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Let’s Talk: Dermatologist-Recommended PM Skincare Routine

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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:

  • SkinBetter Oxygen Infusion Wash
  • Elta MD Foaming Facial Cleanser
  • La Roche-Posay Toleriane Foaming Face Cream
  • Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser

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:

  • SkinBetter Detoxifying Scrub Mask FACE
  • Skinceuticals LHA Cleansing Gel
  • Skinceuticals Clarifying Exfoliating Cleanser
  • Clarisonic
  • DNA Renewal Foaming Gel Cleanser

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:

  • SkinBetter Science Interfuse Intensive Treatment LINES
  • SkinBetter Science Interfuse Treatment Cream FACE
  • Skinceuticals Metacell Renewal B3
  • SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum
  • SkinBetter Science Interfuse Treatment Cream EYE
  • Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Gel-Cream
  • First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy AM Gel Cream

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:

  • Differin Gel
  • SkinBetter AlphaRet® Overnight Cream FACE
  • Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum
  • Roc Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream
  • SkinMedica Retinol Complex

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:

  • Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel
  • La Roche Posay Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer
  • Elta MD PM Moisturizer
  • SkinBetter Science Hydration Boosting Cream (lightweight but intense moisturization)


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