The Skin Type Solution

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Take the simple questionnaire inside this book and within minutes discover which of the sixteen unique skin types describes your skin, which ingredients to avoid, the skin care brands that are right for you, and your new time- and money-saving regimen. In this revised edition of her classic ...

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The Skin Type Solution: A Revolutionary Guide to Your Best Skin Ever

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Take the simple questionnaire inside this book and within minutes discover which of the sixteen unique skin types describes your skin, which ingredients to avoid, the skin care brands that are right for you, and your new time- and money-saving regimen. In this revised edition of her classic bestseller, world-renowned Miami Beach dermatologist and researcher Dr. Leslie Baumann helps you shop for the optimal skin care products. She provides detailed lists of recommended products suited to every skin type and budget. Inside you’ll find
• your personal skin type profile detailing exactly what will work—and what won’t—for your unique complexion
• the newest products for healthy, radiant skin—cleansers, moisturizers, toners, sun blocks, foundations, and more
• tips on preventing skin aging and “problem” skin
• vital information on the new world of prescription products, facials, chemical peels, Retin-A, Botox, and Restylane injections

Now you can look like a million bucks without spending a fortune. This book is almost as good as having Dr. Baumann give you a personal consultation!

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  • Dr. Leslie Baumann
    Dr. Leslie Baumann  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
With new products and cutting-edge research, we've entered an exciting new age in skin care. Poised at the frontlines of these discoveries is Dr. Leslie Baumann, the Director of Cosmetic Dermatology at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine. Her book The Skin Type Solution justifies its title with a full array of useful features, including a questionnaire that will enable you identify which of the distinct skin types is yours; a product guide to nearly 200 brand names and 1,000 products, keyed to skin type and budget; and tips on dealing with nearly every imaginable skin problem.
From the Publisher
Without question, the best book I’ve read on skin care.”—Paula Begoun, author of Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me
Library Journal
Besides treating skin disorders, dermatologist Baumann (director, Univ. of Miami Cosmetic Ctr.) conducts research on skin-care products. Her goal here is to advise readers on their best options in caring for their skin based on skin type. After Baumann explains the four major factors that influence skin health-including hydration (oily v. dry), sensitivity, pigmentation, and elasticity-readers can determine which of the 16 subtypes of skin they have through the included questionnaires. The author then offers concrete information on the characteristics of each subtype, with guidelines for basic care. A specific facial care regimen, including a selection of recommended products in a variety of price ranges, is suggested based on clinical trial data. There are also tips on which ingredients are not effective and how to shop for products as well as coverage of ongoing research, dietary helps, and when to consult a dermatologist. Skin-care books are not scarce, but most of them target a specific condition or a certain skin type (e.g., oily), while Baumann's subtype system will help many readers narrow their own needs. Although the acronyms take some concentration, this book is recommended for all consumer health collections.-Janet M. Schneider, James A. Haley Veterans' Hosp., Tampa Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553383300
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/26/2006
  • Edition description: Reprinted Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 613,450
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Leslie Baumann, M.D., founded the University of Miami Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute in 1997, the first university-run research center dedicated to cosmetic dermatology and skin care. Her revolutionary skin typing system has been adopted worldwide. She is also the author of the bestselling textbook Cosmetic Dermatology and is a regular contributor to Yahoo! Health.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Why Skin Typing?


How many times have you gone to a cosmetic counter and spent $50 to $150 on products you never again use? Has a saleswoman or cosmetologist sold you a line that “did wonders for me,” but does nothing for you? Have you developed an allergy or irritation to a product without knowing them cause? Why does your best friend swear by a facial care product that makes your skin look and feel terrible? Should you or shouldn’t you use soap? Why do you hate the feel of sunscreen, though you know you should use it? Is a chemical face peel right for you? Should you consider using Retin-A? If you owned a Subaru Forester, you wouldn’t follow the maintenance procedures for a Volkswagen Golf. So if you happen to have dry, sensitive skin, why on earth would you use a moisturizer, cleanser, and cosmetic procedure more suited to someone with oily, resistant skin?

The reason? You don’t know what type of skin you have; therefore, you don’t know how to care for your skin. Until the publication of The Skin Type Solution, the Baumann Skin Typing System was not widely known or available. While many people have a general understanding of their skin, most have relied on commonly known but imprecise, unscientific definitions that fall short of providing a true and complete picture.

My many years as a dermatologist, researcher, and professor of dermatology have convinced me that no one ever needs to have a “bad skin day.”

