Derm Diaries: ‘I’m A Dermatologist With Oily, Sensitive, Eczema-Prone Skin. Here’s How I Treat It.’

Dermatologists prescribe products to their patients all day long, but have you ever wondered which ones they personally use? Welcome to Derm Diaries, a series where dermatologists share their skin woes—and solutions—so you can steal secrets from their skincare routines.

Dermatologist and GIRL + HAIR founder Camille Howard-Verovic, MD, FAAD (aka @dermbeautydoc) became very familiar with treating skin conditions from an early age. “I suppose my interest in dermatology sparked when I was that kid with eczema in and out of the doctor’s office,” she says. “No one ever really explained why I had eczema. I remember being told to take cool baths and moisturize my skin,” she continues.

From that point on, she searched for solutions that would work for her sensitive, eczema prone skin, and any other skin issues she was having. “I would leave the doctors office so confused, thinking, that’s it…gentle soap, cool baths and moisturize?” Dr. Howard-Verovic recalls. Once she decided to go to medical school, and had a few dermatology rotations, she got to experience the full range of what she could specialize in as a dermatologist and how she could help patients with their own skin concerns.

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But because she has oily skin and is eczema-prone and sensitive, finding the right products for her own skin is a challenge. “I have oily and resistant skin, resistant in the sense that I can’t use most skincare products without having a terrible reaction,” Dr. Howard-Verovic explains.

On top of that, hyperpigmentation is a skin condition Dr. Howard-Verovic also struggles with and seeks to treat. “My dark marks never quite go away,” she says.Her skincare routine is mostly ingredient-focused, with products she knows she can count on. “I try to incorporate proven ingredients to help with hyperpigmentation, like azelaic acid,” says Dr. Howard-Verovic. The azelaic acid interacts with an enzyme that helps curb melanin production, she explains. Another key ingredient for her dark spot-fighting skincare regiment is Vitamin C, an important antioxidant for combatting hyperpigmentation.

Since she tends to have bad reactions to certain skincare products, Dr. Howard-Verovic has streamlined her beauty routine as much as possible.”I’m a little anti-skin product hoarding,” she says, so she keeps her skincare routine (and medicine cabinet setup) relatively simple, filling it with just a few effective products. Here’s how Dr. Howard-Verovic treats her eczema-prone, sensitive skin and prevents hyperpigmentation from happening.

Each morning begins with a soothing cleanser.

“Every day I use a gentle, non-stripping cleanser: Cerave Hydrating Cream-To-Foam Cleanser. It has ceramides to nourish skin. I use this at night too to kick off my routine.”

Sometimes she goes with a more exfoliating cleanser.

“If I wake up with excess oil around my nose and chin, I tend to use Jaq’s Healing Face Cleanser in the morning.It has papaya extract, which is a gentle fruit exfoliator.”

She always uses a heavy-duty moisturizer.

“I love Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 , especially in the winter. It has ceramides and lipids— all essential components of the skin barrier. I apply this at night too.”

Her top sunscreen pick is also calming for the skin.

“For everyday SPF, I love love Elta MD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 . It has niacinamide, which has great anti-inflammatory properties. And it contains lactic acid, a super gentle alpha hydroxy acid.”

Every night, she smooths on a prebiotic serum.

“My go-to serum is Lancôme Advanced Genifique Face Serum, which has ingredients like hyaluronic acid and bifidus prebiotic.The hyaluronic acid is perfect for attracting moisture, and the bifidus prebiotic creates a harmonious bacteria flora on the skin surface.”

She also treats hyperpigmentation with a prescription Vitamin A compound.

“To tackle and prevent hyperpigmentation, I use a prescription: 0.1% tretinoin. It’s a vitamin A compound, which helps the skin by increasing dermal elastic fibers, boosting collagen production, and decreasing hyperpigmentation.”

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