The 5 Essential Products for Daily Skin Care

If you see a dermatologist, you might be surprised to learn that they either aren't practicing cosmetic skincare, or if they are, have limited (if any) time available during appointments to discuss specific product recommendations. That challenge is part of what led me to found SHOPDERM. 

Laura Beacham, MMSc, PA-C


I’m Laura Beacham, MMSC, PA-C. I completed the top-ranked Emory University School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program in 2015, earning my Masters degree in Medical Science. By day, I’m applying that background as a dedicated Physician Assistant at Dermatology Associates of Georgia. On my time, I'm on a mission to pare back the labyrinth of skin care options by conducting thorough research and sifting through clinical trials data to curate products that really work, and that are really worth the investment.

I advocate for quality over quantity, and recommend that my patients invest in a small assortment of products that will have a big impact rather than a 13-step routine that won't realistically fit into their busy lifestyles. In that spirit, let's break down the morning and nighttime routines that feature my 5 essential products for daily skin care.

Why Daily Skin Care is Important

Your skin is your body's largest organ. It does much more than make you look pretty, though; it actually has many important jobs. It protects us and shields our skeleton and internal organs from bacteria and other harmful substances, plays a critical role in our immune systems, regulates our body temperature, and much more. Daily skin care is an important measure that takes care of your skin so that it can take care of you.

Determining Which Skincare Products are Right for You

Part of what you get from SHOPDERM that you won't find with other providers is one-on-one attention. The products I'm recommending here are some of my favorites that work for most skin types, but if you have a specific concern or condition, you can either reach out to us on social media for advice or consult with a skin care professional you trust first.


Laura Beacham, MMSc, PA-C | Essential Products for Daily Skin Care

Essential Products for Your Morning Skin Care Routine

All morning skin care routines should include a cleanser, a moisturizer, and a sunscreen. If you're in your late teens or twenties, this might be all you need: it's what constitutes our PROTECT bundle for a reason. These products will maintain your skin's healthy glow by keeping it clean, nourished, and protected. The product I often recommend adding to this foundation is Vitamin C. Studies like this one from Oregon State University have shown that it helps protect your skin from a host of issues from sunburn and photoaging to hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and more.

Step 1: Cleanser

The foundation of every daily skin care routine is a good cleanser. It removes dirt, oil, and bacteria from your skin, unclogging your pores, and helping ensure your anti-aging and treatment products work correctly. Beyond that, the CDC reports that regularly washing your face actually plays a key role in preventing the spread of some illnesses and diseases, like colds, the flu, COVID-19 and others.

Do You Need an Expensive Cleanser?

The short answer is no. You actually don't need to worry about active ingredients in your cleanser at all. It's in contact with your face for a short amount of time, so this is an area where I typically recommend my patients conserve budget so that they can apply it to serums and creams where it will have a much greater impact on their results. If you want to save money here, drug store products like the Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser from CeraVe are perfectly fine cleansing products for daily skin care.

Products for Daily Skin Care | Revision Skincare Gentle Foaming Cleanser

Revision Skincare Gentle Foaming Cleanser

The high-quality cleanser I recommend most for daily use is the Revision Skincare Gentle Foaming Cleanser. It's a great dermatologist recommended option for all skin types, including those with sensitive skin. Its rich, velvety foam calms and moisturizes your skin with Chamomile, Aloe Vera, and Allantoin, leaving it soft and smooth.

Step 2: Vitamin C Correcting Complex

Numerous studies, including from the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, have confirmed the many benefits that topical Vitamin C can have as part of a daily skin care routine. Harvard Health shares that it can improve wrinkles, overall skin texture and appearance, amplify protection from sunlight, reduce dark spots, and more. This is an area where it's worthwhile to invest a little more: it doesn't just help you correct a wide variety of common skin care concerns, it's also shown to add even more sun protection to your routine, too.

Adding Vitamin C to Your Skin Care Routine

As with most new active ingredients, I recommend that you gradually introduce Vitamin C into your daily skin care regimen to see how your skin reacts. You might consider using it in your morning routine 3-5 days per week to start, and working your way up to daily use.

When applying it, you should layer it after your cleanser, but before your SPF. When layered underneath your daily sunscreen with SPF 30+, studies have shown that it gives your skin even more light protection! “Think of it as a safety net to help neutralize free radical damage that can occur from UV light penetration despite our best protection efforts with sunscreen,” says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D. in an article for Vogue.

