Healthy You - Every Day

Skin Care Resolutions You’ll Want to Keep This Year

What are the best clean skin care products, do collagen peptides work and how to keep your skin hydrated all season long on The Healthiest You Podcast: Episode 23

Skin Care Resolutions 2023

Do you have a skin care routine? Now is the time to make it happen. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, so it deserves some love and attention. A new year is the perfect time to start a skin care routine that you’ll stick with all year long.  

Listen to the latest episode of the Healthiest You podcast where Mike and Steph from B104 discuss skin care with Emily Doster, RN, esthetic registered nurse and medical esthetician with LVPG Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery–1243 Cedar Crest.

A new year is the perfect time to start a skin care routine that you’ll stick with all year long.

What are the best clean skin care products? How do you build a skin care routine and stick with it? Should I double-cleanse? What is skin cycling? How can your skin benefit from taking collagen? Are collagen peptides better than regular collagen? We answer these questions and more on the Healthiest You podcast this month.

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Emily Doster, RN, with LVPG Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery–1243 Cedar Crest, r

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The Healthiest You podcast is hosted by familiar voices – Mike and Steph from B104. In each episode they will interview doctors and experts across Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) to learn practical health tips for everyday life – to empower you to be the healthiest you.

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Podcast Transcript

Steph Wells (00:00):

What are the best clean skin care products?

Mike Kelly (00:04):

Should I take collagen?

Steph Wells (00:05):

How can I relieve dry skin?

Mike Kelly (00:07):

All that and more on this episode of The Healthiest You.

Steph Wells (00:11):

Mike, for all the things that we've talked about in the long time that we've been doing a show together, I'm not sure that we've ever discussed our skin care routines.

Mike Kelly (00:20):

Well, that's a shocker, Steph. Why wouldn't we discuss that?

Steph Wells (00:23):

Well, because we ask a lot of questions of our audience, and so they chime in with their two cents. So what do you typically do as your daily skin care routine?

Mike Kelly (00:31):

Well, Steph, here's the thing... Actually, to be honest with you, I take very good care of my skin because I have eczema.

Steph Wells (00:37):

Oh, I didn't know that.

Mike Kelly (00:38):

That's right, that's because I take care of my skin. So I don't shower too often, use a certain kind of soap so it doesn't dry out your skin, always moisturize after your skin's been wet.

Steph Wells (00:52):

And that's it?

Mike Kelly (00:53):

Well, yeah. Well, you have to use a certain kind of... Find the lotion that works best for you, and no perfumes, that kind of thing. I'm all into it.

Steph Wells (00:58):

OK, here's my method. There's water and I splash it on my face, and I look in the mirror and be like, "That's OK." But I do also have a tendency to jump on the bandwagon of many a skin care line, and the poor half-used jars exist in the many shelves of my medicine cabinet.

Mike Kelly (01:16):

[inaudible 00:01:16], listen, if I could just stress to Steph to buy stuff that doesn't have an odor too, it'd be so much better in the studio.

Steph Wells (01:22):

Come on, that's the hand lotions. That's not the face skin care. That's the... OK.

Mike Kelly (01:28):

I don't care what it is, it stinks up the studio. But it does.

Steph Wells (01:30):

It stinks. It does. It does. I'm sorry. Well, anyway, let's move on. Here to talk about skin care is Emily Doster, esthetic registered nurse and medical esthetician with LVPG Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Emily, welcome to the show.

Emily Doster, RN (01:44):

Thanks for having me.

Mike Kelly (01:45):

Well, we're glad you're here. Hey, should everyone have a skin care routine?

Emily Doster, RN (01:49):

I believe everybody should have a skin care routine. It doesn't have to be complicated. You can really customize it for yourself. But I often compare it to brushing your teeth or taking care of your hair. Even if it's a simple routine, it's good to have one that fits you and your lifestyle.

Steph Wells (02:09):

And how do you determine your skin type?

