Heading to your dermatologist appointment may seem like a chore, but believe us, it’s vital for keeping your skin looking its best. Derms are your number one allies when it comes to getting a clear, blemish-free complexion, not to mention helping your stay skin cancer-free and age as gracefully as possible!
So, instead of blindly shopping the skincare aisles at your local drugstore, we decided to ask a few top doctors about their favorite skincare products they swear by—for their patients and for themselves.
Here are their top picks that we recommend you stock up on ASAP! Your skin will thank you.
1A Kick-Ass Cleanser
As the first step to any skincare routine, a really good cleanser is essential for clear skin. NYC-based derm, Dr. Marnie B. Nussbaum, M.D. F.A.A.D, swears by Sebamed Liquid Face & Body Wash. “I love this cleanser because it gently deep-cleans without drying my face out or causing any irritation. It also doesn’t break down the skin barrier which is essential for healthy, clean pores.”
Dr. Nussbaum also recommends keeping to the basics when it comes to purchasing cleansers. “In general, there is rarely a need to splurge on basic cleansers and moisturizers, which only touch your face for a few seconds. Most drugstore cleansers will efficiently remove oil and dirt.” //Sebamed Liquid Face & Body Wash, $14
2An Acne Treatment
For those suffering with acne, it’s vital to start a consistent skincare regimen early on in order to get your blemishes under control. Renowned dermatologist Dr. Doris Day swears by Aczone. “I frequently prescribe this topical acne treatment to my acne patients. It’s great because it’s a light gel that’s gentle on the skin, non-drying and for many of my patients it doesn’t make their skin sun-sensitive.” //Aczone, Prescription only
3A Gentle Exfoliator
Exfoliation is key for cell turnover and skin renewal, leading to a more youthful looking appearance. Dr. Neal Schultz, NYC dermatologist, host of DermTV.com and creator of BeautyRx by Dr. Schultz, recommends his own BeautyRx by Dr. Schultz Advanced Exfoliating Pads 10% to help gently remove the top layer of dead, clogged cells. “At-home glycolic peel pads allow for brighter, glowing, even-toned skin. As a bonus, it even helps to reduce the appearance of enlarged pores,” says Dr. Schultz. //BeautyRx by Dr. Schultz Advanced Exfoliating Pads 10%, $70
4A Vitamin C Product
Vitamin C is known as one of the best multi-tasking ingredients available in the skincare industry. From brightening to anti-aging, the benefits of topically applying vitamin C are vast, making it a standout among other options in the industry. “The Skinceuticals C E Ferulic is a fabulous antioxidant anti-aging serum. The serum has a specific form of Vitamin C which has been scientifically proven to be more effective than any other form out there,” claims Dr. Marnie Nussbaum. //Skinceuticals C E Ferulic, $162
5A Luxurious Eye Cream
If you haven’t splurged on an eye cream before, maybe Dr. Nussbaum will finally be able to talk you into it. “La Mer Eye Concentrate’s rich formulation deeply conditions skin and helps to soften the appearance of dark circles, surface discoloration and unevenness,” she says. Only a small application is needed to create a visibly more luminous effect to the eye area. //La Mer Eye Concentrate, $195
Another great option is La Roche Posay Pigmentclar Eyes. Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, Founder & Director of Capital Laser & Skin Care and Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the George Washington Medical Center says this eye cream “helps reduce dark circles with ingredients to target melanin, caffeine to reduce puffiness and light-reflecting pigments to brighten the eye area immediately.”//La Roche Posay Pigmentclar Eyes, $43
For those awful zits that pop up over night (we all get them!), Dr. Jeannette Graf, M.D., Assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center and best-selling author, suggests using Benzac Acne Solutions Intensive Spot Treatment to heal the affected area. “It’s designed for adult acne and uses 2% Salicylic Acid and East Indian Sandalwood oil without over-drying the skin,” she explains. //Benzac Acne Solutions Intensive Spot Treatment, $17
Obviously, the sun is public enemy number one when it comes to skincare, which is why SPF is such an important addition to your everyday routine. Three different dermatologists we spoke with (from different practices!), Dr. Marnie Nussbaum, Dr. Jeannette Graf and Dr. Debra Jaliman, highly recommend Elta Sunscreens for their full coverage and wide range of sunscreens for each skin type. “I like Elta-MD UV Clear SPF 46 which uses dimethicone-coated micronized zinc oxide giving it a great texture and elegant feel,” explains Dr. Graf. //Elta-MD UV Clear SPF 46, Physician-dispensed only.
Since SPF is your new best friend, perk up pale skin with a non-streaky self-tanner. New York City dermatologist Dr. Neal Schultz asserts that JERGENS Natural Glow 3 Days to Glow Moisturizer is great for an even, natural-looking tan. Slather it on before bed and you’ll wake up with a fabulous glowing tan! //JERGENS Natural Glow 3 Days to Glow Moisturizer, $10
We tend to forget that the thinnest layer of skin on our bodies is actually our lips, making this sensitive spot a super delicate area that should never be neglected. “I use EOS Lip Balm,” says Dr. Debra Jaliman. “They hydrate the lips with the use of olive oil, jojoba seed oil, shea butter, vitamin E, and vitamin C.” //EOS Lip Balm, $4
10A Brightening Serum
Dermatologists across the board agree that a brightening serum can take you a long way when it comes to skincare. Dermatologist Dr. Neal Schultz claims La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Serum is best for those looking to brighten brown spots and melasma. //La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Serum, $495
If you’ve ever taken a stroll down the skincare aisle, you know that retinol is an ultra-popular anti-aging ingredient. Dr. Debra Jaliman recommends adding a good OTC retinol product like Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer to your beauty arsenal. “It has hyaluronic acid so it’s not irritating to the skin and can be used on any skin type,” she explains. //Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer, $21
12A Protective Moisturizer
Dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi swears by CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion. “It has ceramides that are an important part of the skin protective barrier. This moisturizes extremely well without heaviness or greasiness, and works better than products at triple the cost.” //CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion, $8