5 Skin Care Products No One Should Live Without

Written by: Blaise Geyer PA-C

5 Skin Care Products No One Should Live Without

If you’ve ever been in Ulta or Sephora, you know how overwhelming it can be sorting through the plethora of available skin care products. There are cleansers and toners and exfoliators and eye creams and serums and moisturizers..EEK! How do you know what to invest your time and money in? To keep your skin care routine fairly quick yet effective, let’s talk about the products that will actually deliver and are worth your hard earned cash.

Medical Skin Care Matters

Before we dive into specific products, let’s be clear…medical skin care matters! I know you love your Ulta/Sephora skin care products, but the products that are sold over the counter don’t pack the punch that medical grade skin care does. This is because over-the-counter skin products contain relatively low active ingredients. As a result, these products just sit on the surface of the skin in order to avoid irritating most skin types. Medical grade skincare, which can only be purchased by physician offices, contains higher concentrations of the active ingredients so the product is able to penetrate the outermost skin layer (epidermis) and act on the deeper layers. This is what really creates changes in your skin! (*If you’d like to learn more about the differences between medical grade vs. over-the-counter skin care, see the great blog post by our Esthetician Kelsie!)




The Must-Haves


Before investing in any other product, purchase yourself a good cleanser! Cleansing your skin is like priming before you paint. Your clean skin “sets the stage” to allow better penetration of other products so they can really work their magic! If you’re wondering which cleanser to choose, ZO Gentle Cleanser and SkinMedica AHA/BHA Cleanser take the cake. Gentle Cleanser, which smells like a delicious, juicy grapefruit, works great for most skin types and leaves the skin feeling invigorated and squeaky clean without being dry. For better exfoliation, I like to rotate between using my Gentle and AHA/BHA cleanser. AHA/BHA contains jojoba spheres to gently exfoliate and alpha-arbutin to brighten your skin, leaving you feeling like a clean, beautiful queen.

Growth Factor

SkinMedica TNS Essential and Recovery Complex are products that contain human growth factors. For those unfamiliar with these proteins, they resemble those involved in our bodies’ natural cell repair and stimulate more collagen and elastin production. This rejuvenates damaged skin due to age and environmental factors causing less fine lines, wrinkles and better skin texture and tone! The two TNS products available,TNS Essential and TNS Recovery, both contain these growth factors but TNS essential has an extra chamber that contains peptides, antioxidants, alpha-arbutin (skin brightener) and hyaluronic filling spheres (instantly fill in fine lines). These added active ingredients make TNS Essential ideal for AM use and TNS Recovery excellent for your nighttime routine.


Many have heard of the wonders of topical Vitamin C in skin health, but the Lumivive System by SkinMedica makes regular old Vitamin C serum look like childs’ play. The Lumivive System includes not one, but two products, each specifically designed for AM and PM use. The AM serum has ingredients that work to protect your skin against environmental damages, UV rays and blue light while the PM serum includes peptides to improve skin recovery overnight. The result- brighter, healthier, younger looking skin.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a naturally occurring substance in the skin that keeps your skin hydrated and plump. This product has gained popularity and is better known because this is the active ingredient in many dermal filler products. While moisturizers trap and restore moisture in the skin, SkinMedica HA5 is a skin hydrator. The difference? Hydrators support the skin’s natural ability to replenish its own HA. In about 4 weeks of use, this product increases your own HA and decreases hyaluronidase (the enzyme that breaks down HA). So by 4 weeks, you may be saying bye-bye to that moisturizer for good!

If you’re like me and love the results of retinoids but don’t dig shedding like a snake constantly, you will love SkinBetter’s AlphaRet. This product uses their proprietary retinoid and lactic acid blend to speed up cell turnover by chemically exfoliating away old cells, creating new cell growth, increasing collagen production and thickening skin without drying out and irritating it. This is due to the skin soothers and hydrators present in AlphaRet that act to counteract the side effects of the retinoid. For you long term Retin-A users, thicker skinned clients, or those needing correction of deep lines and wrinkles, AlphaRet Intensive offers a higher concentration of glycolic acid to help increase exfoliation leading to the further improvement of fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven tone and texture.

As you reach the end, hopefully this insider knowledge has made you feel more empowered in choosing your skin care regimen. We don’t expect you to know it all though! Come schedule a free consultation with us and we’ll answer your questions, discuss concerns, and help pick the very best products for you. A valuable skin care routine makes all the difference in taking your skin from blah to beautiful. Trust me, your skin will thank you.

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