Knowing your Skin Type is the missing, essential step to finding your way to beneficial products and treatments–and beautiful skin. But if you’re like the typical first-time patient at my bustling University of Miami clinic, I’ll bet you:

·Don’t know your Skin Type
·Don’t know that it’s essential to base skin care decisions on your Skin Type
·Use the wrong products for your Skin Type
·Spend much more than you should on those products
·Use the wrong procedures for your Skin Type
·Fail to take advantage of procedures that would benefit your Skin Type

When it comes to using skin care products and services, most people have been in the Dark Ages, wandering through a maze of product misinformation and overzealous marketing, lucky to stumble on anything that works. To properly care for your skin and prevent aging, you need a treatment model that describes and captures the very real and scientifically verifiable distinctions in skin physiology.

Skin Typing does just that.

Plus, you need a concrete program specifically and individually tailored to the unique attributes of your Skin Type. The Skin Type Solution provides all of that vital information and guidance.

Once you’ve discovered your Skin Type (through answering a questionnaire in Chapter Three), you can go straight to the chapter on your Skin Type and find everything you need right there. There is a science to skin care, and once you know your Skin Type, it all gets a lot easier.

I’ve spent the last ten years defining and clinically testing my Skin Type solutions on thousands of patients at my University of Miami clinic to assure that my scientific criteria will work for everyone, of every skin color, ethnicity, age, and sex. And it does.

Perhaps you’ve already benefited from understanding your psychological type, your learning style, or your Ayurvedic type. If so, you’ll appreciate how critical it is to get a handle on your Skin Type. This understanding lets you take control of your skin.

My Special Expertise

The guidance and gems I’ll give you won’t appear anywhere else. I launched, and currently direct, the University of Miami Cosmetic Center, the first university-run cosmetic research center in the United States, where I treat thousands of patients every year. In addition to being an MD, I am a professor at the University of Miami and the chief of the Division of Cosmetic Dermatology, making me the first cosmetic dermatologist in the United States dedicated to the field of cosmetic dermatology who is also a full-time university faculty member, teaching and conducting research.

This unprecedented combination affords me a unique position. My academic responsibilities keep me right on the cutting edge of research, while my clinical work has been a proving ground for refining the recommendations that arise from my findings.

My clients–who range from gorgeous fashion models to topflight professionals, to fellow physicians, to all kinds of men and women concerned about aging–have reaped the benefits of my unique understanding of the role of Skin Type in skin care.

As a scientist who is also a woman who loves to experiment with beauty and skin care products and routines, I’m tireless in seeking out and researching all beauty options because I use them myself. What’s more, as a person who wants to look my best all my life, I can put myself in your shoes and figure out how to best serve your skin care needs.

Defining a New Typology

Up until now, the field of dermatology lacked a rational model that people could learn to follow and apply for themselves. Prior to Skin Typing, the preexisting mode of analyzing skin differences dated back to the early 1900s, when cosmetic giant Helena Rubenstein first divided skin into four categories: normal, combination, dry, and sensitive. While that was revolutionary for its time, today we can apply more accurate scientific criteria to the range of skin differences.

Before Skin Typing, even dermatologists felt frustrated, since we all want to understand skin better and offer our patients tailor-made solutions. But until now, the revolutionary classification of the sixteen Skin Types was not there to help.

Here’s just one example of the kind of confusion that runs rampant, even among professionals. I recently was on the advisory board of a major company with two prominent dermatologists. One was an “R” (someone with resistant, nonreactive skin) and the other one was an “S” (someone with sensitive skin). Right there in front of the company president, the two had a huge argument, with the “R” dermatologist claiming that there was no difference in skin care products and that it was all marketing hype. She could use anything on her facial skin, she told us, even Ivory soap, without a problem. The “S” skin dermatologist was shocked. Almost everything made her skin turn red and sting, she retorted. These two skin professionals did not understand that their opposing points of view stemmed from their opposite Skin Types. I saw very clearly that something was missing and wanted to simplify skin care, once and for all.

As a clinician, I’d seen the damage caused by following an inappropriate skin care routine. As a caring doctor, I’d heard the frustration and confusion of people trying to make good skin care choices while barraged by a plethora of products and overwhelmed by conflicting and often misleading marketing claims. Because each person had particular skin care needs, I noticed that the same products did not work for everyone, so I tailored individualized skin care regimens for my clients. Over time a clear, consistent, and replicable typology emerged. The sixteen Skin Types are the keys to a complete diagnostic and treatment program that covers every significant skin factor and that really works.

My system measures four factors in skin: oiliness vs. dryness, resistance vs. sensitivity, pigmentation vs. non-pigmentation, and tightness vs. wrinkling. Determining where you fall in each of the four categories serves as the foundation for typing your skin. Your Skin Type is more than the sum of the four different factors. Their interplay and expression are unique for each type. After seeing literally thousands of patients and refining the Baumann Skin Type Questionnaire over the last ten years, I can assure you that Skin Typing captures each Skin Type’s unique qualities and shows you how to work with your type’s strengths and weaknesses.

