Everyone is different, and therefore, each individual’s morning and evening skincare routines should be unique, depending on skin type, complexion, and a variety of other factors (like the climate in which they live). Dermatologists and plastic surgeons are no different. They, too, have curated regimens that are specific to their needs.
With a lot of know-how about ingredients, products, and the order in which to use them, we were compelled to ask four board-certified doctors — from across the country — about what they’re applying to their faces every morning and night. Additionally, we had to know all about what these dermatologists’ and plastic surgeons’ medical aesthetic regimens entail.
Here’s what Sue Ellen Cox, MD, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Kamakshi Zeidler, MD, in Campbell, California, Kim Nichols, MD, in Greenwich, Connecticut, and Heather Rogers, MD, in Seattle, Washington, had to say about cleansers, serums, aesthetic treatments, and more!
Spotlyte: What is your morning skincare routine?
Dr. Kim Nichols: In the morning, I'm usually in a big rush getting to work. I will cleanse with SkinCeuticals® Soothing Cleanser in the shower. I'll do that on my face and my neck. Then, I'll use SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic®, which is an antioxidant serum. Depending upon what time of year it is, I'll either use SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50 or Elta MD® SPF 45, which is tinted.
Dr. Heather Rogers: I have seasonally dry skin, and I definitely fight with melasma. It's better now that I'm not having children, but pigment has always been a problem. In the morning, I splash my face with water, and then I dry it. I apply a vitamin C serum. My current favorite is Alto Defence SerumTM by SkinBetter®. I follow that with my face cream, Dr. Rogers RESTORE® Face Cream. And I follow that with a tinted zinc-based sunscreen like DermaQuest®, Supergoop!®, or Colorescience®.
Spotlyte: What is your evening skincare routine?
Dr. Kim Nichols: At night, I will remove my makeup and cleanse again, usually after my makeup remover. Then, I'll do SkinCeuticals Custom D.O.S.E.TM (which is a customized serum based upon the patient's needs) with retinol. I like the Custom D.O.S.E. at night, because it's an all-in-one, and at night, I am beat. Then, I apply a triple lipid moisturizer, especially in the winter, when I tend to get dryer.
Retinol shouldn't be used by women who are pregnant, considering getting pregnant, or nursing. Please consult with your doctor before use.
Dr. Heather Rogers: I wash my face with Dr. RogersTM Face Wash. Then, I do a treatment that causes exfoliation: a prescription or glycolic acid. Drunk Elephant® has a great one [of the latter]. Then, I use my Dr. Rogers RESTORE Face Cream. I don't use night cream. My eyes react to everything, so I just use my face cream around my eyes. And that's it.
Spotlyte: Do you get injectables?
Dr. Sue Ellen Cox: Susan Weinkle, [MD], has a group of women that she invites to her house in Aspen in the summertime. A plastic surgeon injects me. Her name is Dr. Jackie Yee. I typically do injectable wrinkle reducers in the crow's feet and forehead. I like a very [subtle-looking] treatment — I still have movement.
I have fillers done in my cheeks. In the past, I’ve had them in pretty much all the FDA-approved places: lips, marionette lines, cheeks. I do them once a year. I don't like the look of being overdone, and I'd actually rather have lines than look like one of these people who are plastic-looking.
Injectable wrinkle reducers temporarily smooth the look of moderate to severe wrinkles in certain areas of the face, including the forehead, frown lines, and crow’s feet; they should not be used more frequently than every three months. Injectable filler is a temporary treatment that adds volume to areas of the face such as the lips, cheeks, and laugh lines. Like any medical treatment, both injectable wrinkle reducers and injectable fillers have potential risks and side effects. Talk to a licensed provider to see if they’re right for you.
Dr. Kamakshi Zeidler: I dabble in a lot of things. I tell most people that I have access to my own personal dermatologist[s] every day. I usually tell patients [about my own injectables] face-to-face, but like many of them, the very details of what's done should be such a mystery that everything looks very, very [subtle].
I'm a big believer in [subtle-looking] injectable wrinkle reducer. It’s worked well for me. I do around my eyes [in the crow’s feet] and in my forehead. That, [in addition to] topical treatments, are really good. I recommend them for all of my patients in my age range. If they’re considering [their wrinkles], now is time to just start thinking about it.
Dr. Kim Nichols: I tell all my patients, “I practice what I preach.” I do injectable wrinkle reducers in the three FDA-approved areas on the upper face. I do fillers once a year, usually for my cheeks.
Dr. Heather Rogers: I get injectable wrinkle reducers in all of the FDA-approved areas, and I do them probably three times a year. I just took a six-month break from them, because I'm curious what my wrinkles look like. I do filler primarily in my [cheeks]. I don't have filler in my lips and never have.
Injectable wrinkle reducers should not be used more frequently than every three months.
Spotlyte: What other treatments do you get?
Dr. Sue Ellen Cox: I like to have a mid-level laser done once a year. This year, I had a HALO® Pro laser done on December 20, which was healed by Christmas. At age 59, I looked at my eyes and went, “Oh my goodness, they're so wrinkly. I have to do something.” I feel that if you're in your late fifties or early sixties, you have to keep up. We lose one percent of our collagen per year when we're perimenopausal. To have really good quality skin requires a controlled injury that your body then heals from — then everything looks brighter, the skin is thicker, it's doughier, it's less likely to wrinkle.
Dr. Kamakshi Zeidler: I've done a lot of light lasers. Clear + Brilliant® is a great one. It has little downtime, and it has a nice improvement when we repeat it.
[I like taking] a holistic approach to things: enhancing your natural beauty, and prevention, is my motto. I'm in my early forties, so I'm fortunate to be riding the wave of my youth. I am a big believer in skincare, and that's the main thing. It’s pretty simple, but has the highest impact.
Dr. Kim Nichols: I do Ultherapy®, which is a skin tightening non-surgical device, once a year to keep things tight.
Dr. Heather Rogers: My favorite laser is something called Clear + Brilliant, which is a super gentle laser. I do two of those a year: one at the end of summer to clean up the brown [spots], and then one in mid-spring. If I have any event, or if I have some big thing I have to do, I always do a Clear + Brilliant two weeks before, because it [can] make you look so much better.
Whatever your skincare and aesthetics regimen is: before making a change, consult with your doctor. After all, everyone’s needs are different.
Doctors Sue Ellen Cox, Kim Nichols, and Susan Weinkle are paid Allergan® consultants.
Allergan® may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this article.