Emily Doster, RN (02:13):

Skin type can be determined basically how your skin behaves on a day-to-day basis. If you notice that you tend to be shiny and your skin never feels tight, or it doesn't look flaky or it doesn't look dry, you would typically be an oily skin type. If you tend to feel tight, your skin gets flaky, possibly gets irritated, you tend to be more on the dry skin type. Some people do have normal skin types where they don't feel either. And some people have more of a sensitive skin, which isn't really a skin type but more of a skin condition.

Mike Kelly (02:58):

What are the best face washes to use according to skin type?

Emily Doster, RN (03:03):

If you're prone to more oiliness, I typically recommend a gel-based cleanser. However, it also depends on the season. So even if you're oily, sometimes gel-based cleansers in the winter can be a little bit too drying. So as a general rule, I typically recommend any type of non-foaming face wash for oily skin, dry skin. If you are more acne prone, you may need a little bit more of a gentle foam to deep cleanse. But typically I'll recommend either a non-foaming hydrating cleanser that will remove makeup, sunscreen, excessive certain oils, but it won't strip your skin.

Steph Wells (04:02):

Now it seems clean beauty and skin care are becoming more and more popular. What clean ingredients should you be looking for on the labels, and which clean skin care products are the best?

Emily Doster, RN (04:16):

Clean beauty is a little tricky to work with because clean is not really defined by the FDA, and clean beauty really started because of the lack of regulation for cosmetic products in the United States. So clean beauty refers to products that are free of synthetic ingredients, particularly preservative fragrances. So there are a handful of ingredients that are scientifically proven to benefit the skin, and that's where I try to educate in skin care, as opposed to say clean or toxic ingredients.


So clean is a hard term to define, but my favorite clean ingredients are things like plant oil. I particularly really love jojoba oil, squalene oil is wonderful as well. Aloe is great in a cleanser but also as a moisturizer for skin. Fruit enzymes are wonderful exfoliants, papaya enzyme, pineapple enzyme, which is often called bromelain, pumpkin enzyme. These are very common ingredients that you can find, also ingredients like alpha hydroxy acid, beta hydroxy acid. These are all clean ingredients. Your vitamins, vitamin C, E, are wonderful ingredients, antioxidants that benefit the skin. Vitamin B3 is excellent. And clean beauty oftentimes talks about sunscreens and chemical sunscreens and synthetic sunscreens. So if clean beauty is really important to you, then I would suggest going for more of a mineral sunscreen.

Mike Kelly (06:25):

Starting a skin care routine can be overwhelming for people, especially with so many options available to them. How do you build a skin care routine and stick with it?

Emily Doster, RN (06:37):

Absolutely, it can be overwhelming. I work in this industry, and even going to the grocery store and seeing all the options is so overwhelming. It seems like everyone has their own line of products nowadays. So how do you differentiate? I try to keep it really, really simple. Simple routines are much easier to stick to. They're more affordable. And when you get those right ingredients, you see results, and it's motivating to keep going. So my typical routine that I recommend for people is to gently dampen your skin in the morning. You don't even need to use a cleanser. You can use a water mist, you can use a washcloth, and just kind of wake yourself up in the morning. I like to apply an antioxidant serum, some form of vitamin C. There's lots of different ones to pick from. So sometimes it's trial and error. And then I like to follow vitamin C with a sunscreen on a daily basis.


So during the day, I like to tell my clients, "Think about protecting your skin." You're going to be out and about. You're going to be exposed to the elements, to the sun. So during the day, you want to focus on protecting your skin. And then at nighttime, that's when you can focus on any type of correction that you may be interested in, if you're dry and you want to correct that, if you have pigmentation and you want to correct that, if you're focusing on anti-aging or acne. Those are the things when you want to use the more active ingredients at nighttime to correct your skin.

Steph Wells (08:21):

Now you sort of already addressed the question I'm about to ask, but I was looking at more from a, you're in the place that you choose to buy your skin care products from. What is the correct order of steps to follow during your skin care regimen? So if you could give the basic name, I guess, of each thing and the order in which people should use them.

Emily Doster, RN (08:43):

Yeah, so in the morning I would go cleanser, vitamin C, antioxidant serum and sunscreen.

Steph Wells (08:53):

And then how about at night?

