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Dear Dr. Tina

What is the best skin care product?

With a myriad of products available, there are three must-haves.
1) Retinoids: (Like Retin-A) are vitamin A derivatives. When used correctly, they promote cell turnover so “new” cells maintain moisture enabling your skin to look fresh and have a glow. Retinoids will also minimize fine lines as well as decreasing brown spots on your face, neck and hands.

2) Vitamin C: Another antioxidant that promotes smoother skin and minimizes pigmentation (brown spots and splotches).
3) Sunscreens: It is so important to protect your skin from harmful UV rays which not only can promote skin cancer but also ages the skin (wrinkles, pigmentation and loss of elastic tissue). I recommend sunscreen that has both UV-A and UV-B protection. I recommend using number SPF 40 and above in warm weather and SPF 30 even in winter. When directly out in the sun, re-apply every three hours.

Why does Retin-A irritate my skin? Can it cause skin cancer?

Retin-A is remarkably safe and great for your skin and in fact helps prevent against skin cancer by promoting cell renewal.
The older cells which are more likely to become pre-cancerous are replaced by newer cells. To minimize irritation, use a small pea sized amount and divide that to four areas of your face and rub in. Start with every other day application.

What about cleansers, moisturizers and other skincare products. What is the best order to use?

The order I recommend is the word CHARMS.
C for cleansing (antioxidant cleansers), H “health” – any topical medication, A antioxidants (vitamin C cream), R retinoids (vitamin A),
M moisturizers (thicker in evening),
S sunscreen

 “Lip Tips”
How do I get my lips to be plump?

I love lip fillers IN MODERATION. I outline lip borders, add a little bit of filler to lines above lip, and at times add filler into the lip itself. I stress a less is more look.

Are fillers safe?

In the hands of experienced board-certified providers who know lip anatomy, they are extremely safe.
Fillers can be dissolved if you don’t like the way they look.


“The Doctor’s Secret” is fiction that is based on autobiographical events. The story is not about a secret romance, but it addresses the importance of self-respect and strength during periods of crisis. So, on Valentine’s Day, as it is appropriate to stress love for yourself, “The Doctor’s Secret” is a must read and can be purchased on (Tina K. Funt, M.D., The Doctor’s Secret) or DM Dr. Tina at to purchase novel or ask your skincare questions.

Dr. Tina K. Funt is a Board-Certified Dermatologist practicing in Garden City for 33 years. She works for Schweiger Dermatology Group with 80+ offices throughout Long Island and the tri-state area. Dr. Funt specializes in both medical and cosmetic dermatology.
Her passions are medicine, the arts, golf and dogs.