How Winter Affects Your Skin

Winter affects our skin for a number of reasons:

  • Humidity is low both indoors and outdoors.
  • Longer hot showers.
  • Long exposure to artificial heat.
  • Exposure to cold weather.
  • Rich but not so healthy comfort food choices.
  • Hibernation (sedentarism).

All of these factors can really affect the water and oil barrier of the skin, called the acid mantle. The acid mantle regulates the pH of the skin by balancing water and oil on the surface of the skin, making it possible for someone with oily skin to experience dryness and flaking on the skin, which is technically dehydration (lack of water) and not dryness (lack of oil). If your skin is naturally on the dry side, which means it does not have enough oil to retain water, you can suffer from severe dryness.

So how can you repair the damage?
Begin by calling our office to schedule an appointment with one of our Master Estheticians, who are highly trained and experienced skin specialists. They will analyze your skin and determine the appropriate professional treatment and home-care approach.

Water intake and diet will also play an important role during the recovery process.

As a medical spa, we offer the most high-end and advanced skincare products. Below are some of the great options we have to target and restore the healthy glow of a well balanced skin:

This is just a small selection of the most advanced medical skincare options we have for you. If you have any questions regarding your skin concerns, call us at 703-406-2444 to schedule your complimentary, private consultation with one of our Master Estheticians!

Combining Therapies to Enhance Facial Youthfulness (Rejuvenation)

There is a tendency for people to look for a particular treatment to reverse aging and restore youthfulness. However, as we age, there is not just one thing that changes, but rather a multitude of things. Each treatment can help correct an aspect of these changes. Of course, a single treatment modality is going to be very helpful. However, for many people, there are definitely additional benefits to combining therapies. During the consult, either myself or one of my master estheticians will suggest combination therapies that we believe would be beneficial. For each person, we will customize a specific treatment plan, which we may alter depending on how your respond to your treatment. This is the great thing about going to a high-level plastic surgery spa, versus a medispa or a non-plastic surgeon’s office.

Below is a list of often-combined therapies and a brief rationale for why they are often combined.

  1. Botox and Fillers
    Botox will relax the muscles and is usually used in the upper face, while fillers will fill in the hollowing. Sometimes people have deep lines in the glabellar area – the area between the eyes. The primary treatment is Botox, since the problem occurs due to muscle contraction. However, it can be beneficial to also use fillers to soften these lines so that you look better much quicker. If you use Botox in this area for a year, the lines will gradually get less deep but using filler will help to speed this process up.
  2. Hyper-pigmentation: PicoSure Laser Facial with Hydrafacial
    The Picosure laser is the very best laser in the world for improving hyper-pigmentation and irregular coloration on the face, neck, chest and back of the hands. It also stimulates collagen and elastic fiber growth. You need to plan 3 treatments (though you could need more), spaced one month apart. If you have ethnic skin, we strongly recommend that you do a ViPeel 2-4 weeks before you begin your series of PicoSure lasers, as this will  let the laser penetrate the skin more effectively.Alternating sessions with the Hydrafacial — such as a Hydrafacial at the beginning of each month and a PicoSure laser facial mid-month) — enhances both treatments, giving your skin an unbelievably youthful rejuvenation.
  3. Fine Lines: Fillers with Microneedling or PicoSure
    For lines around the perioral area, I like to combine fillers (usually Volbella) with either microneedling or the Picosure laser. The rationale for this is that the fillers work beneath the skin to soften the lines, and both microneedling and PicoSure laser work from the surface of the skin, stimulating collagen and elastic fibers.
  4. Acne Scars: PicoSure and Microneedling
    For acne scarring, it is best to combine both the Picosure laser, which stimulates your own collagen and elastic fibers (there is little to no downtime) with Microneedling which also stimulates collagen and elastic fibers but through an entirely different mechanism. You would alternate sessions between these 2 modalities. You should plan 5 sessions of each, depending on how deep your scarring is.

Anything done on your face will be enhanced by using our professional-grade skin care. You simply cannot buy skin care this powerful, unless you purchase it from a physician.


If you have any questions regarding your skin concerns, call us at 703-406-2444 to schedule your complimentary, private consultation with one of our Master Estheticians!

How to Prevent Dull Winter Skin

Written by Nicole Hackett, Master Esthetician

Now that winter is coming, you may start to notice that your skin is becoming drier and starting to look dull. This means it may be time to switch up your skincare regimen. It is very important to continue exfoliating your skin. This is an essential step to your skincare regimen.

You may need to switch from your light moisturizer to a heavier cream. Our favorites are the SkinMedica Dermal Repair Cream, a rich cream that replenishes moisture to dry skin and has high levels of antioxidant vitamins C and E. Another one of our favorites is Obagi’s Hydrate Luxe Cream, a luxurious ultra-moisturizing cream that delivers deep hydration and promotes skin radiance. We also LOVE Hyaluronic Acid Serum.

