What Do the Experts Actually Use on Their Skin?

Dr Elizabeth Lebrun Nestor
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Author: Dr. Elizabeth Lebrun Nestor

Here are the secrets to my personal skin routine

I spend 8 hours a day giving advice to patients about skincare. But many may wonder…do I follow my own advice? What do I actually use on my skin? I tend to be pretty basic when it comes to my own skin routine (although my husband may disagree when he is watching me load on the creams at night!). I believe that your products don’t have to be fancy or expensive in order to work well. So here are the secrets to my personal basics.

Cleansing: I have a tendency toward mild acne, so I use a low strength benzoyl peroxide wash in the morning, and a light glycolic acid- salicylic acid (treats acne and provides light chemical exfoliation) at night. As part of my nighttime routine, I use my Clairsonic brush to cleanse. This not only exfoliates, but also removes dirt, sunscreen, and make up, allowing my night products to penetrate deeper and work better.

Sunscreen: This is a MUST. Many of my patients say “I don’t lay in the sun, so I don’t need to put sunscreen on every day.” I totally disagree. People underestimate how much sun exposure they get driving in the car, sitting next to a window at work, or running errands. I may not apply it to my entire body every day, but I ALWAYS apply it to my face, neck and chest. I usually apply two layers. Tinted physical sunscreens with zinc are my favorites (I recommend Elta MD UV daily), but I often do not find them moisturizing enough, so I usually start with my first layer of chemical based moisturizer + sunscreen, followed by a final layer of physical tinted sunscreen.

Retin-a: It would be hard for anyone to find a dermatologist that does not use some form of retin-a on his/her face on a nightly basis. It is an essential part of any skin care routine, as it is so multi-functional. It exfoliates, builds collagen and reverses sun damage. Basically a no-brainer! I have a bit of melasma (brown pigmentation), so my favorite is our specially compounded HQRA+. It combines retin-a with a high-potency lightening agent to give my skin an even glow.

Moisturizer: No matter your skin type, you should be able to find a moisturizer that works for you. My skin is on the drier side, so I love the Siperstein Restorative Night Cream. It feels luxurious, and is filled with anti-aging antioxidants.