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Must-Have Ingredients for Your Skincare Regimen

Must-Have Ingredients for Your Skincare Regimen

Is your skincare routine in need of an update? Are you feeling overwhelmed with the number of skincare products and treatments and don’t know where to begin? We’re got you covered!

Dermatologist Melissa Hodges, APRN, and Skincare & Laser specialist Heather Colon, LPN, of Advanced Specialty Care breakdown what products are important, what ingredients to look for and what treatments they recommend.


Sunscreen acts like a thin bullet proof vest stopping the UV rays before they reach the skin. Most sunscreens contain organic products that absorb UV and inorganic pigments that absorb, scatter and reflect UV. When using sunscreen, we prevent skin cancers, pigmentation changes and premature aging of our skin.


  • Elta MD sunscreen: All Elta MD sunscreens are fragrance free, paraben free, sensitivity free and non-comedogenic. We carry a variety to suit all skincare needs from tinted to formulas for acne and redness prone skin to sport sunscreens with 80 minute water resistance. Elta MD uses Zinc Oxide which blocks the widest spectrum of UVA and UVB rays and is safe for the most sensitive skin types.
  • Solar Defense Sunscreen: Advanced Specialty Care’s Solar Defense Sunscreen provides broad-spectrum coverage, UVA & UVB protection and is available in tinted & clear formulas.
    • Tinted: Similar to a BB cream, the tinted version has an added benefit of blocking more visible light. With Iron oxides to protect against blue light from devices and UVA & UVB protection, this physical sunscreen reflects UV light.
    • Clear: Our non-tinted, or clear formula, provides broad-spectrum coverage and UVA & UVB protection that shields against skin aging. Our clear formula also contains a boost of antioxidants to nourish skin.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that targets dark spots, uneven skin tone, wrinkle formation and hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C also promotes collagen production, which has the potential to thicken the dermis, diminish fine lines and is essential for firm, youthful skin.

Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)

Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is an antioxidant that helps reduce the signs of aging by improving the appearance of pore size, evening out skin tone and brightening the skin. It also helps reduce the skin’s trans epidermal water loss preventing dryness and keeping the skin hydrated.

Vitamin C & Niacinamide Products:

Vitamin C Treatments:

  • HydraFacial with Brightening Boost: Not only are HydraFacials great for ALL skin types, the Brightening serum contains both Vitamin C and Alpha Arbutin.
  • Brightening Chemical Peel: At Advanced Specialty Care, we offer a variety of Neostrata Chemical Peels. One of our favorites is the Glycolic Brightening peel with Citric acid and Mandelic Acid.

AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acids)

These chemical exfoliants help get rid of dead skin cells and clear clogged pores. Some of the most common AHA’s are:

  • Glycolic Acid: Derived from cane sugar, Glycolic Acid exfoliates, evens skin tone, clears acne and unclogs pores.
  • Citric Acid: Derived from citrus fruits, Citric Acid has powerful antioxidant and corrective anti-aging effects plus all benefits of Glycolic Acid.
  • Lactic Acid: Lactic Acid helps to draw moisture to the skin.
  • Mandelic Acid: Derived from almonds, Mandelic Acid evens pigment, controls oil production and is an antibacterial.

For BHA’s, we have Salicylic Acid which is commonly used to exfoliate acne prone skin to clog pores and reduce redness and swelling.

These can cause sun sensitivity so be sure to wear your sunscreen when using or receiving a treatment containing AHA or BHA.

AHA & BHA Products:

AHA & BHA Treatments:

  • Glycolic Chemical Peels: We offer a full line of customizable Chemical Peels including Clarifying, Brightening and Anti-Aging peels which use a combination of Glycolic, Citric, Mandelic, Lactic and Salicylic Acids.
  • HydraFacial Treatments: HydraFacials cleanse & peel, extract & hydrate and fuse & protect the skin by gentle exfoliating the skin, removing impurities and cleansing, hydrating and infusing the skin with specially formulated serums.


Retinoids reduce the signs of aging by increasing cellular turnover and helping treat acne, hyperpigmentation and mild scarring. Retinol is a form of Vitamin A, a time-tested ingredient which improves the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, skin texture & smoothness.  When using a retinoid, it is best to use at bedtime due to the possibility of increased photo sensitivity. Also, start with a lower strength of the product increasing in strength overtime as your skin adjust to avoid irritation.

Retinoid Products:

  • Age Defense Retinol 50 & 100: Advanced Specialty Care’s Age Defense Retinol comes in two strengths, 50 and 100. Our 100 strength is the highest strength retinol available without a prescription.
  • Prescriber’s Choice Tretinoin: Prescriber’s Choice Tretinoin is prescription topical cream available at our office. It’s a synthetic form of Vitamin A used to treat acne, sun-damaged skin and dark spots.

Retinoid Treatments:

  • Retinol Chemical Peels: Retinol Chemical Peels are comprised of an advanced formulation of peeling agents. They exfoliates the uppermost damaged layers of the skin to reveal fresher and healthier skin.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic Acid promotes healthier supple skin by retaining moisture which reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It provides a weightless moisturizer, antioxidant benefits, reduces inflammation, evens skin tone and texture, revitalizes the skin’s outer layer, and improves elasticity by drawing in and retaining moisture.

Hyaluronic Acid Products:

Hyaluronic Acid Treatments:

  • HydraFacial: HydraFacial’s nourish your skin with intense moisturizers leaving your skin glowing and hydrated!

Dermatology and skincare appointments are available at Advanced Specialty Care’s Danbury, New Milford, Norwalk, Ridgefield and Stamford locations. Call (203) 830-4700 to schedule a dermatology appointment or click here to schedule online.

Same Day Appointments Available

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About Us

Multi-Specialty Private Practice with six locations in Fairfield County, CT