Dr. Sandra Lee gets real about what skincare products you actually need

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With new skincare launches and revelations surfacing daily, it can be difficult (if not overwhelming) to navigate which formulas and regimens are best for your own skin type and needs.

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Read on as Dr. Sandra Lee of TLC's Dr. Pimple Popper shares her top tips for building a routine that works for you, and breaks down what she considers essentials from her own SLMD Skincare collection – developed to offer solutions to the pressing skincare concerns raised by her own clients – for getting you started. 

Less is more

While it can be tempting to pile on the latest and greatest, Dr. Lee is quick to point out that one should be careful of going overboard when it comes to the quantity of products and respective formulas you’re applying to the face.

“Everything should be in moderation. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on your skincare,” she says.

Remember it’s not one size fits all

Because there are so many new innovations and practices swirling around, it can be tempting to go by friends’ reviews or – due to hefty price tags – share with others, but Dr. Lee also cautions it’s important to remember everyone’s concerns are unique.

“The regimen your best friends swear by is not necessarily your regimen because we all have different skin types,” she explains.

Embrace retinol

Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment. (Photo: Amazon)
Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment. (Photo: Amazon)

One ingredient Dr. Lee says most experts can agree on is retinol, typically considered a gold standard in skincare.

“Retin-A or tretinoin (the prescription variety, which is stronger) is great because it has anti-aging properties, it can help with acne, and it can help with brown spots. We even use it in some cases to help minimize the development of skin cancers or pre-cancers,” she explains. 

“It’s a little drying for some people and can be sun-sensitive so you have to adjust to it,” she adds, recommending over-the-counter solutions as a gentler option for those looking to ease in.

Shop it: Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment, $13 (was $15), amazon.com

Don’t forget sunscreen

SLMD Skincare Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15. (Photo: Target)
SLMD Skincare Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15. (Photo: Target)

Shop it: SLMD Skincare Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15, $30, target.com

According to Dr. Lee, sunscreen is also a non-negotiable.

“People don’t use it properly in my opinion because they don’t reapply it. If you applied sunscreen in the morning and you’re heading home from work at the end of the day, you don’t still have sunscreen on,” she cautions.

Brush on Block Mineral Sunscreen Powder. (Photo: Amazon)
Brush on Block Mineral Sunscreen Powder. (Photo: Amazon)

“I think sunscreen powder is really a great additive because it’s easy and you can just put it on [over makeup] really quick. You don’t even need to look in the mirror,” she advises.

Shop it: Brush on Block Mineral Sunscreen Powder with SPF 30, $32, amazon.com

Shop more of Dr. Lee’s skincare essentials: 

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