Oldies But Goodies of Skincare

As a practicing dermatologist, keeping up with all the new, innovative, cutting-edge skincare products is often an overwhelming task. Each month, not only do my dermatology journals arrive packed with information, research, and ads about new products, but also the beauty industry churns out hundreds of cosmetic items ranging from sunscreen to anti-aging potions to makeup. Even though I myself am a cosmetic junkie and most of my staff are too, trying to wade through the minutia and data at times leaves me bewildered as to how to pick and choose what to recommend for my patients. Interestingly, during recent years, the fine line dividing medical dermatology from cosmetic dermatology has become increasingly blurred. And clinical efficacy is no longer relegated to products sold in only a dermatologist’s or plastic surgeon’s office. I truly love what I do, but finding the perfect regimen for skincare and skin rejuvenation is daunting and sometimes nearly impossible, given all the new technological advances in skin rejuvenation.

But what I do know for sure is that there are some items in skincare that have simply stood the test of time and have been around for decades for good reason. It’s because they work, and they aren’t too hard on the wallet either. I don’t foresee giving up any of these any time soon either for my patients’ skin or for my own.

Here are my top ten “Oldies But Goodies” for everyday care and anti-aging for the skin, complete with their “birthdays”:

Retin-A® (1969) and Tazorac® (1997): If there is a fountain of youth, these two are it. Anyone who has any interest in reversing sun damage and decreasing wrinkling should use one of these everyday. I have been using retinoids on my face since 1988.

Purity Made Simple® (Philosophy, 1996): This simple, gentle, and thorough cleanser is not only safe for around the eyes, but will plow through even the most stubborn, resistant make-up. This is my go-to especially when I use my Clarisonic® (see below).

Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleanser (1947): Not much has changed with this gentle cleanser, but it continues to be a tried and true workhorse for even the most sensitive skin.

Aquaphor® (Beiersdorf, 1936): What can I say about this wonder ointment except that it heals skin like no other. From chapped lips to skin biopsies, it is exactly what it says it is, a healing ointment, and a truly brilliant one.

Lac-Hydrin 12% Lotion® (1985): This lotion was one of the first alpha-hydroxy acid preparations on the market that works equally well on dry, sun-damaged skin, brittle nails, KP, and cracked, fissured heels. This and its generic equivalent are one of my favorites for my patients to treat their various skin ailments.

Bi-Facil® (Lancome, 1969): I have been using this wonderful eye makeup remover since I was 16 and it continues to work its gentle, but powerful magic on even my most stubborn mascara and eyeliner. I will never give this one up, ever.

BareMinerals® (1976): One of the best makeup lines for sensitive, break-out prone skin, it can deliver a range of coverage without blocking pores. It is quite economical, too.

Clarisonic® (2004): First developed for use in doctor’s offices, it still is one of the best skin cleaning devices out there. Other skin-cleaning devices just don’t quite compare.

Tweezerman® Tweezers (1980): Precision and accuracy are essential when plucking a stubborn hair or grooming an elegant brow, and these tweezers are some of the best on the market. The company will even sharpen your tweezers free of charge for you.

Botox® (Allergan, 1989): What can I say about Botox® except that it is the Holy Grail of aesthetic medicine. Not only does everyone know what Botox® is, but nearly everyone, young and not-so-young want a little sprinkling of it for themselves. It is tried, true, and effective, and it is one of the most important components of a facial rejuvenation treatment plan. Rather than the frozen-forehead look of years past, the Botox® trends of today are about customizing it to an individual’s needs and expectations to create a more subtle, natural, and refreshed look.

Hope my “Oldies But Goodies” have impressed upon you that basic, good skincare has been around for a long while, and my top-ten skincare powerhouses are here to stay.

–Dr. H

Oldies But Goodies of Skincare