How to prioritize skin health this year, according to UAB experts

Daniel Bergman, M.D., and Lauren Kole, M.D., from the Department of Dermatology share advice on how to can take care of one’s skin.
Written by: UAB Medicine
Media contact: Anna Jones

stream skin healthDaniel Bergman, M.D., and Lauren Kole, M.D., from the Department of Dermatology share advice on how to can take care of one’s skin. With the joyous but exhausting holiday season in the rearview mirror, the beginning of the year presents a time for reflection and renewal. Daniel Bergman, M.D., an assistant professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Dermatology, says prioritizing skin health is a wonderful way to start the year.  

“Our skin is the organ we wear,” Bergman said. “It’s connected to our emotions, personality and self-identity. The way we take care of our skin speaks volumes about what we think of ourselves.”

For those ready to give their skin the love it deserves, Lauren Kole, M.D., residency program director and assistant professor in the UAB Department of Dermatology, has some tips on how to prioritize skin health.  

Pick a cleanser

“It’s important to match your cleanser to your skin type,” Kole said. “Use a cream-based cleanser if you have dry or sensitive skin, or a foaming cleanser if you have oily or acne-prone skin.”  

For those with acne, Kole recommends a product with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.


“Look for a moisturizer that’s tailored to your skin type,” Kole said. “A lighter serum or gel-based moisturizer works well for oilier skin, while a thicker, creamier moisturizer is best for dry or aging skin.”

Embrace an anti-aging regimen

Kole recommends using a daily vitamin C serum in the morning and either an over-the-counter retinol or a prescription retinoid at night.

Wear sunscreen

Using sunscreen daily is a must, for days spent both indoors and outdoors.  

“Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher,” Kole said. “The sunscreen in makeup is a bonus, but it’s not enough on its own.” 

Get checked for skin cancer

“One in four people will have skin cancer by the age of 67,” Kole said. “Even those in their 20s and 30s should get checked if they’ve had significant sun exposure, used tanning beds or haven’t routinely used sunscreen.”  

The UAB Department of Dermatology can perform skin cancer screenings annually or as needed depending on a patient’s risk factors.

Consider a cosmetic consultation

“If you have questions, make an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist,” Kole said. “A cosmetic consultation can be part of a skincare regimen for someone not ready for cosmetic procedures.”

Use the GRASS method

Bergman says using the right products for each skin type is important, but it is also important to use them in the proper order. He advises patients to apply products using the “GRASS” approach: 

G = Growth factors that help repair the skin

R = Retinols and retinoids, to improve pigment and fine lines

A = Antioxidants like topical vitamin C, to prevent damage

S = Specialty products such as hydrators, bleaching creams and moisturizers

S = Sunscreen

“Taking care of your skin can prevent damage that can be hard to undo,” Bergman said. “An ounce of prevention a day is worth a pound of cure.”

Make an appointment with UAB Dermatology today by visiting