Products for Daily Skin Care: Revision Skincare C+ Correcting Complex

Revision Skincare C+ Correcting Complex

Hands down my favorite Vitamin C on the market, and I don't say that lightly. The Revision Skincare C+ Correcting Complex is my favorite product because it simultaneously prevents and corrects pigment and redness. It helps to support the skin’s natural production of Vitamins C and E, and supports the skin’s Microbiome with prebiotic technology. It's non-comedogenic, and works for patients with all skin types, especially for those with dry, oily or combination skin types. It contains the most stable and lipid-soluble form of Vitamin C to help brighten and even skin tone, and it's safe to use both in the morning and at night.

Step 3: Moisturizer

Moisturizers are a must-have product for daily skin care. According to Clinical and Medical Research (CMR), they improve your skin's hydration and overall mechanics. By improving the water content and reducing water loss in your stratum corneum, or your outermost layer of skin, it offers a soothing protective film for your skin.

Importance of Moisturizing in the Morning

Moisturizing restores your skin's natural barrier, protecting it, nourishing it, and helping slow down the signs of aging. It can be especially helpful in mornings in cold or dry climates or seasons. You may find a strong combination SPF and moisturizer that takes care of this step and the next one, Sunscreen. If so, save our recommended moisturizer for your nighttime routine. If not, or if you're feeling especially dry, use your moisturizer after you cleanse and apply serums or treatments.

Products for Daily Skin Care: Avene AV Revitalizing Nourishing Cream 50ml

Avene Av Revitalizing Nourishing Cream 50ml

The Avene AV Revitalizing Nourishing Cream is a great hypoallergenic moisturizer with proven results in clinical studies. This richly-textured cream immediately replenishes lipids while preventing moisture loss to restore a healthy skin barrier. Skin is left revitalized, soft and glowing after use.

Step 4: Sunscreen

Sunscreen is hands down the most important product for daily skin care. It should be applied last, after cleansing, applying serums and treatments, and moisturizing as needed. As supported by Johns Hopkins, it's one of the easiest and most impactful ways to protect your skin's health and appearance at any age.

Types of Sunscreen Products for Daily Skincare

I always tell my patients that the best type of sunscreen is the one you'll actually use. Options include chemical and mineral. Like Texas Health describes, one way to understand the difference is by picturing chemical sunscreen like a sponge. It absorbs and deactivates harmful rays so that they can't do damage. Mineral sunscreens, on the other hand, operate more like mirrors, reflecting damaging light rays away from your skin.

Sunscreen requires chemical material to make it clear, but I often find that patients are more apt to use a clear sunscreen consistently when first getting started with a skin care routine. My preference is that my patients would use a mineral sunscreen. Though it isn't clear like chemical options, it comes in tinted shades that I love. Most days, a little mascara, tinted sunscreen, and lip gloss is all I need before heading out for a day without makeup.

Products for Daily Skin Care: Revision Intellishade TruPhysical Tinted Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 45

Revision Skincare Intellishade TruPhysical

Enhance your skin's look and feel while protecting it from the sun's harmful effects with Revision's Intellishade® TruPhysical. Formulated as a 5-in-1 formula, this tinted daily moisturizer helps to correct, protect, conceal, brighten and hydrate the skin, while the 100% all-mineral technology provides broad-spectrum UVA and UVB SPF 45 protection.

Essential Night Time Skin Care Routine

As a working mom balancing business ownership with clinical and patient care duties, I know that by the time we're able to step away and do a night time skin care regimen each day, we often feel so exhausted we're not sure we can get through it. It's one of the many reasons I advocate for investing your money in a handful of products that work really well, instead of setting yourself up to fail when you can't consistently make time for a 10+ step nighttime routine. You should take as much time for yourself as possible, but it's okay that you don't want to spend all of it doing your skin care. 

With that in mind, let's walk through the three truly essential components of an effective night time skin care routine: cleansing, treatments or serums, and moisturizing. (Stick around until the end for a few bonus recommendations if you'd like to add to this foundation or feel your skin has extra needs you'd like to address.)

Step 1: Cleanser

Like with your morning routine, it's important to start by cleansing. According to Health Digest, it will help unclog your pores and remove any dirt, makeup, dead skin cells, and excess oil that accumulate on your skin during the day. If you need to dissolve makeup at night, I recommend using your makeup remover products before your cleanser.

Missing a night won't be the end of the world, but consistently skipping over a nighttime cleanse can lead to dryness, breakouts, eczema, and premature aging.

