The Morning and Night Skin-Care Routines of 4 Dermatologists
Some of their answers were predictable (as if a dermatologist would ever leave the house without SPF) and others were more surprising. (Did we hear that someone washes their face with a modest bar? Yep.) And while there are certain powerhouse ingredients few pros would forgo (like the brightening antioxidant vitamin C), their approaches vary from quick and easy to layered and savvy.
For example: New York City dermatologist Ellen Marmur's nightly ritual includes a high-tech device. She turns to her own MMSphere before bed to help her unwind. The LED tool emits different colors of light to help lessen inflammation, decrease bacteria, and even bring on relaxing vibes. How's that for commitment?
But no matter your maintenance level, there's one thing we can all take away from these complexion confessions: Your skin-care routine should vary from morning to night. When you wake up, focus on protecting your skin from the pollution, sun, and various light waves that will inevitably be coming your way. In the evening, switch gears and apply regenerating ingredients, or what dermatologist Mona Gohara calls the "worker bees." She says, "At night is when your skin naturally regenerates itself. That's when you put [on] the actives, not the protectors." So consider incorporating a retinoid formula that prompts cell turnover and aids in smoothing the surface. And if you have time to throw on a sheet mask while binge-watching Schitt’s Creek before bed, well, that's just a bonus.
Ellen Marmur, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Skin type: "Supersensitive and prone to adult-onset acne rosacea."
A.M. routine: "I believe sweat is nature's best facial cleanser, so after my morning workout 90 percent of the time I just rinse [with water] in the shower. With my skin still damp, I put on two pumps of [my own] MMSkincare MMRevive Serum, then tinted SPF. For workdays, Chanel Vitalumière and on days off, it's EltaMD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 Tinted. For activities like tennis, EltaMD UV Active Broad-Spectrum SPF 50+. Then my N95 mask, sunglasses, and I’m out!"
P.M. routine: "My super skin secret is sleep. [Before bed,] I always use Neutrogena Gentle Oil-Free Makeup Remover or Beautycounter Instant Eye Makeup Remover, then remove the residue with a damp cloth. I love using my MMSkincare MMSphere 2.0 home LED therapy to relax and boost dopamine, aka the sleep hormone."
Once in a while: "When it's very cold, I apply what I call a 'rescue cream' — Aquaphor Healing Ointment or an Aveeno body lotion — to my face and neck. And if I notice milia or blackheads, I exfoliate [in the office] with a Jessner's Peel, then hydrate with MMSkincare MMRevive Face Mask."