Ask Me About Maskne: How to Treat and Prevent Facial Acne Due to Masks

Over the past several months, the coronavirus pandemic has upended life as we know it. One of the many changes we have made is wearing masks in public. The purpose of masks is to protect other people from the germs in your nose and mouth. Now that the weather is warmer, your mask can get sticky and uncomfortable. Your nose, lips, and chin sweat. The combination of germs, oils, and sweat in a warm musty environment can contribute to mask acne, or maskne, as we’ll call it.

When you’re out in public, avoid touching your mask once it’s on. If you need to adjust it, touch the sides and edges if possible. This is much easier said than done, especially when it’s sticky and uncomfortable. Keep your hands away from your hair and face as well. Wash your hands frequently, and carry hand sanitizer.

When you get home and remove your mask, wash your face. Remember to wash your hands first with soap thoroughly for 20 seconds. It’s always better to wash your face with clean hands. Use a gentle facial cleanser and lather your face without too much pressure from your hands. Avoid harsh chemicals, generic bar soap, or beaded scrubs that dry out your face and damage the skin barrier.

After washing your face, it is important to apply good ingredients to protect your skin health. Retinol cream at night is great for your face. It helps clear away the damaged skin on top and bring newer healthy skin to the surface. What you see is improvement in appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as brighter skin. It can make your skin more sensitive, so make sure to use an oil-free moisturizer and sunscreen during the day. If you’re trying retinol for the first time, start using it two nights a week, then work your way up to nightly as your skin gets used to it.

If you do get maskne, don’t fret! Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are two great ingredients that bring down the redness and swelling of acne spots. They are commonly found in face wash, creams, and spot treatments. A common side effect is dryness, so make sure to apply moisturizer to the remainder of your face. When looking for skin care products, it’s ok to spend a little more for quality. You have one face your whole life, and you deserve the best!

If you have an unexpected reaction to any of these products, stop using them and call a skincare specialist. As a facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Jae Kim has dedicated his entire career to the health and beauty of the face and neck, and his passion is to help you look and feel your very best! For further details and inquiries, email Dr. Kim at or call his Fairfax office at (703) 705-2100.

Can Botox Stop Sweating?

Sweating is normal, especially after working out or in warmer weather. It is a necessary bodily function, but excessive sweating can be embarrassing in public settings. The medical term for excessive sweating is hyperhidrosis, and it can occur in your armpits and other areas of your body, including the palms of your hands and soles of your feet. The stains on your clothes and the odor can make you feel anxious and self-conscious, and they can put a real damper on your confidence and performance.

Antiperspirant use is a commonly used remedy. Over the long term it may not be healthy for you, because you are clogging your pores with aluminum! Not only that, if you stop using antiperspirant, your armpits could smell worse!

Summers in the DC area are hot. Are you ready?

Fortunately, there is a user-friendly remedy for excessive sweating. Can you get through the entire summer without having to worry about pit stains and going through loads of antiperspirant?

Simply put, yes! We know of Botox as a great treatment with many medical uses, but its primary cosmetic use is to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines of the face. Botox Cosmetic is FDA approved to treat the lines of the forehead, crows feet, and between the eyebrows. It is one of the most common treatments Dr. Kim performs at the office, and many patients are very happy with the results!

After treatment to relax the wrinkles, however, some people notice a secondary benefit. Their skin appears less oily, and there is decreased sweating in the treated areas! Looking back on it, it makes sense because the way your body sends signals to your muscles to contract is similar to the signals to your sweat glands to secrete sweat. If Botox can treat one process, it could treat the other!

Allergan, the company that manufactures Botox, recently obtained FDA approval to treat excessive underarm sweating. Since the effects of Botox last around three months, you can potentially go the entire summer without antiperspirant after just one treatment! Imagine not having to worry about pit stains and odors every time you raise your arms!

Botox is a highly effective way to treat excessive armpit sweating. The most common issue patients deal with is pain at the injection sites, but it goes away with ice and some Tylenol. It takes 3-5 days to start taking effect, and results generally last 3-4 months. The procedure requires little to no down time, which means that you can continue with normal activities almost immediately after the procedure. For more information or to schedule your appointment with Dr. Jae Kim, a fellowship trained facial plastic surgeon and great injector, please call (703) 705-2100 or email today!

Is Retinol Right for Me?

What is Retinol?

Retinol is an anti-aging vitamin A-based ingredient widely used in topical skincare products. It works by reducing collagen breakdown in the skin and promoting cell turnover. As a result, it leaves skin plump and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Clinically prescribed to treat acne, products with retinol have been shown to reduce hyperpigmentation and to accelerate the renewal of superficial skin cells.

Retinol can be a vital component to a skincare regimen because not only does it promote the regeneration of smooth, healthy skin, but it also thickens the skin and evens skin tone.

