Is it just me, or does it seem like every dermatologist has perfect skin? Every time we visit the dermatologist, we are reminded of this fact and wish we could peek inside their medical cabinet to learn their secrets. We asked three board-certified Black women dermatologists to share their daily skin-care routine for silky, even-toned skin in an effort to quench your (and our) curiosity. There are both inexpensive gems and pricey selections in the routines, which range in complexity from really simple to extremely sophisticated. Additionally, dermatologists offer some advice to assist you in achieving the highly desired, melanin-rich glow you've been looking for.
1. Always use sunscreen. Every day.
A broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, which can help shield your melanin from damaging UV rays, is something every dermatologist will tell you she never leaves the home without. The outcome? A more even skin tone and skin that looks younger. According to Jeanine Downie, M.D., of Image Dermatology in Montclair, New Jersey, "even if you don't leave your house during the day, you need to put sunscreen on, and you need to reapply" because humans react to both indoor and outdoor illumination, as well as the blue light from phones and computers.
2. Adjust your skin-care regimen to your unique requirements.
According to Dallas dermatologist Jeaneen Chappell, M.D., of Chappell Dermatology & Aesthetic Center, "I want to be thoughtful when selecting chemicals to guarantee that the product will give the results I'm seeking." This entails avoiding the hoopla around the release of new, trendy products and avoiding being swayed by attractive packaging. Chappell uses topical antioxidants and anti-hyperpigmentation agents including vitamin C and niacinamide to treat her combination, acne-prone, and rosacea-prone skin: She adds that these are excellent for lessening the harm done by free radicals from the sun. I like to think of them as supplements for sunscreen.
3. Select components that have a track record of success.
Downie likes potent components that can help to increase skin elasticity, restore damaged skin, and lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, including as vitamin C, peptides, retinol (best administered at night), and growth factors. Hyaluronic acid, which has anti-aging, skin-plumping, and moisturizing properties, is praised by Moneé Thomas, M.D. of Glow Dermatology in Houston, along with her prescription retinoid for optimum skin cell turnover. "This prevents my skin from looking dull, keeps my pores small, [reduces] oil production, and actively prevents fine lines and wrinkles," she says. To prevent potential irritation, products with high concentrations of active substances should be used with caution. This is particularly true as we age and our skin gets more delicate. Thomas advises speaking with your dermatologist to find the best course of action for you because "everyone's skin is different; what works for one person may not work for you."
4. Treat your melanin nicely.
All three doctors agree that lightweight, non-clogging cleansers free of parabens, sulfates, and other harsh ingredients, as well as reparative and protective creams, and moisturizers, are essential. If hyperpigmentation is your issue, avoid bleaching creams and focus on finding the source. According to Chappell, "patients frequently concentrate on black spots without effectively addressing the etiology of the mark, such as inflammatory acne." "In this [instance], I'd suggest shifting the emphasis from pursuing dark markings to controlling acne." Exfoliating should only be done in moderation. "I use the Obagi Professional-C Microdermabrasion Polish + Mask with 30% vitamin C to exfoliate once or twice a week in the summer," explains Downie. Because I have underlying eczema, I rub it in for three to four minutes, leave it on for about three minutes, then rinse it out well before 10 minutes.
5. Benefit from eye creams and serums.
Amazing advantages can be had only just using a moisturizer. However, you can address particular problems by layering a highly concentrated serum underneath your morning and evening moisturizers. That's why the majority of doctors employ some kind of serum in their regimen, whether it's a serum containing niacinamide to cure dark spots or one based on growth factors to revitalize the skin. Once more, utilize products with high active component concentrations with caution. You might also think about spending money on a decent eye cream, which is an important component of every dermatologist's routine. Look for eye creams that are high in peptides (for fine lines and wrinkles), caffeine (for puffiness), vitamin C, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid (for brightness) (for hydration).
CHAPPELL'S PICKS: TARGET, GLYTONE, DERMSTORE, and TARGET (2)
Purifying Foaming Face Wash by La Roche-Posay
Toleriane ($15; target.com)
($36, glytone.com) Glytone Hydra Lipid UV Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40+
Niacinamide Dew Drops by Glow Recipe Watermelon ($34, sephora.com)
Dermstore.com offers NeoStrata Intensive Eye Therapy for $86.
prescription retinoid Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment, $15 at Target.com, is an over-the-counter alternative.