to prevent, than to fix and it's about loving the skin you are in!

Winter Skin Blues

By: Molly Hagen, Medical Aesthetician

The winter weather can be very harsh on your skin, but it doesn’t have to be. With just these 5 tips and some loyalty you should be glowing in no time. For starters, always remember to treat your face differently than your hands and feet. The hands and feet tend to crack and flake more than the skin on your face does. For those areas, use a petroleum jelly or a thicker Vaseline type cream. Avene carries a hand cream for these tricky areas that does wonders for your skin.

Seek a specialist. Talking to an aesthetician or a doctor is a great way to get professional advice on your skin and the advice that you may be looking for. Sometimes this small investment is worth it in the long run. A professional can recommend and diagnose any issues that you are facing with your skin in the winter time. Sometimes it can be more than just dry, cracked skin and it’s best to take care of it sooner than later.

Exfoliate and moisturize more. I’m sure you hear the word “moisturize” quite often in the winter time in regards to your skin. The one thing that most people tend to forget is that you need to exfoliate the dead, dry skin first, then moisturize so that you are moisturizing new fresh skin. This will give you that summer time glow that seems to be missing in the winter. Moisturizing with a light creamy based lotion will be the best, something heavy but not too greasy. Avene Clean-ac Moisturizer will leave your skin hydrated, soft and supple. A microdermabrasion is the best way to receive a deep exfoliation without any downtime so you can slaw away all of that dry, chapped, dull skin.

Hydrate more than ever. Drinking water has always been recommended but in the winter, drink more! The more water you have in your system, the more hydrated your skin will be. Everything that your body intakes is shown through your skin, so the more hydrated you are the more hydrated your skin will look and feel. Luke warm water is the best for you, so fill up that water bottle!

Cover up, it’s cold outside. Layers are the best way to protect your skin from the harsh winds and temperatures. Make sure that you are wearing gloves to protect your hands and a scarf to protect your face. The harsh winds can chap your skin and the cracking of the skin comes next, so be prepared and bundle up.

SPF. Never forget to protect your skin with sunscreen. Even though it’s winter, it doesn’t mean that the sun isn’t out and it can’t damage your skin. The winter sun is even more damaging because the rays reflect off of the snow making it more intense. Don’t count on your makeup either; find yourself a facial lotion sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher.

By following these suggestions, you can almost guarantee that your skin will never again suffer from extreme dryness through the winter months. If you have questions or would like to meet with a professional call the Dermacenter at 215-735-7990.

Taking Care of Your Skin this Summer

The heat and humidity of summer can wreak havoc on your skin. Increased exposure to the sun leads to sunburns and soreness in the present and can be a cause for wrinkles, toughness, and potentially deadly skin cancers in the future. Humid air creates the right conditions for acne and oily skin. Despite all of this, your skin need not suffer as a result of the weather.

Sunscreen: you’ve heard it before, and it bears repeating. No matter your age or skin type, everybody needs to wear sunscreen every day – and this becomes especially important during the summer. Remember to put enough on: the recommended application for adequate protection is 35 to 40ml per person per session (a handful). Sunscreen should be applied liberally enough to all sun-exposed areas that it forms a film when initially applied, and it should be the last product applied to the face before going out. A minimum SPF of 15 is recommended for all skin types; for young children and those with very fair or sun-sensitive skin, a higher SPF is recommended. Insect repellent can reduce sunscreen’s effectiveness by up to thirty percent, so take care to use a higher SPF and reapply sunscreen more often if combining it with insect repellent. Remembering to reapply sunscreen every two to four hours and immediately after swimming is crucial.

Wearing sun-protective lip balm is an important step in taking care of your lips that most people overlook when getting ready to go out. This not only protects against soreness and chapping, but also reduces the potential for the lips to be a possible site for dangerous melanomas.

Going easy on makeup is a good way to help prevent acne flare-ups in the summer. The combination of heavy makeup and sweat can clog pores and lead to break outs. Instead of using foundation all over your face, apply makeup lightly only to specific areas, and remember that the bright light of summer often accentuates makeup’s visibility, leading to an unnatural look.

Keep exfoliation light. While peels and scrubs are key during the winter and spring to keep skin radiant, be cautious of exfoliation as summer approaches. New, fresh skin that is revealed through exfoliation is actually more sensitive to the sun. Keep exfoliation to once a week or every other week and do it at night rather than in the morning. That way, your skin can recuperate a bit from exfoliation while you sleep.

Taming Dry Winter Skin

Low humidity and indoor heating take a toll on our skin during winter months. Many people with otherwise normal skin suffer from dry skin, cracking lips and eczema due to the lack of moisture in the air. There are several easy ways to combat these problems from the inside out.

