– So, Vicki Enna says “makeup, wipes, are okay “if you used with another cleansing method.” Unless it’s Friday night and you are tipsy. (upbeat percussive music) – My name is Dr. Shereene Idriss, and I am a cosmetic, board-certified dermatologist here in New York City. I am here today to take a deep dive into the go to bed with me comments section. I’m getting ready to roll up my sleeves and start World War, I guess, three because people are really opinionated.

So there is no typical nighttime skincare routine because everybody’s different, but to simplify it, at night you really wanna take the time to take care of your skin, to let it regenerate and to let it heal from basically the whole day. So let’s start with just a much debated issue and I never thought this would be a much-debated issue but cleansers. (percussive music) So, Vicki Enna says “makeup wipes are okay “if used with another cleansing method.” And then Alex Tostado says, “no, still very harsh, “causes wrinkles and irritation.” And then Jade Ava says “makeup wipes do nothing.” Unless it’s Friday night and you are tipsy, because I only keep makeup wipes next to my bed for Friday nights when maybe I’m a little bit too tired to actually go and wash my face. Otherwise, I do agree that it’s not something I usually push or recommend. A, it’s not environmentally friendly unless you use biodegradable makeup wipes, which are great, but it’s not enough.

It helps get rid of the makeup, but you still have to cleanse your skin and get rid of all the impurities that have built up throughout the day. So I am actually a fan of a double cleanse. Not to sound cliche, but it doesn’t necessarily have to start with an oil cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser. For me, double cleansing means getting your makeup off and I use a micellar water in order to do that, followed by a water-based cleanser in order to get rid of any extra residue left on your skin.

All right. Ooh, Elon Musk, okay. So, why are you commenting on Bazaar’s videos? Shouldn’t you be making cars, number one. But Elon, “an oil cleanser is used “before a normal cleanser and does not actually “cleanse your face in the same way a normal cleanser does.” Edit, oh, he edited his own comment. Oh, interesting. “If oil cleansers were meant to be your only cleanser, “then dermatologists, estheticians, and other experts “probably wouldn’t be telling everyone to double cleanse “and use a water-based cleanser after an oil one.” I mean, I guess Elon is a man of many talents because he’s right, I mean oil cleansers kind of help melt the makeup off your skin, so Elon, I mean Elon is truly a man of many talents.

So Miriam Felt, right. Oh, I said that weird. “You’re not supposed to leave micellar water on your face. “It’s literally a cleanser so you have to wash it off. “Otherwise it can irritate your skin “and it definitely does not restore “your pH level in your skin.” I love the authority, but she’s kind of right too in the sense that I use micellar water as a makeup remover. Micellar water is basically made up of micels, which are small little oil droplets in a hydrating water base, so that kind of helps break up the crud off your face. That being said, it doesn’t get rid of all the impurities that have built up throughout the day, so I do, I use micellar water in that double cleansing method and I followed it with a gentle water-based cleanser.

Now does it actually irritate your skin? It has never irritated mine from personal experience so I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that. Sue Harrison is asking “what’s with all the scrubbing? “Any dermatologist will tell you physical scrubs “are bad for your skin, plus that oil made “by always calm skin break out in little spots. “It smells nice though and I use it as a scent now.” So I agree, save it as a scent and it’s a good thing I agree with all the other dermatologists. I am not a huge fan of scrubbing because people can just go overboard with this, especially if they already have active acne. You can cause micro-tears in your skin and you can cause worsening of your scarring. So when it comes to scrubbing, less is more. If you’re somebody who has already an even skin tone and an even skin texture, then scrubbing every once in awhile is not necessarily a bad thing but I would not recommend it as part of my daily routine. There are chemical scrubs and you have physical scrubs. Physical scrubs tend to be physical, so you will have little tiny beads in them, they can be made out of sand for example, you can even have for example some made out of walnuts, which you may or may not have heard of, whereas chemical scrubs are exactly that, they’re chemical and so they’re either alpha hydroxy acids or beta hydroxy acids and they tend to be gentler.

They basically break up the glue between your skin cells that they kind of flake off, the dead skin cells, not all your skin cells. As a general rule of thumb, the cheaper the scrub, the bigger the bead, when it comes to a physical scrub and it’s probably worse for the environment so if you can just avoid it then that’s great. So let’s move on to everyone’s favorite steps and probably one of my favorite steps, serums.