Products for Daily Skin Care: Nighttime Cleansers

Nighttime Cleanser Options by Skin Concern

 As with your morning routine setup, it's okay to preserve your skin care budget for products that will have the greatest impact by opting for a drugstore brand cleanser. The Gentle Foaming Cleanser we recommend in your morning routine works well here for a higher quality option suited for sensitive skin. Here's that link, along other cleanser options we suggest by skin concern:

Step 2: Serums and Treatments

Our nighttime treatment of choice is Vitamin C. It is a powerhouse product that has earned its spot on our top 5 products for daily skin care routines, and it's the essential we recommend for all patients thanks to its protective and corrective benefits. Depending on your skin's ability to tolerate Vitamin C and the quality of the product you're using, you may opt to use a topical product only once per day. If that's the case, we recommend using it in the morning just before you apply your sunscreen.

Can I Use Vitamin C Morning and Night?

Behind your skin's unique tolerance level, being able to use your Vitamin C complex morning and night depends mostly on the type of product you're using. (Get ready for a mini science lesson.) The version of Vitamin C we prefer at SHOPDERM is THD, or tetrahexyldecyl, ascorbate. Unlike ascorbic acid, which the top layer of your skin actually repels, studies show that the fatty acid component of THD ascorbate helps it penetrate your skin cells. It's the most stable and lipid-soluble form of Vitamin C, which is what minimizes irritation commonly associated with Vitamin C products.

The alternative, more commonly seen version is simple l-ascorbic acid. Since it is less stable, it's more likely to cause irritation. It also has a shorter shelf life, and in most cases, in order for it to be effective, you need to use a product alongside it to temporarily lower your skin's natural pH levels. Why do we continue to see so many products using ascorbic acid when we know it irritates the skin and doesn't work as well? It's much more affordable to mass produce. We encourage you to focus on quality of products that go a long way rather than cheaply made options you'll keep buying without seeing results.

When utilizing a stable, THD ascorbate Vitamin C, you could certainly use it twice daily- and I often recommend it thanks to its many corrective and preventative benefits. In our list of essential products for daily skin care, you'll find us using the Revision C+ Correcting Serum in the morning and at night.

Step 3: Moisturizer and/or Night Creams

The third and final essential step in your nighttime skin care routine is a moisturizer or night cream. This crucial step takes advantage of the natural skin functions and processes that occur overnight.

Do you really need moisturizer at night?

Studies have shown that when our minds go to sleep, our bodies are still putting in work- our skin included. This 2019 study conducted in part by Dr. Alexis Lyons of Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit concluded that, while it is normal for skin to lose moisture overnight, we also see skin cells going into repair mode, actively repairing damage they incur during the daytime.

While they do their repair work overnight, this study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that your skin cells actually let down your skin's defenses in the process. Skin cells become more permeable, making it easier for moisture to leave your skin- as evidenced by an increase in TEWL at night, or transepidermal water loss. On the flip side, though, the same study shows that it's easier for moisture and products to be absorbed, too, which may help increase the effectiveness of your nighttime products for daily skin care.

So, to answer your question, science tells us that you don't want to skip your nighttime moisturizer.

Aesthetic image of Revision Skincare DEJ Night Cream

Our Favorite Nighttime Moisturizer Products for Daily Skin Care Routines

 We've said it before and we'll reiterate again: we believe in quality over quantity where skincare is concerned. If you're a patient in your twenties or thirties without early signs of damage or photoaging, the Avene AV Revitalizing Nourishing Cream we recommended for your morning routine will still be a great product you can use again at night. If you're in your fourties or fifties, or have a more extensive amount of damage, you might consider adding in a night cream.

Our most-recommended option is the Revision Skincare DEJ Night Face Cream. It's an intensive nighttime moisturizer that features a unique combination of time-released 0.25% Retinol and plant-based Bakuchiol in a hydrating, antioxidant-rich formula that minimizes irritation and can be used on all skin types to rejuvenate and reveal new, younger-looking skin overnight. 

Recap: Our 5 Essential Products for Daily Skin Care Across Morning and Nighttime Routines

 As a quick recap, here are the 5 products in our daily arsenal of skincare must-haves:

Bonus: Other Products to Consider for Your Skin Care Routine

If the only products you use in your daily skincare routine are those outlined above, you can rest easy knowing you've invested in high-quality products that are proven to protect against and correct some of the most common concerns for our skin. But maybe you've got your foundation covered and are looking for other ways to boost your glow, or you like to experiment with new products here and there as your schedule allows for a longer form skincare routine. In that case, here are some additional products you might consider:

Aesthetic image of side profile of middle-aged African American woman's face with eyes closed

 Eye Creams We Recommend for Daily Use

An eye cream may not be necessary for you. We recommend it for patients who have noticeable challenges with under-eye darkening, or who have begun to see early signs of aging. These might include crepiness in the upper eye lid, fine lines and wrinkles in the crow's feet area, or wrinkles and puffiness under the eye. If any of these apply to you, consider some of our favorite daily eye creams by concern below:

 If it's on our website, we believe in it- it's part of our commitment to curating only the best, proven skincare products we believe are worth your time and investment. So there really isn't a wrong choice among these options, it's all about the challenges and concerns you'd personally like to address.

