Experts’ secret advice, tips, tricks and top products to keep your skin glowing and healthy
Makeup by Meggan used on models from left to right: Jewel: Citrine Beauty Oil, Gorgeous Glow Primer, Expensive Skin Foundation shade Porcelain, Tiffany Powder, Expensive Skin Powder shade Cream, Quartz Lipgloss Melissa: Citrine Beauty Oil, Gorgeous Glow Primer, Expensive Skin Foundation shade Light, Tiffany Powder, Expensive Skin Powder shade Natura, Quartz Lipgloss Rupa: Citrine Beauty Oil, Gorgeous Glow Primer, Expensive Skin Foundation shade Warm Dark, Tiffany Powder, Expensive Skin Powder shade Suntan, Quartz lipgloss Maya: Citrine Beauty Oil, Gorgeous Glow Primer, Expensive Skin Foundation shade Warm Dark, Tiffany Powder, Expensive Skin Powder shade Suntan, Quartz lipgloss
The quest for the fountain of youth was in play long before Ponce de León and tales of his search for restorative waters. Alexander the Great is said to have found a healing “river of paradise” and similar folklore has popped up throughout time in locations spanning the globe. Today, we are regaled with claims of miracle cures and potions. Navigating the skincare sector hoping to discover the sacred combination for a healthy glow can be nothing short of painful. (Ever overzealously apply an exciting new peel and wake to an itchy mess or break out with a rash with swollen eyes from the latest and greatest anti-aging cream?)
There is a truly dizzying array of options and opinions when it comes to what’s best for your skin, so we’ve talked to highly regarded local experts about what is key to remember when keeping up with your skin. While all skin is different, and treated accordingly, in general, there is consensus among industry professionals that a consistent daily regimen and a handful of treatments reign supreme as most effective when it comes to skin maintenance. Whether you’re a skincare fanatic or are interested in the least amount of upkeep possible, we’re breaking down a recommended routine, products and non-invasive procedures that are coming in strong during the summer months, as well as year-round.
When it comes to skin health, one thing is for sure, sun protection is not negotiable. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, a staggering one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by age 70, and if you’ve had five or more sunburns in your life, you double your risk of melanoma. When detected early, the five-year survival rate for melanoma is 99 percent.
There’s advice we’ve been given time and time again – hydrate, eat a clean and healthy diet, exercise and protect your skin. But because we‘re human, we deviate, get lazy and need a reminder…or to be hit over the head with it. So here it is.
“Wear sunscreen every day! Even if you’re just sitting inside,” said Dr. Sarah Jackson, M.D. with Audubon Dermatology. “If you’re going to be sitting by a window, use sunscreen to prevent photoaging. There are so many SPFs on the market we can no longer use the excuse that there isn’t one for our skin type.”
Photoaging is the premature aging of skin caused by repeated exposure to ultraviolet radiation, which alters normal skin structures causing DNA changes at a cellular level. Wrinkles and changes in pigmentation are inevitable skin woes that occur as we age. However, exposing unprotected skin to the sun on a regular basis can not only amplify aesthetic concerns, it can, and often does, lead to much graver consequences.
Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays is not just about the number on the tube, it’s about how generously and where you consistently apply it. For most adults, this means you should slather on enough to fill a shot glass with each application, anywhere not covered by clothing.
“Our patients often forget that the sun hits more than their faces. Tops of hands, necks, chest etc. We see a lot of patients who work so hard on the skin on their face but forget the rest,” explained Dr. W. Patrick Coleman IV, M.D. with The Coleman Center for Cosmetic Dermatologic Surgery.
Incredibly dramatic images online show photoaging’s effect on the skin. Those who spend long hours on the road have a markedly aged left side compared to their right. It’s convincing to say the least and makes an excellent case for tinted windows.
The good news is, if you apply sunscreen every day, you’re not only protecting yourself from a life-threatening disease, you’re also delaying the aging process. Win. Win.
In general, there is consensus among industry pros that a simple and consistent daily regimen (along with a handful of optional a la carte treatments) is best for maintaining a youthful glow and keeping skin in optimal condition.
