Ask Dr. Graf - Your Inner and Outer Beauty Expert

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FAQs – Frequently Asked Skincare Questions

Find the answers for the most frequently asked skincare questions straight from Dr. Graf!

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We’re thrilled that so many of you caught Dr. Graf on The Doctor Oz show last week. We’re even happier that you are interested in incorporating Alphahydroxy Acids, or AHAs, into your skincare routine. We’re putting together a comprehensive list of specific products containing different types of AHA’s for each skin care type for everyone […]
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Why do some people break out with blemishes or rashes after using products containing glycolic acid? Breakouts from products containing glycolic acid and related products are generally caused by irritation which can lead to breaking out. Try using a more gentle peel that’s buffered to lessen the irritancy while getting the exfoliating benefits of glycolic […]
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If I am concerned about breaking out, should I use only products which are labeled as “oil-free” and “non-comedogenic?” There are many terms used in marketing skin care products. The most commonly used are “oil-free” and “non-comedogenic.” In fact, these terms are not regulatory and no federally regulated test dictates their use. The terms “oil-free” […]
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Can we use any preservatives labeled as “natural?” The use of natural preservatives in skin care is one of the most actively researched areas among scientists and cosmetic chemists. Unfortunately, none of the natural preservative systems to date are nearly as effective as parabens.
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What if skin care products don’t contain parabens or preservatives? The consequences of excluding parabens can be far worse. If we do not include parabens in formulations the resulting overgrowth of bacteria, fungi and parasites can be far more dangerous. If any of these pathogens are applied to the skin and we do not have […]
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Aren’t parabens dangerous? Do they cause cancer? In fact, parabens are used in very low concentrations and at these levels are deemed safe by the FDA. They have been used as preservatives for over 40 years in both foods and cosmetic and drug formulations, and have an excellent safety profile. There has never been a […]
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What are parabens, and why are they used in skin care products? Every skin care product must undergo very stringent and vigorous testing methods in accordance with standards defined by both international guidelines as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In order to ensure a stable two-year shelf life of a product, […]
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If I use “hypoallergenic” products does that mean I won’t have an allergic reaction? When a product is labeled as hypoallergenic, it means that it has been formulated without any known allergens, such as fragrance and/or coloring agents. But you may have a reaction to other ingredients—even if they are “natural.” According to the U.S. […]
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Is there such a thing as over-exfoliating? How would I know?   Absolutely! Remember that the reason we exfoliate at home is to replace the natural process that our skin’s enzymes are no longer able to perform. If we exfoliate at home to the point of redness and/or irritation, then we have over-exfoliated. While a […]
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Once you are in your teens, chances are you require some form of exfoliation, especially if you are experiencing clogged pores and breakouts. As we get older, there is less moisture within our outer skin layers and our natural exfoliating enzymes are unable to perform their desquamating function because they lack the level of hydration […]