Hyaluronic Acid Serum is extremely hydrating, it holds 1000x its weight in water – meaning it does an incredible job of locking in moisture and gives you an extra boost of hydration. Hyaluronic acid is great for all skin types. It won’t clog pores, makes your skin look plump and gives you that glow.  Our favorites are Dr. Berman’s Ultra Hydrating Serum and SkinMedica’s HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator.

These are just a few ways you can change up your skincare regimen. Because everyone’s skin is different, we recommend scheduling a free consultation with one of our estheticians to discover the best products for your skin type!

Fall is the Perfect Time to Start your Laser & Chemical Treatments

Written by Nicole Hackett, Master Esthetician

Fall has officially arrived and it’s time to schedule your appointments for PicoSureLaser Hair Removal, and VI Peel! Now that the kids are back in school and vacation is over it’s time for you to take care of your skin. We always recommend starting your laser & chemical peel treatments in the Fall because the sun is less strong. Some skin treatments, including PicoSure and Laser Hair Removal cannot be done if you are tanned in the treated area.  The sun is the number one cause of aging and pigmentation, so let us help you reverse the damage.

PicoSure and VI Peel are excellent treatments to help with pigmentation, fine lines & wrinkles. Troubled by acne scars? Picosure and SkinPen Microneedling can help! For PicoSure, we insist on 3 sessions, each done one month apart. Microneedling and laser hair removal also require multiple sessions. Now is a great time to get started, so your skin will be glowing for Christmas.

If you have any questions regarding your skin concerns, call us at 703-406-2444 to schedule your complimentary, private consultation with one of our Master Estheticians!

How to Exfoliate Your Skin

Written by Nicole Hackett, Master Esthetician


Exfoliating is crucial to having nice skin and slowing down the aging process. By exfoliating your skin, you are removing the top layer of dead skin cells and this will help to speed up your cell turnover which slows down as you age. This will let your new skin come in. Exfoliating your skin also allows your other skin care products to penetrate deeper and will help lighten and brighten your complexion.

Ideally, you want to exfoliate 2-3x week, but this can be varied, depending on your skin type. If you over exfoliate, you can cause more oil production, so it’s important to see your esthetician to know exactly how and when you should be exfoliating.

There are two types of exfoliation, mechanical and chemical. Mechanical can use either a tool, like the Clarisonic brush, or a face scrub with beads that physically removes the dead skin.

Chemicals, on the other hand, use ingredients to shed the dead skin. Common chemical exfoliant ingredients are salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and lactic acid. You can find chemical exfoliants in different products like face washes, peel pads, serums, etc.

Mechanical exfoliants can be a bit harsh on the skin, so if you have sensitive skin, I would stay clear of mechanical exfoliators, but it really depends on your preferences and skin type. You can also combine both mechanical and chemical exfoliators.


If you have any questions regarding your skin concerns, call us at 703-406-2444 to schedule your complimentary, private consultation with one of our Master Estheticians!

What Can Growth Factors Do For Your Skin?

In case you didn’t know, growth factors are the next big thing in the skincare industry and they are taking anti-aging products to a whole new level. Growth factors occur in our body naturally but as we age, we start to decrease our production of growth factors.

But not to worry, there are now products available that will help replenish growth factors. They are one of the best active ingredients you can add to your skincare routine for total skin rejuvenation because they promote collagen and elastin growth at the cellular level. They take care of all your skin care concerns at once, from fine lines and wrinkles, to lack of firmness and pigmentation. You can add growth factors to any skin care routine and really boost your results. Plus, they are great for all skin types!

Since they are working with your cells to create more collagen and elastin, they help to maintain and enhance your results from any cosmetic procedures you may have done and keep your skin smooth and firm. If you want a healthy, youthful complexion don’t wait and start adding growth factors into your regimen!

One of our favorite skincare products with growth factors is the TNS Recovery Complex from SkinMedica. It has the highest concentration of a patented growth factor blend, with over 380 growth factors and is also formulated with antioxidants, soluble collagen, cytokines and matrix proteins.

We also offer the HydraFacial at our office which has different booster options depending on your skin care concerns including the CTGF (Connective Tissue Growth Factor) booster that we can add to any of our treatments. The unique tips on the HydraFacial allows the serums to penetrate deeper into your skin. You will leave the office glowing – trust us!

Have other questions about your skincare routine? Call us at 703-406-2444 to schedule your complimentary, private consultation with our estheticians. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have!