“It’s pretty standard. In the mornings, vitamin C then sunscreen. In the evenings on cleansed skin, Retin A followed by a moisturizer. There are more niche products that may be appropriate based on a patient’s ethnicity or skin concerns, but by and large that’s what works on everyone,” Dr. Coleman said.
With the massive rise in popularity of the “self-care” culture, it’s more tempting than ever to get wrapped up in promising new products and adding this or that to a routine. Who doesn’t get excited about the pledge of a skin brightening at home peel or hot new exfoliation tool? While masks, toners and other add-ons certainly have their place and can do a lot of good when added to your routine thoughtfully, it’s important to remember that over-treating and being too aggressive with your skin can throw off a very delicate balance.
“Both groups (younger and more mature) need a gentle cleanser that does not strip the protective lipids from the skin, which disrupt the skin biome and can lead to chronic inflammation. Keep it simple and avoid scrubs and harsh toners. Younger patients need an antioxidant like a stable vitamin C (avoid ascorbic acid since it is overly acidic and highly unstable). Sunscreen, of at least SPF 30 (higher is even better up to 50) and apply on top of the antioxidant. At night, go with a retinol or Rx retinoid, or peptides to stimulate repair. Younger skin typically needs lotions, and older skin creams. Serums are good for all,” explained Dr. Mary Lupo, M.D. with The Lupo Center for Aesthetic and General Dermatology.
Cleansers / Toners
A healthy mix of washes from sudsy to oil-based to remove impurities and toners that balance without stripping
Agent Nateur holi(water)
An ultra-moisturizing toner that exfoliates, plumps, tightens, brightens and firms the appearance of the skin while providing a radiant glow. Agent Nateur combined the finest non-toxic ingredients from Europe and the Middle East to cleanse, hydrate and soften the skin. Thevibrantmarket.com
Linné Botanicals Purify Cleanser and Mask
This mineral and clay cleanser removes dirt and oil while gently exfoliating and clearing the skin. It will not strip the skin as the jojoba and aloe work to moisturize and also doubles as clearing/balancing mask. Thevibrantmarket.com
One Love Organics Botanical B Enzyme Cleansing Oil
Designed with dry skin in mind, yet effective for all, this clean rinsing oil cleanser leaves skin feeling fresh and make-up free while smelling like a vacation in a bottle. Thevibrantmarket.com
Skinceuticals LHA Cleanser
Featuring a blend of salicylic acids to address breakouts and visible signs of aging, this exfoliating gel cleanser decongests pores, smooths texture and brightens skin. Skinceuticals.com
Oxalis Apothecary Rose + Neroli Toner
Antioxidant rich and revitalizing, pH-balancing botanicals keep skin clean of breakouts and inflammation, while gently tightening and toning skin. Oxalisapothecary.com
Revision Skincare Papaya Enzyme Cleanser
Papaya fruit extract gently lifts away impurities and polishes away dead skin cells leaving all skin types feeling soft, clean and moisture balanced. Revisionskincare.com
A range of armor for your skin from buildable, tinted formulas for coverage, to lightweight and transparent that easily work under makeup
Supergoop CC Screen
A 100% mineral cream with broad spectrum SPF 50, formulated with clean and skin-nourishing ingredients, buildable to cover imperfections, yet lightweight. Supergoop.com
Revision Skincare Intellishade Original
An anti-aging tinted moisturizer with broad-spectrum SPF 45 formulated to correct, protect, conceal and hydrate skin with a powerful blend of peptides, antioxidants, botanical extracts and hydrators. Revisionskincare.com
John Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream SPF 30
This dual-action day cream performs as a regenerating moisturizer and natural, broad-spectrum sunscreen with a potent combination of distinct herbal actives and plant oils to repair, moisturize and protect skin. Thevibrantmarket.com
ISDIN Photo Eryfotono Actinica Ultralight Emulsion
This ultralight, all-mineral broad-spectrum SPF 50 contains DNA Repairsomes, naturally occurring enzymes clinically proven to repair existing sun damage. Isdin.com
EltaMD UV Daily Broad Spectrum SPF 40
A top sunscreen brand recommended by dermatologists, EltaMD’s lightweight, broad-spectrum line with transparent zinc oxide offers a range of products from “sport” to “clear” formulas. Eltamd.com
Impeccable Skin Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30
Formulated without oils or silicones, vitamin and peptide-rich technology visibly reduce the signs of aging while non-nano zinc oxide and melanin provide broad spectrum SPF 30 and blue light protection to help prevent future damage. Thevibrantmarket.com
Popular in-office treatments
When it comes to minimally and non-invasive treatments, the options are endless, but there are a handful of a la carte procedures that currently occupy the throne as most effective, hailed for providing the best bang for your buck. Be sure to work with a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who is familiar with your current skincare routine and trained to perform the following.
