10 Dermatologist-Recommended Products for Every Type of Skin Care Concern
Dermatologists share their recommended skin care products for acne, under eye circles, anti-aging, oily skin, and other skin problems.
Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.
Dermatologists-approved products for skin care concerns
Shopping for the right skin care product for your beauty concerns can turn into a guessing game. You may ask yourself “Should I use this product for acne?” or “Should I use this for my under eye circles?” With so many options available, selecting a skin care product can be a hit or a miss.
To avoid buyer’s remorse, our dermatologists share the best products to use for every skin care concern. Check out these 15 skin care tips dermatologists follow.
Spot treatment for acne
If home remedies aren’t working for you Dennis Gross, MD, New York City-based dermatologist and founder of Dennis Gross Skincare in New York City, suggests a sulfur-based medication, such as the Clarifying Colloidal Sulfur Mask, to dry out the spot. “Sulfur controls the oil that feeds bacteria, thus reducing spots altogether. Sulfur also calms through osmosis to relieve swelling and draws out the infection to flatten the blemish. Once the blemish is flattened and the infection is gone, the redness will begin to subside.”
All over acne
If ongoing breakouts are your issue, try retinoids either over-the-counter (retinol) or prescription, as an acne treatment, such as Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment. “I find that compared to other treatments they are beneficial for not just treating acne, but also preventing new acne from forming,” Sejal Shah, MD, FAAD, dermatologist at SmarterSkin Dermatology in New York. “They help prevent that initial stage of the follicle getting clogged and can also help with some of the post acne residua such as hyperpigmentation.” Here are more ways you can erase those brown spots.
“Products that purge the pores of oil or help normalize oil chemistry are essential,” says Dr. Gross who designed his Acne Eliminating Pads for this very purpose. “These are meant to provide deep penetration – keep an eye out for products with salicylic acid and witch hazel extract to reduce pores, glycolic and lactic acid to exfoliate, and willow bark extract to improve skin’s clarity.” And be sure to avoid these bad habits that can clog pores.
There are a lot of myths out there about oily skin. Surefire effective treatments include glycolic acid and lactic acid wipes, solutions, or toners. “These will wipe away excess oil and leave skin smooth and oil-free longer,” says Francesca Fusco, MD, dermatologist in Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. She recommends First Aid Beauty FAB Skin Lab Resurfacing Liquid for gentle exfoliation.
Cleansing for oily skin
Regular washing and moisturizing is key for those with oily skin. Alan Parks, MD, dermatologist and founder of DermWarehouse in Columbus, Ohio, recommends Cetaphil DermaControl Oil Control Foam Wash. “It’s designed to cleanse oily and acne-prone skin and is clinically proven to gently wash away excess oil, along with impurities and makeup—all of which can clog your pores and lead to breakouts.” As a follow-up, he likes Cetaphil DermaControl Oil Control Moisturizer for its 3-in-1 ability to help control oil and shine, hydrate, and provide broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection to oily, acne-prone skin.
Sun, age, and brown spots
Whatever you call them, vitamin C should be your first line of defense. “Not only does vitamin C help lighten and break up pigmentation you already have, but it helps prevent dark spots or sun spots from forming in the future,” says Dr. Gross. “It reduces the activity of the enzyme that leads to the production of pigment and also addresses the existing discoloration.” His love for this ingredient inspired his new C+Collagen Brighten & Firm Serum.” Other favorites include Clinicians Complex 6% Skin Bleaching Cream. “It was designed to lighten skin discoloration and pigmentation via a blend of three known bleaching and skin lightening agents: hydroquinone (2 percent), kojic acid dipalmitate (2 percent), and bearberry extract (2 percent),” explains Dr. Parks. Here are five more ways to fade age spots at home.
From food to windy weather, there are plenty of triggers for rosacea. Once a flare-up hits, Dr. Fusco suggests reaching for First Aid Beauty Anti-Redness Serum. “It’s packed with caffeine, a natural vasoconstrictor that can help with visible skin redness, as well as colloidal sulfur which combats the root cause of facial redness, aloe for soothing, and ginger, a natural, powerful anti-redness agent.
Under eye circles
Most of us have experienced puffy eyes and under eye circles from time to time. La Roche Posay Redermic R Eyes is a pure retinol specifically formulated for the eye area. “It contains caffeine, which is very effective for reducing puffiness,” says Dr. Shah. In this formula, caffeine works by constricting blood vessels to reduce fluid build-up.
It’s not enough just to moisturize dry skin, you also need to repair it. “Epionce Medical Barrier cream not only moisturizes the skin, but it supports the barrier function of the skin to soothe and protect,” says Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, founder and director of Capital Laser & Skin Care and assistant clinical professor, department of dermatology at the George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Also effective is SkinMedica Dermal Repair Cream, “an ultra-rich moisturizer that helps prevent moisture loss and improves skin smoothness,” adds Dr. Park.
Retinol and tretinoin (Retin A) are the most well-studied and proven anti-aging ingredients on the market according to Dr. Tanzi, so look for products formulated with those. Weleda Pomegranate Age Defying Facial Collection (serum, day cream, night cream, and eye cream) is a favorite of Dr. Fusco’s. “The products are made with oil from organic pomegranates and work to improve skin’s elasticity and firmness, reduces the appearance of wrinkles, and helps the skin to actively regenerate,” says Dr. Fusco.
- Dennis Gross, MD, New York City-based dermatologist and founder of Dennis Gross Skincare
- Sejal Shah, MD, FAAD, dermatologist at SmarterSkin Dermatology, New York City
- Francesca Fusco, MD, dermatologist in Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City
- Alan Parks, MD, dermatologist and founder of DermWarehouse, Columbus, Ohio
- Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, founder and director of Capital Laser & Skin Care and assistant clinical professor, department of dermatology at the George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, D.C.