Dr. Karam's Philosophy for an Effective Skincare Routine

Dr. Karam, facial plastic surgeon & creator of KaramMD Skin

After 20 years of experience, and a lot patience (and patients) throughout my career… I believe I finally found the secret to anti-aging.

I figured out that skincare is more than just products; it's a daily self-care practice. You have to be dedicated to using those products, over long periods of time to actually make changes to the skin. I realized how important is was to understand which ingredients your skin needs, and take the time every day to provide it with the necessary elements to support it. This is where my search for an anti-aging routine really began.

However, with an overwhelming number of products saturating the market, and a wealth of information on the internet promoting ten-step routines, I found it confusing and time-consuming to be consistent with daily skincare. I was providing my patients with lengthy lists of ingredients, which were difficult to manage and adhere to. Many would stop or lose interest over time, and I understood, because I wasn't able to be consistent with it myself. It was at that point I recognized a need for a more practical solution. I grew passionate about creating a simple skincare system that seamlessly blended ease and effectiveness, without an excessive time commitment. This was the driving force behind the Trifecta.

Trifecta simplifies your skincare routine into a three-step solution, providing all the essential ingredients in one package. It takes the guesswork out of skincare, as Trifecta eliminates the need for multiple products, and saves you time, money and effort compared to buying all of those ingredients individually. Using Trifecta is easier than any other comprehensive skincare system I've seen, ensuring a quick and efficient regimen, making it possible to stay committed and consistent to get long-lasting benefits. Trifecta's clinically proven effectiveness means you can trust it to deliver real results, as promised. We made skincare simple and effective, and packaged it as a subscription to keep your momentum on track so you never have to worry about product shopping again. This was the answer to what I had been looking for. The perfect anti-aging routine; a valuable, all-in-one, life-long skincare system.

Trifecta is the solution to great skin, and I am here to say, if you are consistent with this routine, and commit to including it as part of your daily self-care practice, you will achieve beautiful results.


As we enter a new year, it's a fitting time to take a look at how we can incorporate healthier habits into our lives, and if your goal this year is to have revitalized skin with fewer signs of aging, make an intention to set aside time each day for skincare. By this time next year, you will see changes in your skin and a brighter reflection of yourself.

All of the KaramMD products were crafted based on my personal skincare philosophy. I believe that the pillars for achieving vibrant, healthy skin are easy to follow: sun protection, a gentle cleanser, optimal active ingredients, and regular exfoliation. This is why I supplemented Trifecta with Polish, to give you a complete, well-rounded routine. Yet, these elements are only part of the equation. For genuine effectiveness and long-term results, they require Consistent application, a Continuous routine, and unwavering Commitment, which I fondly term "The 3 Cs."

Today I want to share why this foundation forms the core of my philosophy and how it can help you make the most of your skin health, radiance, and longevity.


The Foundation of a Skincare Routine

Every skin type has unique needs, but certain foundational steps can pave the way to optimal skin for everyone. A proper skincare routine is less about applying a multitude of products and more about integrating the right elements. Here, I will explain what I believe to be the essential steps of your skincare routine and the rationale behind each.


01

Sun Protection


Often considered the holy grail of skincare, consistent sun protection is the frontline defense against many skin woes.

WHY IT'S CRUCIAL: Prolonged exposure to UV rays can lead to photoaging, characterized by wrinkles, fine lines, and sunspots. Beyond aesthetic concerns, UV rays can cause DNA damage, elevating the risk of skin cancer.

PRO TIP: Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen which shields against both UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays. For those who wear makeup, there are primers and foundations with SPF that can provide additional protection. However, you should never rely solely on makeup for SPF; instead, think of it as a bonus layer of defense.


02

Gentle Cleanser


Choosing the right cleanser serves as the foundation for an effective skincare routine. A well-suited cleanser not only removes impurities but also prepares the skin to absorb subsequent products. It maintains the skin's balance, prevents barrier damage, and lays the groundwork for healthier, more radiant skin.

WHY IT'S CRUCIAL: Throughout the day, our skin becomes a canvas for dirt, pollutants, and excess oils. A gentle cleanser ensures thorough cleaning without disturbing the skin's natural pH balance.