Emily Doster, RN (08:55):

At nighttime, I would say take off your makeup and your sunscreen, cleanse your face. This is when you could use a toner. Then you would use your treatment serum. That is kind of your corrective product. And then you follow that with a moisturizer.

Mike Kelly (09:12):

Wow. Now you mentioned sunscreen. Do I need to apply a face sunscreen every day?

Emily Doster, RN (09:18):

As a skin care professional, yes, I would highly recommend applying an SPF of 30 every single day, no matter what.

Steph Wells (09:28):

And what about not as a skin care professional? No, I'm just kidding. Nevermind.

Emily Doster, RN (09:31):

[inaudible 00:09:31].

Steph Wells (09:31):

Kidding. Kidding. Kidding. Kidding.

Emily Doster, RN (09:33):

Well, our bodies still do need some exposure to UV, especially to stimulate that vitamin D production. That assists in calcium absorption. And we live in the northeast, and we don't get three hundred days of sunshine a year. So you definitely want to make sure you're checking that you are sufficient with vitamin D because vitamin D has such wonderful benefits for your whole body. So you want to make sure that you are getting some exposure. However, you just want to protect yourself from the bulk of UV exposure.

Steph Wells (10:15):

Gotcha. There's this new concept to double cleanse. Now, TikTok is saying, "Yes, we want to know what you recommend, and do I really need to wash my face twice?"

Emily Doster, RN (10:27):

I'm a huge fan of double cleansing. And I think what people don't understand is that the first cleanse is really just taking everything off. You're taking off your makeup, you're taking off your sunscreen, you're just kind of breaking down everything that's on the surface of your skin. So you want to get all of that off before you actually go in and cleanse your skin. So I'm a huge fan of double cleansing, especially if you are using sunscreen every day or if you're wearing makeup every day. It's a great way to thoroughly cleanse your skin, so your additional products and your active ingredients can penetrate through and really be their most effective.

Mike Kelly (11:12):

Can double cleansing help with aging?

Emily Doster, RN (11:15):

I think it can help with aging, absolutely. It's a little bit more exfoliating, but again, it's preparing your skin to absorb the next step, and you are really kind of sloughing off dead layers and allowing your skin to be ready to accept those active ingredients you're going to put on.

Steph Wells (11:36):

Another trend is skin cycling. So we want to know, what is it and how does it work?

Emily Doster, RN (11:42):

Yes, I love skin cycling. I love that someone finally gave a name to this. We've been recommending this in our office for a long time now. And it is a three-to-four-day routine where the first day at nighttime, you would take off your makeup, sunscreen, cleanse your face, then you would use some kind of alpha hydroxy acid, such as glycolic acid or lactic acid, to exfoliate the skin. And then you would follow that with a moisturizer. That would be day one.


Day two, you would take off your makeup, sunscreen, cleanse your skin, and then you would apply a retinoid followed by a moisturizer. Then the next day or two days, you would take off your makeup, take off your sunscreen, wash your face, and then just apply a moisturizer. So we call those two days barrier recovery days. And then you'd start the whole cycle over again. So just different forms of exfoliation and phasing them out properly, so your skin doesn't become over exfoliated and you don't cause any irritation.

Mike Kelly (13:05):

What's the difference between retinol and tretinoin, and how do I know which one is right for me?

Emily Doster, RN (13:10):

So retinol and tretinoin are both considered retinoids, and they're forms of vitamin A. Retinol is a version that you'll find over-the-counter. Retinoids are used as skin exfoliants. They help with anti-aging. They help with skin turnover. They help improve the vascularity in the skin. Retinol is going to be a much more gentle form of vitamin A. It has to be converted to an active form in your body. So it's safe, it's gentle. Typically, I'll recommend my clients starting with a retinol over-the-counter.


Tretinoin is a prescription. And tretinoin is an all-trans-retinoic acid, so that means it's in its active form as soon as you put it on your face. And this can be much, much, much stronger than a retinol. So it has to be prescribed by a physician or a PA or an MT. And it's not really a starting point, it's kind of something that you may graduate into. Stronger is not always better, especially when you are adding multiple active ingredients. So starting with something more gentle and then graduating into something a little bit stronger is typically the best way to go.

