Nicole Hangsterfer, PA-C
Sep 11, 2020 · 4 min read
Dermatologists and dermatology providers are supposed to be the experts on what to use in your skincare routine. But do they practice what they preach? Curology providers (like me) are physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and doctors. We have been trained by board-certified dermatologists to give you the best skincare advice we can via telemedicine. Since everyone’s skin is unique, I linked up with Laura Coral, PA-C to find out what skincare products she uses in her daily routine.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What does your morning routine look like?
In the morning I start by washing my face with water. Step two is applying the Renewal Dark Spot Corrector from Burt’s Bees. It’s a non-comedogenic vitamin C serum that feels lightweight, smells really good, and comes in a cute little bottle. I feel the slightest tingle when I apply it — enough to feel like it’s doing something but not so much that it’s uncomfortable.
Step three is the Citrix 20% L-Ascorbic Acid serum. This is a much stronger (and more expensive!) vitamin C serum. I apply it to my cheekbones and the bridge of my nose. This is where I tend to get dark spots, so I need some extra help in these areas. It stings a bit when I first apply this product, so I use it sparingly.
Finally, I apply EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46. This is my favorite sunscreen product. It’s very light and doesn’t tend to cause breakouts. I wear sunscreen every day, even when I’m spending more time indoors. I have a big window in my apartment right next to my desk, so I want to make sure I’m protecting myself!
What does your evening routine look like?
First, I start by washing my face with the Curology cleanser, followed by a rose water mist. It keeps my skin moisturized and smells really good! After that, I apply the Curology rich moisturizer. I cannot tolerate tretinoin, one of the ingredients in my custom Curology formula, without using moisturizer first.
After moisturizing, I apply my Curology formula. I have been slowly increasing the strength of tretinoin in my formula for over a year (as tolerated).
My Curology cream is usually the last step, but sometimes, I’ll use an eye-firming cream from Burt’s Bees. Eventually, I’d like to use an eye cream with retinol, but this one seems to work pretty well for now!
Are there any products that you like but don’t use daily?
Yes! In fact, I use one product pretty regularly that’s not supposed to be used daily.
On Tuesdays and Sundays I use the dermaE overnight peel instead of my Curology formula. I love this AHA peel and can really feel it working. There’s a light tingling sensation when I first apply it, and I’ve noticed brighter skin after using it regularly for about a year. I also like that it’s vegan and cruelty-free!
What is your favorite thing about using a customized product?
I love that I can work with my provider to make changes if I want to target something new. Whether I’m noticing more dark spots or more breakouts, my provider and I can work together to create a treatment plan that works for me. I also like that my formula targets multiple skin concerns like breakouts, redness, and dark spots. It covers everything I need.
Does your skin routine change with the seasons?
I don’t change up my routine with the seasons. I don’t feel that I need to! I’ve actually had the same routine for the past year.
Has your skincare routine changed since you started working at Curology?
Yes, it has definitely changed! In the past, I tried many expensive products. I didn’t really understand what I was buying, though. I would purchase products based on reviews, but I didn’t truly know what my skin needed. I didn’t have terrible acne, but I did have mild breakouts on my chin and jaw. Also, I was over-exfoliating and didn’t even know it! And I wasn’t wearing enough sunscreen with at least SPF 30.
Once I started working at Curology (and spoke to my own personal medical provider) I discovered that I needed to use more moisturizer. I also learned how to look for non-comedogenic products. I needed a simple routine with effective ingredients that I could use daily and for the long-term.
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Do you feel like your routine has become simpler or more complicated since joining Curology?
My routine has become much simpler since joining Curology. Using my custom formula takes away the guesswork. I don’t have to go to the pharmacy or a beauty store.
There you have it — our providers love using Curology products, too! And the good news is that prescription-strength skincare is accessible to everyone (not just those in the know.) Sign up for a free month of Curology. One of our in-house medical providers (like me!) will prescribe you a customized cream with a mix of 3 active ingredients to treat skin concerns like acne, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines. You’ll just pay $4.95 (plus tax) to cover shipping/handling, and you can try any of our dermatologist-designed skincare products for no extra cost.
Nicole Hangsterfer, PA-C