PRO TIP: It can be a good practice to double cleanse. An oil-based cleanser is beneficial for dissolving makeup and sunscreen, and breaking down any oily build-up from dirt or sweat. Follow up with a water-based cleanser, like Rinse, to deeply clean the skin. Using a non-foaming, non-abrasive cleanser is important, because you want to soothe and calm the skin to set the stage for the rest of your products to be better tolerated.


03

The Right Actives


Actives are potent, science-backed ingredients that penetrate the skin layers, and interact with the biological systems in the body to make targeted changes on a cellular level.

WHY IT'S CRUCIAL: Tailoring the actives to address your skin issues can significantly enhance the results of your skincare routine. Look for Niacinamide or Hyaluronic Acid for hydration, Retinol or Bakuchiol for collagen production, and the Vitamin C found in Quench will benefit skin tone and texture.

PRO TIP: If you have sensitive skin, introduce one active ingredient at a time to your routine. This way, if your skin reacts negatively, it's easier to pinpoint the culprit. Additionally, certain actives, like Retinol can be potent, so it’s essential to start with lower concentrations and gradually increase as your skin builds tolerance, or start with a product like Illuminate, which has moderated doses specifically formulated for sensitive skin.


04

Exfoliation


Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the skin's surface, revealing smoother, brighter skin underneath.

WHY IT'S CRUCIAL: Regular exfoliation can prevent clogged pores (which lead to breakouts), enhance skin texture, and promote better absorption of skincare products.

PRO TIP: There are two primary types of exfoliants: “Physical” exfoliants contain textured particles or granules that physically scrub away dead skin cells. “Chemical” exfoliants use acids or enzymes to dissolve and break down the bonds between dead skin cells, facilitating their removal without the need for physical scrubbing. Polish is a carefully crafted blend of both worlds. It is a naturally gentle physical exfoliant, with granular bamboo powder and rice to leave your skin feeling instantly softer and smoother, but also contains enzymes, from ingredients like Papain and Bromelain, working deeper to dissolve away dead skin particles and break up dirt and oil in clogged pores without physical scrubbing, resulting in a more gentle and even exfoliation.

Understanding and integrating these four, easy, but paramount steps into your daily routine can be transformative. 


With the develpoment of KaramMD Skin, I wanted to create an all-inclusive package, that makes it easy to get everything you into your skincare routine. Trifecta's gentle cleanser, active ingredients, and the addition of Polish as an enzymatic cleanser is the perfect solution to all of your skincare needs. 



My Cornerstones of Skincare: "The 3 Cs"

In the vast world of skincare, amidst the ever-evolving trends and innovations, the foundational principles to my philosophy remain consistent.

At the heart of these principles lie “The 3 Cs” - Consistency, Continuity, and Commitment. Let's delve into each, understanding its significance, and providing actionable tips for each.


Consistency

Skincare is less about miracles and more about persistence. The most potent of products will fall short if used sporadically. For instance, hydration benefits from a hyaluronic acid serum can only be maintained with regular application, and the skin-renewing benefits of retinol are seen best with repeated use.

Create a routine you can stick to. If an extensive skincare routine seems overwhelming, stick to the basics, or start with a single product that targets your specific needs. The Trifecta was specifically created for this reason–to be easy, effective, and efficient, containing everything your skin needs, in three simple steps. With a consistent skincare regimen in place, you are much more likely to yield significant results.


Continuity

The skin cycle, which involves the turnover of skin cells, lasts approximately 28 days, though it varies with age. This means that the true impact of a skincare product, especially when using actives, might not be visible immediately. Discontinuing a product or routine prematurely can rob you of its potential benefits.

Patience is key. Before starting a new product, set a realistic timeframe to assess its efficacy. Typically start with a 6-8 week timeframe, however to fully see a product's effectiveness, it could be as long as 6 months for your skin to adjust and make more substantial changes. Documenting with photos can provide a clearer perspective on subtle improvements over time.


Commitment

Skincare isn't just about what you apply topically. It’s a holistic approach that includes lifestyle choices, from what you consume, to how you manage your time. Being committed means recognizing the intricate balance between external care and internal well-being.

Alongside your topical routine, be committed to maintaining a healthy, balanced diet, staying adequately hydrated, manage stress through activities like meditation or exercise, and ensure that you are getting enough sleep. Embracing skincare as a comprehensive lifestyle choice, rather than just a sequence of products, can lead to lasting results and overall well-being.


In essence, "The 3 Cs" underline the philosophy that skincare is a journey, not a destination.