A HydraFacial is a patented skin treatment known for its three-step process to deep-clean, exfoliate, and hydrate your skin with a microdermabrasion-like process and hydrating serums. This noninvasive procedure addresses a variety of skin conditions including dryness, wrinkles and acne and can also be performed by a licensed esthetician.
“As we enter the warmer summer months, people are slowing down on the lasers (because you can’t have tanned skin if you’re getting a laser) and instead getting HydraFacials to boost their summer glow,” Dr. Jackson said.
Not unlike injectables, there are a handful of lasers that are at the forefront when it comes to addressing certain cosmetic concerns. Laser treatments direct short, concentrated, pulsating light beams at skin to promote collagen growth and remove layers. They are used on everything from fine lines to scars and tattoos to reduce wrinkles, tighten loose skin and treat uneven pigmentation.
“The consistent winner every year is the Fraxel Dual for repair and sun damage over 35 and Clear and Brilliant for younger patients looking for prevention. Other popular non-invasive options are Laser Genesis, Diamond Glow, and IPL Intense Pulsed Light,” Dr. Lupo said.
Microneedling with radiofrequency is a minimally invasive treatment designed to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, scarring, and sagging skin. The addition of radiofrequency energy to the microneedling procedure helps to further stimulate the body’s natural collagen production revealing firmer, rejuvenated skin. Because the RF energy is delivered so deeply, it can produce faster results that are more dramatic than traditional microneedling.
“Radiofrequency microneedling is a great option for treating wrinkles and tightening skin, especially in the summer months. It generates collagen without as much risk for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. And the downtime is much less than more invasive lasers,” explained Dr. Christian D. Jacob, M.D., F.A.C.S. with Hedgewood Plastic Surgery.
Injectables need no introduction, but are, in short, chemicals injected into the skin to weaken and paralyze the muscles and relax wrinkles and folds. There’s a range available on the market today, so talk to your doctor about which is right for you. Looking to erase lines? Plump and support sagging skin or dissolve fat? There’s an injectable for that. One of the most popular treatments year-round, injectables offer fast results and are great for summer because you don’t need to avoid the sun and there is little downtime.
“Botox and fillers are always popular. We are seeing a rise in liposuction requests as patients are desiring a more contoured body. QWO is the newest procedure on the market that our patients are very excited about. It’s the first FDA-approved injectable for cellulite that our office did the FDA clinical trials for,” Dr. Coleman said.
Frequent blunders and tips
“Attaching the price of a product to its effectiveness. One has nothing to do with the other and we try to educate our patients of what’s effective vs what’s just simply expensive.” – Dr. Coleman
“Many people have not kept their screenings up to date due to the pandemic. If you haven’t already, schedule an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist for your annual skin check if one has been recommended for you.” – Dr. Jackson
“I am a big fan of regular shaving as a trick to improve the skin cheaply. Now people pay a lot for ‘dermaplaning’ which is just shaving. Just save that money for something you cannot do yourself at home.” – Dr. Lupo
“More often than not, I see clients who start every skin trend without consulting a licensed professional to see if that trend is conducive to their skin. They are following Tik Tok’s, bloggers, and ‘skinfluencers,’ but the reality is none of these people see the nuances of the skin because they don’t see clients regularly. Even if they have knowledge, you need application. So, find someone you trust who has a reputation that resonates with you,” recommends Jennifer Mills, L.E., H.E.
