Time is not your face’s friend. Sleep, TLC, make up; all of these things take time that many people don’t have. But when it comes to celebrating a special occasion, we do our best to look our best. So if it’s about time, then it’s About Face, the new Center City skin care clinic created by Naomi Fenlin. With clients ranging in age from 11 to over 60, Fenlin specializes in fighting acne and aging via non-surgical methods. As a mother of five and stepmother of five more, Fenlin has seen almost every skin problem there is. She’s also well versed in preparing for Jewish life cycle events; Fenlin was Bat Mitzvahed, Confirmed and married at the Germantown Jewish Centre.
Three things we don’t know about acne
1. The sun makes acne worse. “Sun exposure often causes a slight inflammation in the skin that exacerbates acne,” Fenlin explains. “In other words, sun can turn a little acne into a big problem. Wear sunscreen every day, especially if you have acne.”
2. Junk food doesn’t cause acne; hormones do. “Whether it is a teenager’s hormones or those of a woman who is pregnant, postpartum, premenstrual or menopausal, it’s the change in hormones that inflame the skin and cause acne,” Fenlin says. “At the same time, those hormones create cravings for sugar and salt, so that’s why people link them to acne.”
3. Faces need washing twice daily. “Most people only shower at night or in the morning, but the face needs to be cleansed at both times,” Fenlin says. “At night, wash off the day’s sweat, dirt, etc., and leave the face with a clean slate so it can do its self-repair. In the morning, wash off the dead skin cells that have been shed during that self-repair. If you don’t do both, oils can accumulate and pores can get clogged.”
The biggest bridal skin care mistake
“Not planning in advance can create real problems for the bride and bridal party,” Fenlin says. “If you haven’t had Botox or a filler before, don’t get it at the last minute. You might not like how you look. Do a trial run at least six months before the wedding. Also, many people want to improve the texture of their skin before special events. Digital cameras show every flaw, plus skin resurfacing techniques let make up lay better on the skin. But sometimes, a series of treatments — like peels and lasers — are needed, so they need to be scheduled. Then the skin needs time to heal. Plan at least one year in advance, if at all possible.”
Options for MOBs, MOGs and Mitzvah Moms
Surgery is never the only choice. “No one is too old to benefit from non-surgical treatments,” Fenlin says. “Through Botox, fillers, lasers and peels, we can do a lot to tighten the skin, brighten it and smooth wrinkles. Mothers of the bride — even grandmothers of the bride — should consider non-surgical methods. I’ll give you a big reason to do that: the recovery is much easier.”
Did a pimple sprout the day before the Big Day? “Beware of dermatologists who say that a steroid injection can eliminate the blemish,” Fenlin advises. “That works, but it also leaves a permanent mark on the skin. And make sure that you wash your face after the special event. Not only is there make up and sweat, but people have been kissing your cheeks all day and depositing germs and other things on your skin. Wash that off so you don’t get post-event blemishes.”
This article originally appeared in "Simchas," a Jewish Exponent special section.