Even if you follow a strict skincare regimen, you know that there are some complexion goals you simply can’t achieve without the help of your dermatologist. Decades of tanning won’t be reversed overnight with vitamin C and no amount of wrinkle cream will correct the deepest folds. But if you’ve invested in more intensive procedures at your derm’s office, you should reinforce your results with at-home formulas that your doctor recommends and trusts.
We asked dermatologist Geeta Yadav, M.D., founder of Skin Science Dermatology in Toronto, Canada, to recommend products that can tide you over between common in-office treatments. They’re all shoppable through Dermstore — your go-to skincare authority that works hand-in-hand with licensed dermatologists to curate its offerings, so you can feel confident that the selections are top notch.
The treatments: Laser skin resurfacing and chemical peels
The details: While these treatments work differently, they have the same end goal of exfoliation. “Lasers use heat to vaporize the top layers, while chemical peels use acids to break down the bonds between skin cells to remove them,” explains Dr. Yadav. Taking away those top layers will also help lessen concerns like fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and enlarged pores. In addition, both laser skin resurfacing and chemical peels penetrate the skin to trigger collagen production, says Dr. Yadav, which can help to give your skin a more firm and youthful appearance. After your derm says your skin has fully healed (this can take from a few days up to a month, depending on your treatment’s strength), it’s go time!
The potential results: Reduced dark spots; improvement to skin-texture issues caused by acne scarring, enlarged pores, and fine lines; firmer skin.
The post-treatment skincare routine: Add fortifying products like SkinMedica TNS Advanced+ Serum to your regimen. “This product contains a blend of peptides and growth factors, which support skin repair functions, including new collagen and elastin growth to thicken and firm skin,” says Dr. Yadav. Apply it twice daily but layer different products on top, depending on the time of day. In the morning, SPF is essential. “After a deep exfoliation treatment, your fresh new skin will be especially vulnerable,” says Dr. Yadav. SuperGoop! Unseen Sunscreen has a protection factor of SPF 40, applies clear on all skin tones, and provides blue light and free radical defense.
In the evening, slick on something rich with powerful benefits, like Ren Bio-Retinoid Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Oil. “This nourishing oil contains bakuchiol, a plant-derived ingredient that works similarly to retinol to help smooth fine lines and fight discoloration,” says Dr. Yadav, who notes that unlike retinol, bakuchiol is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding moms. For added resurfacing, swap it out every other night with a Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel. “These treatment wipes feature a blend of alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids to stimulate cellular turnover, which can help keep skin looking visibly brighter, clearer, and more even,” says Dr. Yadav.
The treatments: Injectables
The details: Even with religious use of active anti-aging ingredients and sunscreen, you’re bound to see some etched-in lines. Similarly, volume loss in areas like cheeks and lips is hard to avoid since it’s a natural result of aging. Injectables can temporarily treat both. However, while many people talk about these treatments interchangeably, they’re not the same: Neurotoxin injections (like Botox, to give a brand-name example) inhibit the activity of the muscles that cause wrinkles, reducing the ability of the overlying skin to fold, while filler adds volume to create more defined cheekbones, a plusher pout, or even “fill in” the look of deep wrinkles for a smoother look.
The potential results: Smoothed-out wrinkles; plumped-up skin.
The post-treatment skincare routine: To continue to prevent wrinkles and folds between injections, retinol should be your go-to ingredient. “Retinol works deep within the skin to speed up cellular renewal and collagen production for smoother, tauter skin,” notes Dr. Yadav. “Consistent application is key; if you’re dedicated to your routine, you’ll start to see the anti-aging effects in about three months.” Conveniently, that’s about the length of time that a neurotoxin treatment typically lasts.
Retinol can be irritating when you start using it, especially if it’s too strong for your skin, so Dr. Yadav recommends applying one with a low concentration once a week to start, then adding in multiple nights as you adjust. Once your skin has fully acclimated, you can upgrade to something more potent. SkinCeuticals offers retinol night creams in three different concentrations, ranging from Retinol 0.3 to Retinol 1.0 Maximum Strength.
If crow’s feet are your wrinkle rivals, add a retinol-infused eye cream like Sunday Riley 5 Star Eye Serum. “This formula features plant-based moisturizers like olive oil and shea butter to offset potential irritation while nourishing the delicate eye area,” says Dr. Yadav.
If you’ve gotten filler, you can absolutely follow the above routine (it’ll help fight the deep wrinkles and skin laxity that filler can treat) while blending in some heavy-duty hydrators. “SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator is packed with multiple forms of hyaluronic acid (HA), the same ingredient in many dermal fillers, to draw moisture into the skin, giving it a plumper, smoother look,” explains Dr. Yadav.
Did you get lip fillers? Add an HA-packed lip treatment, like Revision Skincare YouthFull Lip Replenisher, into the mix. “This product also contains firming peptides and has an incredibly glossy finish that makes lips look even fuller,” adds Dr. Yadav.
The treatment: Radiofrequency skin tightening
The details: Sagging skin is one of the hardest signs of aging to reverse. If you’re not ready for a more serious solution, like a facelift or neck lift, radiofrequency therapy can help. “This noninvasive treatment works by sending alternating currents underneath the epidermis, increasing collagen and elastin production to strengthen and tighten your skin,” explains Dr. Yadav.
The potential results: Skin appears firmer with improved results over time and with multiple treatments.
The post-treatment skincare routine: Microcurrent therapy works similarly to radiofrequency, making an at-home microcurrent device an ideal choice to support your treatment’s results. The NuFace Mini is a pain-free device that tones facial muscles and smooths fine lines and wrinkles. “You can incorporate this into your routine for just five minutes each day to help give yourself a mini lift,” says Dr. Yadav.
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