Which ingredients really work on skin, day in and day out? Ask a dermatologist. “We see results happening in real time on our patients,” says sought-after New York dermatologist Macrene Alexiades, who has three Harvard degrees, a Fulbright, and numerous dermatological honors. Here, some of Alexiades’s favorites to look for.
Moisture-Locking HumectantsMACRENE actives High Performance Face Serum, goop, $195
Humectants draw moisture into the skin and are beneficial for all skin types. “Humectants also help deliver ingredients into the skin,” Alexiades says. One of her favorites is plumping, firming hyaluronic acid.
Protective Fatty AlcoholsMACRENE actives High Performance Neck & Décolletage Treatment, goop, $295
“These are emollients derived from plants that fortify the skin barrier, increasing and retaining skin hydration,” says Alexiades. “They don’t block pores and are safe to use on blemish-prone skin, but they really moisturize.” She especially loves jojoba oil and coconut butter.
Ultrahydrating OcclusivesMACRENE actives High Performance Face Cream, goop, $225
Occlusives—think ointments and creams—work by forming a protective barrier to trap in moisture. “These are great for mature, dry, and sensitive skin, as well as for people with eczema or broken skin barriers,” Alexiades says.
Gentle Exfoliantsgoop Beauty GOOPGLOW Dark Spot Exfoliating Sleep Milk, goop, $98/$89 with subscription
Regular exfoliation helps promote cell renewal and allows skin to more effectively soak up and maintain moisture. But it’s possible to do too much. “Avoid overexfoliating, which degrades the skin’s moisture barrier,” Alexiades says. This one uses time-released AHAs, so it’s both gentle and powerful.
Mineral SunscreenUnsun Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen, goop, $29
Any dermatologist will tell you that wearing sunscreen every day is the most important skin habit to make. This clean, all-mineral one sinks in like magic and delivers SPF 30.