What is the single beauty product you can’t live without? Is it an SPF50, or are you ready to feed yourself to the sharks without your glossy black mascara, or will you shrivel up under a palm tree and die without your 16 ounce tub of La Mer?
BITB polled a group of enthusiastic skin experts for their must-have beauty products, and their responses range from expected to kind of surprising.
Hema Sundaram, MD — Dermatologist, Rockville, Maryland
“Besides sunscreen of course, it’s a new one I’ve been using for about the past 6 months — Teoxane RHA Serum, Hyaluronic acid in a bottle… the glow is incredible!”
Heidi Waldorf, MD –Â Dermatologist, New York City “As a skin-care loving derm diva, this is very very tough, so hereâ€™s my answer with caveats. IF I can have only one topical productâ€¦ and only oneâ€¦it has to be Vaseline petroleum jelly. Vaseline is to me what Windex was to the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. You can use it for just about everything from moisturizing to protecting to healingâ€¦ And then Iâ€™d just fashion a sun protective poncho and hat from palm leavesâ€¦”
Nelly Gauthier, MD — Cosmetic Surgeon, Paris
“It would have to be Vaseline. I consider it a beauty product and a pure one! It really helps dry skin AND dry lips as well. It also soothes sun burns I might get on this Island.”
Robin Unger, MD — Hair Transplant Surgeon, New York City New Chapter Prenatal Vitamin — it has all the nutrients you would need to keep your hair from falling out secondary to poor nutrition on the desert island.”
Â Monika Kiripolsky, MD — Dermatologist, Beverly Hills, CA
“I would choose ZO Skin Health Oclipse Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30 because it is a lightly tinted sunblock that protects against UVA, UVB, and has melanin (what gives our skin natural pigment), which makes it even more potent than a similar product without the melanin. Also, it doesn’t feel greasy or clog my pores, so I don’t even feel like I’m wearing sunblock. I like it so much that I even wear it out to dinner at night (the universal tint makes my skin look even more flawless than it already is!). I’d need loads and loads of it, as we all know that sunblocks start to wear off after about an hour and a half to two hours.
Â Marc Edward – Celebrity Facialist, West Hollywood, CA “My favorite desert island beauty product is my Marc Edward Skincare Nourishing Moisture Serum loaded with ceramides, lipids, sphingolipids, and is dewy and hydrating, giving the skin a glow. It’s my #1 selling product and it works well with any moistureÂ cream anyone already has, and can be used under the cream or on top of any other serum. If you’re on a desert island, besides sunscreen your skin will become dry, parched, dehydrated, and lackluster quickly especially from drying saltwater from the ocean, so this is why I love this serum for the face or body.”
Tina Alster, MD – Dermatologist, Washington DC “My choice would be SKIN IS IN BB Cream because it contains 1) an antioxidant to clear away free radicals and make the skin brighter, 2) a nonchemical SPF to protect skin from the island sun, and 3) a tint so that I can look fabulous!”
Â Brooke Jackson, MD — Dermatologist, Chapel Hill, N.C.
“Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF15 because a derm diva needs a little sparkle and some scissors, so I can make an adorable grass jumpsuit from the palm leaves while I sip coconut milk in the shade! I can also use the scissors to cut down branches to build a hut, since the sunscreen will eventually run out and one will be better off with a physical structure to block.”
Jill Waibel, MD — Dermatologist, Miami FL
Â “If I can’t bring one of my lasers, then I would have to say Retin-A because it helps prevent wrinkles and skin cancer, and it also helps renew your skin. But then, if you are using Retin-A, you would have to bring an SPF30 to avoid turning as red as a lobster in all that direct sun exposure.”
Jason Joel Emer, MD — Dermatologist, Beverly Hills
Â “Since it’s a desert, I’d have to have sunscreen — Jan Marini Daily Face Protectant SPF33 Non-Tinted. What’s great about this one is that it is an “anti-aging” sunscreen — so it has a dual function. It has hyaluronic acid which plumps and hydrates the skin, beta glucan to reverse previous sun damage, and microscopic oil controlling sponges making the application easy and able to go under makeup. And it smells amazing!”
Jessica Krant, MD — Dermatologist, New York City
“My one favorite beauty product for my stint on a desert island isn’t about skincare or anti-aging, or even what we really want on a desert island — sunscreen — because this has no sunscreen at all. When I want a really special evening out and want to feel like a supermodel, I use MAC Cosmetics Strobe Cream. It’s a primer and moisturizer with reflective optical properties so finely prepared, that it just gives a dewy translucency to the skin without an actual sparkle. I invariably get constant compliments all night every time I wear it, without people knowing why they think I look even better than usual. It brings out the light in my skin, it hides my flaws, and it makes me look fresh and glowing. It’s my secret, and I almost didn’t want to share it, but what the heck!”
Lori Brightman, MD — Dermatologist, New York City
“ONLY one…I would like to have a one stop shopping then, a product that will fight the signs of aging and protect my skin without any harsh chemicals. Scalisi Anti Aging Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF30 — I like the clinical trials behind it proving efficacy as well as use of botanicals and all natural ingredients.”
Joel Schlessinger, MD — Dermatologist, Founder of Lovelyskin.com, Omaha, Nebraska
“FixMySkin 1% hydrocortisone balm from LovelySkin of course! If it is a desert island, it will likely be dry and your lips and other parts of the body will be dry as well. Â FixMySkin 1% hydrocortisone balm is great for those instances and will make your time on the island much more pleasant.”
Bea Hunter Erdman — Medical Aesthetician, Tampa
“My desert island product pick is Extreme Protect SPF30 from Innovative Skincare. It’s a must to protect and stop the ravaging, aging effects of UV rays!”
Bruce Blau, DDS — Cosmetic Dentist, New York City
Â “Skin Trip Coconut Moisturizer from Mountain Ocean.”