The Ideal Multivitamin for Your Skin

Turns out the best multivitamin for your skin is one that you apply topically. Makes sense, right? As if this vitamin A, B, C,D and E product wasn’t enough for us to love, the product went head to head with some of the top ranked antioxidant serums on the market. So what’s our current addiction? Intense Defense Serum by Epionce. The lightweight serum can be used on all skin types- including dry to oily and layers nicely with other products. Isn’t it nice when products can play nice in the sandbox?

Intense Defense Serum contains niacinamide, melon fruit extract, raspberry seed oil and shiitake mushroom extract to provide you with your daily dose of anti-aging benefits. As far as how it lines up with other products, we’ve shared some clinical proof:

“Intense Defense Serum was found across all aging parameters to be equal or superior to [SkinMedica] TNS Recovery Complex Serum. Additionally, Intense Defense Serum was found to be equal or superior in all tolerability parameters.”

Currently part of Skinceuticals CE Ferulic’s colt following?

“Intense Defense Serum was found across all aging parameters to be generally superior with faster onset of efficacy to Skinceuticals CE Ferulic serum. Additionally, Intense Defense Serum was found to be safer, causing less irritation.”

For best results, apply 1-2 times daily. Product is available in our office and to ship. If you’d like to schedule a skin care consult to learn more, contact our office at 615-582-6726.

What is Microneedling Really Like?

by: Abigail White


I had microneedling done for the first time about two months ago, and I was immediately hooked.

Not familiar with microneedling? It’s a procedure that uses a device with tiny, shallow needles that create even tinier holes in the skin’s surface. This stimulates collagen and elastin production, which can plump the skin, fill in fine lines and break up scar tissue, resulting in a more youthful appearance. (For those of you who have seen a DIY version that you can buy online, file this treatment under “best left to the experts,” like a bikini wax.)

I’m 38 years old and my biggest skin concerns are anti-aging and anti-acne. I also have some discoloration on my skin from years of being out in the sun (oops) but I am now very diligent about wearing SPF 50 every day and doing things I didn’t do in my 20s and early 30s, like washing my face every night and adhering to a skin care routine that Maegan Griffin, NP-C recommended for me. Oh, and Botox! Who doesn’t love Botox?

Anyway, I had a lot of friends comment on how dewy and youthful my skin looked after my first microneedling procedure, but they were wary about things like whether the procedure is painful (it isn’t) and how much downtime they’d need to account for (not much).

Here’s what you can expect from microneedling, from the day of your procedure and the following week:
Day 1:
I arrived at Skin Pharm and lovely RN, Megan Stewart, removed my makeup and applied numbing cream to my face. I took the opportunity to flip through every magazine in the room (such fun!) while the numbing cream took effect, and then Megan returned to start the procedure with the SkinStylus, which resembles a tiny magic wand. As she’d been there for my first microneedling appointment, she noticed that my skin wasn’t reacting as strongly — it wasn’t as red, and I didn’t have any bleeding (it’s totally normal to have minor blood beading from the needles — you don’t feel it as you’re totally numb, and they heal incredibly quickly). Megan noted that we were even going about a millimeter deeper than we went the previous time, which means the microneedling was doing it’s job — my skin was growing stronger.

If you’re worried about what it feels like, I can attest that it does not hurt. The SkinStylus feels like a combination of a vacuum and a razor, and while you may feel some minor pressure around your jawline — and some major tickling around your nose! — it isn’t painful at all.

The whole thing took less than 15 minutes. Megan spread some Epionce Medical Barrier Cream on my face and I headed straight to the nail salon to get a pedicure (in case you didn’t notice, I was totally having a “me” day, ha). I thought I was going to get some weird looks, but nobody seemed to notice — it looked like I had a mild sunburn. I even met a friend for drinks after that — she was curious about microneedling and wanted to see what I looked like — and she was surprised by how normal I looked! I didn’t wear makeup the rest of the day and used the Gentle Foaming Cleanser from Epionce that evening. I applied Epionce Medical Barrier cream before bed.

