Why This Top Dermatologist Swears by Applying Magnesium Oil to Skin

Photo: Dendy Engelman

People in the beauty industry get tons of goods to test out, so when someone spends their own money on something that they’ve run out of, you know it’s good. In this series, we give beauty buffs $100, and ask them how they’d spend it on the best-of-the-best cosmetics from around the internet. 

New York City dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD is one of those people who was always destined to wind up in the skin-care industry. Not only was her father a physician, but she also grew up in the same town where Elizabeth Arden summered. Call it a coincidence, but it was pretty much written in the stars that she'd lead a life dedicated to making complexions beam.

Today, as one of NYC's most trusted dermatologists, she works her skin-care magic on celebrity clients, speaks at skin-care conferences all over the world, and is one of beauty editor's go-to sources on everything from the benefits of ingestible collagen to the best antioxidants to slather on. And she's walking proof of what she preaches every day. Here, the skin-care and makeup products that you'll hear her talking about and slathering from head to toe.

Keep scrolling for Dr. Engelman's top beauty picks for on-the-cheap.

Photo: Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara, $26

“I love mascara but I find that by the end of the day (if it’s not good) it will clump up under my eyes,” admits Dr. Engelman. “This one stays put all day and doesn’t transfer to the skin. It also thickens and elongates lashes.”

Bio Oil
Photo: Bio Oil

Bio-Oil Specialist Skincare Oil, $8

“This is my go-to from the neck down,” says Dr. Engelman. “I keep it in my shower and put it on when my skin is still damp and then towel off. I used it religiously throughout pregnancy because I was paranoid about getting stretch marks. Two babies later, and no stretch marks!”

Magnesium oil
Photo: Life-flo

Life-flo Pure Magnesium Oil, $6

“I spray my arms, legs, and abdomen with this everyday,” says Dr. Engelman of the spritzer which she emphasizes needs to be distributed evenly to avoid itching. “Magnesium is best absorbed through the skin (it’s one of the few elements that is absorbed better transdermally) and has many benefits—it helps promote gastrointestinal health, reduces anxiety, recovers muscles after workouts, and makes you sleep better.”

Photo: Glow Recipe

Whamisa By Glow Recipe Green Tea Moisturizer, $25

“I like the way this moisturizer makes my skin dewy and glowy,” explains Dr. Engelman. “It’s lightweight, oil-free, and fast absorbing, and leaves skin hydrated without feeling heavy. Plus, it’s formulated with antioxidant-rich green tea, which is a natural anti-inflammatory and kale to brighten and refine troubled skin.”

Freeman Beauty
Photo: Freeman Beauty

Freeman Beauty Infusion Cleansing Clay Mask, $8

“Charcoal is oil-absorbing and helps pull impurities out of the skin without drying you out like an acid” explains Dr. Engelman. “Use a charcoal mask once a week if you have normal skin and twice if you are more oily or acne-prone.”

La Roche Posay sunscreen
Photo: La Roche Posay

La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid, $19

“Dermatologists love zinc because it’s a physical blocker and doesn’t have to go through a chemical conversion, which means less chemicals on the skin,” explains Dr. Engelman. “The only problem is that zinc (the most common physical blocker) typically leaves a white cast on the skin. This option, however, doesn’t do that and is very elegantly formulated making it easy to use daily.”

If you want to know how other dermatologists shop for beauty products on the cheap, check out how Mona Gohara, MD does it and this is what Shereene Idriss would buy. 

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