42 Skin Care & Beauty Tips That Dermatologists Swear By
Dermatologists and skin-care professionals, such as estheticians, see thousands of patients and all kinds of skin every year — and now they’re here to help you. Here are their greatest skin care advice and beauty tips, plus the inside scoop on their own routines so you can keep your body’s largest organ (your skin!) healthy and glowing.
Beauty Tip #1 - Use the correct cleanser for your skin type
"For oily or acne-prone skin, a salicylic gel or benzoyl peroxide wash works great," says Dr. Ava Shamban, a dermatologist in Santa Monica. "For dry mature skin, use either a moisturizing glycolic or milky cleanser. For skin with brown spots or melasma, use a brightening wash, such as an alpha hydroxy acid cleanser."
Beauty Tip #2 - Don’t use too many products
Layering on multiple skincare products all at once is a big no-no, says Dr. Julia Tzu, an NYC-based dermatologist. It can be harsh on the skin, resulting in more breakouts and clogged pores.
Beauty Tip #3 - Moisturize both day and night
"The best times to moisturize are right after you get out of the shower and right before you go to bed," explained Dr. Janet Prystowsky M.D., an NYC-based dermatologist. Avoid lotions with heavy fragrances and make sure you find a moisturizer gentle enough for every day use with zero irritation.
Beauty Tip #4 - Don't touch your face
Dr. Tzu says figuring out how to avoid touching your face is very important. It doesn't just spread bacteria and cause breakouts — it can lead to scarring, an increase in wrinkles, and even the flu or other viruses.
Beauty Tip #5 - Hydrate inside and out
Every dermatologist emphasizes the importance of hydration. "A lack of water means less radiance and more sag," says Dr. Mona Gohara, a dermatologist in Connecticut. She suggests choosing products (cleansing, moisturizing, and anti-aging) that have hydrating formulas. And, of course, drink around eight glasses of water a day.
Beauty Tip #6 - Avoid direct heat exposure
Don't just watch out for the sun — getting too close to heaters and fireplaces can also wreak havoc on your skin. "It causes inflammation and collagen breakdown. I recommend staying at least ten feet away," explains Dr. Debbie Palmer, a New York dermatologist. So next time you're roasting chestnuts or s'mores over an open fire, take a step back.
Beauty Tip #7 - Exfoliate a couple times per week
"We lose 50 million skin cells a day, and without a little extra nudge, they may hang around leaving the skin looking sullen," says Dr. Gohara. To fight this, you should "choose a product that is pH neutral so it doesn't dry as it exfoliates." And don't just stop with your face — the skin on your body needs exfoliation, too.
Beauty Tip #8 - Vitamins should go on your skin too

A balanced diet is important, but there's more than one way to give your skin vitamins. There are also topical antioxidants, which are serums and creams that contain ingredients that nourish the skin (think vitamin C serum).

"These can really help to repair the skin from sun damage," says Dr. Palmer. Not sure how to use them? The best time to apply them is right after cleansing so that your skin can soak them in, or they can be layered under your sunscreen for added protection.

Beauty Tip #9 - Get your greens

Though it's tempting to grab a coffee the minute you wake up, Joanna Vargas, a skincare facialist in NYC, says choosing the right beverages can be a game changer. "Drink a shot of chlorophyll every morning to brighten, oxygenate, and hydrate your skin. Drinking chlorophyll also helps drain puffiness by stimulating the lymphatic system, so it's also good for cellulite."

If you're not keen on downing a shot of the stuff, chlorophyll supplements can be found at many drugstores and health food stores. She also advised drinking green juices with lots of veggies in them: "It will transform your skin in a matter of days — and it helps oxygenate the skin and stimulates lymphatic drainage, so it's de-puffing, too."

Beauty Tip #10 - Maintain a healthy diet
"Your skin has a natural barrier to retain moisture, and essential to that is omega-3 fatty acid," Joanna advises. "Flax seeds on your salad or even walnuts will be an instant boost to your omega-3, thus increasing your skin's ability to hold onto moisture." And be sure to eat a diet low in foods with a high glycemic index (simple and complex carbohydrates).
Beauty Tip #11 - Clean your makeup brushes regularly

To fight infection and clogged pores, Dr. Prystowsky recommends washing concealer and foundation brushes once a week. For brushes you use around your eyes, she recommends twice per month, and for any other brushes, once a month is fine.

Here's how: Put a drop of a mild shampoo into the palm of your hand. Wet the bristles with lukewarm water. Then, massage the bristles into your palm to distribute the shampoo into the brush. Avoid getting the metal part of the brush wet/or the base of the brush hairs because the glue could soften and the bristles could fall out. Rinse the shampoo out and squeeze out the water with a towel. Lay the brushes on their side with the bristles hanging off the edge of the counter to dry.

