A trip down the skincare aisle of any drugstore either leaves you confused; self-conscious because now you think you have wrinkly, dry yet also oily, saggy skin; broke from buying too many products; or all of the above. All of those skincare "essentials" and their promises are hard to wade through, but really, you only need three things.
If you have the time to follow a multi-step routine every day, by all means, go ahead, but Kavita Mariwalla, M.D., a New York City dermatologist specializing in skin cancer treatments and aesthetic dermatology, keeps her own daily skincare routine simple—and if it works for a doc, it’ll work for you too!
Her three-step plan:
1. Cleanser: 2x per day
She washes her face in the morning and in the evening. In the a.m. she uses a Dove Beauty Bar, and in the p.m. she wants something simple and quick, so she just wipes her face and makeup off with Garnier Refreshing Remover Cleansing Towelettes.
2. SPF: 1x per day and as needed
She uses SPF 50 every day with a combination sunscreen/primer by La Roche-Posay called Anthelios 50 Daily Anti-Aging Primer. If she is headed to the beach or is going to be in the sun, she reapplies every three hours. If she's outside running or sweating, she reapplies every 80 minutes.
3. Retinol: 1x per day
She calls this magic stuff "a must for your skin" and uses Redermic R or Redermic C from La Roche-Posay daily. "I use a pea-size amount of retinol for my entire face at night. I avoid the corners of my mouth, right around the nose, and underneath the eyes."
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"But what about moisturizer?!" you say? For the doctor, moisturizer is a seasonal thing. In the winter, she uses Oil of Olay's Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream. And sometimes, she says, she just uses her sunscreen to moisten her skin. "I feel the sunscreen I use has enough moisturizer in it, as opposed to moisturizer with sunscreen because, believe it or not, that has not been approved by the FDA in terms of efficacy as a sunscreen," she says.
Have any other questions about your skin? You're in luck. Over the past year, Dr. Mariwalla has joined forces with La Roche-Posay to offer free advice to anyone who has specific questions about their skin—and let's be honest, who doesn't have their personal skin dilemmas?
The initiative is called Dermatologist By Your Side. "Our skin is the largest organ we have and it's the one we see every single day," she says. "But sometimes it is really hard to see a doctor or you don't think of asking a physician a question that you might think is 'cosmetic' or not medical—that's where we come in.
"I went to medical school to help people be better-educated about their health. I am passionate about skin, and I want my patients to feel comfortable taking care of theirs. That is what makes DBYS so powerful," she adds.