Dermatologist Dr Anthony Rossi on the Perfect Skincare Routine, Acne and SPF
Main image – Dr Rossi MD
There’s an *overwhelming* amount of skincare brands, products and ingredients all over the internet and in magazines these days. What *exactly* are peptides? Is lactic acid good for my skin type? What skincare routine should I be following? And what products are worth the hype?
Fear not, fellow skincare addicts, because LTG HQ spoke with Dr Anthony Rossi MD, an expert dermatologist famous for his expertise in cosmetic dermatology as well as in the treatment of skin cancer.
Dr Rossi’s approach to skincare and his own brand of products work harmoniously with the biology of skin, not against it. This is why so many patients rely on his clinically proven solutions to achieve a more vibrant, youthful look.
So, let’s talk skincare! Yay!
Hi, Anthony! Thanks for speaking with us. So, what inspired you to go into the field of dermatology and what do you enjoy most about your work?
Well, my parents are hairdressers with their own salon, so I grew up around the beauty industry. I knew I wanted to be a doctor and I was really involved in the field when I was working in New York, I realised I had a passion for dermatology and skin conditions like infectious diseases and rashes, aesthetics, and skin cancer.
Dermatology encompasses so many different aspects. I think it’s super cool to learn about the innovations and progressions within the dermatology field, such as aesthetics and laser treatments that help the skin to take care of itself better and in a more natural way.
Oh wow, that sounds exciting! And you have your own skincare line now, tell us how you got into that and the processes.
I’m very picky about the ingredients, my products are all made using the highest-quality ingredients and they don’t include the fragrances and harsh chemicals we see in most skincare products. I wanted to create products with peptides that are derived from fruit, using medical-grade ingredients that reduce inflammation.
My line was developed in Korea over 7 years and it has been a real journey! It’s actually very difficult to remove these harsh ingredients that are present in most skincare products, and so many people don’t know that it’s these chemicals that are causing inflammation in their skin. I shopped around for several years to find a factory and manufacturers that could help with this complicated process and ended up working with the developers in Korea, I have loved going on this skincare journey!
The products are free of irritants, unnecessary fillers, fragrances, and skin sensitisers, giving skin its best chance to thrive. Each formula endures rigorous testing to ensure significantly differentiated results without irritation, helping instantly calm skin hyper-reactivity while delivering plumping hydration and gentle hyperpigmentation correction.
What is the science behind your products?
My Bio-Theriac® complex stems from the discovery of the connection between TRPV1, premature skin ageing, and skin sensitivity. TRPV1 is one of the proteins responsible for regulating body temperature. The sensation of pain felt from scalding heat? That’s TRPV1 in action, signalling the sensory nerve cells to react.
However, sensitivity, inflammation, and redness can happen when TRPV1 receptors in the skin overreact. The overreaction can also stimulate the production of enzymes known to break down collagen, accelerating the visible signs of premature ageing.
Skin becomes more and more sensitive while the visible effects of premature aging become more pronounced. I wanted to create a line to combat signs of premature ageing by helping regulate skin sensitivity, an entirely new way to prevent the signs of ageing in skincare.
On that note, if you could advise us to do one thing for our skin, apart from the obvious- using sunscreen every day- what would it be?
Yes, ALWAYS wearing sunscreen is definitely the main one!
Other than that, I would say moisturise. You need a really good moisturiser that isn’t too heavy and doesn’t block your pores. You need an intensive skin barrier that will make your skin look and feel repaired and plumped over time, and encouraging your own skin barrier will help to keep toxins out of your pores.
Look for products with active ingredients, for example, mine contain active peptides that are anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. I would say patients also need to be careful not to overdo it with retinols, which can actually have the reverse effect and cause issues like retinoid dermatitis.
Vitamin C is an interesting one, as we have it in our bloodstream already to build collagen and can help with poor skin quality. However, it is acidic so patients need to be careful with this and do some research about which acids work together and which don’t.
A simple skincare regime is definitely the best!
Ahh ok, so less is more when it comes to skincare! How do you advise we find the best skincare routine for our skin type?
Find a simple skincare routine that doesn’t involve too many ingredients and isn’t too overwhelming to keep up with.
You will know yourself and your skin type the best, for example, those who suffer from asthma will most likely also suffer from eczema.
You should look for something where less is more, look for ingredients like lipids which is a fatty substance that holds in moisture, lactic acid which is a gentle chemic exfoliator, and glycolic acid which has anti-ageing benefits and helps maintain pH balance.
Some people are sensitising their skin without realising it by using too many harsh chemicals, so I would definitely advise not overdoing it and using hydrating ingredients that are not so harsh on the skin.
