Archive | Skin Care Routine

4 Skin Care Personalities: Which Are You?

Minimalist, Trend-Seeker, Quick Fixer, or Connoisseur?

I’ve been a minimalist since childhood.

While my friends were chatty about the last skincare and makeup products, hair wands, and gels, taking a mall trip to visit Sephora and spending their allowance on little vials of this or that, I was happily clueless. 

Today, as I start to see signs of skin issues in my 30s, I do what I can do to keep my skin healthy, but my ultimate dream is still to live on a deserted island where (in my magical alternate reality) my skin is naturally buoyed and kept supple and glowing by a totally naturalistic lifestyle. *sigh* 

While that may be far from my reality, the heart of it rings true for me. I don’t want to spend time worrying about my skincare, or money lining my shelves with new products. To put more focus on my skin than I’m comfortable with, I’ve learned would only make me anxious and obsessive about my skincare. For others, it’s a completely different story. My friend LOVES spending a weekend evening trying out new products and reading article after article about their effects. She has beautiful skin because that works for her. A sharper focus on her skin and time spent on skincare is a form of self-love and pampering. For me, a simple facial cleanse, a serum and a quick moisturizer with SPF are all I need for my skin to feel good and keep healthy while keeping stress on the issue at bay. 

We all have a skincare personality; the trick is to recognize it and learn how to roll with it. Going against the grain of what works for you (and that might change through different seasons of your life), will result in more frustration, stress and oh-just-forget-it outbursts than is good for your skin. 

  1. The Minimalist

You favor a quick cleanser, and a moisturizer to make your skin feel more comfortable and less tight, but you aren’t over-fussy with brands or expensive products. You want utility and prefer a more natural approach that weaves well with your lifestyle. 

    • Pros: You won’t spend too much time worrying in front of a mirror.
    • Cons: You might experience some premature aging if you become neglectful of your skin.
    • If You Do One Thing: Choose a few good products to address skin moisture, skin suppleness, and an exfoliating cleanser. 
  1. The Trend-Seeker

You expect quick, visible results from your skincare, and always look for a new product that might work better than your last    investment. You have several pots of moisturizer, cleanser and masks on the go, ready to use for your skin’s changing needs.

    • Pros: Open to advice, Enthusiastic, Keeps a consistent routine 
    • Cons: Poor effective may be had on sensitive skin from switching up products and trying new things so often
    • If you do one thing: play around with non-essential products, but keep a consistent core product base.
  1. The Connoisseur 

You take skincare seriously, are well versed in the latest products, but unlike the Trend-Seeker, you’re not looking for a quick fix. You don’t mind taking the time to use a multi-step program, or investing in new technology with long-term trial periods. 

    • Pros: You’ll find what works and have fewer negative reactions to products.
    • Cons: Maintaining this level of commitment can be time-consuming and expensive. 
    • If you do one thing: Don’t forget that diet, exercise and lifestyle have a huge impact on the way your skin looks and behaves. You may find it easier to choose a new do-all cream with multi-benefits to cut out a step or two of your regimen.
  1. The Investor  

You’ve found a range of products you love and suit your skin. You stockpile when there’s a special offer on and see no reason to look for anything new. You’ve done your research and you’re investing in your long-term skin goals, and aren’t expecting to see any immediate effects on your overall skin health. 

    • Pros: less time spent worrying about skincare 
    • Cons: You could be affected by tachyphylaxis (when a product stops working for you from overuse). 
    • If you do one thing: Take inventory of your skin once a year for any changes due to aging, pregnancy or climate changes. Have a rotating arsenal of multiple products to interchange and avoid tachyphylaxis. 



Men, Skin Care Is Part of Your Health!

“As a dermatologist, my opinion is that the #1 problem in men’s skincare can be summed up in one word: NEGLECT.” -Dr. Susan Evans, MD, Expert Contributor to the Dr. Oz Show

Men’s health goes beyond working out and eating right. If you’re not taking care of your skin, you’re disregarding a major portion of your health. Your skin is different from women, with distinct needs, but it definitely has needs! This article is your sign to listen to the women in your life (and hopefully your dermatologist) telling you to get on top of a skincare routine if you haven’t already. 

