Beauty Product Recommendations from an Actual (and chic) Professional

March 27, 2018



Beauty seems to be the new blogging craze that each social media ladies are weighing in on. Our Insta stories seem to be flocked with the next Instagram princess touting their favorite products and wasting too much time showing us exactly how they apply each and every product in their ever changing beauty routine. I must admit, I watch them too, I have fomo about missing out on the best serum or mask that maybe just maybe will cause my skin to glow a la snapchat filter. To ease some of the overwhelming feelings of what We should use and what is actually worth our time and money, I went right to the source - a professional in the dermatology industry. 


I am thrilled to get all the scoop from my guest poster, my pal and dermatology expert, Katie (trini cakes for short). Read below for what products we need to be incorporating into our routine from someone who is actually educated on the subject beyond a few social media posts. 

Hi! My name is Katie Williamson, and I am a dermatology physician assistant in Midland, Texas. I have seen so many bloggers lately recommending all sorts of anti-aging products (some good, some definitely not worth your $), so I wanted to weigh in on the conversation with some of the anti-aging and skin care products that I often recommend to my patients. Thanks QueenMidas for having me guest post on your amazing blog!!


Everyone’s skin is different; some have dry skin, some have oily/acne prone skin, and some have a combination. Not all of these products will work for you, but hopefully this post will serve as a guide for what ingredients to look for when choosing from the many, many products out there. If you have any serious skin concerns, I would recommend making an appointment with your local dermatologist or a dermatology PA!

Your morning skin care routine should include:


1.A gentle face wash


Simple Moisturizing Face Wash


This is one of my favorite gentle cleansing products. It is non-irritating, gets all of your makeup off (including eye make-up), is not over drying, and is cheap.


2. Vitamin C Serum- Vitamin C (also known as L-ascorbic acid) is key to your daily routine because:

  • It is an anti-oxidant; therefore it helps prevent free radical formation, which occurs when your skin is damaged by the sun and environmental factors.

  • It helps boost collagen formation; therefore reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

  • It helps brighten skin and can reduce the appearance of darks spots and uneven skin tone.

  • It is anti-inflammatory.

SkinCeuticals makes my two favorite vitamin C serums, which have been recommended consistently by dermatology providers for years. Although the price on these serums may seem expensive, they are worth every penny! These two products contain additional antioxidants including ferulic acid.


- SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF Serum, for oily, combination, or normal skin


- If you have very dry skin, SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum


3. Moisturizer with sunscreen - EVERY DAY.


Sunscreen is the #1 most important part of an anti-aging routine. You can use the fanciest, most expensive anti-aging creams all day long, but you will reverse any progress you’re making if you are still getting daily sun damage. I recommend broad-spectrum physical UV sunscreens that contain active mineral ingredients, such as zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. Physical sunscreens reflect the sun’s harmful rays rather than absorb them.


I love the Elta MD line for physical sunscreen. These sunscreens don’t have that typical sunscreen smell, do not clog pores, and come in a “tinted” version for those who like a tinted moisturizer.

It is very important to reapply sunscreen throughout the day. For easy reapplication, I recommend keeping a ColorScience mineral SPF brush in your purse and doing quick touchups throughout your day.


Your nighttime skin care routine should include:


1. A gentle face wash, again I like Simple Moisturizing Face Wash.


2. A product with a retinoid/retinol (such as over-the-counter retinol, or a prescription strength retinoid such as Retin-A).


Retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A and one of the most studied ingredients in anti-aging skin care. They work by:

  • Increasing cell turnover, making your skin appear brighter, helping to unclog pores (which in turn helps with acne)

  • Preventing the breakdown of collagen and thickening the subcutaneous layer of our skin, which decreases fine lines and wrinkles

  • Lightening dark spots and curbing the production of melanin, therefore preventing more dark spots from forming

Caution, products with retinoids come with potential side effects. Retinoids make you more sun sensitive, so protecting your skin from the sun is imperative while using these products. They also can cause dry, red, peeling skin, especially when you first start using them.  I would recommend starting off with applying a retinoid just a few times per week, then build up to using every night as tolerated.  Lastly, do not use retinoid containing products if you are pregnant or breastfeeding!

  • SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5 Refining Night Cream (start at this lower strength if you have very sensitive skin)

  • SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0 Refining Night Cream

  • Differin 0.1% gel, the strongest over-the-counter retinoid. Good for acne-prone or oily skin

  • If you are tolerating an over-the-counter retinol/retinoid with no problem, it may be a good idea to ask your dermatology provider if a stronger prescription-strength retinoid, such a tretinoin, would be good for you.

3. What about glycolic acid?

Glycolic acid is a chemical exfoliator that can be great for getting rid of dead skin cells and brightening “dull skin”. It is milder than retinoids when it comes to chemical exfoliators; so if your retinoid is too irritating, or if you are looking for some extra exfoliation throughout your week, glycolic acid may beneficial for you. It works by penetrating the top layer of your skin and increasing cell turnover. Glycolic acid is typically safe during pregnancy, although you should check with your OB-Gyn before starting any new skin products if you are pregnant. I like using these glycolic acid pads a few times a week:


First Aid Beauty -Facial Radiance Pads


4. Moisturizer.

It is important to hydrate your skin, especially if you are using a chemical exfoliator like a retinoid or glycolic acid. Look for gentle, non-fragranced moisturizers with ingredients like ceramides or hyaluronic acid. I personally do not spend a lot of money on this category. My favorite moisturizer is CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion. 


5. Eye creams:

The skin around and under our eyes is very sensitive and much thinner than the rest of our skin. Eye creams specifically cater to this, and can help with the appearance of crow’s feet, dark circles and puffiness. Here are a few of my favorites:


***In summary***


These are just some products that I personally recommend, but there are many other good products out there! If you have acne, rosacea, eczema, or other skin conditions, you may need to incorporate prescription medications into your regimen. Please see your dermatology provider if this is the case.




Katie Williamson, MS, PA-C


Shop Katie's Favorite beauty recommendations and brands below or visit WWW.THEDERMSTORE.COM for more! 





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