Do I Really Need to Wear Sunscreen Everyday?

Written by Nicole Hackett, Master Esthetician

Most people only think about putting on sunscreen when they are on vacation at the beach or out by the pool, but really you should be applying sunscreen Every. Single. Day. Rain or shine. If you want to protect yourself from skin cancer (which is the most common type of cancer), sun damage and overall aging, you need to be wearing SPF daily.

The sun is the number one cause of aging… it causes fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation issues, and uneven tone and texture to the skin. Everyone likes to have a nice tan color to their skin, but in the long run you will regret it. Plus, nowadays there are so many different ways to get a nice glow, including spray tanning, tanning lotions, gels, sprays, etc. It is very easy to tell when someone has spent their life out in the sun with no protection. Their skin tends to have a leathery texture, and they often appear older than they truly are.

Wondering about the winter months? The same rule still applies! There are two kinds of ultraviolet rays that are emitted by the sun, UVB and UVA rays. UVB rays cause sunburns and are obviously more intense in the summer months. However, when you are in areas with snow, sand and water, you are increasing your chance of getting a sunburn because they reflect the rays from the sun. UVA rays cause aging of the skin penetrate deeper into your skin, and they have the same intensity year-round. Whenever you are out in daylight, you are being exposed to UVA rays, and they penetrate even stronger through glass – meaning every time you are in your car, you should be wearing SPF. And even while indoors, florescent lights are emitting rays!

Sunscreen is the number one anti-aging product you can own. We recommend that you use a broad-spectrum SPF that protects from both UVB and UVA rays, SPF 30 or higher, water resistant (especially if you will be outdoors) and reapply every 2 hours if you will be outside for long periods of time. Not only should you be wearing SPF when outside, but you should try to stay in the shade when possible, wear sunglasses with UV protection, and hats to protect your face from the sun.

Dr. Berman’s skincare line has a great tinted sunscreen that we highly recommend. It has SPF 50, UVB and UVA protection, a light coverage tint that blends with almost all skin tones for a healthy touch of color, and can be worn alone or as a makeup primer. Not only does it protect your skin from the sun, it also provides hydration and antioxidant benefits to the skin including green tea polyphenols, vitamins C + E, and CoQ10 which are great ingredients post-procedure for laser facials and chemical peels as it will help to bring down any redness and heal the skin faster. Our clients rave about this sunscreen and how creamy and smooth it goes on to their skin. This sunscreen is by far one of our best sellers!

There is truly no safe way to tan. Every time you tan, you are damaging your skin. As this damage builds, you are speeding up the fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation in your skin and increasing your risk for all types of skin cancer. So, it’s time to ditch all of the tanning oils and tanning beds and time to get on board with SPF. If there is one skin care product we could recommend it would be sunscreen — 100%!

Want to chat more about our options for healthy, glowing skin? Call us at 703-406-2444 to schedule your complimentary, private consultation with one of our Master Estheticians – we’d be happy to help you find the right products for your skin!

How Botox and Fillers are Different for Men vs. Women

While women have historically dominated in use of Botox and Fillers, this has been changing rapidly over the past 5 years, with more and more men now taking advantage of these procedures.

Botox and facial fillers are the most common non-invasive procedures for both men and women. However, how many units I typically use for men is different than how many I use for women. The most common place to place the Botox for both men and women is still the glabellar area (the area between the medial eyebrows — the 11’s). Because men have larger muscles here, I will place 25 units, in this area rather than the 20 units I place for women.

Both men and women will treat the crow’s feet with Botox. While I usually place 10 units per side for women (this is only a general number, sometimes, I will place 5-12.5 units per side), I will often place 12-15 units per side for men.

The forehead is treated very differently for men versus women. Women often want a small amount placed over the lateral third of the eyebrow to try and elevate the lateral third and give them a nice arch. Men will not want this since this tends to produce a more traditionally “feminine” look. Men will typically ask for a more horizontal eyebrow, so I will avoid Botox over the eyebrow or I will put it  in equally medially and laterally above the eyebrow.

The most common place for a man to place fillers is the nasolabial fold. They will generally not request that fillers be placed along their zygomatic arch since this is a feature more commonly desired by women rather than men. In women, this will both soften their nasolabial folds and emphasize their zygomatic arch. Men will place fillers in the pre-jowl area, which help make the jowl area be much less noticeable.

