When it comes to skin experts, dermatologists obviously come out on top. Which made us wonder: How are the pros taking care of their own skin—and how can we steal their secrets? Get ready to take notes! We’re peeking into the bathroom cabinets of three top dermatologists to see what potions and lotions they slather on themselves before catching the best prescription of all: beauty sleep. You might want to add some new steps into your bedtime skin-care routine!
“I use a Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes ($9 for 25, ulta.com) to remove excess makeup and break down oils and dirt at night before cleansing—this is my way of ‘double cleansing.’ And then, I kid you not, I use all the below listed products in this order every single night. So that my regime feels amazing, I incorporate natural botanicals like lavender, rose and floral extracts that help me relax and feel like this is my special luxury ritual before bedtime.
“After wiping off my makeup, I apply the following:
- Glycolic acid-based cleanser, such as this one from Mario Bedescu ($16 at ulta.com)
- Murad Hydrating Toner ($30, sephora.com)
- Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence ($68, sephora.com)
- SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum ($281, dermstore.com)
- Skinceuticals CE Ferulic Serum ($165, dermstore.com)
- Tazorac RX retinol (prescription only)
- Teoxane RHA Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($190, lovelyskin.com)
- SkinMedica Dermal Repair Cream ($129, dermstore.com)
- Neocutis Lumière Eye Cream ($45, amazon.com)
- Neocutis Microfirm Neck & Décolleté Rejuvenating Complex ($135, lovelyskin.com)
- Latisse Rx for eyelashes (prescription only)
- By Terry Baume de Rose lip balm ($60, nordstrom.com)
“I don’t neglect areas like my neck, décolleté, and lips. And I load up on serums, which have the most potent of active skincare ingredients. Yes, I literally use three as you can see, but because they’re not thick, they layer beautifully. I mix prescription retinol into my skincare routine. It’s no frills, but it works! And even though this seems like a marathon regimen, it takes me five minutes. I don’t wait between steps because I want to get to bed!” —Dr. Annie Chiu, M.D. Director, The Derm Institute of North Redondo Beach; on dermatology staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
“To cleanse my skin, I alternate between a gentle and exfoliating cleanser. I use SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser ($45, amazon.com), which contains lactic acid, glycolic acid, citric acid, malic acid, and salicylic acid to brighten my skin and gently remove dead cells. Using a Clarisonic brush ($169, sephora.com) with your cleanser can help with exfoliation for smooth, radiant skin.
“Next, I apply Alastin Restorative Complex ($195, alastin.com) to stimulate collagen and elastin, which has a volumizing effect to improve fine lines and wrinkles.
“I like to follow up with SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator ($86, amazon.com), a serum that hydrates skin and stimulates your skin’s ability to make its own hyaluronic acid to decrease the appearance of fine lines. I like to apply it with wet fingertips for an ultra-hydrating effect; hyaluronic acid acts a sponge, so it absorbs water to hydrate the skin. This trick will work with any hyaluronic acid serum.
“I finish up with Neocutis Biorestorative Cream ($72, amazon.com) that contains growth factors to stimulate collagen and enhance skin’s firmness. For soft lips, I use Aquaphor ointment ($15, walgreens.com). And for longer, thicker lashes, I use a drop of Latisse along the lashline.” —Dr. Arisa Ortiz, M.D., FAAD Director, Laser and Cosmetic Dermatology and Assistant Clinical Professor at the Department of Dermatology UC San Diego
“I normally shower at night, so my routine starts there. In the shower, I cleanse with SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser ($45, amazon.com) with my Clarisonic ($169, sephora.com) on my face. After I step out of the shower, I immediately apply Curél Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer ($11, target.com) directly to wet skin for more absorption. I then apply Differin gel ($12, target.com) to help fight acne and reduce wrinkles at the same time. I use a La Prairie moisturizer of choice (such as the Anti-Aging Night cream, $240, nordstrom.com) mixed with Sisely Black Rose Face Oil ($235, nordstrom.com) to nourish my dry skin.
“Once a week, I use a deeper exfoliant like Vasanti Brighten Up Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator ($34, amazon.com) or PMD Personal Microderm ($159, sephora.com)—an at-home microdermabrasion tool. I love applying a hyaluronic acid serum after exfoliating, and my favorite is SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator ($86, amazon.com).” —Dr. Michelle Henry, M.D. Clinical Instructor of Dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College