Once you understand your Skin Type, proper skin care isn’t complicated or costly. You won’t need to use a shelfful of products. Honing in on what your skin needs will actually simplify your beauty routine, making it easier to follow and more economical. Following the advice I’ll extend in your Skin Type’s chapter will end “bad skin days” because it will end bad skin care decisions.

How to Use This Book

In reading the opening chapter of this book, you’ll familiarize yourself with the underlying principles of Skin Typing. In Chapter Two, you’ll learn my innovative vocabulary to help you understand the different factors that I take into account when determining your Skin Type. In Chapter Three, you’ll take the Baumann Skin Type Questionnaire. Once you tabulate your results, you will know exactly which one of the sixteen types describes your skin. You can then turn directly to that chapter for a complete profile that will provide you with everything you need to take charge of your skin and give it the best possible care. The bottom line is that by reading your chapter, you will get to know your skin. This will provide the foundation for following my subsequent advice.

Each chapter contains Daily Skin Care Regimens specifically designed to address your Skin Type’s problem areas. To follow your type’s regimen, you will need to use the kinds of products I recommend. I’ll provide a list of suggestions for each type of product, as well as extra suggestions to use when you have specific skin problems.

If you currently use products that you find effective, you can also continue to use them, if you wish. However, if you decide to do that, I advise you to consult the lists of ingredients that define which ones are favorable or counterproductive for your Skin Type. Some ingredients may be helpful for one of your skin concerns, but exacerbate another skin problem. For example, genistein, a component found in soy, helps wrinkles, but also increases pigmentation. A Non-Pigmented, Wrinkled Skin Type could safely use it, but a Pigmented, Wrinkled Type should only use products that contain soy that has had the genistein removed. That’s one reason why I advise that you double-check your current products to ensure that they do not contain any no-nos. If they do, I recommend that you change products, as you could be unwittingly causing a problem. And you may also find that some of your favorite products do indeed contain helpful ingredients for your type. Still, I can best guarantee results with the products I know and recommend.

This book should be your companion when you shop for skin care products. As you put my recommendations in place, monitor how well they are working for you to assess whether or not consulting a dermatologist would be of benefit. For some Skin Types, I provide one or more additional Stage Two Daily Skin Care Regimens which address treating special skin problems. Near the end of each chapter, I will point you toward your best options in cosmetic dermatology.

In the chapter on your Skin Type, you will find:

1. Understanding of:
a. The basic qualities of your Skin Type b. Your Skin Type’s issues and challenges c. Risk factors associated with your Skin Type

2. Guidelines for:
a. Your Skin Type’s Daily Skin Care Regimen b. Sun protection for your skin c. Makeup that will help improve your skin condition d. Cosmetic procedures that can help your skin (where applicable)
e. Cosmetic procedures that are not recommended for you (where applicable)

3. Specific Recommendations for:
a. Skin care products for your daily skin care routine b. Skin care ingredients (to look for on product labels) that address your key skin issues c. Skin care ingredients (to look for on product labels) that you should avoid because they can worsen your skin

My role in research and industry development gives me an unparalleled across-the-board knowledge of skin care ingredients. I’ll indicate the best way to cleanse your skin, reveal whether you need to use a toner or a moisturizer, diagnose whether exfoliation is advisable for you, and advise you when you’d benefit from prescription skin medications. All of my product recommendations will include options at low, medium, and high prices so that whatever your budget, you can follow my recommendations to successful skin care. All selections are widely available, so you’ll have no trouble obtaining them.

Your Skin Type chapter will also help you to avoid products and procedures that–while recommended for other types–are either useless or potentially harmful for you. If you are curious about a cosmetic procedure, like Botox, your chapter will indicate whether, based on your Skin Type, it’s something that you and your dermatologist should consider. That way you can make sure you choose the skin procedures most beneficial for your skin’s particular needs.

When to Consult a Dermatologist

In addition to guiding you through the product maze, I will help you decide when to consult a dermatologist. Some types have very little need to see a doctor, while certain others really benefit from the prescription medications, light treatments, and other procedures doctors can provide. In fact, for certain Skin Types with increased skin issues, nonprescription products may not be sufficiently effective. People with highly resistant skin, for example, need higher-octane products, which only licensed physicians can prescribe.

Due to a national shortage of qualified dermatologists, people wait an average of three months to get an appointment. As a result, most dermatologists cannot always spend the time necessary to address basic skin care needs. By teaching you how to meet your basic skin care needs without a dermatologist, I’ll ensure you make efficient use of your valuable appointment time when you see a doctor.