(percussive music) So what’s the difference between serums and essences, and that’s such a hard word to say. So those were recently reintroduced from let’s say the Korean skincare trend back into the western skincare regimen, and it’s just complicated everybody’s life because they’re like what’s an essence, what’s a serum, do we need both, do we not need both? They are basically more or less the same thing in that they both deliver a highly concentrated dose of an active ingredient before you moisturize. Essences are however more lightweight than serums and the dose of active ingredient, the concentration is a little bit less than in a serum. So if you’re somebody for example who has very sensitive skin and can’t really tolerate much, I would tell you pick an essence over a serum if you’re worried that the serum is going to make you irritated. Do people actually really need to use a serum in their nighttime routine, like absolutely? No, it depends on you and it depends on what your skin problems are, and whether or not you wanna use a serum to address those areas of concern.

So Anisia Magdaong, I don’t know if I said that right, says “so many different serums she’s putting “on her face, is that even okay?” And the Cubicle say “yes, three is the limit.” Well I don’t know who made Cubicle the serum police because I’ve never heard that three was the limit. I mean you can knock yourself out. Whether or not you wanna just stick to one serum or two serums or three or maybe four or five. Can somebody put too many things on their face? Absolutely, if your skin cannot tolerate it. If somebody’s a complete virgin and just starting out with the nighttime routine and they’ve never, ever entered this territory, I would tell them at least for sure start with a makeup remover, if you do wear makeup, a gentle cleanser, probably a simple moisturizer, and start with that. See if you can adhere to that, because you’d be surprised, it’s like going to the gym, people just kind of fall off the bandwagon after a couple of days and they don’t wanna stick to it so I don’t want to intimidate you.

Once you know that you can stick to those three simple steps, then we add a serum in between washing your face with a cleanser and the moisturizer, and I would honestly generally advise you to do it slowly. See if your skin is tolerating each thing and see if you’re able to put them all together every night on your skin without breaking out or going crazy. When you layer certain products with each other, you’re actually increasing their efficacy overall and especially if you know what your skin concern is, you can really tailor it to have a stronger skincare regimen with very affordable product. So let’s move on now into active ingredients. (percussive music) First off, what are actives? And actives are usually FDA-approved to deliver something specific for your skin. So for example, vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps you protect your skin against you know, free radicals and pollution throughout the day and that has been FDA approved for that purpose. Another active for example is benzoyl peroxide, which has antibacterial properties that help fight acne. A third active is hydroquinone which is a brightening agent which can be found over the counter within the U.S., or prescription strength at your dermatologist’s office.

So actives vary across the board and you just have to be a well-educated consumer to know what you’re using on your skin. So Random Irish Girl says “don’t use vitamin C serum “in the morning, it makes your skin “more sensitive to the sun. “It’s best used at night and wear sunscreen “the next day of course.” I mean she’s not completely wrong in the sense that I like vitamin C at night to help restore the damage that was done throughout the day, but I also like using vitamin C in the morning before I apply sunscreen to help protect me for my day.

But if you are somebody who has very sensitive skin, and let’s say you’re using a retinol, then I would break it up and use the retinol at night and the vitamin C in the morning followed by sunscreen, of course, always and that’s always a non-negotiable. – [Producer] Is there such thing as too much vitamin C? – No, not in my book. I mean is there something as too much vitamin C? I guess it depends on your skin type, if you’re somebody who’s extremely sensitive and just cannot tolerate it but for most people, I mean vitamin C is like just, it’s like a blessing in a bottle. Colleen says “putting retinol and vitamin C products “at the same time is a big no.” She’s wrong. This is a misconception. People thought, and this is where you can probably have like a little math thing going on, that retinol changes the pH of your skin and vitamin C has extremely acidic pH and therefore if you have one over another, you’re gonna deactivate the retinol, but that’s not the case, because your skin is actually very acidic when it comes to pH, and so it’s actually been proven that when you use both of them in conjunction, they actually increase their efficacy and so if your skin can tolerate it, if you are somebody who does not have extremely sensitive skin, if you’re not prone to irritations and if you’ve already been using a retinol and your skin is used to it, then by all means, try layering on the vitamin C, ’cause you will have a better effect overall.

Retinols are a vitamin A derivative and there’s a lot of confusion around them as to whether or not you can use them during the day or use them at night. Most of them are formulated to be used at night but they can definitely also be used throughout the day, just make sure that that’s what’s formulated, that’s what’s packaged, that’s what’s marketed for that retinol specifically, because retinols bypass the step where they convert the vitamin A, so it’s already active when you apply it whereas retinoids, which are prescription strength actually need to be converted in your skin in order to become active and that needs to take place at night because the sun can deactivate it.

So let’s talk moisturizers. (percussive music) Basically, moisturizers are really important for your skin because they help restore the balance of your skin, they help protect the skin barrier, your skin barrier basically. There are lightweight moisturizers, there are mid-weight moisturizers and then there are really heavy moisturizers and they’re not all created equal, so just to give you just a background, there are humectants. Humectants are a type of moisturizer that attracts water from the deepest layers of your skin and bring it up to the surface. There are then emollients which act as a filler. And emollients basically fill the space between the skin cells in order to kind of create a protective barrier which is your skin.