In a world where instant gratification is often sought, “The 3 Cs” serve as a grounding reminder that true beauty and health lie in understanding, patience, and a deep dedication to the progress of oneself.

It's always good to remember, your skin is a reflection of not just the products you put on it but also the care you take of yourself as a whole. While the journey to radiant and healthy skin begin with my foundation of sun protection, a gentle cleanser, the right actives, and regular exfoliation, it is truly consistency, continuity, and commitment that are going to make the biggest difference in the long run.

Embrace the essentials, find what works for you, abide by my skincare foundation and philosophy of “The 3 Cs,” and nourish your body both inside and out. Wishing you the best of luck on the path to impeccable skin.

Amir Karam MD

Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon
Founder / Creator of KaramMD Skin

Dr. Amir Karam is a renowned facial cosmetic surgeon and an authority in his field. With over two decades of experience helping patients achieve a younger, refreshed appearance. In addition to surgical procedures that sculpt a youthfully-defined facial shape, Dr. Karam takes the quality of the skin into account.

7 comments

VIVIAN KERR

I have a product called ARAZIO 0.045%-TAZAROTENE 0.045%W/W. Would this product be similar to Tifecta?
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KaramMD Skin replied:
HI Vivian—While the active ingredient in your cream is in the retinoid family, which Trifecta contains as well, it differs from Trifecta in a couple of ways. Trifecta is a three-step system, and each product is perfectly balanced to enhace the skin and effectiveness of the other ingredients in the system. Rinse is a refreshing cleanser that softens and hydrates the skin while preventing buildup in pores. Rinse is also designed to help protect from environmental stressors and prepare your skin to absorb the active ingredients in the other products of the Trifecta line. Quench is a skin-brightening Vitamin C serum helps support natural collagen production and renews the skin, reducing fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and other signs of age. Illuminate is a multi-active anti-aging cream with Retinol, Niacinamide, Lipids, Peptides, and other anti-aging elements to achieve a range of positive effects, like helping to improve skin elasticity, hydration, and boost natural collagen production to achieve more vibrant, luminous skin. Over time, the Trifecta has been shown to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in addition to improving the overall firmness and health of your skin. Many times, when you get a cream from the dermatologist, they are higher strength, and more focused on a target concern. Trifecta on the other hand, is moderated doses to remain balanced without cause for irritation, and encompasses a whole range of skin concerns rather than focusing on just one thing. I hope that helps! > >

Shobha Jesudasen

Does laser contouring and BBL or Hifu help if you are in early sixties. Is it better than fillers ? Or avoid both
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KaramMD Skin replied:
Hi Shobha—Whether or not different lasers work will depend on your specific needs and goals. We recommend consulting with a medical professional who specializes in these treatments to get personalized advice and find the best option for you.

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Customer Support

Hi Jean—the sagging skin around the eyes can really only be addressed with surgery, there is no product that will reverse sagging skin. However, before any surgical intervention, Dr. Karam recommends committing to a skincare regimen that has active ingredients to improve the overall health of your skin first, as this will ultimately benefit your surgical results if you decide to go down that road.

Regardless of whether or not you are interested in surgery, a consistent, daily skincare routine, is going to be the best thing you can do for your skin, including your eyes. With Trifecta, you do not need a separate eye cream, because all of our ingredients in the Trifecta are gentle and formulated for sensitive skin, which makes them safe to be used around the eyes and on the eyelids. Quench is great for around the eyes, because the Vitamin C will help brighten the skin and reduce the appearance of dark circles, while also contributing to anti-aging, and the Retinol found in Illuminate will help thicken that thin skin to give it more firmness and while also helping to treat lines and wrinkles.

Jean Stivers

Love these products and have been using all of them for about 2 months. Is there anything that Dr. Karam recommends for the eyes, especially bags under the eyes and sagging eyelids. Thank you.

Diane Lee

I love reading about the science behind the products and how the ingredients work synergistically. I appreciate Dr. Karam’s evolution in the protocol of appropriate skincare and his honesty in that process. I look forward to starting the Trifecta protocol soon in order to keep my skin at its very best during the aging process. I find it exciting to know how much science and care went into creating these skincare products, to make a real difference and not just a “mass produced” fad cosmeceutical with minimal benefits. Thank you Dr. Karam, I appreciate all you do to make us smarter and make us comfortable in our own skin. Thanks for the beauty you create.

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