A Top Dermatologist Gets Your Skin in Shape for Fall

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A Top Dermatologist Gets Your Skin in Shape for Fall

Photo courtesy of David Cohen de Lara/The Licensing Project

Properly nourished skin glows with health, needs little to no makeup, looks just as beautiful with each passing year, and feels as supple as it looks. The not-so-secret secret to getting your best skin ever this fall and beyond is moisturizer, says clean skin-care-line founder Dr. Macrene Alexiades, one of New York’s most influential dermatologists. “My goal is to replace cosmetic procedures as much as I can by formulating with powerful, active, plant-derived ingredients,” she says of MACRENE actives, her almost two-year-old skin-care brand famed for its noticeable results. With three Harvard degrees, a Fulbright, and countless dermatological honors to her name, Alexiades first developed the line for her patients, “So they could see me less!” she laughs. “Today, there’s a lot I can do in the office, for sure, but there’s also a great deal you can do at home.”


Get the best moisturizer for your skin type.

There are three categories of moisturizers, says Alexiades. Humectants hydrate by drawing water molecules into skin. They’re great for most skin types, including oily and combination, since humectants aren’t heavy oils. “Humectants also help deliver ingredients into the skin,” she says. “Some of my favorites are aloe, glycerin, and lactic and hyaluronic acids.”

Hyaluronic acid plus vitamin C

Hyaluronic serum

Soothing aloe gel for face and body

Fatty alcohols are also good for oily skin (and, like humectants, have benefits for all skin types). “These are emollients derived from plants that fortify the skin barrier, increasing and retaining skin hydration,” says Alexiades. “For example, I use coconut butter and jojoba oil in my skin care. Like all fatty alcohols, they’re not occlusive, so they don’t block pores and are safe to use on blemish-prone skin, but they really moisturize.”

Dullness-fighting treatment

Face oil for radiance with jojoba

Occlusives are ointments, waxes, and heavier oils that work by forming a barrier on skin to prevent moisture loss. “Occlusives are great for mature, dry, and sensitive skin, as well as for people with eczema or broken skin barriers,” she says. Many creams combine all three types of moisturizers to optimize benefits to the skin.

Calming balm-melt

Velvety balm to fight dryness

turmeric cream

Firming, ultramoisturizing supercream

Intensely Hydrating antioxidant oil

Rich cream for dry, mature, and sensitive skin

Pamper your lips as you do your skin.

Lips don’t secrete protective oils the way skin does, so nourishing them with deeply moisturizing treatments is critical. At goop, we used the same ultrahydrating formula of our original lip balm for our new tinted lip colors, so you get the same cushiony protection and the same supple results.

Bestselling original lip balm

Plumping lip oil

New tinted balms


Watch out for hot water.

There’s a misconception that what you wash your face with is of little consequence since it doesn’t stay on your skin, but a high-tech, moisturizing cleanser can give you a noticeable boost. Whatever moisturizing cleanser you choose—cream, balm, or oil—Alexiades has the same rule: “Wash your face in lukewarm water. Hot water evaporates more water out of your skin,” she says. “Evaporation starts immediately when you get out of the shower or bath, so don’t wait to moisturize.” As in, do it within seconds of patting your skin almost dry. “Pat,” Alexiades emphasizes. “Do not rub.”

Aromatherapeutic milk

Foamy cream

Biphase oil

Plumping balm

Alexiades gives the same advice to clients who tend to get cracked heels and painfully dry hands as the weather changes: Avoid bathing in scalding-hot water, keep showers short, and massage intensely nourishing moisturizer into your skin as soon as you get out.

Rich butter

Melting massage bar

Silky lotion



Counterintuitively, exfoliating alpha hydroxy acids were initially developed to treat dry skin. Sloughing away dead cells encourages faster cell turnover, and the fresh cells beneath do a better job of maintaining the skin’s moisture barrier; moisturizer is also better able to penetrate the skin’s layers. So exfoliation is a key element in maintaining well-moisturized, healthy skin. The key (as with all things) is to keep it in balance. “Avoid overexfoliating, which degrades the skin’s moisture barrier,” says Alexiades. “Oily people can and should do more exfoliation; their skin typically doesn’t turn over as frequently, and dead skin accumulates more.” For those clients, Alexiades likes to do a more aggressive in-office peel about once a month, in addition to recommending at-home exfoliation.

Intense once-a-week peel


Wear sunscreen.

Direct sunlight—even the short bouts of it you get on a commute—dries and depletes skin. “I walk to work every day and wear powerful sunscreen every time,” says Alexiades, who, for optimal results, applies sunscreen before layering on MACRENE actives tinted moisturizer, her pigmented antioxidant skin treatment.

For face and body

Tinted for face

Eye cream with SPF


Feed your skin with nutrients, vegetables, water—and salt.

“Google ‘most hydrating foods’ and what comes up is what you’d think: cucumber, celery, zucchini, lettuce, spinach, and other vegetables that have high water content. But you know that old saying about whether you’re better off with a pound of water or a pound of salt if you’re stuck in the Sahara Desert? The answer is salt,” says Alexiades. “Salt allows the body to hold on to water; to maintain hydration, you need to have the appropriate amount of water, salt, and electrolytes.” It’s why athletes chug Gatorade to quench their thirst, and part of why Alexiades, who’s of Greek heritage, is so enthusiastic about the Mediterranean diet. “In Greece, we eat watermelon or tomatoes with feta—salads over there incorporate high-water-content fruits and vegetables with something salty, like olives.”

The combination of consuming good-for-skin antioxidants with plenty of water is a practice to follow even when you’re not having vegetables; we start every morning with GOOPGLOW superpowder, packed with antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, and more.

Need help figuring out where to add these into your routine? Have a specific question? Send a message to the pros at [email protected] for personalized assistance.

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