The Trifecta of Skincare:

The 3 Products You Need in your Anti-Aging Routine 

By: Dr. Kim Nichols 
Board-Certified Dermatologist and
Founder of NicholsMD & SkinLab by NicholsMD  

During this time of social distancing, we are all looking for ways in which we can best take care of our skin from home. And if you’ve been on social media lately, you’ve seen that DIY skin care is bigger than ever. But all this well-meaning advice can be overwhelming. 

So, as your board-certified dermatologist, I want to take this time to help you clean out your drawer full of half-used creams (you know the one I’m talking about!), and tell you the THREE (yes, ONLY 3) products/ingredients you MUST have in your anti-aging, stay-gorgeous, daily routine – and it’s what I call The Trifecta.: 

  1. A Vitamin C & E-based Antioxidant – UV rays, pollution, and lifestyle factors (e.g. stress, poor diet, dehydration, alcohol) all take a big toll on your skin, creating free radicals that destroy collagen and prematurely age your skin. Antioxidants combat these free radicals, helping to prevent the damage that they can incur. But not antioxidants and ingredients are equal, so don’t be fooled by advertising. Medical-grade skincare, like SkinCeuticals, is what I preach because it’s been studied by researchers to prove its efficacy, formulated for a results-driven outcome, pure in its ingredients, and safe for use. So, my favorite medical-grade antioxidant and #1 selling product at my practice? SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic. This hero product, CE Ferulicis clinically proven to reduce combined oxidative damage from free radicals by 41%. Use it every morning before your sunscreen to your face and neck.  
  2. Daily sunscreen – Not surprisingly, sunscreen is essential in any anti-aging regimen. And the key is that you must use it EVERY day. Despite this direction, many people still don’t use sunscreen daily, often because we assume sunscreens are thick, chalky, and don’t apply nicely with our makeup. I’ve also been told my patients that they wear makeup that has sunscreen in it, but that too is not suffice in protecting your skin from signs of aging or skin cancer. The good news is that there are now some great cosmetically-elegant sunscreens that you’ll love – because I do, too. Some of my favorite, medical-grade sunscreen choices are: SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50 – for oily or acne-prone skin types; SkinCeuticals Light Moisture UV Defense SPF 50 – for combination/normal skin; and SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 – for dry or aging skin. Sunscreen is applied after all your other skincare products are applied but before make-up.  
  3. Retinol – There is a reason that dermatologists consider retinol to be the #1 anti-aging ingredient. Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A that increases cell turnover in our skin, helping to keep it younger and brighter-looking. It single-handedly improves the appearance of pore size, uneven skin tone, fine lines and wrinkles. (Basically, skin magic!)  The retinol product I recommend is SkinCeuticals Custom D.O.S.E. Custom DOSE is a customized product that we formulate for you in our office, in under 7 minutes, that includes a personalized retinol concentration and other anti-aging and brightening agents like Kojic Acid and Niacinamide.  Apply a small-pea size amount of your Custom DOSE product at bedtime, starting at 2-3 times per week, and followed by your nighttime moisturizer. 

By using my Trifecta regimen of an antioxidant, sunscreen and retinol, you have the fundamentals of a scientifically-proven anti-aging skincare for life.