12 Skin Products Dermatologists Love

By Faith Xue

Finding the right skincare regimen can feel a lot like dating—it involves some trial and error, emotions get involved, and the right one can make you feel like you’re on cloud nine. In fact, anyone who’s ever struggled with acne, dark spots, or any other skin grievance will vouch that finally finding a skin regimen that works can be the difference between wanting to curl up under the covers forever, and feeling like you run the world like Beyoncé. But we also know that it’s easier said than done—which is why we spoke with five dermatologists and asked them to share the skin products they absolutely can’t live without. Consider these the holy grail of skincare, all vetted and approved by those who know best. To beautiful skin!

Keep scrolling for 13 products you’ll find in a dermatologist’s medicine cabinet.

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Cream 

“Not all retinoids are created equally. This particular formulation has proven efficacy in clinical trials, leading to improvement in fine lines and wrinkles.”

Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City

Skinceuticals Phloretin CF 

“This trifecta of antioxidants puts out the inflammation in the skin caused by UV damage and has been studied in clinical trials demonstrating its effect.”

Dr. Zeichner

Cerave Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM

“This facial cream is rich in ceramides that help repair the skin barrier, as well as the skin-soothing ingredient niacinamide. This B vitamin can help calm skin irritation, as well as brighten dark spots and a dull complexion.”

Dr. Zeichner

Related: An Expert Weighs In: How to Soothe Redness and Calm Flushed Skin

Sebamed Liquid Face & Body Wash 

“In general, there is rarely a need to splurge on basic cleansers and moisturizers, which only touch your face for a few seconds. Most basic cleansers remove oil and dirt. You want to buy one that won’t strip the skin of essential oils and break down the skin barrier. I happen to favor Sebamed Liquid Face & Body Wash because it provides deep cleansing of the pores while naturally conditioning skin. Traditional bar soaps can raise your skin’s pH from its ideal 5.5 up to 9 or 10, creating that dry, tight feeling.”

-Dr. Marnie B. Nussbaum, M.D. F.A.A.D

Elta MD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 

“It’s so much easier to prevent the problem than to try to fix it afterwards. A recent RealSelf.com study showed that nearly 80 percent of millennial women don’t wear sunscreen regularly, and yet they want to slow the aging process. The other product would be antioxidants. They make sunscreens better and they help repair damage that does happen from sun, pollution, stress, and more. I’m never without my Elta MD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46.”

Dr. Doris Day, dermatologist advisor at RealSelf

“When it comes to selecting the perfect sunscreen, ingredients are key. I happen to favor mineral based sunscreens, containing zinc or titanium as well as fragrance-free formulations, like Elta MD Sunscreens. These physical sunscreens block the sun’s rays without affecting the top layers of the skin and therefore will not cause acne or irritation. Avoid nanoparticle formulations, as these can penetrate the skin and possibly cause harm to your skin.“

- Dr. Marnie B. Nussbaum, M.D. F.A.A.D

Epionce Renewal Face Lotion

“This is an outstanding product that helps with barrier repair and support, without feeling greasy on the skin.”

Dr. Day

Related: Sensitive Skin? Try One of These Derm-Approved Cleansers

Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask 

“This product is a must-have because it removes dead skin cells without irritation, brightens skin, fights pore congestion, and is formulated without ingredients that can do more harm than good.”

Dr. Gary Goldfaden, dermatologist and founder of Goldfaden MD

Goldfaden MD Sun Visor 

“Goldfaden MD Sun Visor is broad spectrum, oil-free, PABA-free and dual-action. Sun Visor protects by delivering high-level UV filters to help prevent sun damage, fine lines, and dark spots. Skin-renewing organic red tea works to rejuvenate skin and provide antioxidant benefits. The best part about this product is that you can throw it in your bag and reapply throughout the day—even over your makeup!”

-Dr. Goldfaden

Revision Skincare Intellishade Broad-Spectrum SPF 45 

“A new product I am really excited about that is definitely becoming a staple product is Revision Skincare’s Intellishade Broad-Spectrum SPF 45. It’s better than any BB cream; it’s tinted but matches any skin tone; and it even has anti-aging and pore minimizing qualities.”

–Dr. Marina Peredo, dermatologist at Skinfluence NYC

Related: The Skin Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making, According to 8 Top Derms

Colorscience Sunforgettable Mineral Sunscreen Brush SPF 50

“Colorscience has a great mineral powder that is perfect for the summer, because you can apply it over your makeup throughout the day as a touch-up.”

Dr. Peredo

Honor MD Stimulate

“This is a medical grade, 5 percent retinol that also contains vitamins C and E. These ingredients increase cell turnover and stimulate collagen production overnight. I use it with [my line’s] Protect, a daily-use SPF and moisturizer that contains a potent octapeptide, which has been clinically shown to decrease the formation and appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.”

Dr. John Diaz, plastic surgeon and founder of Honor MD

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

“As a plastic surgeon, I perform many facial procedures including surgeries, laser treatments, micro-needling, and chemical peels that temporarily compromise the integrity of the skin. The best non-irritating gentle cleanser for patients with sensitive or compromised skin is Cetaphil.”

- Dr. Diaz

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