Photo: Courtesy of Dr Elyse Love
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At the age of 14, Dr. Elyse Love was struggling with “pretty severe” acne and struggling to find a dermatologist who understood black skin. Now based in New York, Dr Love practices at GlamDerm Gramercy Laser and Medical Dermatology. She grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, where there were “like two black dermatologists,” she says. (Almost two decades later, a 2016 report published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology said that only about 3% of all American dermatologists are black.)
âMy parents and I would go to all these highly regarded dermatologists – we were paying out of pocket – but they just couldn’t come up with a routine that worked for my skin,â she recalls. When she finally found a black dermatologist through trial and error, her skin cleared up within months. It was then that Dr. Love realized the impact of the skin on our self-esteem and the way we interact with the world, she says.
Today, she works with brands like Ustawi, founded by former model and Miss Congo Natacha Paugam, which use African plants like the baobab fruit (a superfood rich in antioxidants and vitamin C) to address concerns. people of color (such as hyperpigmentation). “The first thing you want to do when designing a colored skin product is to make sure it includes ingredients that will help balance melanin production and make the user less prone to pigmentation.” , says Dr Love, who is the brand’s senior dermatology advisor. âThe caveat is that the product must also be gentle, because if it’s too irritating, you start over. “
It relies on brands that âhave this respect for scienceâ, such as La Roche-Posay, Perricone MD and Doctor Rogers. She just doesn’t want to waste her time with products that don’t work on her skin, which is usually oily in the summer but dry in the winter.
Dr. Love also never forgets to apply a cream to her neck, which she calls âthe most neglected areaâ of skin care. âPeople shower, they clean their bodies, they wash their faces, they put on this whole skincare routine and the neck is completely given up,â she explains. Just as the older generations are learning sun care and using sunscreen for the first time, she believes necks will be “the millennial problem” down the line: that neck product. ‘â
Below is a look at Dr Love’s nighttime routine, including the moisturizer she uses during the winter, the lip balm she also uses on her eyes and, of course, the neck cream. that she uses twice a day.
âDouble cleansing, in general, is a good idea if you’re out during the day, especially if you’re wearing makeup. My preference for the first cleanse is micellar water, and it’s my favorite because it’s actually a gel. This means you don’t even need cotton rounds or bamboo rounds which makes it a bit more environmentally friendly. It almost looks very crystal clear, and it breaks up any oil, dirt, makeup that I have on my skin.
âLa Roche-Posay and Cerave are my favorites, but I like Toleriane because it’s just a gentle and effective cleanser. It will remove whatever is left on your face, but it won’t dry out or strip the skin.
âI’ve been using prescription retinoids since I was 14, so my skin is pretty resistant to retinoids – no ‘ugly retinol’ here. I use Arazlo, which uses a retinoid called Tazarotene. It is formulated in this highly hydrating lotion, so it is very tolerable, and it is very effective in preserving smooth skin texture, preventing whiteheads and blackheads, and also minimizing hyperpigmentation.
âMy retinoid is quite tolerable, but it’s still a retinoid, so I’m taking it with Ustawi Niacinamide Dark Spot Corrector, which is actually meant to be a full face treatment, not a spot treatment. Niacinamide obviously is the one. flagship ingredient of 2021 and for very good reasons: it is anti-inflammatory, it supports the skin barrier and it decreases pigmentation.
âFor the summer, I’m obsessed with Toleriane Double Repairing Facial Moisturizer from La Roche-Posay. This is probably the moisturizer that most of my patients use and that is because it is a light, very effective and gentle moisturizer. It’s oil free, so it’s good for people with oily skin too, but it adds a fair amount of moisture.
In winter, I love SkinBetter Science Trio Rebalancing Moisturizer. It’s a bit more of a puffy version of Double Repair, but since my skin is traditionally oily but dry in the winter, I need something very hydrating but still very light.
âThis cream is quite thick when you take it out of the container, but when it gets into the neck, it’s very light. It is very smooth. It contains caffeine and amino acids, and so (1) it hydrates the skin and (2) it makes it look better, I think, immediately. Then theoretically, with amino acids, it helps support the skin barrier. Since it is colder, I started using it twice a day. I haven’t really used it in the summer just because I didn’t want a lot on the skin. I highly recommend it. “
âIt’s the queen’s beauty ointment. I love all of the ingredients in it and it was formulated by a dermatologist. It can be used on the lips, it can be used under the eyes, then it can also be used on the cracks of the hands.