Finally, I have launched a Web site,, to track your responses to different products, so now you can join the patients who see me at my clinic in offering your feedback and experiences while following the Baumann Skin Type Solution. Log on to and share your skin care discoveries with me and other people from around the world who share your Skin Type. Find out what’s new and ask specific questions about your skin concerns.

What You Need to Know About Skin Care Products

For you as a consumer in the billion-dollar skin care industry, lack of information about products is costly, and you have to bridge the gap between what you know and what you need to know. Without accurate information, you are throwing your money away, because you are completely at the mercy of advertisers and marketers. With the specific information about your skin’s needs explained in this book, you can take control of your skin. This book will save you the expense, trouble, and waste of buying the wrong products–while directing you to the right ones. My recommendations are ingredient driven, and once you’ve learned my criteria, you too will be better able to read a cosmetic label and figure out if it’s appropriate for you.

I have tried to incorporate into this book every kind of skin care product that I feel is useful, limiting the scope to facial care products. I have chosen the products recommended in this book based on their ingredients, manufacturing practices, and formulations.

Instead of letting you waste your valuable time and money tracking down products that wind up in the trash, I will direct you to ones that will really help. I’ve reviewed the clinical trial data for the products, when available, to offer those proven effective. Finally, since my patients have used my recommendations, I’ve listened to their feedback and tracked their treatment results to guarantee the efficacy of the treatment approach and product selection for each Skin Type. All you have to do is take the test, determine your Skin Type, and choose from the products in your chapter. And at least when you splurge on products and procedures, you’ll know you are getting your money’s worth.

The recommendations are independent of any relationships that I have with the companies that manufacture them. Of course, when I work with a company, I know more about its products. However, I work with over thirty-seven companies and have approached many others for information while writing this book. In addition, when I find products with helpful ingredients from other sources, like stores or the Internet, I test them as well. After all, I test skin care products for a living–so why not?

All the products that I recommend:

1. Contain the right ingredients for your Skin Type
2. Contain sufficient amounts of active ingredients to be effective
3. Do not contain counterproductive ingredients
4. Are formulated effectively for your needs
5. Are packaged to maintain stability of the active ingredients
6. Are cosmetically elegant (smell good and feel good)
7. Got a thumbs-up from those who’ve used them
8. Are easily available for purchase

Finally, since all products meet all of the above criteria, I often pick the cheapest option (or a hands-down favorite) as a Baumann’s Choice. This designates the best value to make your product selections easier.

Skin Typing Is Universal

One of the fascinating features of Skin Typing is that people of different ethnic or racial backgrounds can share a Skin Type. In most instances, all people with the same Skin Type will follow the exact same treatment plan, but sometimes skin color can be a differentiating factor because of the way pigment (the factor in skin that produces color) is produced in different racial and ethnic groups. For example, two best friends, Valerie, a medium—skintoned brunette, and Dana, a dark-skinned woman, came in for back-toback appointments. After they each took the questionnaire and tabulated their results, they were surprised to discover that they shared the same Skin Type. They were both “P,” Pigmented Skin Types, which gave both Valerie and Dana a tendency to develop pigmentation issues. And each of them did have a problem with pigmentation. That’s why they came to my office.

Valerie had an area of dark skin discoloration (called melasma) on her cheek, and Dana had dark spots in areas where she had once had pimples. Although I recommended that they follow the exact same protocol and use the same kinds of products, there was one key difference. Valerie could benefit from an advanced cosmetic procedure that uses light instruments or lasers to treat pigment problems like hers, while Dana would benefit most from prescription products used daily and should not undergo laser treatment since this can cause discoloration in people with darker skin tones.

That’s why, throughout the book whenever an adjustment based on skin color is needed, I’ll fine-tune recommendations so that you will know how to adapt them to your needs whether you have a light, medium, or dark skin tone.

Skin Care Myths

When people come into my office, I regularly have to deprogram them of skin care dis-information. For example, do you buy into any of these common beauty myths?

Myth # 1: The way to find the right skin care product is by buying lots of different products until you find one that works for you (if you’re lucky).

Actually, this approach works well for the cosmetics industry, but it’s not so good for you–unless you happen to have loads of money, tons of free time, and a desire to experiment on your skin. Yet, that’s the way most people purchase skin care products and services. Without knowing your Skin Type and being directed to the range of products that work well for it, you are at the mercy of marketers and advertisers.

In this book, I will demystify skin products, and let you know what’s worthwhile, or worthless, for your Skin Type’s needs–and why. Because of the way that they are regulated by the FDA, cosmetic companies cannot lay claim to any biological activity. If they did, their products would be regulated as drugs, with costly clinical trials needed to validate their claims. Instead they make vague marketing statements. No wonder people are confused. However, as a dermatologist, I can reveal the biological effects of different products to cut through the hype.