VI Peel Combination Therapies - Berman Cosmetic Surgery

VI Peel Combination Therapies

Written by Nicole Hackett, Master Esthetician


VI Peel is an excellent chemical peel that is suitable for ALL skin types! Many people fear chemical peels because of how painful they think it might be… however, the VI Peel is virtually pain free because it has powerful numbing agents in the solution. These are specifically designed treatments to target concerns including anti-aging, hyperpigmentation, acne prone skin and acne scarring. After you receive your VI Peel, we give you detailed at-home care instructions — and you will see your results in as little as 7 days!

How and when should  you incorporate VI Peel with other skin care treatments?

  • Botox: you can get your Botox the day after you get your VI Peel
  • Fillers: you can get dermal fillers the same day as the VI Peel just be sure to get the fillers first
  • Mega Peel Microdermabrasion: same day beforeyour VI Peel
  • HydraFacial: 1-2 weeks before or after your VI Peel
  • SkinPen Microneedling: 2-4 weeks before or after your VI Peel
  • PicoSure Laser Facial: 4-8 weeks afteryour VI Peel (FYI- a VI Peel prior to your PicoSure treatment preps your skin to get you the best results)

Now that Fall is around the corner, it’s a great time to start booking your appointments and get your peel on!

If you have any questions regarding your skin concerns or you’re not sure what route you should go, call us at 703-406-2444 to schedule your complimentary, private consultation with one of our Master Estheticians!

Malia - Berman Cosmetic Surgery & Skin Care Center Blog

What Is Milia?

Written by Nicole Hackett, Master Esthetician

Do you have little white bumps on your face that look like whiteheads, but nothing comes out when you try to pop them? If that is the case, you probably have Milia. These tiny white or yellow cysts occur when keratin becomes trapped beneath the surface of the skin and then hardens.

Milia is not painful and doesn’t cause any long-term damage. However, Milia cannot be popped and you should see your esthetician to have them extracted. If you are experiencing Milia around your eyes, you may be using a cream or lotion that is too heavy for your skin, which is causing sebum and dead skin to get trapped under the skin.

As we age our skin starts to lose its natural ability to exfoliate. In order to prevent Milia from forming, you should regularly exfoliate your skin and use a retinol serum. A chemical exfoliant will help to remove dead skin from the surface and retinol will encourage your cell turnover rate and bring new skin to the surface.

If you have questions or need your Milia extracted, call us at 703-406-2444 to schedule your complimentary, private consultation with one of our Master Estheticians! 

How to Take Care of Your Skin After a Facial

Written by Nicole Hackett, Master Esthetician

Maintenance and consistency are critical after you get a facial, or any other treatment for your skin such as lasers, peels, microneedling, Botox, fillers, etc. If you truly want to be preventative and have good skin health, you need to have a good at-home regimen. One facial a year is just not going to cut it. You can have great products, but to see results you need to use them on a regular basis. Miracles don’t happen overnight. Getting on a good skincare routine can be hard at first, but it’s important to make time and add it into your daily routine. Once you get in the swing of things, it just becomes habit.

These are the essentials that I believe everyone should be using:

  • First, you want to be using a good cleanser and ideally not something you can find at the drugstore. You want something with high-quality ingredients that is going to clean your skin, get rid of makeup/dirt and not strip your skin – which can make it dry and flaky. You should be cleaning you face 2x day, but if that’s too much for you, then I recommend cleansing at night.
  • Second, I recommend exfoliating at least 1-3x week. There are different ways to exfoliate the skin, either mechanical exfoliation or chemical exfoliation. Exfoliating your skin is going to remove the dead skin cells on the surface of your skin and help to increase your cell turnover rate, which slows down the older we get. It will help prevent fine lines and wrinkles from forming and help to control blackheads.
  • In addition, everyone can benefit from a good quality vitamin C serum. Vitamin C helps to lighten and brighten your skin tone, it also helps to protect skin from the visible impacts of pollution, promotes collagen production, improves hydration and keeps your skin looking younger, longer!
  • Keeping your skin moisturized is very important for anti-aging, as the drier our skin is, the more noticeable fine lines and wrinkles are. There are tons of different moisturizers out there, but hyaluronic acid is an ingredient that all skin types can benefit from. Hyaluronic acid is extremely moisturizing, holding 1000 x its weight in water and locking in moisture from the air. It is best used after you apply your serums because it is made with larger molecules and it will help to penetrate your serums deeper into your skin.
  • Now the number one anti-aging product you should be using is SPF, and you should be using it EVERYDAY, even if its cloudy and rainy outside. The sun is the number one cause of aging and we are constantly being exposed to UVB and UVA rays. Even indoors, the fluorescent lights are emitting rays and when we are driving the rays are penetrating even stronger through the glass. If you are going to be outdoors for long periods of time it is important to reapply every two hours. Use a good sun screen with SPF 30 or higher and make sure it says broad spectrum.

To maximize your results from skin care treatments, it is vital to be using good skin care products at home and that you use them consistently.

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!

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!