Ask an Expert: Q&A with Dr. Rivers


You asked, Dr. Rivers answered! Dr. Rivers answers some of the most common questions about skincare, skin health, and dermatology in general. Have a question you want Dr. Rivers to answer? As always, if you have any inquiries please send us an e-mail at

Q: Trying to get rid of a sunspot on my cheek. Laser made it darker. Is there any product or home remedy that would help?
- Nina

As far as home remedies go, I know that people have tried lemon juice. In terms of skincare you can purchase, topical lightening agents such as tranexamic acid may help. This is a key ingredient in our Corrector formulation. Darkening of a spot post-laser may be the result of a darker skin tone or tanned base. In such skin tones, the right type of laser must be used. Consult the laser provider or a dermatologist.

Q: When you use Retinol, can you still use the Glycolic Peel, and how do you coordinate the two?
- Corinne

The answer is yes, you can use both in conjunction, but you need to be very careful. In order to not irritate the skin, get your skin used to the Retinol for about 3-4 weeks before using the Glycolic Peel. Then, when introducing the Glycolic Peel, only use it once a week initially.

Q: I just purchased the new Retinol cream, if it dries my skin up how many times per week should I use it?
- Tracey R.

Getting started with retinol can be challenging. The key is to take it very slowly and warm up your skin over a long duration. I've outlined steps to do so in the instructions section of our Retinol product page here. Be sure to accompany any Retinol program with a moisturizer.

Q: What can I do for crepey and sagging skin? Can it be completely fixed?

The only total guarantee to completely remove crepey or sagging skin is surgery. Energy based devices may help, fillers may also help. Topical agents are less likely to be effective here.

Q: Is it possible to shrink pores?
- Karen

Topical retinoids can help. Otherwise it can be difficult. Non-ablative fractionated laser (fraxel) can be an effective treatment, consult a dermatologist for more info on this treatment.

Q: I live in Calgary, where the air is generally dry, and hike regularly in our beautiful mountains. Is there something that you recommend extra for those winter, cold days when I hike? Thank you.
- Rodica

Cover up with clothing as best you can. In extreme environments like the Canadian Rockies in winter, creams won't do a lot to seal in moisture. That said, in the lip areas, Vaseline may help.

Q: Outside of using Riversol (which I LOVE), do you have advice for dealing with rosacea?
- Kelli S.

Rosacea symptoms can be well managed by being mindful of your triggers and implementing lifestyle changes accordingly. Find two guides on our website which illuminate common triggers here, and here. Apart from trigger management, energy devices can help with the redness. There are also prescription remedies. Consult a family doctor or a dermatologist for more information.

Q: I am wanting to ask about the "Smokers Lips" even though I do not smoke. The deep lines from the upper and lower lips as well as the "Marionette lines that drag the corners of your mouth down. How do I remedy this? Will fillers help?
-Cindy E.

Fillers and lasers will help with deep lines in this area. For shallow lines, Botox may help. As far as topical remedies, Retinoids can help a little but these are effective to diminish the look of lines if not too deep.

Q: Why am I experiencing breakouts at 65?
- Lucie G.

This is actually quite common. Acne is not just a teenage issue. It could be caused by mask wearing as a mechanical response. It could be genetic or hormonal, especially if someone is undergoing hormone replacement therapy. Try the Riversol acne preparation first. Retinol may also be helpful. When combining these two preparations use the acne treatment against the skin. Follow with retinol. If this doesn't help, consult a dermatologist.

Q: I am 75 & have developed Milia on one side of my face up beside my left eye. What can I do to get rid of it?
- Fran

Milia is characteristic of bright white bumps. They may subside on their own with time. Sometimes very mild exfoliation can help or treatment with a sharp needle by a dermatologist. If the bumps are not bright white, they are likely not milia and may these may be surangoma. These would require surgical treatment. Consult a dermatologist in this case.