Want to know more about Botox and Fillers? Please call my office at 703-406-2444 to schedule a complimentary, private consultation with me.

Do Men Get Liposuction Too? And How Does it Differ from Treatments for Women?

The quick answer is yes, men definitely get liposuction. SmartLipo is the most common surgical procedure for men in my practice. I have performed a very large number of SmartLipo procedures on men (more than 815 cases as of May 2018), though the areas of the body it is performed on tends to differ from women.

What areas do men accumulate fat and get SmartLipo? The submental area (upper neck), lower abdomen, flanks and often upper abdomen. Almost all men, even if very fit, will have more fullness in their flanks than they want. Even when I was doing Ironman races, it was rare to see men competing alongside me with perfectly flat flanks.

Most men will accumulate fat intra-abdominally, often much more so than women. Frequently, I will see men with very large protruding stomachs who want SmartLipo, but all of their fat is intra-abdominal (visceral) with no external fat. There is no role for liposuction of any kind in these cases. These men can only improve with dieting (I now recommend the a low carb/high protein diet with intermittent fasting, Ketogenic supplements and exercising.

As is the case with all Smartlipo patients, I can reduce fat in the specifically-treated areas, but it is always a partnership – men can significantly improve the final result with better eating habits and increased exercisin,g which should lead to decreased total body fat.

Want to know more about SmartLipo? Please call my office at 703-406-2444 to schedule a complimentary, private consultation with me.

Tanning After SmartLipo: What You Need To Know

I get a lot of my ideas for my blogging from, since people often raise questions that I would not have thought of.

Several people have asked about tanning after SmartLipo. It’s not that simple though – we have to discuss the difference between regular tanning and spray tanning. Spray tanning after about 3 days should not be a problem. The very small incisions are sutured and then covered with a steristrip. It is very unlikely that after 3 days the spray tan would enter the small incisions and cause a problem.

But what about suntanning after SmartLipo? You do need to be careful for a few reasons.

  1. First, it is very common for skin to me numb in the treated areas. This means you can get a sunburn and not feel it.
  2. Also — and this is very important — the circulation to the skin can be somewhat decreased (this will vary from person to person and will depend on how aggressive the SmartLipo was and how superficial it was done). It should not be decreased very much since the small blood vessels are largely spared and definitely the larger vessels are spared. However, there can be some decrease, which theoretically could increase the risk of a sunburn. There are no studies on this, so it is largely opinion only.

I would suggest a good sunblock (good advice for all the time) after a day or two if you plan to be out in the sun. However, I would avoid laying out in the sun to sunbathe for hours, until about 10 days following your SmartLipo procedure. Even then, you should reapply your sunblock frequently and go indoors to check your skin to see how you are doing. I am not as fanatical as many dermatologists about being out in the sun. I think a light tan is great but clearly you don’t want to be baking your skin in the sun and you always want to protect your face if you want to minimize hyperpigmentation. It’s important to not that being tanned will also prevent you from getting our PicoSure facial, but you could get a Hydrafacial if desired.

Want to know more about SmartLipo? Please call my office at 703-406-2444 to schedule a complimentary, private consultation with me.

What I Noticed When I Stopped Taking Ketone Supplements

As I think many of you know, I generally eat very healthy, exercise regularly, and I am not overweight. However, I had heard many positive things about the ketogenic diet and supplements and was curious about what they could do for me.

For 2 weeks, I followed  a ketogenic diet during the day, and took a ketogenic supplement first thing in the morning. I did not follow a ketogenic or even a paleo diet for dinner. On this pretty easy routine, I lost 4 pounds in 2 weeks. The Jewish holiday of Passover arrived and I stopped all of this. I then resumed the diet for a week and lost another pound. I was down to 139 pounds, which is very low for me. Because I had a four-day conference in New York City, I decided to take a break and not follow any specific diet.

The Result of Taking a Break:
Interestingly enough, I noticed over the 4 days at the conference that I was not waking up as alert. When I was on the above-mentioned ketogenic routine, I woke up very alert and almost immediately. I started to feel aches and pains in the morning, which were almost completely non-existent when I was taking the supplements. I was also naturally eating more. By contrast, the ketogenic supplements suppressed my appetite naturally, so I ate less without consciously trying to do so.