Get cosmetics and beauty treatments out of your mind if that’s stopping you from owning your own skincare routine. Preventative care and health is what we’re about. More than half of the skin cancer cases are men, with the highest incidence in non-Hispanic white men. It comes down to protecting the skin. 

Protect Your Skin

First, visit your dermatologist once a year for a thorough check-up, more than that if you have a history or family history of skin cancer. Second, use sunscreen! Men in their 20s and 30s are usually active, participating in outdoor activities, lounging by the pool, or working outside. 

“Institutes of Health show that, among adults, males between the ages of 18 and 24 are at the highest risk of UVR exposure. For the past decade, this group has consistently reported the highest percentage of sunburns, with 50.03% reporting sunburn in 2010. This group was also the least likely group to usually or always protect themselves from the sun by using sunscreen, with only 13.7% of males 18 to 24 years old reporting usually using sunscreen in 2010. While research to date has primarily focused on the sun protection and tanning behaviors of young adult females, the attitudes and behaviors of males were poorly understood.”1

Point blank. Sunscreen. Everywhere skin is exposed. And yes, that even means on the top of your head if you’ve begun balding. Arguably, your scalp is even more sensitive than other areas of concern. 

We Recommend: For the best in sun protection, try SkinMedica Environmental Defense Sunscreen SPF 30.

Sunscreen will help protect the skin from harmful UV rays, and preventative measures in caring for the aging of the skin is a concern, too. Aging is inevitable. When products tout “anti-aging” benefits, what they really mean is, “Here’s how you can gracefully age. For the disinterested male, keep it simple. Use a good cleanser, an exfoliant, an antioxidant serum, and a good moisturizer. Premature aging, blemishes, dry skin, and complications of shaving like ingrown hairs are all easily avoided if you take the time to take care. 


Take Care When Shaving

Shave using a manual razor with a single blade. The double and triple blades promise to give you a very close shave; this sounds good, but the closer you shave, the more likely you are to have those hairs curling below the surface of your skin resulting in razor bumps and infected hairs. Shave in the shower, if you can. When your face is very wet, you minimize the likelihood of developing razor burn from too much friction. After shaving, moisturize! Why is it that men find moisturizing their skin feminine? It’s not! Men’s skin is thicker, tougher, and more prone to chafe or crack; it needs extra moisture. Exfoliate! Keep up a daily habit of light exfoliation to further prevent a build-up of dead skin cells and in-grown hairs. My partner’s life changed when he tried using exfoliating gloves. We get them for less than $5, usually at Homegoods or Primark. 

  1. Shave using a single blade to prevent in-grown hairs
  2. Moisturize
  3. Exfoliate

We Recommend: Try Dermalogica Soothing Shave Kit to shave with comfort and ease. Follow with Neostrata Foaming Glycolic Wash to gently exfoliate and unclog congested pores. Finish off with Neostrata Lotion Plus, a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer that’s formulated with 15% glycolic acid to improve skin texture. 1-2-3…done! 🙂


  1. Melanoma incidence and mortality, United States—2012–2016. (2019). U.S. Cancer Statistics Data Briefs, 9.,men%20and%2031%2C845%20among%20women.

To Squeeze or Not to Squeeze

The Hamlet-esque question we all contemplate in the bathroom mirror.

An unexpected whopper just showed up on your face. Like a mosquito bite or scab, you want to touch it. You want to pick at it. You really, really want to pop it. But should you? While most skin care professionals would prefer you leave it alone, the truth is that YES, you can – but only if your blemish is white. 

Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you’re a persistent pimple popper. 

First, make sure your hands are clean. (I always keep either alcohol wipes or alcohol hand sanitizer with me in my car or bag. Avoid scented or doctored-up hand sanitizer (the real goopy stuff; the goal is to sterilize, not scent-ivize). There are too many fillers and added ingredients in your run-of-the-mill hand sanitizer beyond sterilizing agents like isopropyl alcohol to further irritate your skin. 

