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. First up: How to shop for summer beauty like an actual dermatologist.
Summer is officially here—welcome to the party! Also invited: damaging UV rays, sweat-induced breakouts, oily skin and dark marks! But help is on the way in the form of NYC-based dermatologist Dr. Shari Marchbein. She’s sharing what she shops—and the products she recommends to her patients—to keep your complexion on point all summer long.
Scroll on for the must-shop products of the season.
Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40
Dr. Marchbein is all about the texture of this UV protector, which is why she loves it for the face. “It almost acts like a primer—it’s literally clear and it mattifies so it helps refine the appearance of pores and makes your complexion look more smooth. That makes it wonderful under makeup.”
Plus, it contains red algae to keep you looking younger, longer.
This cleanser is a must for anyone struggling with pimples this time of year, according to Dr. Marchbein. It very gently helps keep pores clear—and get your complexion glowing. The combo that makes for an effective, non-irritating acne-fighter: “It has cica, otherwise known as centella asiatica, which is anti-inflammatory, and willow bark extract, which is a mild exfoliant.” Plus, she adds, “It’s soothing, so it’s great if you are experiencing redness or are sensitive.”
TNS Advanced+ Serum
This magic in this serum comes down to peptides, which Dr. Marchbein says you should really be using all 12 months on the calendar. But if you’re overhauling your skincare plan for summer and you don’t use one, now is the time to add it.
What you can expect it to do? “It boosts collagen to fight sagging, firm fine lines and wrinkles, and increase the vibrance of the skin,” explains the derm. And when it comes to the quality of these ingredients, she says “This is definitely where it’s worth splurging.” And this advanced formula works incredibly fast—many see results in just two weeks!
3-in-1 Recovery SPF 35
Dr. Marchbein suggests everyone consider adding this multitasker to their summer arsenal. “It acts as a concealer, has built-in sunscreen, and is an under-eye treatment thanks to peptides and vitamins,” she says. Plus, “the tip feels like a cooling rollerball.” Consider that a chilly treat on a sweaty summer day.
Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier
This little potion isn’t technically a moisturizer—it’s meant to be used under moisturizer to help it work even better. But if you’re one of those folks who turns into an oil slick in humidity, it could provide just the right amount of hydration, says Dr. Marchbein. Plus, you’ll love the instant results. “It supports your skin’s hyaluronic acid levels in the upper layer, helping to improve the visible appearance of plumping and firmness.”
UV Aero Broad-Spectrum SPF 45
“This formula is a great option for [sunscreen] you can use all over. It’s light but it’s got a nice high SPF, and it comes in a 6 ounce bottle which is double the size of most sunscreens,” says Dr. Marchbein. Another highlight is that although it contains zinc, it dries totally clear, so you don’t have to worry about looking streaky at the beach.
Sunforgettable® Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50 Multipack
“I’m such a fan of brush-on mineral sunscreens—they’re great to reapply over makeup so you prolong your sun protection without messing up your foundation,” explains Dr. Marchbein. She often recommends this one from Colorescience in particular because it comes in several different shades and is mattifying.
But, she warns, “It’s not meant to be used as a primary sunscreen, so if you’re going outside, you still need to use a cream sunscreen first. Then it’s perfect to throw this in your bag for touch-ups anytime.”
Physical Fusion UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 50
The first thing Dr. Marchbein loves about this sunscreen is the slight color it gives the skin, because, she explains, “the tint itself actually helps protect against visible light damage, which we know can contribute to melasma and hyperpigmentation.” So not only does it even out your skin tone on contact but it can make for an even better complexion down the road. And beyond that, she insists, “it’s just a very high-quality, cosmetically elegant sunscreen.”
Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel
If you’re looking to up your glow in a hurry, you’ve found your answer. “These pads are chock full of goodies,” says Dr. Marchbein. “They contain a combination of five alpha and beta hydroxy acids—glycolic, salicylic, lactic, malic, citric—along with retinol, ubiquinone, and resveratrol to help even skintone, reduce the appearance of fine lines, improve hyperpigmentation, and build collagen.”
UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46
“This is just a really amazing, classic broad-spectrum formula for the face,” says Dr Marchbein. She points out that it’s oil-free so you can use it daily without worrying about clogged pores. Plus, she says, “it has sodium hyaluronate so it’s moisturizing and great under makeup and it has lactic acid to reduce shine.”
Lumiere Bio-Restorative Eye Cream
“The skin under the eye is the thinnest skin of the body,” Dr. Marchbein says. That means it’s more susceptible to the aging effects of UV rays. While protecting your eyes with sunglasses and SPF is the first priority, she also recommends using an eye cream with growth factors “which lead to improvement in skin elasticity, tightness of skin and a decrease in the appearance of wrinkles,” says Dr. Marchbein.
This non-stinging one also provides a dose of hyaluronic acid for instant plumping (and fine line-erasing) benefits.
C E Ferulic
“Everybody needs a vitamin C serum in the morning,” insists Dr. Marchbein. The essential antioxidant should be a part of everyone’s skincare routine. She says this has a combo of ingredients, L-ascorbic acid (vitamin c), vitamin e and ferulic acid, that has been shown to work together help with radical oxidative damage, fine lines, and hyperpigmentation. One warning: “It’s better for people who aren’t acne-prone since it’s in an emollient base.”
Quick Dry Body Spray SPF 40 Duo (2 piece)
Dr. Marchbein is a fan of spray sunscreens in general. They help you get to those hard-to-reach places, like your back. She leans on this formula from MDSolarSciences because it’s non-greasy and it contains vitamin C for extra anti-aging benefits. One note from the doc: “Just don’t use it directly on your face to avoid inhaling it—spray it into your palm and then apply.”
Liplux Organic Tinted Lip Balm Sunscreen
“This is a great balm to keep around in the summer,” says Dr. Marchbein. It’s got several major things going for it: She points out that it’s a balm so it’s hydrating, but more importantly, “it’s creamy—not sticky.” It comes in several colors so it adds a little something to your look.
And it also contains SPF, so it’s protecting your lips when you’re outside. When it comes to sunscreen, “Lips are really important to protect because they are prone to getting skin cancer and pre-cancer,” reminds Dr. Marchbein.
Anthelios Melt-in Sunscreen Milk SPF 60
“This is one of my favorites,” says Dr. Marchbein. Not only does it sport L’Oréal’s derm-approved Anthelios technology, which provides broad-spectrum protection with added anti-aging benefits, but she points out that it’s one of the silkiest on the market and feels just as good on the face as it does on the body. “It’s really fantastic,” she insists.
Mineral KidStick SPF 40
“This is a chemical-free, physical-blocking sunscreen that’s perfect for kids,” says Dr. Marchbein. “They love using this stick and it’s important to get children excited about sun protection.” Plus, it’s portable and mess-free, so it’s great for camp or to tuck into a backpack.
Daily Shield Lotion Tinted SPF 50
Dr. Marchbein has loved this lotion for a while. She explains, “This is another one that’s great to wear either by itself or under makeup. It’s a physical blocker that’s suitable for sensitive skin, and it has botanical ingredients with antioxidant benefits so it’s anti-aging as well.”
No guesswork here. “This is a tinted broad-spectrum sunscreen blends to match any skintone,” says Dr. Marchbein. It also provides broad-spectrum coverage, vitamin C, and peptides. “[The combination] gives the skin giving antiaging benefits at the same time as it’s protecting from the sun,” explains the derm.
PLAY Everyday SPF 50 With With Sunflower Extract
“You can’t beat the size of this bottle. It’s got so much you’ll never question using the right amount of sunscreen!” says Dr. Marchbein. For a reminder, that’s ½ a teaspoon for your face and a shot glass for your body. She also loves that it’s lightweight yet sweat- and water-proof so it’s an ideal outdoor sport option.
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