It’s worth mentioning that everyone should use a good moisturiser. People who suffer from acne are often concerned about using moisturisers because they fear it will make their skin worse – this isn’t true, and cleansing the face too much will actually have an adverse effect on things like acne.
Acne seems to be becoming more prevalent, what’s the best possible advice for anyone treating it at home?
My top tips would be:
- Don’t over exfoliate
- Don’t over cleanse and don’t use harsh chemicals as this creates a cycle of sore and inflamed skin. I’ve seen people burn their skin using lemon juice in the sun or using chemicals when skin is too sensitive after chemical use
- Never pick
- Never pop
- Use moisturisers as this helps to restore epidermal integrity. People with acne are scared to moisturise because they don’t want to make skin oily, is having an adverse affect on their acne
- Use medication to reduce skin inflammation
- Understand the biology of your skin and how your family history affects it. A lot of skin conditions like acne are hereditary
- Look after your diet and lifestyle
What is your own personal skincare routine?
Well it’s interesting and important to remember that the physical biology of our skin is very similar, we all have the same number of melanocytes but some people produce more melanin than others. I always wear sunscreen, and I advise all of my patients to wear at least factor 30 on their face and factor 50 if they are active or doing things like going swimming.
I cleanse every morning. I always tell my patients that if they don’t leave their cleanser on to work then they might as well just wash their face with water! I actually apply my cleanser onto dry skin and work it in very gently, encouraging the active ingredients to start working. I let it sit on my skin for around 10 minutes while I brush my teeth, then I add water and gently work the product into a lather before washing it off. I liken it to washing your hair, the ingredients need to be on the skin to work – and it’s really therapeutic haha!
I also suggest using an essence as a toner, this will prime the skin to receive your moisturiser and remove any dead skin cells on the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the skin) that prevent the moisturiser from penetrating the lower epidermal layers. After this step and before I leave the house, I apply sunscreen so my skin is hydrated and protected, and I let this sit on the skin for 10 minutes before going out into the sun.
Remember to also protect the back of your neck, nose and ears with sunscreen! I have been treating lots of young patients in their 20s who have needed cancerous skin removed from these areas because they stick out they are more prone to sun damage.
There are tons of new products now that are called ‘smart sunscreens‘, and these contain helpful chemicals like titanium and niacinamide that also help to rejuvenate the skin.
Wow, that’s quite scary, isn’t it? Are there any products or ingredients that are on-trend at the moment that you think aren’t worth the hype? We have been seeing a lot of social media posts about rose water and its benefits, are these things fads?
There are lots of ‘flash trends‘ and some of them do actually have their merit, but you can’t find out much information from a 30 second TikTok! The creator also doesn’t know your skin history and, while it may work for their skin, who is to say it will work for everyone?
One of the things I have been seeing a lot of lately is slugging (this is where people use petroleum jelly, or Vaseline, and cover their skin with it for extreme moisture), however, this blocks pores and it’s really not necessary. There are a lot of sebaceous glands in the face and the petroleum will block these, so your skin won’t be able to breathe and sweat in the normal way.
And finally, what innovations in skincare are you excited about?
We have seen a big focus on peptides, which actively treat the skin without acidic irritation. They are potent and more expensive, I use them in my own products, but they have a much better effect and reduced risk of irritation.
People are looking for expert advice and more ‘bang for their buck’ at the moment. Another innovation I am really interested in is the use of lasers within dermatology, they have less downtime and can help with issues like melasma, rosacea, redness and visible blood vessels, and they can also target the sebaceous glands and decrease the activity which then reduces acne.
These lasers, used in the right setting, create fractional damage to small zones of the skin to encourage the stem cells to wake up in a controlled manner, which can help with collagen production, too. Many people don’t know that our cells actually go to sleep, and this protects us from cell mutations that create cancer, but it also means our skin cells aren’t working to their fullest potential and repairing themselves.
Thank you, Anthony! We will certainly be taking this advice on board here at LTG HQ!
Ok guys and gals, the most important thing *has* to be to wear your sunscreen!! LTG and Dr Rossi also advise taking extra precautions in the sun, such as wearing sunglasses and hats to protect your eyes and scalp.
On products that are the best for your skin, look for ones that contain peptides and active ingredients to smooth your skin tone and encourage cell regeneration, rather than using those old-school grainy scrubs that can cause microtears in the skin and are too harsh.
Meet the expert
Dr Anthony Rossi is a board-certified dermatologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. One of the most sought-after surgeons and laser experts in the field of dermatology, he is internationally recognised for his pioneering research and clinical work.
Motivated by his work with thousands of recovering cancer patients, with extremely sensitive skin, at the United States’ premiere cancer hospital, Dr Rossi spent years searching for the most effective age-defying care until he discovered that combatting skin sensitisation is a ground-breaking way to prevent and treat visible signs of premature ageing.