Read more about skin issues and how Phillips Aesthetic Dermatology can help remedy these problem areas.

How to judge the safety of your skin care products

 Those of you who know Dr. Mike and me personally; know that we are very serious about trying to avoid harmful chemicals that are hidden in the food we eat, many beauty products and in our environment.  There is a website that we highly recommend you visit, as our friends and patients. The website is  Once familiar with this site, you can check any lotion, sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc. for its level of toxicity to your body.  It is simple, non-biased (accepts no funding from outside groups) and is full of useful information.  

In the hospital, one of the routes we use to give medication is direct absorption through intact skin.  You may have seen this used with pain medication patches, sea sick patches, or nitroglycerin.  It is amazing how quickly these medications work when placed on intact skin.  It is not a great leap to extend this absorption to any product that comes in contact with your intact skin.   It is very important to be aware of what chemicals are in your products.  Especially your frequently used products like sunscreen, lotion, shampoo, deodorant and toothpaste.

Here is a graph of chemicals to avoid. We highly recommend that you check all of your products on the skin-deep site and see if there are any you may want to replace with a safer, less toxic product.  


Some of our personal favorites are:

Organic food grade coconut oil for full body moisturizer

Dr. Bronners peppermint soap for body wash

Straight (unadulterated) Shea Butter, for facial moisturizer (I use from sophisticated

Soaps and products to avoid

Laser Treat Liver Spots (Solar Lentigo)

Solar lentigines (also known as “freckles” or “sun damage spots”) are usually found on the chest, upper back, and face. What do all of those locations have in common? They are hot spots for excessive sun exposure and sunburn. Over time, the body responds to ultraviolet light by increasing local proliferation of melanocytes (the color cells in your skin). These spots are more common in fair skin individuals, but can be seen in all skin types.  These spots should be all one color with very sharp borders, but can often be difficult to distinguish from an abnormal mole or even melanoma. If your solar lentigo is more than one color, raised in any area, if you notice abnormal borders, or if you have any concern that one of your spots is abnormal, you should schedule an appointment to see your dermatologist.

Liver Spots 2
Liver Spots 1

Brown Spots - Seborrheic Keratosis

These are by far the most common benign lesions that dermatologists see on the skin.  Also referred to as “age spots”, “barnacles” or “wisdom spots” these growths appear as though someone has literally pasted them onto to the skin. They are usually tan, yellow hued, or brown, but can be almost any color in between. Some people will have one, while others (with a genetic tendency) may have hundreds!   These benign growths have no cancerous potential and are not dangerous, but they can be unsightly. Sometimes they can be flat and dark brown and can be difficult to distinguish from an abnormal mole. If you have any question whatsoever about a new dark spot on your skin, you should be examined by a dermatologist.

Sadly, there is no great cream or medication to improve seborrheic keratoses. Your dermatologist can treat them cosmetically with liquid nitrogen; however, this procedure is generally not covered by your insurance.   Freezing does carry the risk of leaving a light mark behind. For more information, see our previous blog post on “Age spots: Barnacles on the ship of life.”

Seborrheic Keratosis