His Skincare Secrets: An Interview with Texas Top Dermatologist Stephen Stahr

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

Instead of a complicated 10 step routine, he advises to rely on the big guns – sunscreen and retinoids – to prevent most of the premature signs of aging (cos prevention is way better than cure).

Unless your skin needs the extra help only a derm can give it. Unlike some of his colleagues, Dr Stahr doesn’t endorse any particular brand. He believes that they all have their gems and duds and it’s all about finding out what works for you.

So, what works for him? Here’s how the co-founder of Elect Dermatologist in New Braunfels, Texas, cares for his skin:

1. When did you become interested in skincare?

I developed an interest in dermatology while in medical school. I have wanted to be a physician since I was in kindergarten. This is largely because I admire my father and he is a doctor. Once in medical school, I was exposed to a variety of medical specialties. I just feel in love with the science behind understanding and treating skin disease at that time.

2. What’s your skincare routine like?

I am 36 now, so I now am getting xeomin to prevent some of deepening of the creases that go along with aging. I also always wear a zinc oxide-containing sunscreen (currently using Elta MD), and a topical retinoid at night. That’s really about it. I think I am more aware of skin issues than most people because of my work. Most men don’t do any of these things but if I could get everyone to do just one of these, it would be the sunscreen.

3. If you could only use three skincare products for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Zinc oxide-containing sunscreen, a topical retinoid, and a neuromodulator like xeomin/botox/jeuveau.

4. What are your fave skincare brands and why?

I think people generally attribute too much value to the meaning of specific brand names. A single brand can make many products and some can be stellar and some can be mediocre and some can be bad. I don’t know of any single brand that is hitting grand slams with every single product so I don’t want to endorse any one brand.

5. What are your top 3 skincare tips to take care of your skin?

The skin care advice I give depends on the specific skin of the patient. If I have to make general advice though, it would be

  1. Wear a zinc oxide containing sunscreen even on overcast days because UVA can get through the clouds and damage the collagen in your dermis.
  2. See a board certified residency trained dermatologist once a year after you turn 35 for a skin cancer screening.
  3. Check your own skin once a month to detect any concerning moles that may be showing signs consistent with the ABCDEs of melanoma.

6. What skincare treatments do you regularly have done?

I am going to periodically get PRP with microneedling on myself once we get the equipment (our practice is still quite new and we are still getting some of our services set up). I also get a neuromodulator injected every 3-4 months for frown lines. Our aesthetician, Rose, gives me microdermabrasion once in a while. I like that.

7. What lifestyle habits do you have that keep your skin in top shape?

I have a love hate relationship with the sun. I love being outdoors and doing stuff like floating down the river on an inner tube and going surfing in the ocean. I love it. While I do these things, I also wear sun protective clothing, sunglasses and sometimes so much sunscreen on my face, that I kind of look kind of shiny and white. Everyone else is working on their tan. I am the odd man out in these scenarios and I am ok with this.

8. What’s in your makeup bag?

Well, I don’t have a makeup bag but I do have a dopp kit. I have FingerToppers bandages (some finger cot bandages made by a company I run) for fingertips because I cook frequently and sometimes cut my fingers. I also have zinc oxide sunscreen, tretinoin 0.05%, and some John Varvatos cologne. I also have some proraso shave cream and pre shave balm.

Thank you, dr Stahr!

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