What to Expect

Upon first use, most people experience irritation, but this is to be expected. It may be tough at first, so work your way up from 2-3 nights a week to nightly. It’s also important to wear SPF 30+ sunscreen and avoid unnecessary sun exposure. Retinol makes your skin more sensitive, so it’s necessary to take extra precaution to protect it for maximum comfort. With daily use, it takes 2-6 months to notice a difference in your skin health.

How to Add Retinol to your Regimen

To perfect your skincare regimen, apply your retinol along with your other night time serums after cleanser and toner. Follow it up with a good moisturizer, and don’t forget to wear sunscreen the following morning!

At Jae Kim, MD Facial Plastic Surgery, we offer various medical-grade retinol products to give you maximum anti-aging benefits. The PCA Skincare Retinol Brightening treatment and PCA Skincare Retinol Sensitive treatment are our patient favorites! The Brightening treatment works to create an even, bright and radiant complexion, and the sensitive treatment is specifically formulated for sensitive skin and is ideal for patients who are new to retinol. These nightly treatments boast significant age-defying properties such as reduction of discoloration and are a great addition to your skincare regimen!

We also carry the Alastin Renewal Retinol. This retinol product is safe for nightly use, and diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and smooths skin texture and helps improve skin tone. It also uses potent hydrators to protect against dry skin.

Call our office at (703) 705-2100 for more information about retinol, sunscreen, and other services to look and feel your very best!

skincare routine
Should I Start a Skincare Routine?

Why Skincare Routine

Your skin is the largest organ and is constantly exposed to the environment. Your facial skin, in particular, is subject to sun damage, irritants, allergens, and pollutants, just to name a few. It is very important to take care of your skin because you’re stuck with it your whole life. A little effort and consistency now can pay off years and decades later, and your healthy radiant skin will showcase the best version of you for a long time.

When Should I Start?

The general rule is, the earlier, the better. It is perfectly okay to start in your 20s. Many people wait to take care of their skin until a problem shows up, which isn’t the best approach. You should start a skincare routine to prevent issues from happening later. One thing to note is that whether if you’re trying to prevent skin problems or to address them, skincare is not a sprint, but a marathon. In order to achieve the best results, it’s better to take care of your skin with a consistent daily routine.

Washing My Face

Remember to wash with lukewarm or cool water. Although hot water opens up your pores, it can irritate and dry out your skin. Try to wash your face twice a day, morning and night. The buildup of oil and dirt on your skin must be removed to decrease irritation, inflammation, and/or acne breakouts.

When washing your face, resist the urge to scrub aggressively, as scrubbing irritates the skin. By using circular motions with your fingertips or with a gentle washcloth, you can effectively remove all the dirt and gunk off your skin.

Use the right cleanser for your skin type. For dry or sensitive skin types, a gentle or creamy cleanser works best. For those with oily skin, a gel or foamy cleanser might be a better option. Water-based alcohol-free cleansers are another great option for all skin types as well.

Here at Jae Kim, MD Facial Plastic Surgery, we carry two different cleansers (EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser and Alastin Gentle Cleanser) that are safe for any skin type. Remember to pat your face dry; rubbing your face with a towel may cause irritation and redness.

Morning Routine

Mornings are rough; however, it’s important to take care of your skin at the start of the day so that you keep looking fresh throughout the day!

Cleanse your tiredness away with EltaMD Foaming Cleanser, a gentle oil-free cleanser great for sensitive skin. After patting your face dry, apply the appropriate correctives for your area of concern. Have some skin discoloration or dullness? Try out PCA Skin Vitamin B3 Brightening Serum to brighten your skin and target those dark spots! Focusing on anti-aging, Alastin Restorative Skin Complex is a great product to help volumize your skin and get rid of those fine lines and wrinkles.

While targeting those areas of concern is important, it’s equally important to moisturize as well! Nourish and hydrate your skin with Alastin Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer. Don’t forget to moisturize your neck as well with PCA Skin Perfecting Neck and Decollete. Finally, always, always, always protect your skin with a sunscreen like EltaMD UV Daily or a tinted sunscreen like Alastin HydraTint Protecting Sunscreen!

Evening Routine

After a long day, it’s important to clear your skin of any dirt and gunk built up. Wash this layer of dirt off your skin with Alastin Gentle Cleanser, great for getting rid of any leftover makeup and environmental pollutants. Reduce any redness and even out skin tone with a retinol treatment like Alastin Renewal Retinol or PCA Skin Retinol Treatment for Sensitive Skin! Target the delicate eye area with Alastin Restorative Eye Treatment which reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eye and the appearance of dark circles.

Remember to moisturize before going to bed! The best time for your skin to heal and regenerate is at night, so hydrate your skin with PCA Skin Hydraluxe which also improves skin fullness. As always, don’t forget to hydrate your neck and decollete as well with Alastin Neck Complex which helps improve the appearance of crepey skin, fine lines, and wrinkles!

