Though it’s hard to tell by looking at the flawless, smooth skin of Dr. Sunanda Chugh, a healthy complexion didn’t always come naturally to the doctor and entrepreneur. During her teenage years, Dr. Chugh struggled with acne and unwanted facial hair, which affected her self-confidence. Because of her own experiences, she decided to specialize in aesthetics and opened Anand Medical SpaTM in New York City.
“I find that taking action is always more empowering,” she explains. “We all face challenges in our life — whether cosmetic or otherwise — but instead of feeling bad about yourself or letting others affect how how you feel, I encourage people to start taking steps to help manage their challenges.”
Dr. Chugh also believes in a holistic approach to beauty. “To maintain your [look], in addition to treating the signs of aging with the latest in non-surgical procedures and technology, it is important to also address such things as lack of sleep, elevated stress levels, and an inadequate diet which may be playing a role in accelerating the aging process,” she shares.
So how does the busy doctor and entrepreneur take care of herself? Here are her Top 11:
Cetaphil® Daily Facial Cleanser ($9): “Since I have acne-prone and overall very sensitive skin, I use this, which is very mild and non-comedogenic.”
SkinMedica® Ultra Sheer Moisturizer ($49): “This contains a derivative of hyaluronic acid so it is moisturizing, but lightweight, will not clog pores, and is great for sensitive skin. During the winter when my skin can get a bit dry, I opt for something a little thicker.”
Revision Skincare® Vitamin C 30% Lotion ($119): “It contains a special form of vitamin C, THD (tetrahexyldecyl) ascorbate. It gets absorbed into the deeper dermal layer of the skin where it can also stimulate collagen production, preventing the progression of fine lines and wrinkles. It can also help with hyperpigmentation left from acne scars and otherwise. Lastly, the product contains squalane (a derivative of squalene) which is found naturally in the body and helps to moisturize and hydrate the skin.”
SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum® ($239): “This is an excellent all-in-one rejuvenating product that has a lot of research behind it. TNS Essential Serum contains not only seven antioxidants such as vitamin C/E, green tea leaf extract, and [Coenzyme] Q10 to protect your skin against harmful free radicals, but [a robust blend of] growth factors to help [support collagen levels] and minimize the appearance of fine lines [and] wrinkles, and improve overall skin tone and texture.”
SkinMedica Tinted Essential Defense Mineral Shield SPF 32 Sunscreen ($38): “This is my go-to as I have sensitive skin — and I hardly wear foundation or makeup — so I love that it is a lightweight sunscreen that provides enough coverage for daily wear, broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays, and it is a physical blocker. It also contains antioxidants such as vitamin E and green tea leaf extract, and comes as an untinted formulation as well.”
Aquaphor® ($4): “I use it during the day to protect my lips, especially in the winter, from the dry weather and also the harmful UV rays as it contains SPF 30. [I also use it] on a nightly basis as a ‘lip mask’ to keep my lips moisturized and smooth. When I am home relaxing, I apply it on my feet and hands and throw some cozy socks over and gloves on. You can also go to sleep with it on if you are comfortable wearing socks and gloves at night. I would not recommend using it on the face especially for patients with acne-prone skin.”
SkinMedica TNS Eye Repair® ($87): “I love this product as not only is it very hydrating, which is important for the undereye, but it also contains peptides and antioxidants to help protect this area with delicate, thin skin. It also has ingredients to improve the appearance of dark circles. A good undereye cream is a must if you are trying to [reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles].”
Ultherapy®: “I do Ultherapy every one to two years to stimulate collagen production as a preventative measure to maintain the firmness of my skin. This is an excellent preventative procedure and there is no downtime for busy patients, and most people only need to do this once a year. It is the only FDA-cleared procedure that uses ultrasound energy to safely stimulate collagen production to help lift loose, sagging skin. It is excellent for patients with mild to moderate skin laxity or anyone who wants to delay the progression of the aging process.”
Chemical peels: “I do a series of SkinMedica chemical peels to help with [the appearance of] acne scarring, hyperpigmentation, and skin texture.
[Editor’s note: SkinMedica chemical peels can only be administered by a licensed medical professional.]
Microneedling: “[I] have done Skinpen Microneedling to help reduce acne scars and enlarged pores. It can also be used to improve skin tone and texture, and improve fine lines and stretch marks.”
Daily meditation: “I do this twice per day with visualization and gratitude. It also has some anti-aging effects by reducing stress and decreasing cortisol (high levels of this hormone wreaks havoc on your skin and [can lead] to inflammatory conditions and can also worsen acne). [Meditation can additionally improve] sleep. It also has been shown to increase the length of telomeres (the caps at the end of your chromosomes), which play a role in the aging process.”
A healthy diet: “I follow a diet high in antioxidants, omega-3s, and organic foods to minimize ingestion of harmful pesticides. Antioxidants fight off harmful free radicals found in the body, as well as in our environment such UV rays, pollution, and pesticides. In addition to many noted health benefits, foods high in omega-3s also work on the skin cell membranes to restore moisture and give you more softer, plumper skin. It can also help reduce flare-ups of inflammatory conditions such as eczema and rosacea by reducing inflammation, and minimize acne breakouts by regulating the production of sebum.”
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SkinMedica® is an Allergan-owned skincare line.