Myth #2: The more expensive a product, the better it will work.

What does the high price tag on that designer skin cream buy you? Not the ingredients in the bottle. Instead, most often you are footing the bill for the marketing and bottling of that product. In fact, if tomorrow someone invented the world’s best skin cream, they could sell the rights to market it to different segments of the skin care marketplace, and very likely the only difference between the drugstore item, the department store brandname version, and the special edition sold by dermatologists would be, you guessed it, the packaging and price. However, the creams contained therein could well be absolutely identical. Some day I’d love to see high-end lines that are really worth the extra expense because they are packed with ingredients that can deliver real results. In this book, you’ll learn what products work well for your Skin Type’s unique needs, without busting your budget.

Myth #3: Ivory soap is for sensitive skin.

Any product that vigorously suds and foams contains detergent, a strict no-no for dry skin. The best-known example is Ivory soap, marketed with the buzz phrase “so pure it floats.” Advertising featured pictures of delicate babies and fair-skinned blondes, along with the recommendation that since it was “pure, and fragrance free,” it was designed “for sensitive skin.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Vigorously foaming soaps, like Ivory, are terrible for dry skin because they wash away the natural lipids that help your skin retain moisture. If you have dry skin, never use anything that makes a lot of bubbles, especially bubble bath. Thin foam and thin bubbles are all right. Never wash your face with shampoo no matter what your Skin Type. Instead use non-foaming cleansers or minimally foaming cleansers like Cetaphil, Dove, Pond’s, or certain Nivea products.

Myth #4: The food I eat won’t affect my skin.

Your diet does impact your skin, and there’s no doubt that going on a no- or low-fat diet can increase skin dryness. Studies have shown that patients on cholesterol-lowering drugs often suffer from dry skin. Cholesterol is actually an important part of the skin that helps it remain hydrated.

Myth #5: Paying attention to my skin is a waste of time.

If you have one of the easier Skin Types, your recommended routine is not going to create unnecessary complexity. What’s more, fine-tuning your skin care can only save you money and optimize your skin in the long run. On the other hand, if you have a challenging Skin Type, treating your skin right and preventing future problems is an absolute essential. Most skin problems are better addressed sooner rather than later. And whatever your age, skin condition, or Skin Type, sooner is today.

Ready, Set . . . Skin Type!

I’m truly delighted to be able to share with you my discoveries and to help you manage your skin and treat it right. Try the regimens and products, and see how they work for you. Don’t hesitate to see a dermatologist if you need to, as there are many advanced medications and procedures of real benefit. Finally, share Skin Typing with your friends, family, and loved ones because there’s a Skin Type Solution for everyone.

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Interviews & Essays

A Conversation with Dr. Leslie Baumann

Dr. Leslie Baumann answers some questions about The Skin Type Solution, her revolutionary new book.

Dr. Baumann, what's so different about Skin Typing? LB: Skin Typing takes into account all of the cosmetic skin problems or skin parameters that would drive any consumer to buy a skin care product. This allows me to make specific and customized product suggestions that are perfect for any one person's unique needs.

Skin Typing gives organization to the chaos of skin care. Take a look at the shelves of any retail outlet -- right now, there are thousands of products, and the options are too many; consumers are confused. Skin Typing, as revealed for the first time in The Skin Type Solution, clarifies the marketplace for any consumer, so he or she can take control of one's own skin care regimens and make educated choices.

According to the book, there are 16 types, which sounds complicated. Is it? How did you come to the conclusion that there are 16 types?

LB: It is actually quite simple. Think of your particular skin problems by asking yourself four key questions:

  • Is your skin oily or dry?
  • Is it sensitive or resistant?
  • Do you see dark patches on your face or uneven skin tone, or not?
  • Have you currently developed or will you develop wrinkles?

The Baumann Skin Typing System is based on identifying these four parameters. Readers will take the Baumann Skin Type Questionnaire to discover their own unique type among the 16 possible combinations.

As a doctor, I find that many of my patients aren't really sure about their skin; something simple like "are you oily or dry?" is actually a complicated question and some readers won't know the real answer (e.g. Studies show that when an average person is asked if one's skin is oily and then oil content is measured, the person was often wrong about whether his or her skin was oily or not). With the Questionnaire, it becomes easy, showing a reader where she is on the spectrum -- "are you very oily, slightly oily, slightly dry, or very dry?"

I'll show readers with scientifically-validated questions that have been tested on more than 400 patients. As readers of The Skin Type Solution will learn, the 16 types have distinct needs and deserve individualized skin care.

So this is more than just a new selling message to consumers, right?

LB: Yes -- The Skin Type Solution is not meant to sell anything to consumers. It actually does the opposite: It teaches them what not to buy.

