Clear radiant skin is universally, the number one desired feature no matter what culture, gender, or race.  It biologically is one of the ques of good health and fertility and why subconsciously we utilize it in processing attraction to others. The quest for beautiful skin generates a multibillion-dollar industry.  In the United States alone, the cosmetics industry’s annual revenues re-estimate at $49.5 billion, and skincare accounts for approximately 36% of that.  What products and services are worthy of your portion of the almost $18 billion dollar pot?  Allow me to suggest some of my trusted products and procedures that I find provide visible results to help get you closer to your vibrant ideal skin.

The pillars of good health are also the foundation of radiant skin.  Excellent nutrition, sleep, exercise, stress management, avoidance of excess UV exposure, refraining from smoking, and alcohol consumption in moderation.  These are all things you can control, cost you nothing, and will maximize your skin health potential.

Prescription Medications

Prior to embarking on cosmetic enhancements, first address any underlying systemic issues which are new or chronic impediments to a healthy foundation.  Systemic medications are sometimes imperative in order to get underlying medical conditions under control.  Don’t fret, just address it and it will be behind you soon.  If acne is an issue, antibiotics may be required, if psoriasis is problematic then biologics may provide relief, if eczema is flaring, steroids may be appropriate, and so forth.  Communicate with your health care provider what your goals are and important upcoming social occasions, such as a wedding or graduation in order to strive to accommodate your timeframe.  Some treatments may need to be combined or provided in tandem in order to meet your timeline and goals.  Please always provide a thorough medical history and a complete list of all medications so they can screen for contraindications.


There are many wonderful products available today that are reasonably priced and provide moderately effective results.  An over-the-counter retinol is not going to be as bio-available or robust in strength as a prescription brand is.  The prescription brand is extremely expensive but provides predictable, fast results; whereas the OTC formulas are more affordable, take longer to work, and never really get you the same level of improvement.  Some reliable and excellent quality OTC products are manufactured by SkinCeuticals and L’oreal, you can trust those will be worth your beauty dollars.  Tazorac, I still find is well tolerated and yields exceptional results; however is extremely expensive, typically $450 for 30 grams.


There comes a time when skin changes, either due to aging or insult, we are required to do more than just use a topical cream.  Enter the realm of procedural intervention such as microneedling, lasers, and peels.

When you decide to have one of these procedures done, please confirm that the provider delivering the service has the proper credentials and appropriate formal training and certification to be providing them to you.  This is different from state to state and is easily available online. It is your health and beauty that you are trusting someone with, so please do your research.  For the procedures themselves, there are some generalizations to consider.  Peels can be a wonderful tool but are less predictable and more difficult to control than devices.  Typically the more invasive the procedure, the greater the potential is for a benefit gained, however more caution needs to be exercised afterward with respect to UV exposure.  If you plan to undergo CO2 resurfacing or a TCA peel, don’t time it during your child’s soccer tournament or tropical vacation when you know you will be outside in the sun for prolonged periods of time.  Fall and Winter are the best seasons for these when the sun is not as strong and you tend to be indoors more. 

Microneedling is relatively superficial and can be done year-round; it is an excellent way to stimulate your collagen production and refine texture.  I prefer to combine Microneedling with PRP whenever possible to enhance and maximize the result. My absolute favorite treatment for skin refinement is the Clear and Brilliant system.  This is a fractionated laser, similar to a toned-down version of Fraxel.  It creates hundreds of thousands of microchannels in the skin, thereby stimulating new growth, reducing pore size, refining texture, and enhancing glow.  I love the practicality of this treatment because you can literally do it on your lunch break and then go back to work or out to dinner that night. The convenience factor of essentially no downtime, coupled with a low entry point cost, (typically $500-$700), and the fact that you can use it on almost every skin type are some of the reasons this has rapidly become a widely popularized “must” in everyone’s skincare repertoire.  I like to follow it with a mix of vitamins, hyaluronic acid, and tox, and red light to really take it to the next level of glow. The results are phenomenal and for maximum improvement, depending upon the level of correction, you can expect to do 3-4 then once every 4-6 months to maintain.

If you do decide to do one of the more invasive procedures, stop using retinoids for two weeks prior, if you have active acne you should take antibiotics, and if you are prone to cold sores, prophylaxis with Acyclovir.

This week’s Instagram giveaway is 12 Clear and Brilliant treatments. A tremendous thanks to Solta medical for supporting women during International Women’s Week. To enter: Must be following  @J_Derme  and  @SoCalMoments, like the @SoCalMoments Instagram post, and comment “refined”. The winner will be announced in the next Beauty Guru IG post.

Author Bio: Heidi Lindner has been an aesthetics expert for over 17 years specializing in all aspects of non-surgical aesthetics and plastic surgery. She is sought out for her techniques that focus on a natural-looking approach to facial balancing, restoration, and beauty optimization. Follow her on Instagram @j_derme