blank'/> A LITTLE BIT OF LACQUER: The 3 Skincare Ingredients You Need Now

June 29, 2018

The 3 Skincare Ingredients You Need Now

Today  I  wanted  to  do  another  post  on  skincare  –  I  think  one  of  my  most-requested  posts  is  my  skincare  regimen!  Today  I  wanted  to  do  something  a little more  than  that,  though,  and  really  get  down  to  the  most  important  skincare  ingredients  you  need.  

The  backbone  to  any  skincare  regimen  consists  of  the  following:  
  2. Vitamin  C  
  3. Retinoid  
Ask  any  dermatologist  and  they  will  say  the  same.  I’ve  been  slowly  perfecting  my  skin  care  regimen  and  think  I  finally  have  my  holy  grail  routine!  If  you  guys  have  been  following  my  skincare  posts  (see  the  last  one  here),  you  know  that  the  one  key  I  was  still  on  the  hunt  for  was  a  good  Vitamin  C  serum.  I  tried  some  of  the  best  ones  and  they  still  broke  my  sensitive  skin  out!    

Well  I’m  proud  to  say  that  I  finally  found  one  that  I  love  –  Clinique’s  Fresh  Pressed  Vitamin  C  Booster!  Stay  tuned  for  more  on  that!!  

But  first,  a  bit  on  each  of  these  key  parts  to  your  skincare  regimen:  
  • Sunscreen  –  Whether  or  not  you  realize  it,  the  sun  wreaks  havoc  on  our  skin,  and  you  can  spend  all  the  money  you  want  on  fancy  creams  and  supplements  and  laser  treatments,  but  if  you  are  not  regularly  wearing  sunscreen  you  are  throwing  your  money  down  the  drain.  I  mean  it.  Same  thing  goes  for  smoking  –  if  you  ask  for  skin  care  advice  and  you  smoke  my  number  1  one  tip  will  be  quit  smoking.  Not  just  for  your  skin! Wearing sunscreen will not make you vitamin D deficient (most of us are deficient anyway), and I recommend everyone get enough vitamin D through their diet and they can add a supplement if they're concerned. Read more about sunscreens and which would be best for you here
  • Vitamin  C  –  Vitamin  C  is  an  antioxidant  that  works  fighting  free  radical  damage  caused  by  stressors  on  our  skin  like  the  sun  and  environmental  pollutants,  protecting  our  skin  from  these  insults.  It’s  anti-inflammatory  (meaning  will  reduce  redness  and  irritation),  decreases  melanin  synthesis  (meaning  it  can  help  fade  dark  spots  from  old  acne  and  even  help  melasma),  and  can  help  in  keeping  our  skin  firm  (vitamin  C  is  an  essential  part  of  collagen  synthesis).  In  non-scientific  speak  –it’s  the  bomb.  If  you  want  a  little  more  science  you  can  read  this  article  via  PubMed.  A  special  note  that  since  vitamin  C  is  such  a  potent  antioxidant,  it  actually  degrades  very  quickly  once  exposed  to  oxygen!  This  is  why  packaging  is  key  for  products  like  these  (and  of  the  things  I  love  about  the  Clinique  product)!
  • Retinoid  –  Retinoids  are  another  key  to  keeping  skin  clear  and  youthful–  derived  from  Vitamin  A,  they  directly  increase  collagen  synthesis,  increase  hyaluronic  acid,  decrease  creation  of  enzymes  that  break  down  the  skin  (things  that  normally  increase  with  aging),  they  speed  up  epidermal  cell  turnover  (one  of  the  key  ways  they  smooth  out  the  skin  and  treat  mild  acne,  as  well  as  dark  spots),  and  more.  Retinoids  should  be  a  part  of  everyone’s  skincare  regimen  UNLESS  you  are  pregnant  or  trying  to  become  pregnant  (high  Vitamin  A  is  a  teratogen)!  In  which  case  I’d  temporarily  swap  for  a  mild  acid  like  glycolyic  acid  or  mandelic  acid (this was my favorite during pregnancy and I continued using it while nursing, even though retinoids should technically be safe when nursing)!    

When  is  it  best  to  start  a  regimen  like  this?  If  you’re  a  teen  or  older  and  have  mild  acne  then  starting  now  and  continuing  pretty  much  forever  will  be  of  most  benefit!  If  you’re  young  and  don’t  have  acne,  you  may  not  need  it  yet,  but  most  women  with  no  skin  problems  start  a  regimen  like  this  in  their  20s.  By  30  you  should  DEFINITELY  be  using  a  regimen  like  the  above.    

With  all  of  that  said,  here  is  my  current  skin  care  routine!  