For me, this little experiment confirmed the following benefits of the Pruvit ketogenic supplements:

  1. More energy and waking up very alert, as opposed to the typical tired, groggy feeling for 30 minutes or more.
  2. Much less achiness in the early morning.
  3. Fat loss of 2 pounds/week. My wife even says that I have greater muscle definition.

If you are looking for a way to decrease body fat, I highly recommend trying ketone supplements. They are available for purchase online or stop buy our office to purchase a 10-day supply.

I believe that most people who try it and follow my diet plan will notice a significant difference in just 10 days.


Want to discuss available options for decreasing body fat? Call us at 703-406-2444 to schedule your complimentary, private consultation with me – I’d be happy to help you find the right solution for you!

Lotions Vs. Creams - Which is Better for Your Skin - Berman Cosmetic Surgery Blog

Lotions Vs. Creams – Which is Better for Your Skin?

Written by Nicole Hackett, Master Esthetician


There are a plethora of moisturizers on the market, but how do you know which one is best for your skin? Well, we have the answer!

The difference between lotions and creams is the way they are made. Lotions tend to be water-based and creams are more oil-rich, which makes them thicker.

Lotions absorb quickly, are light on the skin and hydrate without feeling heavy. Lotions are great for daily use and for those who have normal to oily skin. In the summer, if you’re feeling especially oily or if you live in a humid area, lotions would be best for your skin because they are water-based and won’t clog your pores.

Creams, on the other hand, are heavier and best for those who have dry skin. In addition, if you are getting chemical peels or laser treatments done, you should be using a cream post-treatment to protect the barrier of the skin and help lock in moisture. In the winter months, our skin tends to become drier, so adding in a nightly cream can definitely help.

In short, people that have dry skin would benefit from a cream and people with normal or oily skin should opt for a lotion. However, you should always  listen to what your skin is telling you. If you are feeling extra dry, that’s your body telling you it needs more moisture and vice versa.

We have everything from Dr.Berman’s Ultra Lite Cream to Obagi’s Moisture Rich-Cream. Call us at 703-406-2444 to schedule your complimentary, private consultation with one of our Master Estheticians – we’d be happy to help you find the right products for your skin!

What Kind of Results Can One Expect from SmartLipo?

I often spend time answering answering questions on RealSelf from users considering plastic surgery, or recent surgery patients sharing their results on the website. I do this for several reasons. Obviously, it’s a great way to connect with potential patients. It has also helped me to stay connected to what people’s biggest concerns are, the results they’re seeking and what they are wanting from their experience.

I recently came across a post from a woman who felt that her surgeon was “cold” when she discussed not feeling she had experienced much of a change after her SmartLipo treatment, and I feel compelled to share my response here for those considering SmartLipo:

“It is important to understand that almost certainly your doctor is not trying to be cold. He is just not sure what to say. On your front view, it does appear that you have improved. The side view seems to show less change. You note that two liters came out – which is a lot. I do feel that many patients are very focused on how much comes out, but there are other factors to consider, such as how much is left behind and how many pulses were given to an area, since this will melt fat that may not get sucked out immediately. Some doctors put in a lot of fluid, which means that they will remove far more fluid but that does not mean you will get a better result.

All doctors want to do a good job. He did remove fat but he cannot control how much that will impact your looks and appearance. You could ask him to do some of those areas again, but you should expect to pay and not expect it to be free. Many plastic surgeons, myself included, would give you a discount. There is significant cost to the surgeon each time we perform SmartLipo. The fibers are not reusable, so a new one has to be used for each case and they are expensive.

He, no doubt, does feel bad and wishes you had a more dramatic change. He just does not know the right words.

All of us who perform a lot of Smartlipo treatments have had this experience. I warn all of my patients that I will be taking out fat, but it is impossible to predict how much improvement you will get. The best analogy I use is: you can lose 4 lbs and still feel fat and feel your clothes are still tight. You can then lose 0.5-1.0 lb more and all of a sudden, your clothes fit better. It is not that the first 4 lbs did not do anything, but it did not reach that “tipping point” (to borrow a phrase from Malcolm Gladwell) to make your fat loss visible. Any surgeon who says all of his patients are thrilled with his results is simply not being honest or does very, very few cases.

We try our best for every patient, but some patients will always get better results than others.”


Thinking about cosmetic surgery? Please do not hesitate to contact my office at 703-406-2444 to schedule a private, complimentary consultation with me.


