A recent article on Allure.com shared how three dermatologists spend their money on skin care products. Dr. Max Adler of Max Adler Dermatology in Plano and Dallas, TX has over thirty years of patient experience and has developed some favorites of his own, along with his reasons why.

First, a word on cosmeceuticals. These are agents available over the counter that can enhance and protect the skin. A drug applied to the skin by definition changes the structure and function of the skin. Modern cosmeceuticals are now so effective in changing the skin that they could be classified as drugs. The FDA has many duties and considers the cosmeceuticals of today as safe and largely allows companies a free reign in producing them.

That being said, my favorites and their purpose are as follows:

  1. Sunblock (needed by everyone)- Elta MD with Zinc and Titanium with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 40 or above.
  2. Cleanser– Mild but with a purpose of enhancing the appearance of the skin and allowing better penetration of other products. Skin Ceuticals, Skin Better, and Alastin are brands I prefer, depending on if we are treating aging skin, sensitive skin, or acne.
  3. Retinoids– The classic is Retin-A or Tretinoin (generic) that can work on lines, wrinkles, brown spots, acne, clogged pores, and sun damage. Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative but usually not as effective as prescription Retin-A. Adapalene is a retinoid but milder in its usefulness. Of the Retinols, our Skin Better products are excellent, but I will often go the prescription route with Retin-A, and often add Vitamin C through the pharmacy.
  4. Moisturizers– CeraVe is excellent as an over the counter product with ceramides to repair and hydrate the skin.

As far as cost is concerned, this is not the cheapest approach, but not the most expensive either. But it is effective with cost in the midrange. As always, we customize for our patients based on what they need. So next time you are in our office, bring a list of your current skincare products, we will give you some tweaking ideas based on your exam results.