  1. Place a humidifier in your bedroom. A humidifier will moisturize your skin and prevent sore throats, dry noses and nose bleeds. It is important to add a little antibacterial solution (this is sold beside the filters) so that mold does not grow inside, which can cause asthma and allergies to flare.
  2. Limit showers and baths. One a day is perfectly fine, but the hot water will dry your skin very quickly. To combat this, use cooler water and only stay in for a few minutes. Use soap or body wash only where you need it, as most people don’t need to lather up from head to toe. After toweling off — while skin is still damp — apply a thick moisturizer from your neck to your feet. I like Eucerin and CeraVe brands — these are non-irritating, inexpensive and can be found at every drug store. If you find that these are too greasy, I recommend bathing at night and then putting on pajamas or a robe after moisturizing. If you have rough spots, simply apply a little over-the-counter hydrocortisone to the spots.
  3. Avoid harsh cleansers on your face. Acne products in particular can be very drying. If you use a Retin-A or Retrinal product, try to limit use to two or three times a week to minimize flaking and peeling. If you do use these, you can put moisturizer on top of the acne product before bed. I also recommend putting aside strong exfoliators, like Clairsonic brushes, until the weather gets warmer. For the day, it’s fine to start with your usual facial moisturizer. If your skin still feels or looks dry, just layer another moisturizer on top. I personally like Avene Tolerance Extreme or Atopalm Cream.
  4. Keep lip balm and hand cream with you at all times. For lips, I recommend using lip balms (Nivea is my favorite) and then applying lip gloss or lipstick on top for some color. Hands often need special attention, so carry a hand cream in your bag and apply frequently.

Happy Winter!

For more information on Dr. Saltzman’s practice, click here.

Say No to Tanning Salons

The Lancet Oncology, Volume 10, Issue 9, Page 835, September 2009

On July 6, 2009, the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) reported a disturbing lack of customer screening and generally unsafe equipment use in a survey of 332 tanning salons in Northern Ireland, prompting even the UK sunbed industry to agree that “there may be a case” for better standards. A few weeks after this announcement, on July 29, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) raised the classification of ultraviolet-emitting tanning devices from “probably carcinogenic to humans” to “carcinogenic to humans”—the highest risk category—based on evidence of a substantially higher risk of cutaneous melanoma in those who regularly used sunbeds. IARC's assessment leaves no doubt about the carcinogenic potential of sunbeds, and with the reported lax operating procedures of tanning salons, is it not time to ban this practice altogether?

The UK government has been uncharacteristically reticent to involve itself in the regulation of the tanning industry, especially considering sunbeds have long been assumed to have a role in skin cancer. Nevertheless, some local authorities have followed the advice of health activists and prohibited tanning beds in leisure centres, but the sunbed industry itself is only under voluntary regulation. Any individual, seemingly without qualifications or experience, can set up a tanning salon and there are no regulatory restrictions on the type of equipment that can be purchased. In fact, around 25% of the salons surveyed by BAD had sunbeds with radiation levels intended for medical use only, and most did not know what level of ultraviolet radiation their beds emitted. The Department of Health publishes guidance for salon owners, but with only half of the facilities in the BAD survey checking their customers' age, any advice clearly is not being followed.The Department of Health is considering banning children under 18 years of age from using sunbeds in England—following Scotland's lead—but this is far short of what is needed to protect public health.

The incidence of skin cancer is increasing worldwide, and the number of melanoma cases in the UK is around four times that seen 30 years ago. A quantitative association between sunbed use and skin cancer is difficult to prove, not least because of confounding by sun exposure and under-reporting of tanning habits. But what is certain is that sunbed use is increasing and that available tanning devices are more powerful than even a decade ago. A ban on sunbeds for under-18s recognises that burns early in life are particularly dangerous and that young people might not understand or might ignore the risks; but these concerns are equally applicable to adults. IARC's meta-analysis found a 75% increase in the risk of cutaneous melanoma when people began tanning regularly before the age of 30 years.So is there any benefit from tanning? The inclusion of sunbeds in gyms and health facilities, and the public misconception about possible benefits of tanning hinder an appropriate understanding of the risks. Some proponents suggest that vitamin D deficiency from sun avoidance is an issue, especially for those living in northern climates, and that this deficiency can be treated with “safe” tanning. But this claim is irresponsible: vitamin D can be easily and more safely acquired in the diet. A further misconception is that previous exposure to sunlight, via a sunbed, provides protection against sunburn from intensive vacational exposure. This is not true since overexposure during tanning is likely, with individuals being less likely to take preventive measures.

Of note, guidelines for skin-cancer prevention recommend avoidance of direct exposure to mid-day sun as a first priority—regardless of skin type—with sunscreen only a secondary preventive measure. A practice whereby a source of intense ultraviolet radiation is brought within 6 inches of a person's skin must therefore be questioned.Most of the 100 000 new cases of skin cancer diagnosed in the UK each year are preventable, so why attempt expensive industry regulation and ineffective consumer education programmes? Sunbeds for cosmetic tanning clearly increase the risk of skin melanoma, and probably the risk of ocular melanoma; they should be banned for all ages. WHO, the British Medical Association, and Cancer Research UK already advise against sunbed use completely. In the name of skin-deep beauty, a beast has been unleashed—in face of the recognised health risks, the industry's continued existence can in no way be justified.