  1. Gently  wash  with  Clinique’s  Fresh  Pressed  Renewing  Powder  Cleanser.  I  just  wet  my  hands  and  pour  a  packet  onto  my  wet  hands,  rub  to  get  a  lather,  and  gently  apply  on  my  face  and  leave  it  on  while  I  brush  my  teeth,  then  rinse! 
  2. Apply  base  moisturizer  (I  use  La  Roche-Posay’s  Toleriane  Double  Repair  Moisturizer)  with  2  drops  of  Clinique’s  Fresh  Pressed  Daily  Booster.  This  booster  is  INCREDIBLE,  and  I  love  that  I  can  add  it  to  a  moisturizer  I  know  already  works  for  my  sensitive  skin.  Literally  within  days  you  can  already  notice  that  your  skin  is  brighter  (and  dermatologists  typically  don’t  like  promising  things  within  days,  most  products  need  at  least  6-8  weeks  to  start  seeing  any  differences).  But  this  is  days  y’all.   
  3. Apply  my  sunscreen  –  for  me  I’m  not  a  huge  fan  of  layering  too  many  products  (simplicity  is  key)  so  you  if  you’ve  read  these  posts  before  you  know  I’m  obsessed  with  Avene’s  High  Protection  Complexion  Correcting  Shield.  It’s  actually  a  full  coverage  makeup  and  SPF  50+  (mineral  based)  and  I  love  it.  Have  gone  through  tubes  of  this  stuff.      

  1. Wash  with  a  gentle  cleanser  –  I  love  Cetaphil and Cerave,  but  there  are  many  brands  that  make  mild  cleansers.  This  is  key  especially  when  you’re  using  a  retinoid.  Stay  away  from  exfoliating  cleansers  and  anything  with  beads  or  scrubs  –  your  skin  gets  aggravated  and  inflamed  and  this  can  lead  to  irritation,  breakouts,  and  more  dark  marks. I've used them in the past but only when I WASN'T using a retinoid (ie while I was still breastfeeding) and linked up some of my favorites, but again, would not use if you're using a retinoid. 
  2. Apply  pea  size  of  my  prescription  Tretinoin  cream  (if  you  can’t  get  a  prescription  for  this,  Differin  is  a  prescription-strength  retinoid  that  is  now  available  over-the-counter).  You  should  always  start  light  with  this  –  every  other  night  (or even less) to  begin  until  your  skin  gets  used  to  it  –  if  not  it  could  cause  redness, peeling  and  irritation.   
  3. Finish  with  my  La  Roche-Posay  moisturizer  and  my  Epionce  eye  cream.  Then  get  some  sleep!    

That’s  it!  I  hope  you  guys  found  this  post  helpful  and  now  understand  some  keys  to  a  good  skin  care  regimen!  These  are  just  the  products  I  use  but  I  wanted  to  make  sure  to  give  the  important  ingredients  themselves  so  you  can  find  what  works  for  you!  A  special  thanks  to  Clinique  for  sending  me  their  Fresh  Pressed  Vitamin  C  treatments  to  try  and  finally  ending  my  search  for  a  this  key  ingredient!  They  also  sponsored  this  post,  but  as  always  opinions  are  completely  my  own. Take their 7-day challenge and thank me later ;)  


  1. I thought retinoids weren't safe for nursing but I'm not a dermatologist

    1. She says, "Retinoids should be a part of everyone’s skincare regimen UNLESS you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant (high Vitamin A is a teratogen)! In which case I’d temporarily swap for a mild acid like glycolyic acid or mandelic acid (this was my favorite during pregnancy and I continued using it while nursing, even though retinoids should technically be safe when nursing)!"


  2. Love posts like this! I'm paying wayyyyy more attention to my skin now that I'm 33 instead of 23, but sometimes all the information seems overwhelming. I've been wearing Cerave or Aveeno daily SPF 30 since my early 20's, but just ordered the Avene 50 to kick it up a notch ;-) Silly question - but do you just apply with your fingers? It seems so thick that I'm not sure I'm rubbing it on correctly.

    I've been using the Kiehl's vitamin C concentrate, but I may give the Clinique a shot when that runs out...

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  4. Thank you for the post. You can check California Bioenergy Skin Care Cream as welloduct URL:

  5. Could you recommend a more affordable vit c serum?

  6. Thank you for sharing with everyone. I know everything about you. It's great and it's great.


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  8. Hey Laura! Thanks for these skin care posts. I really appreciate it. I am a 33 year old female, fellow physician, and still currently in residency. Since I'm in my 30s, I am in the mood of revamping my skin care products and routine (or get one, as my current one is not great). As you know, with a resident's schedule, time is everything, and therefore want something simple and straightforward.

    Since it's been a couple years since you wrote this, I am wondering...Is this still your routine? Are these the products you still use? Or would you recommend others?


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