Dermatologist Marie Jhin Answers All Our Urgent K-Beauty Skincare Questions

Dr. Marie Jhin was born in Seoul, South Korea and is a graduate of Wellesley College and Cornell University Medical College. She is a board certified dermatologist, K-Beauty Skincare expert and director of Premier Dermatology in the San Francisco Bay area. 

Dr. Jhin is the author of “Asian Beauty Secrets: Ancient and Modern Tips from the Far East”, and her new book, “K-Beauty Secrets: Accessible Beauty For Every Woman” is now available for pre-order.

How long have you been a dermatologist and what are the most exciting advances you’ve seen in this field?

I have been a dermatologist in private practice since 2000.  There have been so many exciting advances but some of the key ones in my career have to be the advances of lasers for the skin; as well as the introduction of neurotoxins for cosmetic uses.  These two treatments have been game-changers in providing little-down-time cosmetic treatments.

You have amazing skin! What is your skincare routine and what are your personal favorite products or treatments? 

The key to amazing skin is consistency and using products that are science-backed.   It is also important to use products to target the issues that you are trying to improve.  For me, as an Asian American, my skin is prone to melasma so I love products that contain hydroquinone.  I love Obagi as well as Musely. 

Currently, I use the Obagi products in the morning (vitamin c, clear and exfoliate) and then at night, I will use Musely’s M+ cream on my melasma a few times a week.  On nights, I’m not using Musely’s M+, I use a retinoid.  Every night I apply Naiian’s growth serum and FACE UP HA serum.  Once a week, I use Naiian’s derma roller to my face/neck/hands.  I also use a FACE UP’s mask once a week.

k-beauty skincare dr. marie jhin dermatologist
Dr. Marie Jhin, dermatologist and K-Beauty skincare expert
If you had to choose, what is the one skincare treatment you can’t live without (besides moisturizer and sunscreen)? 

I really can’t live without a hydroquinone based product since I am so prone to melasma.  I also love a retinoid or growth serum.  The retinoid helps improve fine lines and wrinkles and helps promote collagen stimulation.  The growth serum also helps promote collagen stimulation.

How do Korean actresses have such perfect skin? 

It’s all about hard work.  They work hard to use the right products, do the right treatments and be consistent and diligent.

What are the questions people should ask when they go to a dermatologist for cosmetic improvement to their skin? 

Be very precise about what bothers you and what you want to improve.  Also ask if they understand ethnic skin if you are a person of color.

What are the most popular cosmetic procedures you perform and what are your most satisfying treatments to improve clients’ skin?

Neurotoxins are the most satisfying because you see immediate results after 3-7 days. Neurotoxins are also the most popular but we also perform a lot of lasers and fillers as well.

What are the biggest myths in K-Beauty skincare treatment?

The biggest myths are that you should see results right away.  In skincare it’s a marathon not a race.  It may take months to years to realize how good your skin looks.  Be patient.  

What is your most recommended treatment for wrinkles? 

Neurotoxins and anything that helps with collagen stimulation.

How should people treat melasma vs brown spots? 

Often brown spots from the sun will need laser treatments.  Melasma does better with topical creams or oral pills.

What are your favorite bang for the buck professional treatments?

Neurotoxins and collagen stimulators.

What is your favorite splurge treatment for getting and maintaining youthful skin?

Stem cell treatments. I love the stem cell products made by Skinmedica TNS, Naiian serums

What are your thoughts on Fraxel vs IPL vs Halo? 

IPL is for sun damaged skin. Fraxel is a non-ablative resurfacing laser.  Halo laser combines both non-ablative and ablative resurfacing for fine lines and wrinkles.  I love all of these lasers, however, you need to know what you are treating and if you have ethinic skin, know how to prep your skin so the treatments will work and not cause more damage.

What are your thoughts on microneedling and platelet rich plasma?

Love both but recently we’ve been using microneedling with PRP and stem cells/growth factors for even better results.

How does nutrition affect the skin? 

The skin is the largest organ and is affected by nutrition and stress.  If you don’t take care of your body, then it will show up on your skin whether that means you will have a rash or hair loss etc.

Is it better to switch up skincare brands and products or should we stick to one that works? 

I think it’s so natural to want to switch it up and try new things.  However, I believe it’s important to stick with products that are working on issues your skin may have.  With that said, it’s ok to switch up products that are not active or medicated.  You can try different cleanser, sunblock, moisturizers etc.

How do supplements help the skin?

Supplements such as Fernblock PLE (polypodium leucotomos extract) helps with sun protection.  It works synergistically with sunblock to prevent sunburns.  Zinc can help with acne.  Biotin helps with nail strength.  Flaxseed oil or Omega-3 fatty acids can help with inflammatory conditions such as rosacea but can also be helpful with skin health.  

Do you have a favorite story about a patient that went from terrible skin to great skin? 

So many….  One story is that I had a patient years ago who came to me with a large sun spot.  The sunspot covered most of her left cheek.  I biopsied it at first to make sure it wasn’t a melanoma.  After confirming that it wasn’t, we used creams, lasers, and chemical peels to fade the sunspot.  It was barely visible.  As the spot started to lighten, her smile began to grow.  She felt so pretty and was no longer ashamed or felt like she had to cover her face. 

👉 Send your skincare questions to Dr. Jhin:

About Dr. Marie Jhin

Dr. Marie Jhin was born in Seoul, South Korea, and moved to the United States at the age of 6.  She moved around the US (Hawaii, Michigan, Virginia and New York) due to her father’s work assignments.  Dr. Jhin graduated from Wellesley College and then went on to Cornell University Weill Medical School.  After medical school, Dr. Jhin finished a residency in Internal Medicine before doing her Dermatology residency.  Upon finishing her Dermatology residency, she moved to the SF Bay Area, which she now calls home.  She is blessed to have a blended family of five kids, a wonderful husband and two dogs.  In her spare time, she loves traveling and being very active in healthcare advocacy. Find her on Instagram @drjhinskin

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