February 13, 2020

A Plastic Surgeon's Skin Care Favorites

Written by
Dr. Kristen Yee
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Usually we see dermatologists give their top picks for skin care - but you know plastic surgeons have to have a strong skin care game as well.  I don’t plan to be on a billboard (like some of my colleagues) but I do feel my face is my brand - which is also true for my patients, particularly professionals!


Inspired by a recent Allure post on plastic surgeons’ routines https://www.allure.com/story/plastic-surgeon-skin-care-routines-tips), here is my virtual #topshelfie - with the caveat that Alisa and I have not had the time to sit down together - so I will revise once updated with our ZO and other products!  (also looking forward to that #hydrafacial)


A.M.: I like the scent of the REN clay cleanser, which I massage in before a shower.  Once a week, I’ll use the Dermalogica or Tatcha dissolving powder cleansers for gentle mechanical exfoliation.  I follow with the REN glycolic toner, if I haven’t done the mechanical exfoliation, to help clear any residue from the cleanser and lightly treat.  Acids are great for exfoliating and improving texture, and are available in a variety of strengths; it’s important not to use strong acids frequently as over-exfoliation is not good for skin. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/30/style/all-of-those-products-are-making-your-skin-worse.html?searchResultPosition=20


Sun protection: I have used many many sunscreens over the years.  I like a high SPF, and I also recently became more committed to using completely mineral sunscreens, after reading the recent reports that the levels of chemical sunscreens are measurable in your blood after application, the potential damage to coral reefs, and of course having a baby.  The tricky thing about mineral sunscreens is that they can have a whitish cast; this can go with the K-drama “moon face/glow” look but does not work for me.  My go-to brand is LaRoche Posay- if I don’t have the tinted version on hand, I add some Dr. Hauschka bronzing tint to help reduce the white cast.  With oily skin, blotting with paper, then applying powder helps.  


P.M. I use an oil cleanser to rinse off all the makeup - I’ve tried and liked the classic Bioderma but I don’t like pulling on my eyelids with cotton pads so I stick to the oil as much as possible.  My favorite is the Shu Uemura, but right now I’m trying DHC as it’s gotten some good reviews.  I usually apply a vitamin C product at night, which is also great for improving texture and evening pigmentation.  I have been using the CosRx Lightning serum, but when I ordered it it came with a sample of vitamin C powder that gets activated when you add it to another product which I also liked (Neogen).  Usually my skin is too oily to accept a heavier layer but I do like the scent of Aesop fabulous face oil which I sometimes use.


Take-home message: SPF! exfoliate!  vitamin C!

Asians tend to show age with pigmentation rather than wrinkles, so I really focus on prevention and then treatment of that issue.  I can’t keep hats on all the time, no matter what my aunties think or say :)


Come and talk to Alisa about your personal skin care needs.

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