And then there are occlusives, which sit on top of the skin and basically prevent your skin from losing water, prevents dehydration, but is it actually really moisturizing is a debate for another day. Everyone is different. If you are somebody for example who has very oily skin, you probably want to use a humectant because you still wanna bring moisture to the superficial layer of your skin. If you’re somebody who is combination skin, maybe dry skin, then you wanna use an emollient to repair your skin barrier, and if you’re somebody then who’s extremely dry or if it’s winter and you’re living in a dry environment, then you wanna use an occlusive on top of everything in order to seal it in.

I don’t mind mixing ingredients or products together to save time, the only thing I will tell you is probably not to mix your SPF with a moisturizer ’cause it might dilute the SPF a little bit. Moisturizers with SPF in them have gone through a very rigorous process before they actually hit the shelves, they have to get FDA approval and they have to have been tested, whereas if you take a regular SPF sunscreen and mix it with a moisturizer, you might be diluting it and you might be losing its protective value.

So I would at that point definitely trust the manufacturer of the product that you’re buying, if it’s a moisturizer with SPF. “I thought Dr. Dray said these types “of hyaluronic acid moisturizers should be followed “by an emollient to seal everything in. “Kind of interesting to see another take on this.” Whereas Wendigo says “ideally, they should “to lock in that hydration, with an occlusive.” And Wendigo further comments “unsure, especially as “she says she has very dry, sensitive skin. “It would lock in that hyaluronic acid quite nicely.” Do you mean hyaluronic acid serums, because yes, I do believe that hyaluronic acid serums, if that’s something that you wanna use, should be followed by a type of moisturizer, whether that’s an emollient or a humectant or an occlusive, to seal it in because hyaluronic acid itself is basically drawing water out, and trying to bring water as well almost like, almost like a humectant up to the surface of your skin.

So hyaluronic acid serum alone is not necessarily moisturizing, it can be plumping, but it’s not moisturizing. So Sara Salinas says “oils and vitamin E, LOL, “none of those are moisturizers.” Sarah gets a slow clap, because they’re not moisturizers. Oils are not gonna moisturize your skin, and with that, that brings us into our next section, oils. (percussive music) Oils are an issue of a huge debate and personally, I don’t really use facial oils all that much. Sometimes I’ll use for example marula oil, because it’s definitely much more moisturizing as an oil itself and it’s much more lightweight but oils in general, I find break me out, so they don’t work for me.

But if you’re asking what the benefit of an oil does, an oil boosts the efficacy of your moisturizer. It can enhance the moisturizer’s effects on your skin, but it’s not going to hydrate your skin, it’s just going to help seal in that moisture in your skin, preventing your skin from having the water evaporate out and keeping that moisturizer, whatever it is you’re using sealed in. “FYI, oils are not really helpful to the skin. “We all have natural oils on our skin and our face anyway. “Putting all that natural Argan oil or other types “apparently doesn’t really improve skin at all.” I mean again, it’s so dependent on you and your skin and what your issues are, but I do think when it comes to oils, understanding what type of oil you’re using, whether or not it’s a lightweight oil, whether or not it’s a comedogenic oil can make a huge difference if you’re somebody who wants to go down the oil route.

Not all oils are created equal. Coconut oil for example is very comedogenic and it does clog your pores, whereas marula oil is much more lightweight and actually can be moisturizing to a certain degree, so understanding where your oils are derived from can make a very big difference in how you use them in your skincare routine. So Le Lo writes “serums first, oils, “then moisturizer, night cream is an actual “game changer though.” good for you if it works for you. In general, rule of thumb you wanna go from lightest to heaviest and starting off with serums followed by moisturizers and ending it with your oil. Antony Ortiz said “any oils made from any type of foods “or vegetables is something you should never, “ever put on your face, ever.” I don’t know what kind of foods or vegetables people are putting on their face.

I’m guilty, sometimes I use an egg white mask but that’s not an oil, but I think what Antony Ortiz here is trying to say is that do it yourself oils are not to be used on your face, and I don’t necessarily disagree with him. I mean keep the kitchen in the kitchen and you know, people have really studied different formulations and it’s not something that’s whipped up overnight in a kitchen that actually delivers results.

So I agree with Antony. Thank you so much for joining me. My name is Dr. Shereene Idriss and this has been Derm Reacts, a new ongoing series by Harper’s Bazaar straight from the comment sections of Go to Bed With Me. If you have any other questions or concerns or if you just plain-out disagree with me, drop your comment below and we will address them next time, either with me, probably not, or another dermatologist. (calm music).

Read More: Light Therapy | Photodynamic (PDT) [Dermatology]

By