By Mason Braasch
Our skin is our body’s largest organ, yet with so many options, ingredients, tools and treatments available, it can be hard to navigate taking care of it. Building a consistent skincare routine is essential to keeping your skin healthy, and the products you use are the most important aspect. Dr. Nadine Shabeeb with SSM Health and Dr. Harmony Ryan of Harmony Medical Aesthetics weigh in on the best products and treatments to keep your skin looking fresh, healthy and vibrant.
ESTABLISH YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE
Dr. Shabeeb is a self-titled “skincare minimalist” when it comes to her routine, explaining that a good skincare routine doesn’t have to break the bank to produce results. Instead, she stresses that the right products, as well as consistency in your routine, can protect and improve your skin. Here, Dr. Shabeeb shares her recommendations to curate your perfect routine.
Sunscreen is the most vital part of every routine. It protects your skin from sun damage that causes scarring,
hyperpigmentation and aging. Even if you’re working from home or experiencing limited sun exposure, Dr. Shabeeb recommends wearing a tinted mineral sunscreen containing iron oxide, which can help protect you from visible light that comes through windows.
When shopping for sunscreens, Dr. Shabeeb explains that you need at least SPF 30, and that you should be looking for full spectrum sun protection.
A good sunscreen is a worthy investment for your skin, but if you’re looking for more affordable options, Dr. Shabeeb explains that there are a plethora of good drugstore options as well.
When it comes to sunscreen for your body, the most sought-after characteristic is that it doesn’t leave behind a white cast when applied. Dr. Shabeeb explains that while chemical sunscreens typically don’t have a white cast, they may cause skin irritation for some people. Mineral sunscreens, which use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as the active ingredient, often leave a white cast that acts as a physical barrier to protect your skin from the sun.
When searching for a cleanser, it’s best to look for gentle, fragrance-free options in order to avoid irritation. If you’re looking for something exfoliating, Dr. Shabeeb recommends a chemical exfoliator, like glycolic acid, rather than a physical exfoliator containing beaded scrubs (think St. Ives).
If you’re looking to cut back on your skincare products, serums may be the place to do so. Dr. Shabeeb explains that while they feel great on the skin when applied, they are not a necessary component to your routine.
However, if you’re looking for the soft, smooth and cooling experience that they often provide when applied, serums containing hyaluronic acid are recommended. Try Vichy Minéral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum ($24) or Cerave Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($16).
RETINOL AND VITAMIN C
Retinol and Vitamin C are recommended by Dr. Shabeeb for photoaging, acne and hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C should be a part of your morning routine, while retinol should be used at night.
Skincare tools like the jade roller, ice roller and gua sha have become popular recently, but are they effective components of a skincare routine? Dr. Shabeeb explains that most benefits of these products are minimal. However, if they help you create consistency in your routine and feel good to you, there is no harm in including them.
EXPERT-RECOMMENDED SKIN TREATMENTS
Dr. Harmony Ryan of Harmony Medical Aesthetics is a physician who specializes in aesthetic medicine. At her office, she offers a variety of treatments to address skincare concerns, including acne, aging and even rosacea (red pigmentation) symptoms.
Microneedling is a treatment in which a device is used to create micro channels in the skin. Growth serum is then infused into the skin, which stimulates healing. Dr. Ryan explains that this is a great treatment for patients with acne and wrinkles, as it stimulates collagen production and can help eliminate scarring.
Chemical peels are also a great way to treat acne. Dr. Ryan explains that the process of a peel gets rid of the top layer of dead skin cells, opening up and unclogging pores.
IPL PHOTO REJUVENATION
IPL (or Intense Pulsed Light) is a great treatment for aging, as it targets red and brown areas, such as acne scars and sun spots on the skin. While blood vessels will go away immediately, dark brown spots will become darker for a week following the treatment before falling off. Dr. Ryan explains that the spots will rise to the skin’s surface and slough off like coffee grounds!
EXPERT PRODUCT PICKS
CōTZ Flawless Complexion SPF 50
This lightly tinted mineral sunscreen is ideal for sensitive and acne-prone skin and is recommended by Dr. Nadine Shabeeb for daily use. $25
Tizo Ultra Zinc
This sunscreen has tinted and untinted options and can be used for both the body and the face. $42
Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser
This cleanser is non-irritating and effective. $10
Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser
Paired with a daily cleanser and used a few times a week, this chemical exfoliating wash can help refine skin tone and texture. $16
RETINOL AND VITAMIN C
L’Oreal Revitalift Derm Intensives Vitamin C Serum
With 10% pure Vitamin C, this serum is non-irritating and offers great antioxidant benefits. $17
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic With 15% L-Ascorbic Acid
Described as “the gold standard of Vitamin C” by Dr. Shabeeb, this product has Vitamins C, E and ferulic acid for exceptional benefits. $166
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream
Dr. Shabeeb describes retinoids as a powerhouse ingredient to combat photoaging and acne. This over-the-counter product is a great way to take advantage of these benefits. $34
RoC Retinol Correxion Max Daily Hydration Crème
This cream contains retinol and hyaluronic acid to repair signs of aging and rejuvenate smooth skin. $25