"What's your skin-care routine?" It's a question we routinely ask everyone from our best friend to our neighborhood barista (she exfoliates twice a week). Call us nosy, but learning which balms, sprays and serums our peers layer on every day feels like we're being let in on a secret. So when we met the glowing NYC-based dermatologist Dr. Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, the contents of her skin-care cabinet were top of mind. Here, her surprisingly simple regimen from start to finish.
A Dermatologist's Skin-Care Routine: Everything She Uses on Her Skin in a Day
1. Cerave Hydrating Cleanser
Although she’s a derm, the founder of Entière Dermatology still struggles with common issues like adult hormonal acne, contact dermatitis (a form of eczema) and pigmentation. To keep her skin healthy, Dr. Levin looks for hydrating formulas that won’t aggravate her reactive complexion. She starts with this gentle, non-foaming cleanser in the a.m., which contains soothing ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid to help retain her skin’s natural moisture.
To keep her hormonal acne under control, Levin reaches for this prescription treatment that’s both antibiotic and anti-inflammatory.
3. Isdin Flavo-c Ultraglican
Vitamin C is a hero ingredient for treating everything from photo-damaged skin to hyperpigmentation. And Levin loves this potent antioxidant serum for dry, sensitive skin types like her own. The brightening elixir is sealed into small glass ampoules, which Levin says are used to ensure its ingredients are kept stable (a critical factor when using vitamin C).
4. Pca Skin Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum
Hyaluronic acid makes another appearance in Levin’s routine, this time in the form of a deeply hydrating serum. Moisturizing below the surface layer of the skin, this gel does its job without leaving behind an annoying sticky residue, she says.
5. Alastin Hydratint Pro Mineral Spf
Dermatologists would never dream of skipping sunscreen, and Levin is no exception. She relies on this moisturizing mineral block that pulls double duty as a lightweight foundation.
1. Neostrata Foaming Glycolic Cleanser
While her morning routine is replete with nourishing ingredients, her evening regimen is all about exfoliation. First up is this foaming cleanser that targets acne and pigmentation with the help of 18 percent glycolic acid.
2. Skinbetter Alpha Ret Overnight Cream
With ingredients like retinol, antioxidants, glycolic acid and peptides, the expert’s nighttime serum is an anti-aging powerhouse. Quick peptide lesson: According to Levin, they’re the “small building blocks of proteins that send targeted messages to the skin,” encouraging collagen production in the areas we’ve applied them. Sign us up.
3. Elta Barrier Renewal
She constantly switches up her moisturizer based on the weather, her travel schedule and how her skin is looking at the moment. Right now, she’s rotating Elta Barrier Renewal, La Roche Posay Toleraine Ultra Soothing Repair, Avene Tolerance Extreme and SkinBetter Trio Rebalancing Moisture Treatment, all of which are spectacular picks for dry, sensitive skin.
4. Alastin Restorative Neck Complex
FYI: The skin on our neck is thinner and produces less sebum than the skin on our face, making it “susceptible to irritation, dryness and early wrinkling,” Levin points out. To moisturize this delicate area, she chooses an emollient combo of antioxidants and peptides clinically proven to “support production of new collagen and elastin, neutralize further damage to the skin, improve tone and texture and repair signs of aging.” Her little secret? Massaging the anti-aging treatment onto the backs of her hands as a final step. And you can bet we’ll be doing the same.