For those on the hunt for clean products and treatments, there are a number of top-notch spots to check out locally. The recently expanded Vibrant Market is an impressive one stop shop offering hair, makeup, skin and body care, supplements, pantry items, and a matcha and tonic bar. Services include a holistic esthetician, infrared sauna, cold plunge, lymphatic drainage, full body red light therapy, and wellness grade hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
“The clean beauty industry has made leaps and bounds in the past decade not only to develop clean skincare but effective skincare,” explained Lauren Trostorff, founder of Vibrant Market. “In the U.S., the personal care and beauty industries are self-regulated, so there is no real oversight. There are only 11 banned ingredients compared to Europe’s 1500+ because in Europe they test for safety before anything is allowed on the market.”
Ritual Body Studio, a holistic, integrative facial studio, offers a popular Cult Facial and Sculptural + Intraoral lifting massage facial.
“I wanted clients to experience optimal skin health through FDA-approved holistic-minded modalities and my own intuitive and therapeutic touch. Facial massage is nothing new, but it is gaining traction quickly. It works with the muscles, tissues, and bones of the face to promote deep relaxation, lifting, and relief from TMJ through the oral cavity,” explained Jennifer Mills, licensed esthetician and owner.
Another local company using all-natural ingredients is Oxalis Apothecary, founded by Erin Wexstten, whose own gorgeous skin is a testament to her blends’ effectiveness.
“Our products are truly for everyone and can be integrated into almost every skincare routine,” Wexstten said. Oxalis’s plant-powered products (available in multiple shops locally and nationwide) focus on balance and protection with standouts ranging from cleansers and toners to serums and masks. The company’s popular Everyday Face Kit, for example, is a three-step routine designed to support the skin without disrupting the microbiome or acid mantle.
Lupo Center for Aesthetic and General Dermatology, 145 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Suite 302, 777-3047, Drmarylupo.com; Coleman Center for Cosmetic Dermatologic Surgery, 4425 Conlin St., 455-3180, Liposuctionneworleans.com; Audubon Dermatology, 3523 Prytania St., Suite 501, 895-3376, Audubondermatology.com; Hedgewood Plastic Surgery, 2427 St. Charles Ave., 895-7642, Hedgewoodplasticsurgery.com; Vibrant Market, 3811 Magazine St., 206-4419, Thevibrantmarket.com; Ritual Body Studio, 2521 Jena St., 554-1008, Ritualbodystudio.com; Oxalis Apothecary, Oxalisapothecary.com.
Moisturizers / Serums
Antioxidant, vitamin-rich elixirs and creams packed with nutrients to stunt skin’s inflammatory response and neutralize damage from UV rays and environmental pollutants
Oxalis Nightly Renewal Serum
This serum deeply restores skin with powerful antioxidants like fatty acids and vitamins C & E for radiance while camellia and chia seed oil protect the skin’s barrier, and prickly pear, cranberry seed, and avocado oils provide heavy-duty hydration that’s lightweight and fast-absorbing. Oxalisapothecary.com
Revision D.E.J. Face Cream
This light, peptide rich moisturizer targets visible signs of aging including fine lines and wrinkles and volume loss while promoting a healthy microbiome. Revisionskincare.com
Skinceuticals CE Ferulic Serum
A cult favorite, Skinceutical’s vitamin C serum is clinically proven to reduce damage from free radicals while improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, loss of firmness, and brightening complexion. Skinceuticals.com
Mukti Organics Vital B Elixir
A gentle elixir with Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) that helps strengthen the skins natural barrier and even skin tone while cucumber extract calms redness and inflammation, hyaluronic acid plumps fine lines and botanical antioxidants protect and brighten. Thevibrantmarket.com
La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum
This serum combines concentrated pure hyaluronic acid, madecassoside and vitamin B5 for optimal hydration while also being suitable for sensitive skin. Laroche-posay.us
Ursa Major Golden Hour Recovery Cream
This wonderfully rich, yet fast-absorbing face cream provides deep hydration and nourishment to soothe and replenish weary skin. Use as a daily moisturizer, as a “wrinkle-busting” night cream or anytime your skin needs extra TLC. Thevibrantmarket.com