Beauty Tip #12 - Wear sunscreen 365 days a year — rain or shine, indoors or out
"Many people feel they only need to protect themselves on sunny days or when visiting the beach," says Dr. Palmer. "But the truth is that we need to protect our skin even when we're driving a car, flying in an airplane, or running errands. It's the daily UV exposure that contributes to the visible signs of aging." What kind of sunscreen is best? Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or greater — and remember that it needs to be reapplied every 2 hours.
Beauty Tip #13 - Sun protection doesn't stop at sunscreen
We're talking SPF makeup, sunglasses, and broad-brimmed hats. "Preventing sun damage is a million times better for your skin than treating it after the fact," says Dr. Prystowsky.
Beauty Tip #14 - Simplify your skincare routine
"Fad products and fancy ingredients are fun to try, and sometimes they work well," says Dr. Prystowsky," but usually they're off the shelves just as quickly as they're on them." Find a cleanser and moisturizer that you know work for you, and keep them at the core of your routine.
Beauty Tip #15 - Sleep smarter
It's not just about getting eight hours a night. Skin will also benefit from regularly using clean silk pillowcases." The material glides easily and prevents creasing and wrinkles," says Jesleen Ahluwalia, M.D., a dermatologist from Spring Street Dermatology in New York City." Silk is also easier on hair — it helps avoid tangles and breakage."
Beauty Tip #16 - Use a retinoid

“After sunscreen, the second most important agent in your anti-aging regimen should be a nightly application of retinol (such as retinyl palmitate or retinaldehyde), a compound derived from vitamin A. Recent studies show that improved over-the-counter formulations are as effective as the prescription versions. When used nightly for at least 12 weeks, retinol minimizes fine wrinkles, brightens skin tone, improves brown spots, and makes skin feel smoother.”

Caroline Chang, MD, owner of Rhode Island Dermatology Institute and associate dermatology staff at Brown University

Beauty Tip #17 - Remove eye makeup with a light touch

“If you take off your eye makeup too vigorously, it can stretch out your eyelid skin, causing wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.”

Jeanine B. Downie, MD, director of Image Dermatology in Montclair, NJ.

Beauty Tip #18 - Take occasional skin care breaks

“While having a consistent regimen is super important, you have to know when to slow down and take breaks. If I find that my skin is getting too irritated by products, I use nothing except cleanser and moisturizer for a few days.”

Caroline Chang, MD, owner of Rhode Island Dermatology Institute and associate dermatology staff at Brown University

Beauty Tip #19 - Don’t neglect your neck and chest

“Many women take care of their faces, but don’t pay attention to the area below. You should treat your neck and chest with the same products you use on your face, including sunscreen, moisturizer, and anti-aging treatments.”

Jessica Wu, MD, a dermatologist in Los Angeles and author of Feed Your Face

Beauty Tip #20 - Go for eye gels and patches

“If I didn’t get a good night’s sleep, I pop a pair on while I’m making breakfast and then take them off before I put on my makeup. Fine lines ares softer and puffiness is diminished. My favorite is Skyn Iceland, but other brands make them as well.”

Jessica Wu, MD, a dermatologist in Los Angeles and author of Feed Your Face

Beauty Tip #21 - Don’t underestimate a simple washcloth

“You don’t need a facial brush or special product. For light exfoliation, I use just a washcloth with moderate pressure. Plus, I also like that it’s easy to wash—and that’s important, because dirt and bacteria can lead to breakouts.”

Jeanine B. Downie, MD, director of Image Dermatology in Montclair, NJ.

Beauty Tip #22 - Fight aging: Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum

“It has a scientifically proven peptide that helps with anti-aging and collagen preservation.”

Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, director of Capital Laser & Skin Care in Washington, DC

Beauty Tip #23 - Bright interior lights could damage your skin

“The closer you get, the more damage can occur. Make sure a reading light is over the book, not your head.”

Lily Talakoub, MD, of McLean Dermatology in Mclean, VA

Beauty Tip #24 - Ditch the loofah

“They trap bacteria more than anything else.”

Jeanine B. Downie, MD, director of Image Dermatology in Montclair, NJ.

Beauty Tip #25 - Drinking from a straw causes wrinkles

“The puckering will crease your upper lip, leading to ‘lipstick lines.’”

Jessica Wu, MD, a dermatologist in Los Angeles and author of Feed Your Face

[NOTE: Our HMUAs do not stay for the photo session and rarely offer extra lipstick to our clients. So we offer clients straws to drink through during their photo sessions so lipstick doesn't get messed up.]
Beauty Tip #26 - Change your pillowcase

“Oil and dirt build up, and then your skin is in contact with it. Wash it at least weekly.”