Can your book help any person at any age?

LB: Any person of any age can take the Questionnaire to find her/his skin type. Then, in Part III of the book, each chapter discusses that specific skin type throughout a person's lifespan -- what that skin type will face in its 20s, 30s, 40s and over age 50. And I give tips anticipating how skin will change with age and what anyone can do to take control of these changes and prevent the undesired ones.

What are the advantages to understanding the Skin Typing system?

LB: I feel confident that you will save money and time. You will ensure that you are doing everything you can to treat your skin and prevent its unique future problems. You will not fall prey to false marketing claims about products and procedures that are not right for you. You will know when it is time to see a dermatologist and when it is appropriate to self-treat.

Can a person's type change over time and are ethnic differences taken into account?

LB: Skin types stay basically the same life long but can change temporarily with pregnancy, diet changes, lifestyle changes such as a move to a dry climate from a humid climate, or with menopause. I recommend readers re-take the questionnaire after any of the "skin changing" events. For example, you can develop acne and skin oiliness in pregnancy that you did not have before and will not have after the pregnancy. However, you need to know what products t use during the pregnancy and The Skin Type Solution can help.

Ethnic differences are already taken into account in the questionnaire and it has been proven to work on all ethnic groups. I care for a multi-ethnic population in my practice in Miami and have shown this typing system works.

Are there tips in The Skin Type Solution that guys will appreciate?

LB: Yes, absolutely. Men have many of the same skin issues as women: therefore, it is not the packaging or marketing of the products that are important but the ingredients in the products themselves. The Skin Type Solution is an ingredient-driven book; I tell you how to look for the right ingredients and the right products.

Just because products say they are "For Men" does not mean they are right for all men. This book will help you determine your needs based on science, not marketing claims.

You founded the University of Miami Cosmetic Center, the first of its kind in the country. What is it? How has being at a university increased your knowledge base? Your access?

LB: It is a University-run practice that is devoted to performing, researching, and teaching cosmetic procedures. I started it in 1997 and I now have 6 dermatologists who work there under my direction. I spend one third of my time seeing patients, one third researching the new products (usually as part of the FDA approval process) and one third of my time teaching dermatology residents and dermatologists from around the world about the science of these techniques and how to properly perform them. We teach the world the science and art of cosmetic dermatology!

How do we do this teaching? We use the textbook I authored (Cosmetic Dermatology: Principles and Practice, by Leslie S. Baumann, M.D., ISBN 0071362819, published in the US by McGraw-Hill Professional) that is now in four languages, with training seminars, with lectures given worldwide, and through a monthly column that I write for a leading dermatology newspaper. We also have dermatologists observe as we treat patients. I am never alone! My current entourage of observers is five people -- including a visitor from Brazil, one from Mexico, one from Thailand, a dermatology resident dermatologist in training), and a new dermatologist that I am training to join the practice.

By "University run" I mean that I am also an Associate Professor in addition to being an M.D. That means I also publish frequently. I have weekly access to the brilliant minds of other university professors with whom I frequently collaborate. Also, any income made in the practice whether from research or patient care, stays at the University of Miami. I am a salaried associate professor and my income does not depend on that generated from a cosmetic company or a patient. This allows me to be unbiased about product and procedures preferences and I do not feel the need to sell to my patients to make money. In fact, patients have jokingly referred to me as Dr. No because I often talk them out of unnecessary procedures and end up saving them money.

When we first founded the UMCC, there was a need to have a research-based cosmetic dermatology center. Many doctors were getting into the cosmetic dermatology business but no one was researching the products and techniques to see if they were any good and no one was training others how to do them properly. I've always loved to teach and loved science. I have had a passion for collecting vintage cosmetic products for years so it all came together.

It was my Chairman, Dr. Bill Eaglstein who connected all of the dots and told me that I should do this. Within a few years we were doing the FDA research trials that led to the approval of Botox and many other cosmetic products and procedures (such as Hylaform and Tri-Luma).

The University of Miami is one of the most famous dermatology programs because of its founder Dr. Harvey Blank. He was the first to bring well designed clinical trials to the field of dermatology. He discovered the first antifungal drug and was the first to see the herpes virus under an electron microscope. Because of this, UM attracts the leading dermatologists in the world. We are very research-oriented and are the only training program that requires our residents to complete a research project in order to graduate. I work with the dermatologist Dr, Schachner, who wrote the leading textbook on Pediatric Dermatology, Dr. Nouri, who wrote the textbook on dermatologic surgery (skin cancer surgery) and many others. Skin care has long been an interest at University of Miami because the wound healing research division is strong there. I interact with these brilliant people several times a week; we are always discussing ideas, latest research, etc.

