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Dermatologist Says A Skin Cream Overload Could Do More Harm Than Good

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Lisa_Sigell_08062010 Lisa Sigell
Lisa Sigell is a reporter for CBS 2 and KCAL 9 where she has worked...
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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Are you obsessed with face creams and lotions and think more is better? Well maybe not — the products you are using could be causing more harm than good.

Barbara Starler, 62, has an extensive collection of creams and lotions.

She is a wife, mom and a self-proclaimed lover of “potions”.

For 35 years she has layered and lathered. From $15 to $500 dollars, she has got them all — drawers full of products to keep the wrinkles, dark circles and dry skin away.

“My makeup bag is this big and my potion bag is this big, but it keeps me happy,” she said, showing off her collection.

She mixes and matches from her collection, and is happy with the results.

“I probably duplicate many of the things, but I feel more is better sometimes,” she said.

But sometimes more is not better, it’s just more.

“Sometimes that layering can actually irritate the skin and irritation caused inflammation, that means worse wrinkles, worse acne and worse rashes,” said dermatologist Dr. Jessica Wu.

We had Dr. Wu look through Barbara’s products. She discovered lotions that should not be used together, like her exfoliating scrub and Sonic Skin Care brush.

“We know that if you used a scrub together with a skin care brush it can irritate and irritation can break down collagen, leading to more wrinkles,” Dr. Wu said.

She added that most of us need to lighten up, go on a beauty diet, and like any diet that means check the labels.

Avoid mixing anti-aging products like retanoids (retina-a), alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic acid), or products with Vitamin-C, Dr. Wu told us.

“Your skin is going to be red, scaly, itchy and irritated and your make-up will not go on nicely,” she said.

Also to avoid more acne, avoid using zit-zappers together, like products with benzoyl peroxide salyclic acid or prescription acne medication. Dr. Wu said that if you mix these, you are wasting money.

“Some ingredients actually counteract each other, so if you mix them together, not only can they irritate you, but then they stop working,” Dr. Wu said.

Her best advice is to use as directed. This is where more is not better.

“Another mistake that people make is that they pile on too many products all at once, and then people come to see me because they break out in little white cysts all over their face, that then I have to drain,” she said.

As for Barbara, she may have a lot of creams, but she is surgery free and looking great.

Dr. Wu said a simple way to save money and simplify is to use an all-in-one product, moisturizing, anti-aging with sunscreen.

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