Steph Wells (14:43):

How can your skin benefit from taking collagen?

Emily Doster, RN (14:48):

Your skin can benefit from collagen because it does contain proteins and peptides. So when you are taking collagen, it's not going to directly stimulate collagen in your skin. It's more of a supplement. And so it can contribute to the hydration of your skin. It can contribute to protein production in the skin. But it also has benefits for your joints, your GI tract, all of these systems in our body that use these proteins and these peptides to function and stay healthy. So not just for the skin, but I would say it's more of a skin supplement.

Mike Kelly (15:37):

At what age should I start taking collagen?

Emily Doster, RN (15:40):

Around the age of 30, you start to lose collagen. So doing things like collagen induction treatments and taking supplemental collagen is... That's probably a good age to start.

Steph Wells (15:53):

You said 30. OK, sorry.

Mike Kelly (15:54):

So I got a couple years yet. Why is everyone laughing?

Emily Doster, RN (15:59):

Me too.

Steph Wells (16:01):

Ah, goodness gracious. OK. Should I take liquid collagen or powder?

Emily Doster, RN (16:05):

Liquid supplements tend to be more readily available that you can absorb them quicker, but oftentimes powders will dissolve in liquid just as easily. So I would say whatever fits your lifestyle. If you want to bring powder with you to work or the gym, and you want to put it in a drink there, great. If liquid fits your lifestyle better... Whatever you can work into your routine and that works best for you.

Steph Wells (16:33):

Off the record, what tastes better?

Emily Doster, RN (16:35):

Actually, they really don't have much of a taste at all. A lot of the powders you can mix into any drink, and you would never even know it was there. Some of them have kind of like a gelatin or jello taste to them because that's really what it is.

Mike Kelly (16:51):

Jello shots of collagen. Let's go.

Emily Doster, RN (16:58):

[inaudible 00:16:57]. A lot of bone broth has a lot of collagen in it and a lot of protein in it, but essentially what it is is connective tissue from mostly cows that they use and make [inaudible 00:17:09]. Yeah.

Mike Kelly (17:11):

Sometimes too much information just kills the whole idea.

Steph Wells (17:15):

Shots, shots, shots, shots.

Mike Kelly (17:17):

Let's just stop at the liquid or powder. I don't need to know it's connective tissue from a cow.

Emily Doster, RN (17:21):

Yeah. Well, that's what I mean. You have to think, people used to eat that in their diets, and we really don't eat that a lot in our diets anymore. Everything's very trimmed and lean, and we don't want those chewy bites in our food. But it is really a supplemental nutrient. It's an excellent source of protein. It's not a complete protein, but excellent source of protein. You can throw a scoop in your coffee in the morning, and just a great way to get a little bit more protein and nutrients in your body.

Mike Kelly (17:56):

You wrap that baby in bacon and I'm in. Listen, are collagen peptides better than regular collagen?

Emily Doster, RN (18:03):

Well, collagen is a whole protein. So collagen can be a really large molecule, and your body's going to have to break it down to process it. So collagen peptides is that collagen protein broken down into the building blocks that make it, so it's more readily available. If you take just a whole collagen pill, your body is going to have to break that down into the pieces, and then your body uses those pieces in its natural biochemical processes to make proteins in your skin. So I'll say collagen peptides are going to be more beneficial because they're already broken down for your body to absorb.

Steph Wells (18:43):

And you may have already answered this, but just again, how often should you take collagen peptides and in what form?

Emily Doster, RN (18:50):

So I would say you could take collagen peptides every single day. It's a great supplement, a great protein supplement. I like powdered forms of collagen because they're really easy to mix in things that you're already drinking, like coffee and tea, or if you're doing soup, or you can throw a scoop in your water bottle for the day. It's a really great protein supplement that you can incorporate every day.

Mike Kelly (19:15):

What is microneedling, and how do you know if you need it?

Emily Doster, RN (19:22):

Microneedling is a treatment where we use a device that has a bunch of needles on it, and we gently kind of massage that over the skin to create a controlled trauma to the skin. And what this does is this stimulates your body to produce its own natural collagen through the healing response. And I would say a lot of my clients who go under microneedling are trying to revive texture in the skin, whether it's larger pores, whether it's scarring, whether it's fine lines. That's typically who we'll recommend microneedling for.

