- Fiona Clair is an Associate Editor at Insider who volunteered to have her skin care routine overhauled for Insider’s Skin Clinic.
- Her biggest skin care concerns are acne, acne scars, large pores, and aging.
- If you want your skin care routine to be expertly reviewed, fill out this form.
Fiona Clair is Associate Lifestyle and Entertainment Editor at Insider who volunteered to have her skin care routine reviewed by our panel of experts for the Insider’s Skin Clinic series.
His biggest concerns are acne, acne scars, large pores, and aging.
New York-based dermatologist Dr Julie Russak told Insider which products Fiona should give up and which she should keep to meet her skincare needs.
Fiona should replace her face wash with something that contains AHAs or BHAs
Fiona starts her morning splashing water on her face, misting her skin with Thayer’s Witch Hazel Rose Toner, and topping it off with Pacifica Sea & C Face Serum with SPF.
When she gets home, Fiona washes her face with Dove Soap or Tea Tree Charcoal Facial Bar, then treats the scars with diluted tea tree oil or cream. generic drugstore benzoyl peroxide. Afterwards, she exfoliates with a homemade oatmeal scrub and hydrates with pure argan oil.
If her skin needs a little extra hydration, Fiona uses Yay for Earth Face Lotion for Sensitive Skin.
For starters, Russak said that Fiona should wash her face in the morning and also swap her Dove soap cleanser for something softer.
“Charcoal is good, it collects and absorbs toxins that accumulate during the day,” Russak said. “Dove Facial Bar Soap is too much, and the scent in it can be irritating.”
Washing your face in the morning and evening with a cleanser that contains mild acids like alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) can balance the skin’s sebum production and reduce the amount of sebum and dirt clogging in Fiona’s pores.
She should cut out argan oil and toner to help relieve her acne
Russak said Fiona can cut her toner entirely, as toners often contain drying ingredients.
“I’m not a huge fan of toners, I think it’s an unnecessary extra step in a skin care routine,” Russak said. “If you have some free time and want to treat yourself, sure, but that has no real value.”
Another product that Fiona can get rid of is her argan oil. Although it is a moisturizer, it can cause problems for people with acne and lead to more clogged pores.
“Argan oil is a good product as long as it’s pure and has no additives, but it might not be the best if you have active acne,” Russak said.
Fiona should add retinol, a product with vitamin C and stronger SPF
Because one of Fiona’s biggest skincare concerns is aging, Russak highly recommends adding retinol to her daily routine.
“Retinol is FDA approved for fine lines and wrinkles because it helps improve cell turnover,” Russak said. “It treats many skin problems, including acne and acne scars, as it helps smooth the surface of the skin and promote healthy new skin cells.”
To make the skin look even brighter and ageless, Russak said Fiona can look for a serum that contains vitamin C, an ingredient commonly used for scars.
Finally, Fiona should use sunscreen regardless of her moisturizer, as she is not strong enough to protect her skin from the sun.
“On less sunny days, a moisturizer with SPF is okay, but in the summer it’s too weak,” Russak said.
Overall, Fiona’s routine is in the right order, she just needs to replace a few products with products with ingredients that directly address her concerns.