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The Top 3 Ingredients You Should Be Using on Your Skin

With seemingly endless products on the market, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to skincare.

At Westlake Dermatology Dr. Geddes-Bruce helps clients develop a custom skincare routine that’s perfectly suited to their unique skin. That said, she definitely believes that certain ingredients are universally good for everyone, no matter their skin type. Read on to discover her top three ingredients that EVERYONE should be using.

Vitamin antioxidants, like vitamin C

“The antioxidant vitamin C helps to brighten the skin by blocking the production of brown spots,” says Dr. Geddes-Bruce. “It also corrects prior photodamage and offers protection against daily damage from stress, pollution and ultraviolet radiation. Because our bodies are unable to naturally produce vitamin C, we need to get it from other sources. And while eating fruits and veggies are important, the best way for your skin to see the benefits of vitamin C is to apply it topically. This should be done in the morning, on a clean face, prior to the application of heavy oil-based moisturizers (vitamin C is water soluble and its skin penetration can easily get blocked), and definitely prior sun exposure. My favorite topical antioxidants are CE Ferulic or Phloretin CF by Skinceuticals. You just need a few drops and the bottle seems to last forever!”


“If you ask a dermatologist what’s in his/her ‘top three’ list there’s definitely going to be a form of sunscreen,” explains Dr. Geddes-Bruce. “And while right now I’m totally into the mineral powder sunscreens, there are so many different versions available to suit your exact skin needs — moisturizing ones for dry skin, ones containing hyaluronic acid that function a bit like a make-up primer, even ones with niacinamide (vitamin B3) that help combat redness and inflammation in conditions like acne and rosacea. The majority of skin damage comes from everyday exposure to ultraviolet rays. Throwing on a little SPF daily will keep your skin looking its very best and help to prevent skin cancers. It’s a win-win and there’s no excuse when its so easy to do. My favorite sunscreens right now are Elta MD Clear and Colorscience Sunforgettable. Another great one is Neutrogena Hydro Boost water gel lotion. These should be applied towards the end of your morning skin care regimen, and touched up throughout the day before significant sun exposure.”


“Retinols are a naturally occurring form of vitamin A that benefit the skin by improving texture, fine lines and unwanted brown pigmentation,” states Dr. Geddes-Bruce. “The claims are not hocus pocus – there are many scientific studies that prove these properties are real. Retinols help to regulate our skin turnover and send signals to our cells to increase collagen production. They also help to unclog pores. The difficulty with these products is their tolerability – using them frequently often causes dryness and irritation. Additionally, you shouldn’t use them if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Otherwise, try to incorporate a retinol into your nightly routine. Start with a pea-sized amount for the entire face and don’t forget your moisturizer after. My current favorite vitamin A cream is AlphaRet by Skin Better Science. It’s a retinoid combined with an alpha-hydroxy acid and doesn’t irritate my skin.”