Next, cleanse the skin you’re going to be touching before popping. If you have to use your fingers, fine, but ideally, you’ll either use a sterilized blemished tool or two Q-tips to gently press on either side of the blemish (if you see blood or any liquid or feel pain, stop pressing)

Then, pop the head. Dab what comes out with a tissue. Bacteria can easily spread from a ruptured blemish to other areas of the face, creating more acne. 

Lastly, cleanse your skin immediately and avoid touching other parts of the face, then use an antibiotic spot treatment. We recommend Murad Acne Spot Fast Fix or Glycone Acne Tinted Spot Treatment. After that, hands off!



A Dab, A Dot, or a Dollop?

Believe it when your mother tells you, “Less is more!” Sometimes.

If I open my bathroom vanity mirror right now, I can pull at least four products from its shelves with non-specific instructions on how much product to apply. 


Apply liberally…

Apply a moderate amount…

Apply a substantial amount…

Apply a small amount…


Helpful. Most directions leave me none the wiser, shaking my head at the bathroom sink and wondering, to echo the late comedian John Pinette: “How small is small?” We already have to deal with non-standardized sizing in restaurants, at clothing stores, and even with babies’ diapers! I draw the line at beauty products. Small, liberal, moderate, and substantial are highly subjective metrics.

Exhibit A: 

What is this non-discriminant style of measuring? Are faces such different sizes that we can’t standardize beauty products’ sizing? We’re running out of our products too quickly from applying too much. We’re not seeing the benefits of applying too little! We need answers; we need a formula to follow. How much is enough? A dab? A dot? Or a dollop? Your ultimate guide is below. 

  1. Cleanser: Your cleanser serving size (if it’s a good cleanser like Elta MD Foaming Facial Cleanser) should be no more than a hazelnut. Any more, and it’s just wasteful. Any less, and you might get the deep clean you need. 
  2. Moisturizer: Think of two raisins in your palm; that’s all you need for a full application — and to keep your skin from looking like a raisin. When you moisturize, don’t just slap it on, spend a few moments massaging your moisturizer in so it penetrates surface levels of the skin. 
  3. Eye Cream: One pine nut size per eye is plenty. Or, TicTacs, if that’s a more helpful visualization. Applying eye cream with upward, gentle massaging motions will get the most out of a little. 
  4. Night Cream: A mid-size blueberry is enough to ensure night-long moisturization. Try Revision Firming Night Treatment for extra-wrinkle protection while you sleep. 
  5. Retinol & Serums: A pea. That’s all. I’ve seen (and have been guilty of in the past) women emptying a dropper-full on their faces. A little goes a long way if applied thoroughly. 
  6. Sunscreen: Here’s where the fun begins. One grape-sized serving per body part is sufficient when applying sunscreen. Out of all your products, you’ll want to apply, as your directions likely say, liberally. 

Go forth and apply with confidence!




5 Skincare Mistakes You’re Making

Mistakes. They happen to the best of us!

Acne, problem and portrait of woman with pimple in studio for cosmetic, mistake or disaster on blue.

I hate the be the bearer of bad news, but chances are we’re all making a mistake or two with our skincare. Far be it from me to add yet another step into your well-situated regimen or to contradict the routine you’ve finally nailed down, but for these five mistakes, I’m willing to rock the boat. 

You’re not eating correctly…

You can slather on the most expensive creams and serums that money can buy, but if you’re not eating right, you’re just throwing money out the window. Your skincare products work best in conjunction with a skin-healthy diet. Work with a dermatologist and dietician, or consider a supplement that targets skin health like Murad Pure Skin Dietary Supplement. 

You’re forgetting your neck…

Have you ever seen a woman with a flawless face set atop a flabby or crepey neck? I don’t know about you, but it’s not really the look I’m going for. The neck is one of the least regarded areas. Give it some love; it needs it. Extend your routine down with a targeted product like Revision Nectifirm. 

You’re skimping on sunscreen…

Don’t get caught up in what Harvard Health Publishing (the consumer health education division of Harvard Medical School), calls “sun-dread”1. There are benefits to moderate sun exposure. We do need Vitamin D, after all, and hiding away in a cave to let our skin turn ghostly pale can leave us deficient and cause as many, albeit different, problems as intense sun exposure. The department chair of Dermatology, Dr. Robert S. Stern proposes a middle ground whereby we can be free to frolic outside without the dreaded sun-dread. Wear an SPF of at least 15 when you’re outside for extended periods and a hat and shirt when the sun is at its strongest. Be mindful to apply every two hours. 

