Skin-Care Tips

The Brand That Completely Changed This Skin-Care Skeptic’s Mind

Francesca Krempa

Photo: Stocksy/Ohlamour Studio
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My tragic flaw (or, one of them, I should say) is that I'm not a skin-care fanatic. Don't get me wrong—I love a good, hydrating moisturizer and the occasional blackhead de-gunking mask. But I have never been, nor ever will be, the person who is consumed by skin care, willing to splurge hundreds of dollars on facials or treatments over a few fine lines.

This shifted when I was introduced to Dr. Loretta a few months ago. Founded by Loretta Ciraldo, MD, FAAD, a Miami-based dermatologist with over 40 years experience, the brand had rave reviews from my colleagues. So, when I got the opportunity to try it myself, I agreed, not realizing how good (and more importantly, how easy) Dr. Loretta's skin care really is.

I tested her best-sellers, which include the Gentle Hydrating Cleanser ($35), Intense Replenishing Serum ($70), Urban Antioxidant Sunscreen ($50) and Tightening Eye Gel ($60). Everything is packaged in neat, minimalist bottles which immediately caught my eye. Most "luxury" skin care I've tried comes in a neutral, intimidating color palette. Dr. Loretta's felt accessible, not like something I was going to screw up or use incorrectly.

But what really stood out to me were the results. Did my face radically change overnight and suddenly regrow a layer of dolphin-smooth skin? No. But did I gradually see and feel results over time? Yes, I did. And that's due to Dr. Loretta's formulations. "I literally search the globe to source the most outstanding ingredients and develop them clinically within my dermatology practice," she says. "All of the products are specifically formulated using active ingredients that protect skin from all the external aggressors that cause free radical damage that 'ages' our skin."

From ultra-hydrating extracts and essential oils, to skin-saving antioxidants and defensive peptides, all of the products do what they they're going to do.

"We want an eye product that helps us to look more awake even if we didn't sleep well, a sunscreen that we actually like to apply to our skin, a cleanser that deep cleans but leaves skin feeling soft and hydrated, and a serum that has the staying power to leave our skin feeling and looking silky smooth most of the day," Dr. Loretta says.

And that's exactly what all those products did for me, someone who knows very little about skin care. If I, a skin-care skeptic, am taking the time to write this review, you know it's actually good stuff. Keep reading to hear what I thought about each product.


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Dr. Loretta best-sellers skin-care review

Dr. Loretta Gentle Hydrating Cleanser — $35.00

I had been on the hunt for a good cleanser for a while before I tried this one. I’ll use a physical exfoliant about once a week, but anything more is way too much for my skin. Now, I use this almost every day, swapping it out for a scrubbier alternative when I want a deep clean.

Dr. Loretta’s Gently Hydrating Cleanser always leaves me dewy post-wash, which I love. It’s formulated with ingredients like chamomile and ginger root essential oils, so it actually moisturizes while you lather. It’s also chock full of marine peptide, which. Dr. Loretta says boosts hydration that leaves the skin clean and quenched. “Plus, marine algin absorbs pollution particles, like smoke and pesticides, that tend to lurk in the air around us,” she says.

To use, Dr. Loretta suggests massaging 1-2 pumps into your skin (including your eyelids!) You can even leave it on for up to two minutes, getting skin squeaky clean before you move onto the rest of your routine.


Dr. Loretta Intense Replenishing Serum — $70.00

I simply will not shut up about this ultra-nourishing serum. It’s by far my favorite product from this sampling, thanks to its rich, decadent texture that has kept my tired skin looking healthier and more hydrated all summer long.

Unlike other serums, the Intense Replenishing Serum is suuuper viscous (you’ll see what I mean the moment you squeeze the dropper). That’s because it’s formulated with bioidentical skin lipids that lock in moisture and give you a day’s worth of that silky, luminous glow. “It also provides unparalleled antioxidant protection with Lipochroman, which staves off free radical damage from UV radiation and pollution—the leading causes of fine lines and age spots,” Dr. Loretta explains. “So skin is left with a natural glow, increased smoothness, and a boost in plumpness.”

I use my serum morning and night, just after I wash my face. Just note, a little bit of this serious goes along way—I rub just a few drops all over my face and neck and it’s enough to last me all night and day.

Dr. Loretta Urban Antioxidant Sunscreen SPF 40 — $50.00

I’m really, really bad at remembering to put on sunscreen every day. If I’m on the beach, yeah, I put it on. But I’m definitely forgetful about wearing it religiously, especially on cloudy, overcast days.

Which is why I love this lightweight sunscreen that doubles as a primer. It’s lightly tinted, so it’s designed to be incorporated into your beauty ritual, but unlike other SPF moisturizers, it’s not sticky or heavy. It goes on featherlight and blends in seamlessly, creating a smooth canvas I forget is even protected by the sun.

Dr. Loretta says the feel of this sunscreen has so much to do with its formulation. “It’s moisturizing with aloe and vitamin E and it provides HEV blue light protection with Indian ginseng,” she says. “It also has light diffusing particles, so your skin looks smoother and more flawless upon application.” If you want sunscreen that doesn’t feel like sunscreen, check this out. It’s really that good.

Dr. Loretta Tightening Eye Gel — $60.00

While I’ve never minded my crow’s feet, I have started to notice my eyes looking more tired and baggier these days. This powerful eye gel has helped change that.

“Many of us are self-conscious that we look tired even when we’re not,” says Dr. Loretta. “The Eye Gel combines eye-specific peptides, marine extracts, and powerhouse antioxidant Lipochroman to tighten eye contour 360 degrees around the eyes, lessening under-eye puffiness, dark circles, and crow’s feet.”

Since using the gel, I’ve noticed the dark circles underneath my eyes have gotten lighter. They’re still there, but they’re far less noticeable (that’s probably thanks to the Chromabright, an ingredient designed specifically to face uneven pigment). My only complaint is it is a bit slick, so I just use nightly as the last part of my skincare routine, which leaves me bright-eyed the minute I wake up.

There you have it. It takes a lot to get me to swoon over my skin, but Dr. Loretta did it. These four products are so easy to use, are fairly budget-friendly, and actually do their job.

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