4 Dermatologists Share Their Full Day and Night Skin-Care Routines
Ever wonder what dermatologists actually put on their own faces, when they’re home alone and no one is watching? We did, too. That’s why we asked several top experts in the medical and skin-care fields to reveal what products they apply daily — and what ingredients really move the needle when it comes to the health and glow of their own complexions.
Some of their answers were predictable (as if a dermatologist would ever leave the house without SPF), and others were more surprising. (Did we hear that someone washes their face with a modest bar? Yep.) And while there are certain powerhouse ingredients few pros would forgo (like the brightening antioxidant vitamin C), their approaches vary from quick-and-easy, to layered and savvy.
For example: New York City dermatologist Ellen Marmur’s nightly ritual includes a high-tech device. She turns to her own MMSphere before bed to help her unwind. The LED tool emits different “colors” of light to help lessen inflammation, bacteria, and even bring on relaxing vibes. How’s that for commitment?
But no matter your maintenance level, there’s one thing we can all take away from these complexion confessions: Your own skin-care routine should vary from morning to night. When you wake up, focus on protecting your skin from the pollution, sun, and various light waves that will inevitably be coming your way. In the evening, switch gears and apply regenerating ingredients, or what dermatologist Mona Gohara calls the “worker bees.” She says, “at night is when your skin naturally regenerates itself. That’s when you put [on] the actives, not the protectors.” So consider incorporating, say, a retinoid formula that prompts cell turnover and aids in smoothing the surface. And if you have time to throw on a sheet mask while binge-watching Schitt’s Creek before bed, well, that’s just a bonus.
Ahead, find the morning and evening skin-care routines of four top dermatologists — plus, treatments they do every now and then to keep their complexions in prime shape.
Mona Gohara, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine
Skin type: “Brown, melanin- rich, combination, and prone to hyperpigmentation.”
A.M. routine: “After washing with a gentle, nonsoap cleanser, a vitamin C serum is the first thing that hits my face. Often I’ll use Obagi Medical Fx C-Clarifying Serum with hydroquinone to deal with my melasma. Over that, I’ll layer hyaluronic acid, like SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator. Last is sunscreen: I vary between EltaMD facial and First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30. Because I get oily in areas, I like Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-on Shield SPF 50 Powder to freshen up in between patients.”