Call Jae Kim, MD Facial Plastic Surgery at (703) 705-2100 to learn more about skincare, as well as our other services!

What is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide is one of two forms of vitamin B3. It is naturally found in animal-based products such as meat and poultry, and in many grain products. Because of its many skincare and antioxidant benefits, niacinamide is found in many products today.

Why is it good for my skin?

Working with the natural substances in your skin, niacinamide can help improve enlarged pores, fine lines, and wrinkles. It improves skin barrier function to lock in moisture and reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL), resulting in better hydration of the skin. Niacinamide is also known to reduce inflammation, which helps ease redness from eczema, acne, and other inflammatory skin conditions. For that reason, niacinamide can be applied on sensitive skin as well.

What products contain Niacinamide?

At Jae Kim, MD Facial Plastic Surgery, we have various products that contain this powerful antioxidant to help boost your skin. We proudly carry several skincare lines, including PCA Skin, Alastin, and EltaMD sunscreens.

Some of PCA Skin’s best selling products contain niacinamide, including Vitamin B3 Brightening Serum, which is great for improving dark spots. For a plumping effect, go with the Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum, which also has a unique delivery system to get ingredients working at a deeper level! If you have sensitive skin but want the benefits of retinol, PCA has two options: Retinol Treatment for Sensitive Skin, and Intensive Brightening Treatment.

PCA Skin and Alastin both feature excellent eye creams that contain niacinamide and are specially made for dark circles, fine lines, and wrinkles around the eyes. In fact, Dr. Kim himself uses Alastin’s Restorative Eye Treatment, and it is one of his favorite products!

Don’t forget your neck and decollete! Alastin’s Restorative Neck Complex contains niacinamide and is a great product to improve the appearance of wrinkles and hydrate the skin.

Protecting your skin from sun damage is vital to ensure that your skin looks great now and in the future. Try out EltaMD’s UV Clear SPF 46 (tinted or non-tinted) sunscreen to help protect your skin from harmful UV rays while calming your skin from irritation.

Call (703) 705-2100 for more information about these products and other services!

sunscreen in my blood
Sunscreen in my Blood?

In May 2019, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published an article that certain ingredients in sunscreen products can be found in the bloodstream. The reaction and fallout were significant; people were calling for boycotts on sunscreens and investigations into the companies that make them. For something as important as skin health and protection, this issue requires a closer look. Does this research imply that sunscreen is bad for you?


The Finer Details

The study was performed by the US Food and Drug Administration on 24 participants across various skin types using four commercially available sunscreens. The participants were given the sunscreen in the form of a spray, lotion, or cream to apply over four days to 75% of their body. The goal was to measure the amount of four common sunscreen ingredients in the blood: avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, and ecamsule. Blood samples were taken from the participants at various intervals over 7 days. The results were fascinating, to say the least. All four ingredients were found in all patients’ blood samples, even after the four-day period of applying sunscreen.


What does this mean for your health?

Though similar studies have shown the same, significant questions persist. The effects of these chemicals on our health is still unknown and requires further research. In addition, the results of the study demonstrate not that sunscreen is unhealthy or harmful, but that the levels of these ingredients in the bloodstream are too high for the FDA to ignore and not require sunscreen companies to investigate this issue.

In this day and age of health consciousness, terms like organic, all-natural, cage-free, and the like, make us more aware of ingredients in everything we consume, and sunscreen is no exception. With that being said, the risks associated with sun exposure and harmful UV rays are well documented, and medical providers highly recommend the habitual use of sunscreen. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends daily use of sunscreen that offers at least 30 SPF, water resistance, and broad spectrum protection, with re-application every two hours of continuous sun exposure.

At Jae Kim, MD Facial Plastic Surgery, we offer medical-grade sunscreens that meet the AAD’s recommendations. Our bestseller is the Alastin Hydratint Pro Mineral SPF 36, which is a lightweight sunscreen that provides daily protection from damaging UVA/UVB rays. It also boasts a formulation that is rich in antioxidants that protect skin from environmental pollution and improve skin hydration!

We also proudly carry the EltaMD line of sunscreens, with tinted, untinted, and reef safe options! Our recommended daily sunscreen is the UV Daily SPF 40 which is formulated for both normal and combo skin. UV Clear SPF 46 is reef safe and great for sensitive and acne prone skin. It also contains anti-aging ingredients. UV Elements SPF 44 Tinted is water-resistant active sunscreen, recommended for patients who play sports or are otherwise facing the “elements”. Call our office at (703) 705-2100 for more information about sunscreen and other services to help you look and feel your very best!


We are excited to see our beautiful patients and are taking every measure possible to ensure everyone’s safety. Please call (703) 705-2100 or email to schedule your appointment.

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