Battling pigmentation and dull skin? This dermatologist's skincare routine has the answer
Dr Niketa Sonavane keeps it simple yet effective with powerhouse ingredients
Sitting ringside to every new creation in the beauty world, they know their studs from the duds. No amount of shiny packaging and marketing gimmicks can draw them into the hype, no matter how pretty it looks. So when a multi-award-winning cosmetic dermatologist like Dr Niketa Sonavane picks a product for her own skincare routine, you know it’s got to be good.
There are many products that make it to her bathroom shelf, depending on what her skin needs. When it comes to everyday use, she prefers to keep her routine simple yet effective. “I love products with light and breathable textures that are suitable for layering and patented products that have strong research backing them.”
Her secret hack to good skin? “Once or twice a week I practice skin fasting at bedtime. I just cleanse my skin and apply nothing at all.”
Read on for the holy grail ingredients and products that make it into this dermatologist’s skincare routine.
A good cleanse at the end of every day takes off the day’s worth of makeup, sunscreen, grime and pollution. Clearing out your pores of bacteria and impurities, cleansing prevents product build-up that can result in blackheads and whiteheads, making it a key product in any skincare routine. “Effective daily cleansing is one of the most important parts of my daily skincare routine. It prevents my skin from getting congested and also ensures deeper penetration of other treatment products,” says Sonavane.
Doctor’s pick: “I love the Ekseption enzyme powder cleanse and peel. This face wash powder contains papaya enzyme which cleans deeply and exfoliates gently. It brightens my skin and makes it baby soft. I also love the Filorga mousse dermaquillante which infuses hyaluronic acid while cleansing. It hydrates the skin and gives a dewy ageless appearance.”
Vitamin C, Vitamin E, green tea – antioxidants protect our skin cells against the damaging effects of free radicals born from pollution, sun damage and poor lifestyle habits. As Sonavane says, “Think of them as your daily defence against environmental damage.”
Doctor’s pick: “I always apply an antioxidant serum during the day time. My favourite is the Ultra V Idebenone ampoule. It contains idebenone, hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Coenzyme Q10 and kinetin. Idebenone is one of the most powerful antioxidants. I love the fact that this serum protects, brightens, tightens and refines the skin. Another favourite is the Sesderma C-Vit liposomal serum. It contains liposomal vitamin C for deeper penetration and is suitable for sensitive skin types.”
Day protection gel
Stepping out during the day without a broad-spectrum sunscreen on is like knocking back a dozen tequila shots on an empty stomach. Sonavane believes that considering our changing lifestyles and climate, it’s still not enough. “Gone are the days when only sunscreen was enough to protect the skin. Today I stress on protection from blue light emitted by screen devices, infra-red rays, visible light in addition to the usual UVA and UVB protection.”
Doctor’s pick: “I love the Heliocare range of sunscreens with the patented fern block technology. Heliocare is a brand that makes the largest range of sunscreens to suit the requirement of every skin type. My favourite is the Heliocare 360 gel oil-free sunscreen that protects a variety of radiations. It is light in texture and is naturally tinted which keeps my skin even-toned and fresh all day.”
Night repair cream
Your evening routine is when you can indulge in your treatments. As you get some much-needed rest through the night, active ingredients work to restore your skin. Pick the right night-time products depending on what your skin needs. “My skin is prone to tanning and like all other 40-something women, I like to ensure a firmer skin. I tend to alternate between two or more different night creams depending on the requirement of my skin,” says Sonavane.
Doctor’s pick: “I highly recommend the Bioderma White Objective serum for pigmentation. It has a WO patent, glycolic acid and Vitamin C. These ingredients provide a power-packed pigment control and rejuvenating effect. The other night cream that I love is the Sesderma Retiage anti-aging gel-cream. It has the 3 retinol system, hyaluronic acid, peptides, growth factors and Vitamin C. This light-textured cream gives my skin a baby soft texture and firmness.”
Weekly intensive repair
Weekends are for TLC, and Sonavane agrees. “My Saturday nights are for wine, Netflix and skin TLC. After an entire week of pampering patients, I feel like the work stress starts to show on my skin. I focus on deep exfoliation and deep nourishment during the weekend.”
Doctor’s pick: “I can swear by the exfoliating power of the Vitamin C Microdermabrasion by The Body Shop. This one is not for those with a sensitive skin type. This microdermabrasion in a tube has Vitamin C-rich Amazonian camu camu berry, shea butter and crushed garnets to nourish and exfoliate. It makes my skin as smooth as silk each time that I use it. I usually follow this up with the Shangpree Marine Jewel sheet mask. This mask comes in three variants – hydrating, illuminating and nourishing. I am in love with each one of them. These amazingly calming and regenerating masks contain extracts of pearl, oyster, seaweed and hyaluronic acid.”
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