These are the things doctors make time for regardless of their schedules—and what they believe you should work into your skincare routine.

We’ve all done it—gone to bed with makeup still on, or settled for simply cleansing when our skin was crying out for a deep exfoliation. When we’re busy, our skin can pay the price. Dermatologists understand. Their hectic schedules often leave little time for proper skincare. But there are some skincare steps, they say, that they would never skip, no matter how busy they are. Here are five skincare habits of super-busy dermatologists. These are the things they make time for regardless of their schedules—and what they believe you should work into your skincare routine.

RELATED: Top Hong Kong Dermatologist Shares Her Skincare Tips


Even the busiest dermatologists wash their faces twice a day. “If the dirt and dead skin cells are not removed, how can your expensive serum seep into your skin and take effect,” asks Jasmine Ruth Yuvarani, M.D., aesthetic physician at Nexus Clinic. She washes her face twice each day—once in the morning and once in the evening—to prevent over-stripping her skin’s natural oils.

Susan Massick, M.D., a dermatologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, also washes her face twice daily. “Even after a long day, it’s important to remove makeup and cleanse the skin of any dirt and grime from the day,” Massick says. To save time when she’s super busy, Massick will cleanse her face—using a gentle cleanser like Cerave—while she is in the shower.


Moisturiser is important for dry and oily skin. Yuvarani says she applies moisturiser each day to keep her skin dewy, and to fight its natural dryness. And “you don’t have to buy an expensive moisturiser to have the maximum effect,” she says. It’s simply important to apply any.

Apply SPF

Massick says the most important step she takes each day is applying sunscreen—but it’s also an important step for anyone whose skin tans easily. Those who tan easily “can experience worse discolouration of the skin related to sun exposure,” which can lead to facial pigmentation, such as freckles or melasma, she explains. She applies sunscreen after her daily moisturiser, then tops it with a mineral sunscreen powder for extra protection. But “sun protection doesn't have to be limited to sunscreen use,” she says. “Protective clothing, hats, and umbrellas can be helpful too.”  


As we age, cell regeneration slows down, according to Jenelle Kim, Founder and Skincare Formulator, JBK Wellness Labs, which is why she makes time to exfoliate a few times each week. “When old skin cells do not shed evenly or consistently, patches of dullness appear on our skin, and skin begins to look rough and dry,” she says. Regular exfoliation can help to achieve healthy, glowing skin.

Try Retinol

Retinol can act as an aid in fighting acne, dyspigmentation, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. It’s a powerhouse ingredient that Allawh won’t skip, she says. “Because I typically have dry, sensitive skin, I mix a pea-sized amount of a nighttime retinol cream with a pea sized amount of a nighttime facial moisturizer and apply it to my entire face,” she describes. “I reap the benefits of the retinol, while minimizing skin irritation, burning, peeling, and dryness because of its use.”

Try these products

Sunday Riley Luna Retinol Sleeping Night Oil: This lightweight oil helps combat fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and redness and contains trans-retinol ester, which is less irritating that traditional retinol, making the product suitable for normal, combination and oily skin types.

Tata Harper Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil With Vitamin A: Rich with rosehip seed oil, neroli and nutrient-rich botanicals, this face oil is infused with a natural form of retinoic acid from vitamin A that addresses fine lines, wrinkles, dullness and issues with skin texture.

Ren Bio Retinoid Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Oil: The natural- and pro-vitamin A combined with retinoid analogue in this anti-aging oil helps enhance collagen production as well as repair damage from sun exposure.

Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask: For challenging mornings-after-the-night-before or as an intensive treatment, these retinol-infused eye masks help promote cell regeneration and hydration in just 15 minutes’ use.

Clinique Fresh Pressed Clinical Daily & Overnight Boosters: Customise your skincare with these Vitamin C and Vitamin A (retinol) boosters designed to add to your routine on an as-needed basis.

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