Find out what a dermatologist's skin care routine is like
It’s hard for most of us to imagine dermatologists having skincare woes. Whether we envision the doctors popping into a backroom for a Botox injection between clients or just having superhuman strength, it’s tough to conceive a dermatologist squeezing a pimple on her own forehead.
But shocking as it may seem, dermatologists have the same skin as the rest of us. While they may have access to the best skin care products and treatments, these skin care experts still have to forge through a daily regimen to keep that glowing complexion.
Here’s a peek inside your doctor’s medicine cabinet as we reveal what skincare products dermatologists use at home.
Gentle Morning Cleanser
Dermatologists morning routines begin with a light cleansing. Many dermatologists forego any face wash at all, and simply do a water rinse. For those who opt for a product, the top choices are a hydrating facial cleanser or micellar water, which is hailed for its simplicity of ingredients.
Sunscreen as a Moisturizer
While their recommended brands may vary, dermatologists agree on one thing – the importance of daily use of sunscreen. Dermatologists prefer moisturizers with built-in sun protection of SPF 30 or higher, which eliminates the need for two separate products, a benefit preferred by most dermatologists since skin can’t breathe when buried under tons of goop.
Vitamin C Serum
Another skincare product that most dermatologists swear by is Vitamin C serum to protect the skin from environmental stressors such as pollution. An effective vitamin C serum will have potent antioxidants, brightening abilities, softening of fine lines, and protection from the elements.
Micellar Water to Remove Makeup
Once they’ve hung up the white coat for the day, dermatologists remove their makeup with micellar water, a favorite due to its minimal ingredients, and which relies on oil and water to remove residue. A popular micellar water pick is Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, as its sulfate-free formula gently removes makeup without irritating the skin.
Dermatologists' Favorite Night-Time Products
After the makeup has been removed, dermatologists break out the heavy hitting treatments. Many swear by the nightly use of glycolic acid and retinol creams as the most powerful age defying, wrinkle fighting combo. Glycolic acid smooths and brightens skin, while retinol penetrates deep down into your dermis and promotes collagen production at the source. If your skin can’t handle the daily use of retinol, dermatologists recommend alternating it every other night.
The Importance of Eye Cream
Besides sunscreen, another consensus among dermatologists was the importance of a nightly eye cream. While lightweight, breathable products are preferred for the face, dermatologists lean towards a heavier nighttime eye cream. The reason for this? The skin in our eye areas is thinner than the rest of our faces, which leaves it susceptible to wrinkles and bags. In order to combat this, you need a cream with a heavy moisturizer to plump up the thin skin and eliminate the bags.
Do Dermatologists Exfoliate?
The answer is yes, dermatologists do exfoliate, but not every day. Most exfoliate every 2-3 days, and some exfoliate only once a week. The reason for this is, while it’s essential to remove dead cells and reveal the bright skin underneath, over-exfoliating will strip your skin of its natural oils. Dermatologists also recommend exfoliating at nighttime, as it removes all the day’s impurities that your skin has absorbed, and opens it up for the healing, renewal process while you sleep.
The Under $15 Product Types Dermatologists Swear By
The skincare brands preferred by dermatologists vary greatly. Some use mostly high-end products, while others mix it up with drugstore items. However, a common consensus was that some of the higher-end serums are the best products for fighting wrinkles, softening fine lines, and brightening the skin. But these can range as high as more than $150 for a small bottle, this type of product may be out of your reach.
However, the star skincare products are inexpensive drugstore-variety facial washes —look for terms like "dermatologist recommended" or "dermatologist developed" on the labels — which nearly all dermatologists used at some point in the day, whether with their morning shower or nighttime cleanse routine.
Now that you know the skincare routines and preferences of dermatologists, you can try out some of their favorites to help make your skin look as amazing as a professional’s.