You’re ignoring your hands…

“If you want to know someone’s age, don’t look at their hands, look at their face,” says board-certified dermatologist Diane S. Berson, MD, FAAD, an associate professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medicine-New York Presbyterian Hospital.2 Always in contact with the elements, household chemicals, and extreme temperatures, they show the earliest signs of aging. To repair moderate to severe signs of damage try Elta MD So Silky Hand Creme or Epionce Restorative Hand Cream.


You’re skipping the roller…

If you aren’t using a micro needle roller you aren’t maximizing your skincare dollar or the effects of your favorite products. Skin Roller therapy is performed with a small wheel that gently rolls over the face and painlessly penetrates the skin’s upper surface twice a week. The treatment is simple but incredibly effective: research has shown an increase in the absorption of active ingredients up to 1000% and according to a study, “Histological examination of the skin treated with 4 micro-needling sessions 1 month apart shows up to 400% increase in collagen and elastin”3 which improves the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and acne scars. Try the Micro Needle Roller 0.5mm from SkinMedix for the ultimate boost to your skin care regimen.

1Benefits of moderate sun exposure. Harvard Health. (2017, January 20). 

Are Eye Creams a Waste of Money?

With evidence revealing that many eye creams have the same characteristics as basic moisturizers, their high-ticket price gets called into question. Know the difference and get the most for your money. 

I started trying to cover up my dark circles in middle school, surreptitiously blending nude-colored eye shadow (from my “play” make-up; I wasn’t allowed to wear real make-up just yet) under my eyes. It didn’t work. No surprise there. By the end of eighth grade, I was deemed eligible to wear real makeup and given a lesson by my aunt on how to tastefully apply, particularly around the eyes. Thankfully, my mother understood the importance of applying good products around sensitive areas such as the eyes and bought me an eye cream. A good name brand and it wasn’t cheap. But it took me over six years to admit that my nicely packaged expensive eye cream made no difference. My eye issues have always been dryness, dark circles, and puffiness. Don’t all eye creams do the same thing? Are they really any different than a run-of-the-mill facial moisturizer? And if not, why on earth am I paying all this money?! I contemplated morning and night.

Eye creams are touted to be specifically formulated for skin wellness measures like moisture, protection against and reparation of wrinkles, the reduction of dark circles, and de-puffing. But though their teeny tiny portions ask for beaucoup bucks, some may do little more than what your facial cream does. How can we spot the difference? Trial and error is one way, but ain’t nobody got time or money for that. 

There’s a better way. In a New York Times article, dermatologist Dr. Perkins, an assistant professor of dermatology at the Yale University School of Medicine, and Dr. Zakia Rahman, a clinical professor of dermatology at Stanford University both agree that “there is evidence that eye creams — and even regular facial moisturizers — can help prevent and repair wrinkles. But there’s one big caveat: They must contain some key active ingredients: retinols (or prescription retinoids) or vitamin C.”

In other words, know the ingredients in your eye cream. Looking back at the cream I used to carefully dab under my eyes each morning and evening, it was really just a basic moisturizer — none of the key ingredients I should’ve been looking for included! 

Our eyes deserve special attention and care specifically formulated to our needs. For wrinkle prevention and repair, vitamin C or retinoids are necessary. If we’re talking hydration, an eye cream with hyaluronic acid will help to keep the eye area, a delicate area with thinner skin more prone to drying out, moisturized. De-puffing will require (in conjunction with a healthy diet, always) antioxidant ingredients like vitamin E or ferulic acid, among others, to help prevent environmental damage and decrease unwanted swelling. 

Here are our eye cream recommendations based on target issues.

For firming, hydration, and a good depuff: Dermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex

For an increase in nutrients and maintenance of cellular hydration, and wrinkle prevention: Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture for Eyes

For the reparation of wrinkles and cell damage: SkinCeuticals Eye Balm 

1. Sneed, A. (2022, July 19). Do eye creams actually work for wrinkles?. The New York Times.
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