In addition, I am surrounded by inquisitive dermatology residents and dermatologists from around the world that teach me as much as I teach them. Their constant questions of "why this or why that" keep me on my toes and encourage me to increase my knowledge base.

The access comes in handy a lot. For example, as I developed the Baumann Skin Type Questionnaire, I met with experts at the University of Miami who helped me understand about questionnaire development and what steps to take to make sure the questions measured what they were supposed to measure. It would have taken me much longer to develop the questionnaire and therefore the Skin Typing Solution, without the help of experts. The academic environment provides a world rich with intellect, with insight, and inspires my passion for teaching and sharing with others.

Dr. Baumann, how have you been able to maintain good relations with over three dozen competing cosmetic product companies?

LB: They need me as much as I need them. I need them to educate me about the latest discoveries and they need someone who can understand the research and who can differentiate between well-designed research trials and poorly designed ones that render meaningless results. When I like their research I help explain it in simpler terms to dermatologists and other physicians through my columns and lectures. These doctors trust me to remain unbiased. I am of more value to the companies when I am unbiased because then I will be believed by doctors and consumers when I talk.

Can it be confusing for you to be reviewing similar products for different manufacturers or lines?

LB: No. The more I know about the science of the skin the easier it is for me to evaluate products. Each piece of information that I learn builds on the last piece. Companies often discuss new product ideas with me because I know what has and has not worked in the past and I may be able to save them a lot of time and money by keeping them from going down the wrong path.

Are you in favor of some of the popularly-discussed treatments, like Botox injections, and other procedures? Are these always effective, and how does a person with a particular Skin Type know?

LB: Yes, I am in favor of many of these treatments, at least most of them. But as The Skin Type Solution shows, they are not right for everyone -- and that's important to understand! I discuss if procedures are right for a particular skin type in the "Further Info" sections of each skin type chapter.

I'm proud of the research trials in which I have been and UMCC has been involved; because of our expertise in clinical research, I get to use these products before they are available on the market in the U.S. I have attended the FDA panel meetings that discuss whether or not these procedures should be approved and I an intimately familiar with the risks and benefits of these procedures. Many patients do some preliminary fact-finding at our site at This site was created in conjunction with the UMCC.

We live in a youth-obsessed culture. Is all this focus on looking younger a concern?

LB: The focus should be on looking better, not younger. Many studies show this is important. For example, those with oily skin or acne can be perceived as unkempt which can hurt their chances getting that new job or meeting the partner of their dreams. Those with facial flushing and redness may be perceived as naive and immature. Those with dry skin may itch which distracts them, makes them sleep poorly and be less able to function well. You don't have to believe me: believe the multiple studies on the subject. There is a great book entitled Survival of the Prettiest that offers a terrific look at the research around beauty.

And what do you say to the old adage that "one gets the face one earns?"

LB: I agree with it! If you smoke, sunbathe frequently, do not wear sunscreen and have a poor skin care regimen, your skin will suffer -- that I can promise you.

Copyright ©2005 The Bantam Dell Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.

All Rights Reserved. Questions and Answers may be used in the promotion of The Skin Type Solution by Leslie S. Baumann with permission from the Bantam Dell Marketing Department. Call 212-782-9500 for details.

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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2008

    I'm so glad that I did buy this book!

    Since stopping my contraceptive pill I had suffered with considerable acne and patches of dry skin for 2 years which had greatly impacted my self confidence. . until I found this book. I had spent a fortune on trying expensive skin care products, many recommended to me by skin care experts but I saw little to no improvement. I was sceptical initially, thinking that after reading the guidance on your skin type you would have a 'Dr Baumann's skin care range' thrust upon you as the only way to improved skin, however, I was pleasantly surprised. I found the questionnaire simple to complete and my skin type result was spot on (providing you give honest answers- especially in the wrinkle section as painful as admitting it is!). As a result I bought the cheapest products from the comprehensive list provided for my skin type(ranging in price and most available from supermarkets or the high street)and after 3 months there has been a marked improvement in my skin- I even have people commenting on my skin which has never happened before! You may have to read your chapter a few times to get your head around it as Dr Baumann provides often up to 3 different regimens for your skin type depending on the nature of your problems, but once you have got your head around this, your away! I have recommended this book to numerous friends and although some have had to try a few products before finding their favourites most have persisted and seen improvements too. After all, there is no point in giving up after a couple of weeks, it can take a considerable while before you will see improvements. If your skin is getting you down- it has to be worth a try!?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2011

    Well worth the effort

    I have struggled for years trying to find the proper products for my skin. I seemed to switch between oily, dry, normal and combination. Dr. Baumann's book helped me understand the many other factors that make up MY skin. Suddenly all of the money I spent on programs that didn't work made sense. Her book is simple to understand AND lists products at all prices that can work for you. My skin is finally happy with products that can made a difference for me! Well worth the read AND following the Dr's orders!