Day 2:
When I woke up my skin felt a little tight, but most of the redness had faded from the previous day. I rinsed my face and put Epionce’s Medical Barrier Cream and SPF 50 lotion on before using my regular BB cream (by Dr. Jart). Even in the harsh, ridiculously unflattering fluorescent light in my office bathroom, my skin looked totally normal. It still felt a little dry, so I was happy to wash my face when I got home and applied more medical barrier cream and Cetaphil.
Without makeup.
With makeup.
Day 3:
My skin was a little dry and flaky, but returned to normal as soon as I put more Cetaphil moisturizer and Epionce SPF 50 lotion on. I don’t know if you can tell in the picture, but my skin was GLOWING. I barely needed any BB cream as the skin tone looked much more even, and overall I just looked refreshed and renewed. I continued to use the Epionce gentle face wash but used my regular night cream by Algenist and Intense Defense Serum by Epionce.
Without makeup.
With makeup.
Day 4:
I was definitely having a little more peeling on Day 4, so I used a mild exfoliant to get the dead skin off before applying Cetaphil and SPF 50. Once again, as soon as I put the BB cream on, everything looked normal. Well, better than normal — glowing, even skin tone, refreshed. I used my ZO Oilacleanse that evening and my aforementioned night cream/serum combo.
Without makeup.
With makeup.
Day 5:
By Day 5 my skin felt hydrated — the flaking had pretty much disappeared at this point and I hardly needed any BB cream to even out my skin tone. I did my normal skin care routine at night and everything felt back to normal!
Without makeup.
With makeup.

Day 6:
I woke up to a stupid hormonal pimple on my cheek – FOILED. Fortunately the rest of my face looked fabulous and it was easy to conceal so I didn’t stress over it. I hadn’t been using my usual anti-acne treatment (ZO Offects TE-Pads Acne Pore Treatment and spot treatment with Aczone) as I was worried it would dry out my skin as it healed from the microneedling, but I used it this morning and at night along with my regular skin care routine.

Without makeup.

With makeup.

Day 7:

Thank goodness I have the photo to prove this as I wouldn’t believe it, but that pimple disappeared overnight. Not sure if that’s a benefit of the microneedling, but I woke up to clear, even, glowing skin. I even made it another makeup-free day because I didn’t feel like I needed it. If you had told me a few years ago that I’d be voluntarily going makeup-free, I wouldn’t have believed you. That’s one of the best things about getting into a good skincare routine — once you figure out what works for you, it streamlines your entire beauty routine because you’re not wasting time concealing your skin. Microneedling actually treats and improves your skin, and there’s nothing to hide about healthy skin, right?

Without makeup.

How To Take Care of Your Skin During Your Pregnancy

I’ve been pregnant for most of the past two years – my daughter recently turned one, and my son will be born in October – so I can attest that the pregnancy glow is real (you can thank your increased hormones and blood flow for that). Unfortunately, it’s only temporary, so you still need to take good care of your skin. During my pregnancies, I’ve had to abstain from many of the anti-aging treatments we offer at Skin Pharm such as cosmetic lasers, Botox and other fillers, and topical creams containing retinol or hydroquinone, but I still adhere to a daily routine. Here are some quick and easy tips for how to best care for your skin throughout your pregnancy:

  • Stay away from light and laser therapy such as IPL and injectables like Botox and other fillers until you’ve passed your due date. Most topical masks are fine and can provide instant brightening and tightening effects. We like the CO2 Lift Mask by Lumisque.
  • Those aforementioned hormones are your best friend when they lead to the fabled pregnancy glow, but they can be your worst enemy by giving you acne, which is quite common during pregnancy. Since you need to stay away from products made with retinols and high strengths of benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, turn to products and peels containing alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as glycolic acid or lactic acid. Glycolic acid is safe because it’s derived from sugar cane and lactic acid is derived from dairy sources, fermented vegetables and fruit. We recommend ZO Glycogent, a glycolic and lactic acid complex, or Neocutis Exfoliating Cleanser, a retexturizing 9.9% glycolic acid gel cleanser for at-home treatment. For in-office treatments, we recommend a series of chemical peels containing glycolic acid with skin brightening agents to help minimize the appearance of skin aging and help promote renewed smoothness and radiance.
  • Use these nine months to step up your SPF game. Most of us can do a better job of protecting ourselves from sun damage, and those increased hormones make you more susceptible to pigment changes and discoloration. Invest in a high-quality SPF cream to keep pigment at bay – we’re big fans of EltaMD UV Elements because of it;s tinted, moisturizing base and Epionce Daily Shield Lotion Tinted SPF 50 because it’s water resistant formula is enhanced with botanical ingredients for antioxidant benefits

As always, wash your face at night with a gentle, oil-free cleanser to remove all makeup and sunscreen. We like ZO Foamacleanse for normal skin and Epionce Lytic Gel Cleanser for acne prone skin. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and keep your skin (and your baby!) healthy.

