From ‘Fixing Dark Circles’ to ‘Building A Stronger Skin Care Routine’ – A Celeb Dermatologist Answers All!

Category - Hair & Makeup, health, skin care 6 Mins Read Time

Contrary to popular belief, flawless skin is not simply a result of good genes—your everyday habits have a huge impact on the quality of your skin. And let’s face it, a lot of our skin problems and issues are the result of our scant attention or complete negligence towards skin’s health. Is makeup an antidote to hide those skin concerns and breakouts? Well, no! The makeup can be a short term measure to conceal many skin problems, but it is not a magical bullet to make them go away.

Tara Sutaria

To treat their skin related issues from within, one needs an effective skincare regimen they can religiously follow ( just like how you tracked Vicky Kaushal and Katrina Kaif’s wedding on a real-time basis.) TWB recently conducted an IG live session with celebrity dermatologist and cosmetologist Malavika Kohli ( MD, DVD, DNB Dermatology & a Consultant Dermatologist at Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai) to answer all those pressing skin queries. Here are the answers to the questions from the session in a summarized form.

The Right Time to Begin Skin Careclear skin

As per Dr Malavika, the skin starts aging from the day one is born because of the constant wear and tear. So a good time, according to her, is six months after a girl gets her period. Dr Kohli suggests that since skin begins to change due to hormonal influences, 25 years, is a good milestone to start *serious skincare* so as to reap some preventative benefits.

Is changing skincare routine right before the wedding normal?


Dr Kohli says that because every bride wants to look their best on their D-day or wants to look natural or have a soft, dewy glow or a glassy sheen, brides in general, tend to do that.  She however advises them to start two to three months in advance ( if not four to six) should they want to highlight some of the features or fix skin concerns such as acne or pigmentation.

Another Pro Tip: Upgrade one or two products to up your game.

Sounds good! But doc, can you enlighten me about these skin care ingredients:



Dr Malavika shares these points of note:

  • There are two types of collagen – one is application based and the other is oral/edible collagen.
  • Retinol collagen is good as it stimulates your own collagen (Psst: what works in the long term is stimulating your own collagen.)
  • We always want to have our collagen bank a little higher. So for that, you can use hyaluronic acid. In the long run, it is Retinol that is the gold standard.
  • Collagen based products are best suited for those with a slightly dry skin, having skin with some lines or those who are above 25.
    (Alert: Sensitive or normal skin can sometimes react to these products. So the type & percentage of retinol you use are *very important*)



Dr Malavika shares these points of note:

  • Niacinamide is a molecule that is used anywhere in between 2-3%. It has a soothing effect and helps in decongesting the skin.
  • Niacinamide  helps to stimulate collagen and close pores. It also helps in acne and rosacea.
  • Niacinamide can be used for sensitive skin – and is often combined with Zinc as Zinc builds the barrier of skin making it more resistant.

How to get rid to Dark Circles?

dark circle

On getting rid of dark circles, Dr Kohli shares these points of note:

  • There are four reasons for dark circles: genuine pigmentation, an extended screen time, puffiness due to water retention and fatigue and hollow eyes.
  • If you have pigmentation under the eyes, you might need brighteners.  If it is due to congestion, Vitamin K containing serums and gels are good.
  • But to be honest, dark circles are very difficult to get rid of – you can either reduce them or make them appear fresher.
  • Apply tiny drops of hyaluronic acid underneath the dark circles to improve the skin quality and texture.

How do I make pigmentation or acne scars go away?


Dr Kohli’s pointers  to deal with acne scar:

  • For acne scars, a combination of retinol, glycolic acid, Niacinamide works.
  • You must use a gel-based sunscreen. Having acne doesn’t mean you don’t use sunscreen.
  • Peels may help.
  • You have to control acne. Micro-needling helps. Micro-needling is done with a device that has needles which are then put through the skin to lift up the collagen – and to prevent the attack of acne.
  • A lot of acne is inflammatory. So you need to have a good diet and lifestyle.

Dr Kohli’s pointers  to deal with pigmentation:


  • You get pigmentation from tanning, rubbing, and friction. The way to treat pigmentation is to use a good cleanser (a cleanser that has a bit of glycolic + polyhydroxy acid)
  • Use a nice scrub twice a week. Use lightening and brightening agents at night such as Vit C cream, curcumin, etc. And, sun-protect. Wear visors and glares.
  • Be regular with products. Removing makeup is important. Double cleansing helps. Maintain a skincare routine; your pillars of skincare are a cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen, and Vitamin C serum.

How should I take care of oily, dry & sensitive skin?

Dr Kohli’s pointers  for taking care of oily skin:


  • Don’t over-dry it. Cleanse your face twice a day with an effective cleanser that has salicylic acid.
  • Use a little bit of Niacinamide gel or serum in the morning (3 % to 10% if you have breakouts.)
  • Use AHA and Retinol thrice a week to keep acne under control.

Dr Kohli’s pointers  for taking care of dry skin:


  • Some skins have a poor barrier and because of that, they aren’t able to hold moisture. Here a bit of layering helps.
  • Use a simple perfume/paraben-free good moisturizer to moisturize your skin properly.
  • Collagen creams or serum also help in some instances here.

Dr Kohli’s pointers  for taking care of sensitive skin:

Rose water

  • Apply Vitamin C serum during the day. Follow it up with sunscreen.
  • Find the right cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen – in that order.
  • Use products that are perfume, sulfate, and paraben-free.
  • Use a sunscreen that has zinc and titanium dioxide in it as these are used in baby products too.
  • Spritz rose water and glycerin to freshen up your skin in an instant.

How should we layer products?


On layering products for the skin care, Dr Kohli suggests to space out the products so that they don’t interfere with each other. She says, “Use a dedicated product that particular day of the week. The reason you can buy all the products from a brand’s particular range is for the fact these products can balance each other out.”

Pro Tip: Random picked-up products can confuse your skin.

Doctor, what are the causes of lip pigmentation?

Dr Kohli’s response: Lip pigmentation could be genetic or due to lip-smacking (i.e. licking of lips) The saliva can make lips darker. Sun can be also the culprit. Lead-containing matte lipsticks can be one of the reasons.

licking lips

Micellar water can hydrate the lips and remove the residues of lip color from them.  Also, use a good balm with SPF with shea butter as it moisturizes the lips. You can also correct your dark lips by checking your D3 and iron levels. Some people with thyroid also have darker lips.

Lastly, help me to get rid of skin redness, please!

Source: Pinterest

Dr Kohli’s response: Skin redness means active blood vessels in the skin. They could also be due to long hot showers. To make the redness go away, follow these points:

  • Reduce consuming chilies and spicy food.
  • Don’t rub ice on the skin.
  • Apply a cold sheet mask twice or thrice a week.
  • Cleanse your face with micellar water before applying a sheet mask
  • Avoid too much black coffee and hot tea.

We hope these responses were useful to broaden your knowledge base about skin health. With that we wish you a happy, clear glowing skin. Keep reading TWB for more articles like these as it enables us to do even better.

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