Nail Salon Dryer Lights and Skin Cancer

The UV Lights at Your Local Nail Salon May Cause Skin Cancer. 

The lights used to quickly dry your nails at your local nail salon may cause skin cancer. As published in the April 2009 issue of the Archives of Dermatology report that 2 healthy middle aged women developed skin cancers on the dorsum of their hands, both women had no risk factors for skin cancer and reported exposure to UV lights at nail salons. My advice use the dryer.

How to Choose a Sunscreen

Have you wondered what to look for in a sunscreen?

The sun contains both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are linked to melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer as well as causing lines, wrinkles and aging of the skin. UVB rays cause sunburns. Currently sunscreens in the US only have ratings for UVB rays. SPF 15 blocks about 93% and SPF 30 blocks about 97% of UVB rays. Several ingredients block both UVA and UVB including zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Both of these ingredients are physical blocks, and are very gentle to the skin. Chemical blocks include avobenzone, oxybenzone and mexoryl. There are some concerns that these chemical sunscreen break down in the sun. The envirnment watch group performed a review of almost 900 sunscreens their recommendations are below.

Recommended products from popular brands
1 Blue Lizard Blue Lizard Australian Suncream Lotion, Sensitive, SPF 30
Blue Lizard Australian Suncream Lotion, Baby, SPF 30+
Blue Lizard Australian Suncream Lotion, Face, SPF 30+
2 California Baby California Baby Sunscreen Lotion No Fragrance, SPF 30+
California Baby Sunscreen Lotion Natural Bug Blend, SPF 30+
California Baby Sunscreen Lotion Everyday/year-Round, SPF 30+
California Baby Sunblock Stick No Fragrance, SPF 30+
California Baby Sunblock Stick Everyday/year-Round, SPF 30+
3 CVS CVS Sunscreen with Zinc Oxide, SPF 45+
4 Jason Natural Cosmetics Jason Natural Cosmetics Sunbrellas Mineral Based Physical Sunblock, SPF 30+
5 Kiss My Face Kiss My Face Face Factor Paraben Free, SPF 30
Kiss My Face 100% Paraben Free Sunscreen with Oat Protein, SPF 30
6 Neutrogena Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock Lotion, SPF 30
7 Olay Olay Complete Defense Daily UV Moisturizer, Sensitive Skin, SPF 30
Olay Complete Defense Daily UV Moisturizer, SPF 30
8 SkinCeuticals Skinceuticals Physical UV Defense, SPF 30
9 Solar Sense Solar Sense Clear Zinc, for Face, SPF 45
10 Walgreens Walgreens Sunblock with Zinc Oxide for Face, Nose & Ears, SPF 45+
Major brands that have no recommended sunscreens

Aubrey Organics (6), Avalon Natural Products (8), Aveeno (21), Banana Boat (41), Biore (1), Biotherm (11), Bull Frog (9), Burt's Bees (2), Cetaphil (2), Clean & Clear (2), Coppertone (41), Cover Girl (4), Dove (4), Dr. Scholl's (2), Elizabeth Arden (12), Eucerin (5), Garnier (3), Gillette (1), Hawaiian Tropic (10), Jergens (2), Juvena (2), La Roche-Posay (5), Lancome (28), LORAC (5), Lubriderm (1), Maybelline (1), Murad (9), Nature's Gate (7), Nivea (4), Paradise Gold (4), Phisoderm (2), Pond's (2), Purpose (2), RoC (6), Skin Simple (1), Target (.method) (1), The Body Shop (3), Vichy (2), Zia Natural Skincare (3)

Please call us at 215-735-7990 with questions.

VelaShape Featured in Vogue Magazine

Vogue Editor Feels “Newly Taut” In Her Jeans thanks to VelaShape

 In an article on achieving body perfection, beauty editor Catherine Piercy explores the latest surgical and non-surgical fixes for body flaws: liposuction, injections, skin tighteners, and cellulite treatments. 

“The treatment that really gets my attention, though, is VelaShape,” says Piercy.  She received VelaShape treatments “...with zero downtime and little risk...I decided this is the one I must try.”  

The result? There was some bruising which faded after a few days, but overall, she says “I feel tighter if not thinner, and those painstakingly precise measurements show a 2.5 cm reduction of my waist, thighs and lower back.  Just enough to have me feeling newly taut in my jeans.”

VelaShape is a non-invasive medical device based on el?s™ technology - a combination of heat, light, suction and massage - and is specifically designed to improve skin texture, reduce the appearance of cellulite and target localized fat deposits. Experience the most popular non-surgical alternative to liposuction with VelaShape!

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