10 Skincare Products That Might Just Change Your Life

While many skincare and beauty products vehemently split opinion (Benefit Hoola, Crème De La Mer Moisturizing Cream, toner in general to name just a few), some simply work – no matter what. Sure, taste, budget and skin concerns will always be part of the debate, but when it comes to visibly improved results, there are certain products that unarguably get the job done.

In our opinion, medical-grade skincare is the only way to go if you want guaranteed results from tried and tested ingredients and clinically-proven technology. Is it just us, or does it not make 100 percent sense that the products you only find at the derm’s office are going to be the best in the biz? Hmmm, a doctor-recommended retinol in just the right concentration for your skin, or an over-the-counter retinol that contains the bare minimum of active ingredients to do anything? We know which we’d prefer.

Since we got into medical-grade skincare, we’ve had the pleasure of trying many different products and speaking to all manner of plastic surgeons and aesthetic physicians about the lotions and potions they and their patients could not live without.

Herein, ten names to remember next time you’re at the office…

1. SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum

Viewed by many high-profile skin experts as the gold standard in anti-aging solutions, SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum harnesses the power of 12 antioxidants as well as a patented blend of growth factors, vitamins, peptides and hyaluronic acid.

“I see this product as the foundation of any daily skincare plan,” explains Dr. Aric Aghayan of Marin County’s Plastic Surgeon Specialists. We agree.

2. Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50


As much as we all pretend to love applying sunscreen, it’s a bit of a chore, right? This is why Colorescience Sunforgettable is such a genius little product. By blending the powers of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to provide a big-hitting SPF 50 within an easy-to-apply powder, this baby delivers essential sun protection with none of the greasy mess. Plus, it’s so cute and convenient you will actually want to reapply it all day long.

3. PCA Skin Intensive Age Refining Treatment: 0.5% Pure Retinol Night

When PCA Skin reinvented its range of retinols back in 2016, we could not have been more excited. Now, R-OH Retinol Solutions includes four specialized treatments to target sensitive, dull, problematic or aging skin, each with a patented, time-release delivery system called Omnisome. This Omnisome system delivers a high concentration of stable retinol (0.5 percent) slowly, but deeply into the skin which means it can reap the benefits of retinol minus any of the normal irritation. We specifically love this Age Refining version which is just dandy for dry, mature skin.

4. SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

A derm favorite, SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic combines 15 percent vitamin C with 1 percent vitamin E and 0.5 percent ferulic acid – all proven, effective antioxidants, btw. Daily use of this light, soothing serum delivers powerful, broad-spectrum sun protection, while helping to reduce fine lines, wrinkles and scars. It also works hard to prevent collagen breakdown and replenish lost lipids, so is the perfect choice for dry or sensitive skin types. When it comes to antioxidants, this is a total winner.

5. Alastin Restorative Neck Complex

Even though Alastin Restorative Neck Complex only launched in January, 2018, it’s become a fast favorite here at HintMD. Pumped with peptides, antioxidants and Alastin’s TriHex Technology, the ‘before’ and ‘after’ results we’ve seen really do speak for themselves – we’re talking a tighter, firmer neck with a massive reduction in redness and pigmentation. It’s also super lightweight, making it a joy to apply. Very important, if you ask us.

6. Jan Marini C-ESTA Face Serum

If you’ve been paying attention to this list, you’ll have noticed that antioxidants like vitamin C are a big deal. And if you’re looking for a great vit C treatment, this has it covered. Known for centuries as a potent ingredient for maintaining youthful, glowing skin, vitamin C is one of the most widely used antioxidants in skincare. When formulated correctly and packaged in an opaque, airtight container like C-ESTA serum, it treats the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, helps fade acne scars and uneven skin tone, boosts collagen production, reverses UV-related skin damage and enhances the overall effectiveness of sunscreen. (Ps: we’re not into celebrity endorsements as a rule, but Meghan Markle is a major Jan Marini fan. Just saying).

7. SkinBetter Science AlphaRet Overnight Cream

It’s not often your skin reaps the benefits of both a retinoid and AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) from one skincare product – mainly because their combined potency can be seriously irritating to the skin. But Skinbetter Science has totally cracked it with this AlphaRet Overnight Cream. Great for providing deep exfoliation and hydration, it literally could not be more effective at smoothing lines and fading discoloration. Aging, schmaging.

8. Neocutis Lumière Bio-Restorative Eye Cream

New York dermatologist, Dr. Sandra Kopp counts this as one of her must-have nighttime skincare secrets and we can see why. Powered by a patented blend of peptides called PSP (Processed Skin Cell Proteins), Lumière not only helps smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, but it also reduces puffiness and dark circles all-in-one. HintMD writer Georgia is also a big fan.

9. EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 Facial Sunscreen


Google ‘best sunscreen’ and you’ll see EltaMD UV Clear come up time and time again. Why? Because it’s non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic and fragrance- and paraben-free. Oh, and more importantly it truly works. Just ask your derm. Or the Skin Cancer Foundation which, btw, recommends all of EltaMD sunscreens.

10. ZO Skin Health Growth Factor Serum


Last, but by no means least, comes ZO Skin Health Growth Factor Serum from the master of skincare, Dr. Zein Obagi. Overflowing with amino acids (18 if you’re interested), this light, gel-like treatment has been proven to improve firmness, texture, radiance and elasticity as well as reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Think of it as your glow-to, if you will. We do.