Dr. David Colbert is responsible for some of the most gleaming complexions in Hollywood, namely that of Miss Sienna Miller. In fact, Kate Middleton recently was so impressed with Sienna’s skin that she hightailed it to buy Dr. Colbert’s entire line of ColbertMD skin care products–Stimulate serum, Nutrify & Protect day cream, Heal & Soothe night cream, Intensify facial disks and Nourish eye cream (available on colbertmd.com). I recently caught up with him during an appointment at his clinic, the New York Dermatolgy Group to help address our recent unsexy bout of adult acne. A couple prescriptions and an epic Triad Medical Facial later (seriously, look into it. The New York Dermatology Group offers these addictive facial treatments which combines microdermabrasian, laser toning and chemical peeling yielding softer, smoother, GLOWIER skin immediately). After he whipped my skin into shape, he shared some of his best tips. Here they are.
Beauty Blogging Junkie: What are your top 3 skin care tips in general?
Dr. David Colbert:
1. Use my ColbertMD INTENSIFY DISCS two or three times a week with Stimulate Serum and overlay it with HEAL and SOOTHE night cream. This is a fave beauty secret of screen sirens Naomi Watts and Rachel Weisz.
2. Never ever ever start your day without sunblock (I recommend Physicians UV Defense).
3. Drink a glass of water right when you awaken. This awakens your sponge-like skin and instantly provides firming and an exit route for toxins.
4. Use retinA along with Olio Lusso Jasmine oil three times a week.This is a nighttime collagen builder and the olio lusso will calm the reddening effects of retinA.
BBJ: What are some of your favorite over-the-counter products for acne?
DC: I recommend the Heat Treat by Zeno for acne as well as a gentle foaming cleanser like Biomedic.
I also like the Hot Spot by Zeno for occasional deeper pimples.
BBJ: What are some of your favorite over-the-counter products to combat aging?
DC: For a home device, try the Line Rewind which uses a home LED light with heat and vibration to stimulate collagen. Then layer on Nutrify and Protect cream to bathe the outer layers of skin in antioxidants and goji berry extract to fight aging. If you’re over 50, try a light argan or jasmine oil to add moisture and a glistening effect.
BBJ: How many times a day should you cleanse your skin?
DC: Cleansing of the skin can go from zero to two or three times a day. It depends on where you live and what you do during the day and also how oily your skin is. In the cold dry winter months, once a day is enough.
If it’s hot out and you’re participating in sports you may need to up it to a few times a day. Listen to what your skin tells you–if you’re feeling parched and itchy, skip the cleansing. Oily and lots of perspiration call for 2-3 times a day. You want skin to feel like a perfectly fitting cashmere sweater. You’re wearing it and it feels good. Your skin is a living fabric. DON’T over-wash it.
BBJ: What’s your stance on physical vs. chemical scrubs?
DC: I like a combo for “scrubs”. Because our skin is a soft “living fabric” we should only be scrubbing our feet and floors. Never scrub the face! For the face and neck we should use a combo I developed called INTENSIFY DISCS which combines a gentle microdermabrasion with a milk acid and glucosamine to gently exfoliate (not scrub–scrubbing causes thickening and pigment changes so no scrubbing).
BBJ: What about toners? Are there any that you recommend?
DC: Toners are great for some skin types. The market is flooded with them. Make sure you choose one with no harsh alcohols. Its good if the toner contains a little glycerin and rosewater to gently tone. Harsh toners will just make u red and flush. A big no no for sensitive skin and rosacea.
BBJ: What ingredients should people with acne-prone skin be looking for? Avoiding?
DC: If you have acne-prone skin look for salacylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, lactic and glycolic acid and sulfur compounds. These will help clear your pores and kill off acne-causing bacteria as well as give you a nice glow.
Avoid heavy oils and highly fragranced topicals.
BBJ: Any tips specifically for African American skin?
1. Don’t pick at pimples because it leaves a dark spot behind that lasts for months.
2. If the skin becomes ashy try a glycolic acid serum or my Intensify Discs, featured in OPRAH May beauty issue)
3. Don’t be afraid to use a few drops of light jasmine oil. (Olio Lusso available at
4. Reduce oily hair care products to minimize hairline acne.
5. Wear sunblock! Physicians UV defense!
BBJ: What’s the best course of action for getting rid of acne scars?
DC: Fraxel is a great laser to help reduce acne scars. Also helpful are twice monthly fruit acid peels. RetinA daily helps as well. Intensify Discs are great for microdermabrasion effect and will also stimulate more collagen. Restylane or Juvederm injections will fill in the depressed acne scars as well. Laser toning via the Triad Medical Facial is also helpful for acne and its what Victoria Secret Angels Adriana Lima, Candace Swanepol and Erin Heatherton count on for flawless skin. The Triad is used on movie sets as well to keep skin flawless.
BBJ: What products do you recommend for night?
DC: Your night regimen should address your particular concerns. I developed a system that focuses on key elements of beauty and anti-aging.
1.Even skin tone and skin luminosity achieved with Intensify Discs and Stimulate Serum.
2. Dewy skin is what young women often have. It means skin with a high water, elastin and hyaluronic acid content. Examples are Sienna Miller or Michelle Williams. Light reflects off their skin evenly and richly. Use my Heal & Soothe night cream to deliver that dewy look by morning. You won’t walk up dry or crinkly.
3. RetinA 3 times per week w a drop of Olio Lusso jasmine oil(colbertmd.com) and Lip Baume to protect them from RetinA spread. RetinA helps build collagen while you sleep. Add a dab of Heal & Soothe on top and you a have a beauty trifecta.
4. Never scrub at night. Night is for sleep. A time to rest , Heal and Soothe the skin after a busy day.
BBJ: Any nutritional advice for achieving great skin?
DC: My book, The High School Reunion Diet(Simon and Schuster) which is currently featured on Oprah.com in a wonderful weight loss blog by Adam Glassman is all about getting back to basics. My main message to the “consumer” is to toss out ALL PROCESSED FOODS and do away with the zillions of stealth or hidden sugars. Then watch your waistline shrink and your body firm up while your skin takes on a radiant glow. Hard to believe how easy it is-but u have to follow the directions. No high fructose corn syrup means no processed foods. If you can eliminate that you will surprise your skin and your waistline. Add Kale, olive oil, white fish, almonds, Greek yogurt and blueberries to your diet as skin saver-life-saver miracle foods. I didn’t create this skin beauty diet–nature did. I’m simply sharing common sense eating that we didn’t learn in high school-but now u can go to your 25th or 30th reunion and look your best by completing the “diet GED” by committing yourself to THE HIGH SCHOOL REUNION DIET for three months.
Love the tip about applying Retin-A in tandem with Olio Lusso. Brilliant!