Ever wish you could just copy/paste the virtual carts of the experts who really know what they’re doing when it comes to shopping for beauty products? Well, we leaned into that nosiness and started a series dedicated to the shopping lists of some of the country’s top beauty experts. This week, a dermatologist decides which new beauty launches are worth the hype.
When shopping for beauty products, good reviews and recs from a reputable source can point you in the right direction and help you avoid a dud. But with new launches, many of which hit the shelves at the beginning of the year, making purchases can be a little trickier.
So, first things first! Shop from an authorized retailer that carefully curates their selection to include only the crème de la crème in each category. Dermstore has wildly high standards for the expert-approved products that make the cut on their site, so you can trust the quality and efficacy of the selection, but you still may not know whether a given newbie works for you.
That’s where the experts come in. Here, we’ve tapped Rachel Nazarian, M.D., a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology in New York City, to help us break it down. “I look for science-backed, evidence-based ingredients,” says Dr. Nazarian. She doesn’t stick with any one brand, but rather prefers to look for new innovations. “I look for novel techniques or formulations that have science supporting the claims,” she says.
Here, Dr. Nazarian shares which 2021 beauty launches caught her eye.
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Daily Dose Vitamin C + SPF 40 Serum
If you’re looking for a clever way to multitask, it doesn’t get much better than this, according to Dr. Nazarian. It offers not one, but two science-backed ways to defend skin against environmental damage. “Vitamin C is a fantastic antioxidant to neutralize free-radical damage from sources like pollution, while sunscreen protects skin from aging ultraviolet radiation,” she explains.
Resveratrol-Lift Instant Firming Serum
This serum features a patented combination of hyaluronic acid (to help hydrate) and resveratrol (to help firm), but Dr. Nazarian also appreciates its other powerful ingredients. “Peptides keep skin looking youthful and support necessary fibers of collagen and elastin,” she says. “And olive squalane is a natural source of skin hydration and moisturization, so it’s good for even sensitive skin.” Plus, in a clinical study of 43 women, 84% reported seeing firmer skin after 56 days of use.
Eye Duty Niacinamide Brightening Cream
The skin around the eyes is some of the thinnest on the body, which is why it’s prone to all sorts of concerns: dark circles, crow’s feet, puffiness—you name it. That calls for a versatile solution, and this cream fits the bill. “I like that it addresses multiple aspects of under-eye issues,” says Dr. Nazarian. “Niacinamide is a great natural anti-inflammatory, which helps calm skin and improve pigmentation, and hyaluronic acid and caffeine are good options for the under eye area. In combination, they moisturize, help improve circulation and can decrease puffiness.”
Neck Fit Contour Serum
According to Dr. Nazarian, a perk of this neck serum is that it offers both immediate and long-term benefits to the neck area. “The more immediate effect is for tightening—the Flex Lift Contour Technology (a unique mix of peptides) acts as an invisible mesh that temporarily makes the skin appear more lifted,” she explains. As for the more long-term benefits, the formula contains ingredients that “stimulate elastin and collagen to improve crepey-looking skin over time,” says Dr. Nazarian. She recommends using it directly before social events (in-person or virtual) to make the most of that instant payoff.
While some curl products have a bad rap for adding weight or greasiness in an effort to hydrate, Dr. Nazarian considers this the exception to the rule, which is why she would go for it. “With non-comedogenic jojoba oil and vitamin B5, it should be hydrating without being heavy,” she says. “It’s also sulfate-free, which makes it gentler for thin or dry hair.” (Sulfates are cleansing agents that could potentially strip the scalp and hair of moisture.) That makes this shampoo especially good for anyone whose curly hair isn’t necessarily thick.
While a lip balm with SPF is a must for daytime, consider this richer, buttery version for overnight, since “the lips are so neglected,” says Dr. Nazarian. Round-the-clock moisture via a balm is a good start, but upping it at night is even better. “I like the combination of hyaluronic acid to draw in water, and emollients to lock in moisture,” she says. “The combination decreases how much hydration is lost to evaporation in arid, dry weather.”
Liplux® SPF 30 Organic Lip Sunscreen
Dr. Nazarian is a big fan of this lip balm. “It has a decently high SPF of 30, and the ingredients make it a hydrating and lightweight option to protect lips,” she explains. In it, you’ll find antioxidant-packed raspberry butter, which can add extra protection against sun damage, as well as a nourishing combo of jojoba oil, coconut oil, and shea butter. Those moisturizing staples are essential, since the lips don’t have the same oil glands as the rest of the face and are therefore more prone to dryness and flaking.
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