The Skin Care Products Dr. Irwin Uses

What skin care products does Dr. Irwin use? And why does she like those in particular? She describes her regimen, morning and evening, and talks about the skin care products she uses.


Okay, I’m Dr. Brandith Irwin, and this is my blog post for

This blog post is on what skin care products I use. Because I get asked constantly, what products do I use, and why?

If you look at the magazines now you’ll see all these magazines with these little blurbs on the front that say six dermatologists tell all about their products you know and that sort of thing. So I think if you want to treat yourself to something for the holidays, this is my holiday video.

If you want a really great new product to try in the ones that I’m going to talk about, there’s definitely some good options.

So just hang on and I’m just going to go through from day one to day two, and if these products look a little grungy, it’s just because I actually use them. And so, I tried to clean them off really well but I apologize if they look a little groady.

Ok so, number one, you need a gentle cleanser. And the one I like is called Eminence Lemon Cleanser. It’s an organic lemon cleanser, but there’s tons of good ones out there.

You don’t need to go spend a lot of money with a cleanser. You can buy Cetaphil Lotion Cleanser in the drugstore for a good price. It’s just fine. I just happen to like this because I like lemon scent. So I love this one, and it’s organic.

Like a lot of people I’m thinking more and more about the impact on our planet of all the products, from this multi-billion dollar product industry. So I’m trying more and more to find good organic products that really are as effective as non-organic. And it’s tough but you know, it’s getting better. So the cleanser is what I do first.

Then, this is my morning regimen, I put on this. It’s called TNS Recovery Cream. It’s made by SkinMedica. It is cell growth factors.

One of my patients said I think of this like fertilizer for my skin. And that’s kind of what it is. There is some data behind this. I have a lot of experience with it. A lot of patients really swear by this. A lot of dermatologists use it. Um, I do think it has an effect on skin. How to quantify that is always tough. But again, it contains cell growth factors from young fibroblasts, which are the cells that make collagen.

And over that I put an antioxidant, which is the Vitamin C Complex by SkinMedica.

The reason I use this one is because the vehicle is compatible with the TNS. Some Vitamin C’s that are perfectly excellent will get a little grungy on the skin or a little flaky on the skin if you try to apply them together. The reason I use this one is because they go on together really well. And then if it’s really dry out there I’ll put a moisturizer over it but then sometimes I just use my sunscreen.

So the moisturizer that I’ve been using these days, which I really love is, again, an organic one by Eminence called Sugar Plum Whip Moisturizer that smells like heaven. You could eat it, a really nice product.

They also make a Blueberry Soy one for even dryer skins, which I think is nice because the soy can have kind of an estrogenic effect in skin. And for post menopausal women who are really dry, I love that Blueberry Soy too. So, really nice product.

I don’t have any financial interest in any of these companies. I don’t accept money from any of them. So I don’t have any vested interests.

And then, sunscreen. You can’t forget that, right? The two that I love these days are, first, the Skinceuticals active UV defense that has Mexoryl. This is much better for dryer skin though. If you have oily skin, do not go for this. It has 3% Mexoryl, which is a good UVA blocker.

I still do, in general though, prefer Zinc as a sunscreen. It’s a natural mineral and if it happens to come in nano particle size, probably won’t hurt you because it is Zinc.

So if you’re really in the natural end of things, you might want to go for Zinc. Of the Zinc ones I love this product. It’s made by DermaQuest. It’s ZinClear SPF 30. It has 18% Zinc, which is hard to believe because it does not go on chalky at all. It’s better than any of the Skinceuticals sunscreens for that reason.

The only beef I have with this product, and, company, I hope you’re listening, is because this 2 fluid ounce size is ridiculously small. It’s absurd. You need to make it bigger, the size bigger and bring the cost down a little bit because, using this, I can go through a tube of it in a month or less which is just nuts.

Okay, so don’t forget your eye area. This is Dermalogica Total Eye Repair. I love this product.

There’s also another product made by Colorscience that I adore called My Favorite Eye Cream. It doesn’t say sunscreen on it, but, you know what, it has a high percentage of Zinc and Titanium in it. It works great as a sunscreen around the eye. Um, this is another nice product made by Dermalogica. You can get all these on if you want to too.

And so at night, same thing. Love that Lemon Cleanser. And, let me grab these. Um, so at night, then I go to my Vitamin A. You always want to use your Vitamin A Creams at night because sunlight inactivates them.

And you know, here’s the classic Renova tube. I still do use this. Um, and then there’s another one, also made by SkinMedica, which is the Retinol Complex. It’s a little bit gentler.

And if you’re a person who’s tried all these different Vitamin A creams and you still get irritated, don’t go there then. I mean if you really have tried them, you tried them over your moisturizer after waiting for ten minutes, all of that, and you’re still having problems with irritation, then try this: just substitute. Try, instead of a Vitamin A cream, another antioxidant.

This is a good antioxidant. It’s 90% Polyphenols from Green Tea Extracts. It’s made by Replenix and it’s a possible alternative to Vitamin A creams. It doesn’t do exactly the same thing, of course, because it’s an antioxidant, but it’s well tolerated by sensitive skins.

And then I want to talk about a couple of specialty products. Okay so the eye area. I know this is getting kind of long. So eye area, if you want to go organic the Eminence Wild Plum Eye Cream, really nice.

If you have dark circles this Replenix Intensive Eye Lightening Serum is the only one I’ve ever found that my patients and I actually think has a prayer of making a difference. It seems to a little bit. So try that if you’re having trouble with dark circles, Replenix Eye Lightening Serum actually.

This is another one that’s kind of nice. This is a Cellex-C Advanced Eye Firming Cream. It has a little Vitamin C in it, but it’s gentle and it comes in this huge jar which lasts forever. So if you’re working on your budget, you know, this thing, you won’t run out of this for 6 months to a year.

And then for Melasma patients, I’m going to talk about Melasma in another blog, but again the plant based “bleaching creams” you know are generally not very effective.

This one, Meladerm, I kind of think the jury’s still out on it. I’ve tested it; I’m having some patients test it. It contains five or six plant-based lightening agents. It’s called Meladerm and it actually seems to work a little bit. Sooooo, might be worth a try if you’re a Melasma sufferer and you can’t use the hydroquinones or don’t want to use the hydroquinones.

So, okay, I think that’s it. Hopefully you get a good idea for your holiday gifts for a friend or whatever. Enjoy!

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Read Dr. Irwin’s article on Which Types of Skin Care Products Do You Really Need?

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin, and I believe that consumers need and deserve a medically trained and unbiased skincare advocate.

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One of the best investments in your skin is your daily skincare. Why? Because you can prevent many problems with blotchy skin color, lack of glow, texture, some types of acne, and fine lines with good skincare products. You can also correct some of these problems with effective skincare products. Great skincare is often more expensive because quality ingredients are expensive. Some companies spend on research/development which benefits all of us and adds to the cost. Are they worth it? In general - yes!