S. Manjula Jegasothy, MD, founder of the Miami Skin Institute

Beauty Tip #27 - Try hydrocortisone cream on severely chapped lips

“If your lips are dry and cracked, over-the-counter cortisone cream moisturizes and helps with mild inflammation that can compromise the skin barrier.”

S. Manjula Jegasothy, MD, founder of the Miami Skin Institute

Beauty Tip #28 - Don’t wait to moisturize

“Apply moisturizer while your skin is still a little wet to ‘seal in’ the water. Choose one without dehydrating alcohol.”

David Lortscher, MD, founder and CEO of Curology

Beauty Tip #29 - Use a non-lathering, soap-free body wash

“Soap washes away the natural oils that protect your skin, just like your dish detergent gets rid of the oil in a frying pan.”

Lily Talakoub, MD, of McLean Dermatology in Mclean, VA

Beauty Tip #30 - Reach for SPF: Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer

“It’s effective and non-pore-clogging and feels almost like you’re not wearing sunscreen at all.”

David Lortscher, MD, founder and CEO of Curology

Beauty Tip #31 - Put a glove on it

“I recommend applying Vaseline or a rich hand cream and wearing gloves overnight. If you have dry feet, moisturize them the same way and then put on socks.”

Caroline Chang, MD, owner of Rhode Island Dermatology Institute and associate dermatology staff at Brown University

Beauty Tip #32 - Try dandruff shampoo for body acne

“Bumps on your back, chest, shoulders, and buttocks that don’t go away with the usual topical acne treatments are often caused by yeast on your skin that inflames and irritates the hair follicles. Treat and prevent these bumps by using dandruff shampoo as a body wash. Leave it on your skin for a couple of minutes, then rinse it off.”

Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, a dermatologist in Los Angeles and a clinical instructor at the University of Southern California

Beauty Tip #33 - Use a liquid bandage before concealing a pimple

“It smooths out the surface so it’s easier to hide.”

Jessica Wu, MD, a dermatologist in Los Angeles and author of Feed Your Face

Beauty Tip #34 - Soothe cracked skin: Aveeno Active Naturals Eczema Therapy Itch Relief Balm

“If you have dry, cracked, and bleeding skin, you need a richer body cream or balm that has some weight to it, like this one.”

Jeanine B. Downie, MD, director of Image Dermatology in Montclair, NJ.

Beauty Tip #35 - Reduce a blemish overnight

“Cover it with a small adhesive bandage called a hydrocolloid dressing. That absorbs pus and oil and creates an acidic environment to prevent bacterial growth. It usually reduces a sore pimple overnight and gets rid of it in a couple of days.”

David Lortscher, MD, founder and CEO of Curology

Beauty Tip #36 - Fight dryness: Eucerin Advanced Repair Dry Skin Lotion

“For body dryness, this is my favorite product. The glycolic acids and urea help to gently exfoliate dry skin and hydrate to maintain skin’s natural moisture levels.”

Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, director of Capital Laser & Skin Care in Washington, DC

Beauty Tip #37 - Keep your hands off your face

“People assume germs in the environment are responsible for blemishes, but the bacteria on your face are usually from your own hands.”

Paul Dean, MD, of Grossmont Dermatology Clinic in San Diego and founder of Skin Resource MD

Beauty Tip #38 - ypoallergenic doesn’t actually mean anything

“It’s a marketing term manufacturers use to imply that a product is less likely to cause an allergic reaction. Consumers are led to believe that these products contain few or no irritating ingredients. In actuality, there are no federal standards, guidelines, or definitions that govern the use of the term.”

Fayne Frey, MD, a dermatologist in New York and founder of FryFace LLC

Beauty Tip #39 - Use a headset when you talk on the phone

“Anything that involves increased perspiration, moisture, and friction increases the risk of breakouts. That includes cradling your phone.”

David Lortscher, MD, founder and CEO of Curology

Beauty Tip #40 - Erase undereye circles

“A lot of people think their undereye circles are caused by aging, a lack of sleep, or alcohol. But in a good 70 percent of my patients, they’re actually caused by mild eczema. Talk to your doctor about using over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream under your eyes two or three times a week (keep it out of your eyes), and you may see a big difference.”

S. Manjula Jegasothy, MD, founder of the Miami Skin Institute

Beauty Tip #41 - Apply deodorant at night

“Most people use deodorant just in the morning, but putting it on at night too helps the aluminum crystals plug up your sweat glands like corks. You may also want to try a higher-strength deodorant like Certain Dri.”

Lily Talakoub, MD, of McLean Dermatology in Mclean, VA

Beauty Tip #42 - Cover cuts and abrasions for faster healing

“A wound heals 50 percent better if it’s kept covered. It’s an old wives’ tale that you need to leave it open to the air. It can get infected, and infection leaves hard scars.”

Jeanine B. Downie, MD, director of Image Dermatology in Montclair, NJ.

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