Aesthetic black and white image of woman holding an Omnilux LED at-home red light therapy mask

 Our Favorite At-Home Red Light Therapy Devices for Skin Care

Another product you might be hearing more about lately in skincare is red light therapy. Studies including this controlled clinical trial have shown that products using this technology have an impressive variety of benefits, including:

  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Reduces the appearance of pigmentation and redness
  • Promotes healthier, younger-looking skin
  • No pain, side effects, or downtime

Our personal favorites are the options below from Omnilux LED. They're offered at a fantastic price point, and are a convenient way to incorporate a skin care boost on the go. (I personally show up to pick up my kids from school with the under eye brighteners all the time!) 

Streamline Your Skincare Routine and Save with Professionally-Curated Skincare Sets

Navigating the labyrinth of skincare options can be overwhelming at best. That's why we've made it our mission to do the research for you. Our goal is simple: to pare down skincare options to only those using essential ingredients delivering visible results. We set an extremely high bar for the products we carry, and sift through clinical trial and study data to ensure every item on our website truly delivers. 

We're also committed to sharing our honest feedback and advice- starting with focusing on quality over quantity. If you've found a product you're interested in and would like us to fact check its claims, let us know. Looking for drugstore products we recommend? Stick around- no gatekeeping here.

In addition to curating the best in medical-grade skincare products and keeping it real with the people who have entrusted us with their skincare research, we're always looking for new ways to streamline your selection and shopping process. One of the ways we're doing that is through curated medical-grade skincare sets. These bundles are a great place to start if you're looking for savings on products we recommend the most. Feel free to add to them by shopping our website by product, ingredient, or concern.

Curated medical-grade skincare sets from SHOPDERM

Our skincare sets are easy-to-understand starting points for building a practical daily skin care routines. Each features an assortment of dermatologist-recommended products for daily skin care designed to support the majority of patients we meet with. They're designed to build on one another. Everyone should start with PROTECT, and add to it as their unique skincare needs require:

  • PROTECT Bundle: This set contains the core three: cleanser, moisturizer, and SPF. For patients in their late teens, twenties, and thirties, this may be all you need. If you're seeing early signs of photoaging, or if you're in this age category but have more extensive sun damage, you might consider adding the CORRECT items included below.
  • CORRECT Bundle: Our CORRECT bundle is recommended for our patients 30+ who already incorporate our PROTECT products and are looking to correct the early signs of sun damage and aging. It contains our favorite Vitamin C, eye cream, and night cream products.
  • GLOW Bundle: Our GLOW collection is recommended for patients aged 40+ who already have a solid skincare routine to PROTECT & CORRECT their skin but are ready for an extra GLOW. It contains three powerhouses for anti-aging: a daily boosting serum, an advanced serum that boosts in-office treatments, and a groundbreaking neck product that combats the visible signs of moderate to advanced aging.


Don't forget: we're not just another skincare shop, we're your active partners in finding what works for you. Our website has been designed to help you search our curated offerings however its easiest and most effective for you, but we understand that you might still have questions. If so, you can get in touch with us here.





Laura Beacham, MMSc, PA-C

Laura Beacham, MMSc, PA-C

Laura is a dedicated Physician Assistant at Dermatology Associates of GA, where she brings expertise across the Medical, Cosmetic, and Pediatric dermatology fields. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Laura's educational journey led her to Atlanta, where she earned her Masters in Medical Science from Emory University School of Medicine's PA Program, one of the top five in the nation. With a commitment to personalized patient care, Laura utilizes an extensive range of treatments including medical grade and prescription topical and systemic medications, neuromodulators, soft tissue fillers, biostimulators, and numerous laser therapies. In addition to her clinical responsibilities, Laura plays an active role in medical education as an Adjunct Clinical Lecturer and Preceptor at Emory School of Medicine. She is also credited with developing the Dermatology modules for the residency program of COPE Health Solutions.

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