Steph Wells (20:05):

Should your skin care change by the season?

Emily Doster, RN (20:13):

Yeah, I really like changing up skin care for the season. And in the Valley, we really do have all four seasons, so it's important to just adjust a little bit. In the summer, maybe you need a stronger sunscreen, a lighter moisturizer. In the winter, maybe you need a creamier cleanser and a more heavy-duty moisturizer. So switching up skin care season to season is really important. And typically products will last about three to four months if you use them consistently, so it's also a great kind of use of your products. Once you use up one, then the season most likely has changed, and you can get something that's more appropriate.

Mike Kelly (21:05):

What is your skin's barrier and what can damage it?

Emily Doster, RN (21:08):

So your skin's barrier is the stratum corneum. It's composed of cholesterol and fatty acids and ceramides, and its job is really to protect you from the outside environment.

Steph Wells (21:20):

So how can you nourish your skin's barrier?

Emily Doster, RN (21:22):

You can nourish your skin barrier by using gentle non-foaming cleansers, gentle moisturizers, and giving your skin kind of those barrier recovery days where you're not using any active or harsh ingredients on it.

Mike Kelly (21:39):

Now I know this time of the year, it can be really tough on your skin. Why does our skin get so dry in the winter?

Emily Doster, RN (21:45):

Skin gets so dry in the winter because there's lower humidity, both indoors and outdoors. A lot of us have forced air heat, both in our homes and our cars. Sometimes we'll hang out in a really hot shower for a couple of extra minutes, maybe morning and night. So hot water can contribute to that as well. Cold air. So just a combination of factors.

Steph Wells (22:13):

And what tips do you have for keeping your skin moisturized during the winter?

Emily Doster, RN (22:18):

I would say protect it as much as possible. So hands, wear gloves when you're outside. After you get out of the shower, make sure you put a moisturizer on. Protect your feet and your heels by using an Aquaphor or a Vaseline on them. It's really important to stay hydrated as well. Skin a lot of times is an inside out story. So staying hydrated, protecting yourself when you're outside, and then replenishing your skin if you are taking a really long hot shower or you start getting dry and itchy, just using an extra moisturizer.

Mike Kelly (23:01):

Emily, let's talk about skin care in the kitchen. Can I get glowing skin with ingredients found in my pantry or fridge?

Emily Doster, RN (23:11):

I'm not a huge fan of DIY skin care. I look at it more as a food source for potential bacteria on the skin, so I'm not a huge fan of grabbing ingredients from my kitchen and using them on my skin. Also, sometimes that can lead to irritation, especially if you're using things like sugar scrubs or lemon juice or baking soda. A lot of these things can be really strong, really irritating. So I would leave your kitchen items in your kitchen.

Steph Wells (23:52):

I know what I want the answer to be to this next question. But for the chocolate lovers out there, are cocoa and chocolate facials good for you.

Emily Doster, RN (24:02):

Yeah, cocoa and chocolate have some of the highest amount of antioxidants and polyphenols for your skin. So they are great at brightening the skin. It can be a great hydrator for the skin. And if you love it, there's definitely something to be said about just enjoying the aroma of it. It can be very satisfying and a great little self-care treatment.

Steph Wells (24:32):

And you can eat the leftovers.

Mike Kelly (24:33):

I was going to say, let's just clarify this. We're talking about putting it on the skin, Steph, not eating your face. On your face, not-

Steph Wells (24:40):

Well, if it's a treatment that I'm going for, I'm eating as well as treating. Oh, there you go.

Mike Kelly (24:48):

What types of facial are offered at LVHN?

Emily Doster, RN (24:52):

We really customize our treatments. We have anything from sensitive, compromised skin, all the way up to a true medium-depth chemical peel. So it's really a huge range. Treatment to treatment varies from person to person, so we try to really customize what we're doing that day with you.

Steph Wells (25:17):

And what other kinds of skin rejuvenation treatments are available.