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  • Posted November 27, 2010

    Loved it!! A simple solution!!

    I loved this book! Besides having an incredibly busy schedule and no time to get to the doctor, I have a limited budget. This book made it simple for me to review my skin and design a regimen that suited me and my budget!! I look fantastic!!! I am recommending it to all my girlfriends!! Get your skin perfect for the holidays!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2010

    Practical For Any Budget

    This was a great read - easy to understand as well as great tips for anyone's budget. Thank goodness someone finally put this together! I recommend it for everyone!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2010

    A must have guide to great skin!

    I can't believe how my skin looks now! I have the first edition of the book and it helped to tame my unruly and unpredictable skin. I used to have brown spots, acne, and irritation but compliments I receive on my skin When the new edition came out, I ran out to see what the changes were. This new edition is awesome! All of the products have been revised and the new procedures and treatments are included in this book as well. I changed my cleanser and my skin is clearer only 2 days later. Thank you Dr. Leslie Baumann!!

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  • Posted November 24, 2010

    Great Products, Amazing advice- Must Buy!

    This has been the best book I have purchased in a long time. There are products for every budget, and the expert advice from Dr. Leslie Baumann is unparalleled. I'm looking forward to making my skin look radiant with the guidance of this book.

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  • Posted November 24, 2010

    Eye Opening!!!!!

    Before reading this book I was of the mindset that the more expensive a cosmetic product was the "better" is would be for my skin. Wow was I wrong! I always thought I had oily skin but after taking the questionnaire I found out I really had dry skin. Such a waste of money all these years of by oil free products and using toners and they were completely wrong for my skin type.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 24, 2010

    This Skin Typing System has SAVED my skin!

    I have ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS had blackheads and clogged pores! I have gotten facials, exfoliated, extracted them, covered them with makeup- You name it- I've done it all! I then heard about this book through a friend. It was my type of book- All I had to do was take a questionnaire (A little long, but TOTALLY worth it) and go to my chapter. I then realized that I was doing EVERYTHING wrong for my skin- I was using oily sunscreen, I was using foundation with oil, etc. (I am an OSPW). I am now happy to say that my skin is looking better than EVER! This book is like having a dermatologist at your reach 24/7! I recommend this book to all people seeking more youthful and healthy looking skin!

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  • Posted November 23, 2010

    Cant Wait To Get This Book !

    I first bought this book in 2005 and have been following Dr Baumann ever since on her website.I WAS an OSPW and now because of this book and how easy and simple it is to follow a LOW cost skin regimen , my skin is even toned and ready to take on anything age has to give. Great Gift Idea for any of your friends . I cant wait to read the updates !

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2007

    I'm so glad that I didn't buy this book.

    After I read all these reviews, I was excited & eager to buy this book. However, I checked out the book from the public library in my town. I'm so glad that I DIDN'T buy this book. First of all, skin type questions are very general and choosing answers could be bias or no answer is there for you at all. My Original skin condition: I have occasionally 2 or 3 acne on my chin area and very minimum small red bumps on my forehead. My nose area and cheeks are completely clean with no ance or no red bumps. Overall, my skin is not that bad acutally. When I read the reviews, I was hoping this book could help me clean up those minimum acne on my chin. So I started reading. I took all the tests twice so that it can be sure. According to this book, my skin turned out being OSPW which means oily, sensitive, pigmented and wrinkle prone skin. So I read carefully the section that I was being related to. Some of application rules are confusing and un-consistent. For example, first, she said lightener should be the first to apply after cleaning and toning. In next 2 or 3 pages, she said acne treatment should be the fist one to apply after cleaning and toning and before all of the other applications. She also said OSPW skin needs both lightner and acne treatment. I got confused. But I followed carefully her recommendations and directions for skin care. I bought whole bunch of skin care lotions and cleanser that she recommended. I gave it a try up to 3 weeks. The thing is now, I have all the red bumps all over my face. Yup, it includes my once-clear checks and nose area. I have more red bumps on my forehead. Her recommended skin lightener and ance treatment don't work at all. I don't recommend this book to anyone. If you want to give it a try, don't buy the book. Try to check out at your nearby public library or borrow from the friend who recommends it to you. Overall, it may gives you slight ideas of what you should avoid for your skin care routine. Besides that it's not that great and she is not that helpful after all. It may even make your skin worse than before.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 15, 2011

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    Posted March 30, 2010

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    Posted October 27, 2011

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    Posted November 13, 2008

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    Posted November 24, 2010

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    Posted June 25, 2011

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