Featured on Clara’s Clean Eats Blo

On pursuing a career in dermatology: 

After I completed nursing school, I went from the ICU to plastic surgery. I loved working in cosmetics, but I found myself drawn to dermatology because I wanted to help people with the overall health of their skin instead of just injecting Botox. Don’t get me wrong, I also love working with Botox and other injectables, but skin health is so much more than what you can inject in your skin or what cream you put on it. For example, I really love treating acne, and you really have to work with a patient one-on-one to develop the best treatment plan. It’s so gratifying to see the results and the transformation in someone’s skin quality — and their confidence level — after employing a treatment plan.- Maegan Griffin, MSN, NP-C

View full interview at Clara’s Clean Eats to learn how Skin Pharm came about and how Maegan Griffin balances practicing as a Nurse Practitioner, running a clinic and being a mother.

Relax. With no side effects.

The CO2 Lift provides immediate results and is a safe summer time facial rejuvenation procedure- no need to avoid the sun after! The CO2 Lift experience includes:

  • lifting and tightening
  • improving wrinkles and lines
  • smoothing texture of skin
  • improving pore size
  • improving post-acne scars
  • enhancing hydration
  • brightening skin tone
  • reducing redness and swelling

The treatment involves no pain, no peeling, no redness and no downtime. Schedule now for $200 ($300 value).

Featured in NFocus

Be sure to check out the July edition in NFocus to learn the most common question we hear from our patients.

NEW! Gold Standard Microneedling by SkinStylus

The SkinStylus® Microneedling System is a revolutionary minimally invasive skin-rejuvenation procedure that involves the use of a device that contains fine needles. The needles are used to puncture the skin to create controlled skin injuries and stimulate growth of new collagen. Doing this improves fine lines and wrinkles, pores, scarring and helps even skin tone with a series of treatments and high quality skin care.

Microneedling with the SkinStylus® can be alternated with other treatments such as fractional laser therapy, chemical peels, IPL, and other modalities.

The cost of a microneedling facial treatment is $425/session and includes a post procedure skin care kit valued at $192. Results are best achieved when done in a series of 4+ treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart.

At What Age Should I Get Botox?

One of our most frequently asked questions is, “At what age should I begin Botox ®”?

Botox ® is a natural, purified protein that is injected into muscles that cause lines and wrinkles. The medication temporarily relaxes muscles by blocking nerve impulses. Once the muscles are at rest, the skin becomes smoother in appearance, which creates a more natural, relaxed image.

The idea of preventative Botox ® is when starting treatment early, lines will never become as severe as they would without Botox ® treatments. Therefore, you should not require as much Botox ® as you would had you waited to start treatment. Treating fine lines and wrinkles early on also increases the chances of you not having to invest in pricier, more invasive treatments down the road.

Botox ® treatments should be customized to you and your skin health goals. The least I’ve injected in one session is 4 units and the most I’ve injected is 90 units. Make sure your Botox ® is administered by a board certified medical provider with understanding of proper technique and safety for best results.

NEW! Botanical Based Skin Care Line

We’ve picked up a new skin care line and we’re in love. Epionce is a clinically proven botanically based line that is sodium laurel sulfate free, gluten free, fragrance free, paraben free and animal cruelty free.

These dermatologist-backed products contain restorative botanical ingredients to improve the overall health and appearance of the skin. Unlike many other products on the market, Epionce does not contain harsh ingredients that irritate the skin or cause unnecessary dryness. The result is healthier, younger-looking skin.

From improving the visible appearance of skin aging to problem skin, Epionce can be incorported into your skin care regimen to solve your specific skin concerns.

Featured in Style Blueprint

Our skin changes with the seasons and our skin care regimen should, too! Be sure to check out our feature on to learn more on skin tips to stay healthy this summer.


“If you are rarely outside, a product with SPF 30 is sufficient. If you are outside for extended amounts of time, you should apply a water-resistant product with SPF 30 or more. Keep in mind SPF 15 filters about 93 percent of UV radiation, while SPF 30 filters 97 percent and SPF 50 filters 98 percent. Frequent application is best. You should apply sunscreen 15 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every two hours, or after swimming or sweating. One of the best things you can do in addition to applying SPF regularly is wearing a wide-brimmed hat to reduce sun exposure.” — Maegan Griffin, MSN, NP-C