So we have defined that there are a lot of great skin care products out there and discussed how it is important to choose products that are designed for you and your skin type. Because if you have acne-prone skin but use a product that is heavy and intended for very dry skin, you might make your acne worse! It is so important to be very picky when it comes to choosing products -- one size DOES NOT fit all in the skincare world!

Today, we are going to talk about a very common skin type that I see in the office all the time. The 30-something female patient with mild sun damage and combination skin who wants to start a good regimen to preserve her skin and prevent additional damage.

Here is what I typically recommend:

In the morning

 This patient needs a good gentle cleanser. Products to consider are the SkinCeuticals LHA Cleansing Gel (which we carry), or OTC Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.

After her moisturizer, she needs a good sunscreen that is designed for use on the face. If her skin tends towards blemishes, I always recommend Elta MD UV Clear. If her skin tends towards dryness, I recommend Elta MD UV Daily. At the drugstore, a good brand is Aveeno.

Next, I recommend a Vitamin C serum. My favorite for this age-group is SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF. It is applied every other day in the morning and works to provide additional protection against environmental damage and also helps to repair past damage.

After that, this patient should apply her favorite makeup and her morning skincare routine is done!

In the evening

It is critical to remove makeup at night and use a cleansing regimen that also exfoliates. Here I recommend using the same morning cleanser (SkinCeuticals LHA cleansing gel or Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser) with a Clarisonic face brush. Clarisonics are amazing. They gently exfoliate, which allows your skin to absorb any products that you use and also clarify the complexion, leaving the skin less dull. I use mine every night.

After cleansing, apply a topical retinoid. I usually recommend patients start with OTC Differin 0.1% gel if the skin tends to be sensitive. If the patient has been using a retinoid for awhile, she can probably tolerate tretinoin 0.05% cream (retin-a). If the patient is pregnant or trying to become pregnant, prescription Finacea gel or foam is the best. Use these products every other night to start, and gradually increase to nightly usage.

If the skin tends to be dry, I recommend an light moisturizer after the retinoid -- at the drugstore, a great moisturizer is Vanicream Lite Lotion.

This is a simple skin care regimen that provides all the protection an average 30- year-old female with combination skin needs to exfoliate, protect, and restore!