As a plastic surgeon, I didn’t previously spend a lot of time thinking about skincare. Our surgical education and training dIdn’t include the before/aftercare related to the skin. But, over the last several years, I have been studying it, experimenting with different before/after protocols, and seeing how important readying your “canvas” can be! I also witnessed, like all of us, that the quality and efficacy of products varies greatly – as does their consistency – even within the same brand.

Last year, I decided to take matters into my own hands and search for products I felt represented our practice, but more importantly, how they can help ready your skin for procedures and also repair/build them up post-procedure. I further realized that skincare needs to be a lifelong process. I now practice what I preach and have multiple products in my 5 AM routine!

Who is a candidate?

Anyone who is looking to refresh their look is a candidate for medical-grade skincare. Skin types differ between people, so certain products may be more or less appropriate for certain people. Factors that contribute to these choices include the degree of sun damage present in the skin, the type of pigmentation you have, and whether your skin is oily or dry. Finally, specific regimens can be used before and after aesthetic procedures to enhance your results and improve the recovery process. Healing supplements such as arnica montana, among others, can help reduce bruising and speed up healing.


Products available at the drugstore, the department store makeup counter, or even on-line without a prescription are generally lower strength. In many cases, this also means less effective. While many over-the-counter products are great, a comprehensive medical skin care regimen can mean the difference between your status quo and a truly refreshed, revitalized appearance. In addition, medical-grade skin care comes from your physician, who can monitor your progress and make adjustments along the way. Products can be selected individually, to target specific areas of the face or specific problems. Alternatively, a 3 or 4 month “system” approach can be used for the whole face.

Retinoids or retinoic acids are derivatives of vitamin A (retinol). These compounds provide crucial support for cell growth and development, from the time you’re in the womb through adulthood. Different derivatives have significantly different effects, however, when used clinically. Tretinoin (all-trans retinoic acid, better known as Retin-A) is a used for treatment of milder forms of acne but is also a potent anti-aging and pro-repair agent for non-acne suffering skin. This product can be used to promote skin regeneration, health, and vitality. It is used in varying strengths in a variety of medical skin care regimens.
Isotretinoin (better known as Accutane, though this is no longer available in the United States) is a related but very different compound. This prescription medication is used for more severe or cystic forms of acne. The benefits can be significant, but there are more serious potential side effects (including birth defects, when given to pregnant women). This medication is generally only prescribed by a dermatologist and requires close supervision with a limited period of treatment.

The ideal sunscreen protects the skin from the harmful ultraviolet spectrum radiation (UV) given off by the sun, including UVA and UVB. In addition, it should not contain compounds that my negatively affect your skin or overall health. In our opinion, the best sunscreens contain zinc or titanium-based formulas. These compounds reflect the UV away from the skin rather than absorbing it in a chemical reaction (like traditional sunscreens). Though many people think of the white paste placed on the nose of lifeguards or seen in classic beach movies, zinc and titanium-based sunscreens now come in sheer forms. These creams rub onto the skin without leaving a chalky or pasty appearance, and provide safe, long-term protection from the sun – helping you look youthful and also defending against skin cancers years down the road.

Additional Products

An often overlooked area of facial aesthetics is basic skincare – not just pre-procedure and post-procedure care – but a daily regimen to build up and maintain your skin. In our office, we use a variety of products including:

Dr. Evan Ransom is an Ivy League-educated and Ivy League trained Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. He is a Double Board Certified Head and Neck Surgeon and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and fellowship-trained in facial plastic, reconstructive, and laser surgery. His practice is in the San Francisco Bay Area, serving patients from San Francisco, Oakland, Marin County, Palo Alto, Silicon Valley, Walnut Creek, the East Bay, and all over Northern California.


Our products were developed to clean the skin well, correct any damage, provide it nutrients, nourish it, and of course, protect it. We are very proud of the Ransom MD line and are happy to design a totally customized regimen for you!


Biocorneum, by Sientra, uses an FDA approved technology that forms a protective shield over a scar. This is optimal for healing and cosmetic improvement, without the need for bulky bandages or sheets. Formulated with an SPF 30 sunscreen, this scar treatment is perfect for patients on the go!


Pur-sil, by Dermavance, is a 100% silicone medical-grade gel. Pur-sil hydrates the scar and helps to reduce the thickness and improve the texture of scars. Due to its soft and silky feel, and quick-drying application, Pur-sil is great under your makeup. Dr. Ransom uses this product for his aging face surgery patients, such as facelift or neck lift.


Featured in Shape, Allure, Glamour and so many more, Alastin uses TriHex Technology, which works with your skin to clear out old, damaged proteins in the skin all while supporting the production of new collagen and elastin.

Schedule a Consultation