Saturday, March 24, 2012

Daily skin care

I have gotten many requests for skin care recommendations, so this will be the first post of many!  Before I delve into addressing skin care regimens for specific skin concerns, I wanted to give my personal recommendations on skin care in general.  I typically recommend the following to patients with dry or sensitive skin, but these recs are also important for anyone being treated for other skin conditions (such as acne, rosacea, or on anti-aging regimens) as well:

  1. Shower in lukewarm water.  That steaming hot water that might feel so good can actually help dry your skin out more and increase itch.
  2. Use fragrance free soaps, especially if you are prone to dry/sensitive skin or eczema.
  3. Apply moisturizers directly out of the shower, when skin is still damp. 
  4. Wear sunscreen. SPF 30. Everyday.

  1. Use gentle cleansers.  There are so many options out there, but my personal opinion is that spending extra money for extra ingredients is not necessary when the product is only briefly on your skin.  Cleansers should clean your skin and prepare it for the active ingredients in other products. I also think some of the 2-in-1 wipes are great for patients who would like a low maintenance skin care regimen.
  2. If you are using any prescriptions (like Retin-A) on your skin, keep your moisturizer simple as well.
  3. For daytime, use a moisturizer with SPF 30.  Sunscreen helps prevent the darkening of pre-existing lesions like sun spots and melasma and protects from UV damage which may result in new sun spots (solar lentigenes), skin cancer, and wrinkles.
 Product recommendations
(please note: I have not yet personally tried all of these products, but I am working on it!  Many of these are endorsed by other dermatologists, the American Academy of Dermatology, or the Skin Cancer Foundation)

Dove Sensitive Skin body wash or bar soap is great for all skin types.
Vanicream is also great for sensitive skin. It has a line of great cleansers, lotions, and sunscreens.
The entire line of CeraVe is fantastic. Designed to replace ceramides, a crucial component of the skin barrier.  The facial moisturizers come in an AM and PM, both of which are great.


Purpose was designed to be used with Retin-A, since this prescription retinoid is often drying and irritating.  It is gentle, but skin feels clean after use. I have even used the wash (NOT the bar) for removing my eye makeup.
Cetaphil cleanser has been recommended for years by dermatologists.  It is very moisturizing, and can even be used as a daily moisturizer. Just apply a small amount and leave it on!  I have actually changed to using my cetaphil in this manner as I sometimes do not feel that it completely removes my makeup.
These make-up remover towelettes are perfect for a low maintenance skin care regimen.
A great, affordable moisturizer.  I love that it now comes in an SPF 30.  I like this product because it is moisturizing without being greasy.
Another good moisturizer from Aveeno.  Good for those with sensitive skin or rosacea. Also comes in SPF 30.

Cetaphil's daily facial moisturizers.  I also recommend using their body lotion (the one with the pump) as a good facial nighttime moisturizer that will last forever because of it's size.
Neutrogena has a huge variety of daily moisturizers and sunscreens to choose from.  Typically, the higher the SPF, the more they tend to sit on the surface of the skin rather than soak in.  I use Neutrogena facial sunscreens if I am going to be outside all day, rather than under my makeup for everyday use.  However, they do have a liquid sunscreen that I would like to try.

 I hope these recommendations are helpful.  I will continue to update as I discover new products.



  1. Yeah! Loved this post! Cerave PM is what I use at night and I love it. It can sting sometimes when my skin is sensitive from my retin-a but I deal with it because it goes away within a minute or two and I wake up with skin that's soft and healthy! Using the cetaphil as a night cream is a great idea. I heard cetaphil lotions can be great eye creams too!

  2. Great post! Wondering if you know anything about people with deep skin tones? I'm African American -- my father is from Sudan. I'm mainly curious to know if I should be wearing SPF 30 every day? Thanks!

    1. Glad you liked the post! In general, we don't believe everyday sunscreen is as important for those with darker skin. We do not see many skin cancers at all (or nearly as many UV effects of aging) in those of darker skin tone. Just make sure to wear sunscreen if you are going to be outside for a long period of time and have any tendency to get pink.