On the AW Shelf: Our Favorite Repairing Serums & Creams for Different Skin Types
When your skin barrier is compromised, it can’t effectively fight off the damaging effects from environmental aggressors that lead to your classic tell-tale signs of aging. Still, not every skin repair product is made equal. That’s why AW Plastic Surgery is here to help you find your formula.
There’s a reason clothing comes in different sizes. Sure, we all love some good baggy sweats when we’re talking comfort, but, when it comes to looking good and making an impression, you’re probably not going to buy an outfit that doesn’t compliment your specific body type.
The same goes for your skincare. While there are products out there that claim a “one-size-fits-all” approach, the truth is our skin barriers are just not built the same, nor are our environments. Some of us are dryer and sensitive, some of us are oilier, some of us are acne-prone even well into our adults years, and some of us are a mix of all of the above. These variations mean we will react to certain products differently if they are not formulated or our specific skin type. And sifting through all the different repair products to find the one that’s best for you can be overwhelming. After all, you’re not a skincare savant.
But the experts at AW Plastic Surgery are. In fact, in addition to offering a full-spectrum of minimally invasive and surgical procedures, they also stock an on-site collection of clinically proven, medical-grade skincare products (everything from cleansers and balms to concentrates and masks) from leading brands like AnteAGE MD, SENTÉ, SkinCeuticals, and Dermaceutic Laboratoire. Some of these they’ll recommend after certain procedures to help aid in the skin’s recovery as well as “protect the investment” to keep your skin looking great; others, they’ll recommend simply as an addition to your skincare regimen to combat aging.
So, when it comes to repairing and protecting your skin barrier – your key protection against external aggressors that contribute to the signs of aging – which product might best suit you? Here are a few of the AW’s favorite skin-repairing powerhouse products that the team uses personally, according to different skin types.
Best For: Sensitive Skin
This is a deeply hydrating and renewing cream that improves skin hydration while diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In addition to heparan sulfate analog (HAS) and sodium hyaluronate to improve mature or photo-damaged skin in as little as four weeks, the key ingredient of green tea extract – a very gentle antioxidant – aids in soothing the skin for those who can’t tolerate other anti-aging actives. In fact, it’s so gentle, AW Plastic Surgery often suggests it to patients after receiving Halo Laser treatment.
“It is unscented and makes my skin feel very soft without causing it to feel greasy,” says Rossli Delorey, a nurse practitioner at AW Plastic Surgery. “I use it once or twice daily after my application of serums.”
Best For: Oily, Acne-Prone Skin
Formulated specifically for oily and blemish-prone skin types, this oil-free vitamin C serum harnesses the same antioxidant as cult-favorite CE Ferulic to protect and repair, but with added benefits of milk thistle-derived silymarin to help acne-prone skin, not to mention it also avoids the use of vitamin E (which can cause breakouts). As a result, it delivers advanced environmental protection and reduces oiliness, refines skin texture, and visibly improves skin clarity and fine lines.
“I love it because I can kill two birds with one stone: Treat my oily skin and reap the benefits of an antioxidant like vitamin C [which helps to allow the skin to repair itself to correct visible damage, while also stimulating collagen production],” says Michelle Raffin, another registered nurse at AW. “I use it daily in the morning. After cleansing, I apply three to five drops to the face and neck, followed up by moisturizer and sunscreen.”
Best For: Dry, Sensitive Skin
As we age, like so many things, our lipid production declines, which can result in rough surface texture, dullness, and loss of facial fullness. The “2:4:2” title in this cream comes from the fact that it contains the optimal lipid ratio (2% pure ceramides 1 and 3, 4% natural cholesterol, and 2% fatty acids) to nourish dry skin, restore the skin’s external barrier, and support natural self-repair to correct the signs of aging.
“I use this year-round: in the winter, day and night, and over retinol in the summer,” says Tracy Thaden, an AW clinical aesthetician and medical assistant. “It can be used in the morning after a vitamin C serum followed by SPF. Then use at night over your favorite retinol to keep skin comfortably moisturized as you sleep, then wake up radiant.”
Best For: Sensitive, Easily Inflamed or Acne-Prone Skin
While this two-part product is often prescribed by AW to help the healing process of patients following laser, microneedling, abrasive, and other ablative or collagen-inducting treatments, it also works wonders to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while reducing skin redness and sensitivity when added to any skincare routine.
“That’s because, in addition to employing peptides and protective antioxidants, its star ingredient is stem cell therapy growth factors that are anti-inflammatory as opposed to other growth factors that are pro-inflammation,” says Thaden. So you get the regeneration properties without invoking the usual irritation or redness.
Best For: Dry, Combination Skin
Combining phloretin, ferulic acid, and vitamin C, this antioxidant serum neutralizes free radicals to aid in cell turnover, hydrate and firm, and brighten skin for an overall renewed radiance. And because it hydrates dry areas and is not too heavy for oily areas, it’s a great repairing product for those with combination skin.
“It has really balanced and evened out my skin tone,” says Raffin. “Every morning, after cleansing, I apply three drops over my face/neck.”