"I'm Irish and have dry, sensitive skin, so I'm noticing freckling and fine lines earlier than a lot of other people might," says Dr. Hooper, a 47-year-old board-certified dermatologist in Louisiana. "I finished derm residency and was out in private practice when I was 28, and was already seeing fine lines and getting Botox. So I've noticed that skin care is super important."
Another critical lesson she's learned? It's not just what skin-care you use that makes a difference—it's also how you use it. In other words, consistency makes a big difference. "You have to use products for a while to see if they're going to work for you," says Dr. Hooper. As long a product isn't causing irritation, you have to give it time. "It's such a waste of time to try something for two or three weeks. You just don't know if it works. If you want to give something a try, commit to using it every day for three months."
Keep scrolling for the products that Dr. Hopper has been using consistently on her own skin since becoming a dermatologist, all of which she's deemed "worth it."
Shop a dermatologist's favorite skin-care products
“There is no better beauty tool ever than sunscreen,” says Dr. Hooper. If I could go back in time to 10 or 15 years ago, I’d give myself a spanking for all the times that I left my house without it.” Her work as a derm has wisened her up to how important it is to use SPF every day, and because. there are always newer, better sunscreens coming out, she’s always testing something new. Right now, she’s loving the Isdin Eryfotona Actinica sunscreen because it contains DNA repair enzymes. It’s a mineral sunscreen that goes on sheer.
“All lotions are not created equal,” explains Dr. Hooper, who names this one from La Roche-Posay as her favorite. It’s formulated with thermal spring water, making it especially great for people managing skin issues like keratosis pilaris or eczema. “It’s packed full of all these prebiotics, minerals, things that feed a healthy skin microbiome,” she says.
“I’ve used many, many, many vitamin Cs and I’ve never seen anything that helped my skin look healthy and at the same time, improve my pigment as much as Revision C+ Correcting C,” says Dr. Hooper. It combines a 30 percent concentration of vitamin C with a peptide complex that helps inhibit the production of pigment, and the two together will leave skin looking even and radiant.
This “lotion” is really a body oil, and Dr. Hooper calls it one of dermatology’s best-kept secerets. “When I’m feeling too lazy to get out of the shower and put on lotion in winter,” says she says. “I’ll turn off the shower and apply Theraplex ClearLotion and then pat dry after. And I find that to be a great way to use moisturizer when you don’t feel like using moisturizer, but you need to use moisturizer.”
“Becoming a dermatologist, you learn pretty early on that prescription products are generally superior to over-the-counter products. So if you have a dermatologist who can get you prescription Retin-A, you should do that,” says Dr. Hooper. But if you don’t, she recommends using the Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1%. Along with many other derms, she sees Differin gel as the gold standard in OTC retinoids, and loves how effectively it can help with both acne and wrinkles.
“I truly, with all of my heart, love the Neocutis Lumière eye cream,” says Dr. Hooper.”I think I’ve tried every eye cream that might exist over the years, and I’ve never applied one and thought it felt better.” Although eye creams are controversial (some derms will tell you they should be non-negotiable, others will tell you they’re pointless), Dr. Hooper says this one is worth it if you’re looking to take extra good care of the skin around your eyes. “The truth is this is an add-on, not an ‘instead of’ product,” says Dr. Hooper.
When Dr. Hooper was a resident, the Glyderm Gentle Face Cleanser was the first free, full-sized product she ever got to test. “It was like I won the lottery,” she says. “GlyDerm cleanser is like a perfect medium cleanser. It removes my makeup, it’s non-drying, and it makes me feel clean without being too creamy.”
“I actually started Aquaphor when I was in medical school and the Accutane I was taking gave me chapped lips,” says Dr. Hooper. “That’s just a great balm to have around for when your skin has started to get crazy dry or your lips are chapped, you have a little cut that you put ointment on. No dermatologist exists, who is a fan of Neosporin, but if you have a cut that you want to put something on to keep it from scabbing, use Aquaphor.”
Curious about what dermatologist-favorite skin-care products other derms use in *their* regular routines? Check out the video below to see which products Mona Gohara, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Connecticut, slathers on her own skin every single day.
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