What Skin Pros Know That You Don’t

6 skin gurus share their personal routines for complexion perfection.

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The Dermatologist: Whitney Bowe, MD


"I’m a huge fan of layering products. Applying light coats of multiple formulas—always the thinnest first—helps the active ingredients absorb better. Unfortunately, my sensitive skin can barely tolerate retinol (once a week, max!) so I gravitate toward other powerful anti-agers, including peptides and antioxidants."

Her winter skin saver: "Up your exfoliation to two times a week to brighten dull and dry skin."

Read on for Bowe's product picks.

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Whitney Bowe, MD's Product Picks, Part 1

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The Organic Pharmacy Honey & Jasmine Mask, $74

"Apply once a week to boost hydration—crucial in cold weather."

Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Age Defying Exfoliator, $79

"All my other products are useless if they can’t penetrate my skin. This exfoliator removes dead cells, letting my treatments work their magic."

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Whitney Bowe, MD's Product Picks 2


Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser, $14.50

"The most gentle cleanser out there—it has stayed popular for a reason."

Colorescience Sunforgettable Brush-On Sunscreen SPF 50, $64

"I keep this in my car and brush onto my left hand and the left side of my face for extra sun protection when driving." 

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The Nutritionist: Kimberly Snyder


“My philosophy is easy: Beauty is built from the inside out. I believe in keeping things simple—both on your skin and in your diet. Meaning fewer products on your face and clean, natural foods with no artificial ingredients. If it came from the earth, it’s okay by me. Balancing your skin’s pH with a toner is also key to maintaining a healthy glow. I used to skip this step but now I apply natural rosewater—my toner of choice—religiously after cleansing.”

Her winter skin saver: "Eat more healthy fats, like chia seeds and avocados, to plump and nourish skin."

Read on for Snyder's product picks.

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Kimberly Snyder's Product Picks, Part 1

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Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator, $32

“I spritz throughout the day whenever my face feels dry.”

Sally B's Skin Yummies Antioxidant Skin Boost, $38, and Sally B's Skin Yummies Nighttime Antioxidant Serum, $48

“These two make the perfect evening cocktail for tired skin.”

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Kimberly Snyder's Product Picks, Part 2

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Ayurveda Pura Holistic Essentials Daily Cleansing Milk, $40

“Soothes while it cleans.”

Garden of Life Living Foods RAW Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, $17

“My go-to product for just about everything: deep conditioner, moisturizer, eye makeup remover and cuticle smoother.” 

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The Aesthetician: Amanda Birch


“I treat skin care like it’s nourishment. Having a garden in my backyard lets me infuse herbs and botanicals—including calendula, lavender and chamomile—into facials. Many people forget that there are natural cures for skin issues. My new favorite formulation calms inflammation. I mix equal parts goat’s milk powder, honey powder (both found at health food stores), oatmeal and manuka honey, and leave it on for 10 minutes twice a week. It’s the ultimate healer.”

Her winter skin saver: “Dry heat will kill your complexion. Keep the air in your home moist with a humidifier or plants.”

Read on for Birch's product picks.

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Amanda Birch's Product Picks, Part 1

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de Mamiel Winter Facial Oil, $114

“I use these luxe oils all year round, switching seasons as they come. They are truly the best natural products I’ve ever tried.”

Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser, $8

“The only acne product that really works on my breakout-prone complexion.”

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Amanda Birch's Product Picks, Part 2


The Organic Pharmacy Enzyme Peel Mask with Vitamin C and Papaya, $79

 “The perfect skin pick-me-up.”

Cold Spring Apothecary Sea Clay & Charcoal Powder Mask, $35

“The clay adheres to dead cells like glue and pulls them out instantly.”

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The Cosmetic Chemist: Ni’Kita Wilson


“My best advice: Develop a relationship with your skin. Learn what it loves and it will love you back! For me, that means taking it slow with new products and only changing one formula at a time to better monitor reactions. Patience isn’t always easy with skin care; you want to see instant results. But in the end, it’s always worthwhile.”

Her winter skin saver: “Use a cream that contains sealants like shea butter, dimethicone and natural oils to repair the skin’s barrier and lock moisture in.” 

Read on for Wilson's product picks.

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Ni'kita Wilson's Product Picks, Part 1


Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream Extra-Dry Skin, $20

“A moisturizer that is super light and doesn’t clog pores—great for oily complexions.”

L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Miracle Blur Instant Skin Smoother Finishing Cream SPF 30, $25

“Strong sun protection that leaves my skin soft.” 

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Ni'kita Wilson's Product Picks, Part 2


Garnier Clean+ Pore Purifying 2-in-1 Clay Cleanser/Mask, $9

“I leave it on for five minutes once a week for an extra-deep cleanse.”

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel, $88/30 treatments

“Daily exfoliation keeps my skin tone even and pores clear.”

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The Skin Specialist: Alicia Barba, MD


“Living in Miami means you can’t really hide from the sun. Since I suffer from melasma—patchy hyperpigmentation that is common in many Latinas—my morning routine revolves around maximal SPF protection. At night I focus on correction and collagen stimulation, beginning with a double cleanse to ‘take off the day.’ It’s best to start an evening regimen with really clean skin so the active ingredients can penetrate properly.”

Her winter skin saver: “Start moisturizing in the shower. Use a nourishing body wash and quickly follow with a thick moisturizer on damp skin to trap in hydration.”

Read on for Barba's product picks.

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Alicia Barba, MD's Product Picks, Part 1


Dove Beauty Bar, $10/6 bars

“I use powerful prescription anti-agers at night, so I need my morning cleanser to be as mild as possible.”

Glowbiotics Probiotic Instant Resurfacing Pads, $49

“I occasionally give myself a mini peel at home with lactic and azaleic acids. It creates a nice glow.” 


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Alicia Barba, MD's Product Picks, Part 2


Coolibar All Sport Hat, $22

“Sunscreen alone doesn’t provide enough protection for my delicate skin. This offers great coverage.”

SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF, $163

“The antioxidant serum adds an extra layer of protection.” 

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The Spa Director: Laura Hittleman


“Learn your limit, especially when it comes to beauty. I keep my daily routine short because I know I’ll get lazy and skip everything if there are too many steps. I try to stay within the same brand when choosing products to allow the ingredients to work synergistically. Right now I am loving Dr. Dennis Gross’ anti-aging formulas—they’re doing wonders for my complexion!”

Her winter skin saver: “Give your lips some TLC. Gently exfoliate with a dry toothbrush or wash cloth and always apply lip balm before bed.”

Read on for Hittleman's product picks.

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Laura Hittleman's Product Picks, Part 1


Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser Winter Skin Saver, $78

The gentle exfoliator wakes up my skin in the morning.

Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Neck Emulsion, $75

Don’t neglect your neck! Stick to products formulated for specific areas—that’s what they were created for.

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Laura Hittleman's Product Picks, Part 2


Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Eye Cream, $68

Rich but not too thick, so I can apply concealer right after.

Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Anti-Aging Moisturizer, $72

A little goes a long way—it hydrates, plumps wrinkles and firms with just a pea-sized amount.