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Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD

Board certified dermatologist Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD, FAAD, FACP is the Director of Dermatology at COSMETIQUE Dermatology, Laser & Plastic Surgery, LLP (with offices on Park Avenue in Manhattan and on Long Island's Gold Coast). She specializes in cosmetic dermatology, dermatologic and laser surgery and Mohs micrographic surgery for the treatment of skin cancer. Dr. Sarnoff became president of The Skin Cancer Foundation in January 2017. She was previously a senior vice president.

Dr. Sarnoff graduated summa cum laude from Cornell University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She received her medical degree, with distinction, from the George Washington University Medical School, where she was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. She completed her residency and fellowship at NYU School of Medicine, where she now serves as clinical professor of dermatology. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology and a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Mohs Surgery, The American Society of Dermatologic Surgery and the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery.

Dr. Sarnoff is President of The International Society for Dermatologic Surgery and Secretary/Treasurer of The New York State Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery. She is also co-editor in chief of  The Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. She has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed publications and textbooks and frequently lectures at national and international meetings in all aspects of dermatology.

As one of the preeminent dermatologists in the world, Dr. Sarnoff has been featured in publications including The New York Times The Wall Street Journal ,  USA Today , The  Oprah Magazine, Vogue, Glamour and Allure.  She has also appeared on  The View The Today Show Good Morning America, 20/20, Dateline, Nightline, CBS News, NBC News, Dr. Oz, The Doctors, E! and was named a “life saver” on  Extra .

Dr. Sarnoff is the co-author of the best-selling books  Beauty and the Beam: Your Complete Guide to Cosmetic Laser Surgery  and  Instant Beauty: Getting Gorgeous on Your Lunch Break  (St. Martin's Press). She was named one of the “Best Doctors” in New York by  New York  magazine; one of New York's “Super Doctors” by  The New York Times ; and a “Top Doctor” in America as well as the New York metropolitan area by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd.

Full Bio
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Exercise and Skin Health

Ask the Expert


My skin still breaks out, particularly when I exercise. What type of facial products should I use to keep my skin healthy without increasing the risk of breakouts?


You know that exercising is great for your body, but did you know it's also great for your skin? Exercise strengthens blood vessels in the skin and increases blood flow, thus increasing the amount of oxygen and nutrients your skin receives.

It's not exercise that exacerbates acne; it's the sweating that tends to clog the pores. You sweat more, your pores are dilated and more sebum comes out. If you have any friction on your face, such as bangs, that could also lead to breakouts. Because perspiration can be a breeding ground for bacteria, try to wash your face as soon as possible after exercising.

That said, there are things you can do to improve your acne while improving your skin. First, make sure that you use products formulated for the type of skin you have. If you're still having breakouts, you may have oily skin—in some parts! But other parts of your face may be dry and prone to flaking. This is known as combination skin. So the first step is identifying your skin type: oily, dry or combination.

If your skin is prone to acne, avoid products that can clog your pores, including certain types of makeup. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends "noncomedogenic" cosmetics and other skin products that are formulated to reduce the risk of acne. You should also skip liquid foundations and blushes and opt for a light dusting of powder.

Wash your face skin morning, night and immediately after your workouts. Use warm water and a gentle, liquid cleanser to remove acne-causing bacteria. Do not use drying soap and don't scrub. Scrubbing irritates skin, making it more prone to breakouts.

When choosing a moisturizer, try to look for the noncomedogenic label. If you're very oily, avoid moisturizing your T-zone. Look for a moisturizer that has added alpha hydroxy to gently exfoliate and minimize breakouts. You'll really need it this winter to protect your skin from water loss triggered by cold air, wind and overheated rooms.

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