Dermatologist Shares Insights for a Healthy Complexion
What's my personal skincare routine like?
My skin care routine is diligent and purposeful. It’s based on the AM and PM cycle. I start with clean skin ready to maximally absorb specific actives. All my products are hypoallergenic.
In the morning, I first wash off my night products with my Natural Bar Soap or my pH balanced cleanser (Extremely Gentle) followed by my Rose toner. This preps my skin to absorb the next set of products.
Next, I apply a high concentration and water based hyaluronic acid serum (Instantly Luminous) then high concentration green tea antioxidant (Green Tea Therapy) and an eye cream (Advanced Corrective).
I top this antioxidant and hydration cocktail with a zinc oxide sunscreen that is a BB Cream (Suntegrity). It also hydrates and tints to act as my moisturizer and foundation. It is a sunscreen first and the other steps are nicely handled by this product so it saves me time.
My priority, however, is the broad spectrum SPF. Twice a week I use an exfoliating scrub instead of cleanser to wash my face (Bamboo and Clay Thermal Scrub).
Two other times a week I top my Green Tea with a Vitamin C product and omit the eye cream (Professional Vitamin C Treatment Cream). If I wear makeup it is a pure mineral makeup powder. My complexion is pretty nice for a 60 year old blond Californian who tanned as a teen, so I don’t really need to soften or hide complexion flaws.
At night I have started to remove my sunscreen and day products with grape seed oil and a warm cloth. This is a nice step that I’m borrowing from K-Beauty and my skin loves it. I then cleanse my skin with my gentle pH balanced cleanser and a Clarisonic.
- If my skin is irritated by weather or my rosacea is threatening to flare up, I apply the Green Tea followed by my Daily Face Cream (Normal to Dry) boosted with my Omega Booster Oil.
- If my skin is feeling tolerant I use my favorite anti-aging products - either tretinoin (prescription) or retinol. Tretinoin is in a hydrating base, but if I use the retinol, I hydrate by topping it with my Daily Face Cream and Booster Oil.
I’m a big glycolic acid fan, but as I have gotten older, it is harder for my rosacea to tolerate regular glycolic acid products on my face. I used them in my 30s and 40s every morning. Now, I get this great ingredient into my routine by doing a glycolic acid peel at least once a month.
If I could only use three skincare products for the rest of my life, what would they be?
That’s easy, zinc oxide sunscreen, a professional green tea product and a retinoid.
What are my fave skincare brands and why?
I have my own skin care line and I mostly use them. The products are hypoallergenic yet highly function oriented, which fits my values and priorities. I also like simple natural products, such as grape seed oil for removing oil based sunscreen or makeup. I have used pure jojoba oil as a moisturizer too. These are hypoallergenic and functional options in skin care. Brands like Hauschka and Weleda have options that are natural, non-toxic and gentle for sensitive skin and deeply hydrating too. You do have to watch for allergens in some of their products. I love Suntegrity BB Cream Sunscreen and wear it daily. I was devoted to Clinique in my teen years and many of their products are both functional and hypoallergenic.
What are my top 3 skincare tips to take care of your skin?
- Protect your exposed skin from the sun daily with sunscreen or clothing, and seek the shade. Sun breaks down your skin structure more than time does. Just say ‘no’ to skin sun exposure.
- Focus on your skin from the inside out with a health veggie packed diet and regular exercise. Skip the daily junk food and empty calories, they show up on your complexion. Exercise makes your skin glow with vitality.
- Create a complete skin care routine with compatible products. That means tick the boxes for Cleanse, Correct, Hydrate and Protect every day. You can do that as simply or as complexly as you want.
What skincare treatments (dermabrasion, lasers, etc.) do I regularly have done?
I have had a series of IPL (5) and do 2 a year on my face, neck, chest, hands and arms. This has made a huge difference for my skin. I do an ablative erbium laser face and neck treatment once or twice a year. I have a face full of Allergan injectable products and have for years – Botox on my upper face and hyaluronic acid and a Juvederm family of fillers on my 60 year old lower face. I appreciate Allergan’s product formulation technology and I think they offer the safest of all injectables so I don’t stray into other brands.
I do a glycolic acid peel on myself once a month and I like to get a facial with microdermabrasion about every 6 weeks.
My 60 year old fair skin grew up in California and tanned until my mid-20s. This sun damage would love to show up in my complexion as dull, wrinkled and spotty old lady skin. It takes effort to resist that.
What lifestyle habits do I have that keep my skin in top shape?
- I eat mostly plants with only a small amount of animal foods in my diet such as goat yogurt/cheese and some meat. I have a glass of red wine with dinner every evening too! (Cured Italian meats are my guilty pleasure).
- I have always exercised regularly, for both my physical and mental health. I get at least 150 minutes of cardio each week (brisk walk and lap swim at this age, but I did more intense cardio when I was young). I do yoga and Pilates every week too.
- I spend time outdoors for the serenity and recharge it gives me.
- Since undergoing treatment for BRCA breast cancer, I also occasionally take an afternoon nap with my dog. I make it a priority to get a good 8 hours of sleep too.
At 60, if I fall off this full wellness routine, my complexion starts to look as depleted as I feel.
What's in my makeup bag?
Not much! I wear blinc mascara (I love their tubular technology. Any other mascara smears under my eyes the minute I put it on). I use my pure mineral makeup powders for eye shadows and blush. I line and fill in my lips with Hauschka lip liner, and top that with one of the shimmery Suntegrity CPR SPF lipsticks. Occasionally I apply my Baked Mineral Powder over my Suntegrity BB Cream SPF if I’m filming or will be in photos and want to have a more matte appearance to my skin.