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Let’s Talk: Dermatologist-Recommended PM Skincare Routine

Few of us have time in the mornings for a full skincare routine. I must admit, most mornings I manage to just get my sunscreen on. However, at night, I take the time to give my skin the care that it deserves.  As mentioned in my post for your AM skincare routine: my focus will be on what is studied, tried, and true to be the building blocks of youthful, healthy and beautiful skin.

As in the last post, next to each category will be the label “SAVE” or “SPLURGE.” You do not have to spend a fortune on every item of your routine, instead, save on some items so you can spend on others! Again, always be cautious when trying new products, and pay close attention to how your skin is reacting! The products below can be found in the grocery store or pharmacy, while some are physician-dispensed and can be purchased in our office.

STEP 1: Face Wash


In the evening, I want to ensure that all the dirt and make-up are removed from my face, so I tend to reach for a foaming face wash. For a more minimalist approach, you can use the same wash as the morning.

Some recommendations:


STEP 2: Exfoliate Once or Twice a Week


Exfoliating the skin can brighten dullness, remove dead skin cells that clog pores, and help your skin absorb the expensive skincare products that you apply! However, over-exfoliating can cause irritation and inflammation which can lead to acne, dryness, and pre-mature aging. The key is to stay away from coarse scrubs such as the dreaded apricot scrub from St. Ives (I cringe every time I hear this)! Instead, use an enzyme exfoliator or a very fine scrub such as the SkinBetter Detoxifying Scrub Mask. If using a Clarisonic, allow the bristles to gently do it’s job rather than using a lot of pressure against the skin with your hands.

Some recommendations:

STEP 3: Growth Factor/Peptides


As in the AM, right after cleansing and exfoliating the face would be a good time for the growth factors and peptides that stimulate cell growth, collagen and elastin production, and cellular repair. Again, although the jury is still out on the benefits of growth factors and peptides, the evidence to support their use is growing. This would also be when you would apply eye creams.

Some recommendations:


STEP 4: Retinoids


Just as with sunscreen in the AM, apply your retinoid in the PM, even if you do nothing else! Retinoids refer to vitamin A derivatives that induce collagen growth to minimize fine lines, increase cell turnover to brighten skin, and unclog pores to prevent and treat acne. It is the number one Dermatologist-recommended anti-aging product. Apply a pea sized amount all over the face. Almost everyone will experience some element of irritation when first starting a retinoid, so start low and go slow. If you have very sensitive skin, SkinBetter AlphaRet® is effective and causes little to no irritation!

Some recommendations:

STEP 5: Moisturizer


Finish with a moisturizer. Let your skin soak in the moisture overnight, and wake up with beautiful, healthy, and hydrated skin!

Some recommendations:



I hope this series helps you build your own skincare routine! Follow us on Instagram @elitedermatology for more skincare tips!

Connie Wang, MD

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