Emily Doster, RN (25:21):

We cover facials. You can do chemical peels. And chemical peels have a varying depth, from extremely light to very deep. You can do different laser treatments that will rejuvenate collagen, while resurface the skin can target pigment. And then there's things like collagen induction, like microneedling, and procedures like that.

Mike Kelly (25:48):

When is the best time of year to do an in-office procedure?

Emily Doster, RN (25:52):

I usually tell people that the best time of year to do in-office procedures is from about October to April, unless you have a big tropical vacation coming up and you're going to be in Mexico or Hawaii. These typically are the months that have lower sunshine, and these are the months that we can do more of our corrective treatments. Then I tell my clients, May through September, just up your sunscreen, protect yourself from the sun, enjoy it while it's here. And then October through April, we can kind of go in and correct the skin.

Steph Wells (26:32):

Who should consider microdermabrasion?

Emily Doster, RN (26:36):

So microdermabrasion can sound harsh, but it's really gentle. The only people I would say shouldn't consider it is if you are sensitive, if you are actively breaking out with acne. Everybody else can really benefit from it. It's a gentle exfoliating treatment that has a light suction to it, so it helps increase circulation while it's just sweeping away a layer of dead skin.

Mike Kelly (27:05):

What is a chemical peel and what does it treat?

Emily Doster, RN (27:08):

Chemical peels are a broad term for any type of acid that is applied to the skin. It can treat hydration. It can treat fine lines and deeper wrinkles. It can treat pigmentation. It can treat acne. So depending on the acid that we're using, it's going to have indications for different skin conditions.

Steph Wells (27:35):

This kind of scares me. Should you dermaplane your face and is it safe to do at home?

Emily Doster, RN (27:42):

Yeah, this is kind of a tricky one, because over the past several years, I've definitely seen more at-home dermaplaning systems out there. And I think there are some really great DIYers out there and that can be trusted to do an excellent job at home. However, you just really want to be careful because you can still cut yourself, and you can over-exfoliate, you can overdo it. It might not be appropriate for your skin type. So I would say, if you're considering it, maybe talk to a professional first. Maybe have it done professionally first. And then they can kind of guide you and give you little tips and tricks to make sure that, number one, it is appropriate for you. Number two, that you're ensuring that you're doing it in a safe way, that you can get a good effective result at home without hurting yourself.

Mike Kelly (28:47):

When should you see an esthetician?

Emily Doster, RN (28:47):

I would say if you're really overwhelmed with the skin care world, you want a routine but you don't know where to start, you don't know what products to use, you don't know what treatments are right for you, go in, get a consult, talk about your concerns. A lot of times I have my clients bring their products in with them, so we can go over what is good, what would benefit any holes that they need, different products to fill in. So anytime you're unsure, you're confused, you're overwhelmed, or you just need some guidance, that's a great time to visit with an esthetician.

Steph Wells (29:27):

What are the top skin care products you shouldn't live without?

Emily Doster, RN (29:31):

My top three would be sunscreen, vitamin C and retinol.

Steph Wells (29:38):

All right.

Mike Kelly (29:38):

And do you have any skin care goals for the new year?

Emily Doster, RN (29:41):

I think my skin care goal is always just to keep learning and educating people about their skin care. It shouldn't be anything that is overwhelming or makes you feel frustrated. It should be a self-care routine. It should be quick, effective and something that you enjoy doing. So that's kind of my continual goal with skin care, not only with myself, but with my clients.

Steph Wells (30:17):

And Mike, do you have any skin care New Year's resolutions?

Mike Kelly (30:20):

Steph, you don't want to mess with the moneymaker. You know what I'm saying? Look at this. It's aglow. It's aglow.

Steph Wells (30:21):

Sure, whatever.

Mike Kelly (30:27):

You must have many.

Steph Wells (30:27):

I have more than a splash of water, that's for sure. This has certainly guilted me into doing a little bit more than I currently do. Emily, thank you so much for joining us today.

Emily Doster, RN (30:38):

Thank you.

Mike Kelly (30:39):

To learn more about skin care and treatments available at LVHN, visit And remember-

Steph Wells (30:48):

Be smart, be safe, and be The Healthiest You.

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