How Often Do I Need to Change My Breast Implants - Berman Blog

How Often Do I Need to Change My Breast Implants?

This is a very common question that I receive in my consults and that I often answer on Real Self. As we all know, anyone can write an article on the internet and oftentimes, people assume that the author knows what they are talking about about and the advice is accepted. A very poorly educated person wrote an article that I keep hearing about which states, “You should change your implants every 10 years.” I categorically think this is ill-conceived. I have seen plenty of my own patients, as well as other plastic surgeon’s patients with breast implants, that are more than 10 years old and they both look and feel excellent! Why would I want to suggest that they change them?

There are only 3 reasons why I feel implants should be changed:

  1. There is an obvious and significant leak.
    If you have saline implants, this means that your implant has deflated. How will you know that? Because you will go back to looking like you did before you had your breast implants. Usually this leak happens overnight and most times, has nothing to do with trauma or any causative factor. There will be an obvious difference from side and side. There will also be an obvious side difference from what it looked like a few days ago. With silicone implants, the decision is much less clear. With all of the newer silicone implants, the silicone is cohesive and tends to hold its shape. It is much less clear how to handle a small tear in the shell, since the material is far less likely to leak out.
  2. They have gotten hard to the point of being uncomfortable and not looking good anymore.
    The implants can be changed and the scar tissue removed (capsulectomy). There is a risk that the capsule (firm scarring) can return, despite the surgeon’s best efforts. This risk increases with the passage of time. However, I have seen many breast implants that are older than 15 years that look and feel excellent and occasionally will see this to be true for even older implants.
  3. You want to go either larger or smaller.
    It is important to remember that with time, things tend to go south and skin loses its elasticity. It is not uncommon that with time, your breasts will gradually sag. This does not necessitate changing your implants. Rather, you can get a breast lift (there are different types of lifts) to put the breast back up and centered on your implants.

If you’d like further information specific to your situation, please call my office at 703-406-2444 to schedule a complimentary, private consultation with me.

Tanning After SmartLipo: What You Need To Know - Berman Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Care Center Blog

The Best Time to Get Your Body Ready for Summer? Now!

A very common question I get is when to get cosmetic procedures done in order to look great for bathing suit season.

There are 4 operations/procedures that are going to be extremely popular in preparation for getting your body ready for summer:

  1. Breast Augmentation
  2. Smartlipo
  3. Tummy Tuck
  4. Sculpsure

Let’s discuss briefly the time frame for improvement for each of these procedures.

Breast Augmentation
After a Breast Augmentation (BA), there of course is an immediate improvement in your appearance. From day one, you will have a much better figure, both in and out of clothes. However, there is usually some upper pole swelling (more pronounced with saline implants) that is more noticeable if you are without any clothes. This can be easily hidden with clothing. You need to allow 3 months for your implants to drop into place. In general, the swelling is much milder with silicone and this allows you to look more natural sooner.

I stress to my patients that after Smartlipo, you will continue to improve for 6 months. Of course, you can enhance the results by also exercising and by dieting, so as to decrease your total body fat. Smartlipo will reduce the fat in the treated areas. Multiple areas can be treated and you can generally return to work the next day. Only one treatment is required per area.

Sculpsure is done in the office and no sedation is required. You can even do this on a lunch break. I went to the gym immediately after I treated my love handles! A treatment session only takes 25 minutes and you can return to work immediately. You can treat multiple areas one after another during a single office visit. However, you should treat each area at least twice, usually with 6 weeks between sessions (it can be reduced to 4 weeks however). Once again, you will get more dramatic changes if you can also reduce your total body fat (through diet and exercise), as we reduce fat in the treated areas.

Tummy Tuck
A Tummy Tuck will show a dramatic change immediately after surgery. You can return to work after 10-14 days and usually to more intense workouts by 6 weeks. You can usually start exercising gently after about 3 weeks (sometimes even sooner). Your scars will continue to improve and fade with time. Your appearance will also improve with time so it is good to have some time between your TT and donning your bikini. If you know which bathing suit you want to wear, you can bring it along at the time I mark you for surgery, so I can do my best to try and design the incision scars to be hidden by your swimsuit.

Want to know more about cosmetic procedures and what might be right for you? Please call my office at 703-406-2444 to schedule a complimentary, private consultation with me.

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