To simply call Dr. Heather D. Rogers a dermatologist would be a wild understatement: Not only is Doctor Rogers (as she’s known on Instagram) a superstar board-certified dermatologist, she’s a dermatologic surgeon, the co-founder of Modern Dermatology in Seattle and founder and CEO of her own essential line, Doctor Rogers RESTORE®, equal parts focused on results, renewal, science and sustainability. Needless to say, we were eager and honored to talk to her about our skin’s relationship to simplicity, sleep and the sun—and get some super-smart skin advice.
What initially drew you to dermatology?
A dermatologist’s relationship with their patients is a very personal one. You learn why they may not be comfortable in their own skin and their insecurities. Patients frequently come in 2-4 times a year, so you get to know one another well. I love helping my patients fix their problems and feel better about themselves. I also love working with my hands and as a dermatologic surgeon, I get to do this all day.
You’ve professed a “less is best” philosophy and a simplified regimen. What’s your current daily skincare routine like?
Like Tina, I try to keep my skincare routine to four simple steps. 95% of the skincare products out there are made not to improve your skin but to make money. This is the sad truth of the beauty business and why I am such a fan of Tina, U Beauty and her simplified approach to skincare. People are confused about what to use and our skin is confused by what we are putting on it. Tina and I work hard to simplify skincare while giving people the best possible results. I really feel like we’re the only brands genuinely doing this. For most brands, there might be one or two products within the line that actually help the skin but all the rest are just filler products that add to the confusion.
In terms of my skin care regimen, in the morning, I splash my face with lukewarm water and pat it dry. I apply the Alto Defense Serum by Skinbetter followed by my Doctor Rogers RESTORE® Face Cream which I apply to my face including the area around my eyes, as well as my neck and chest. I finish with Supergoop!’s Zincscreen 100% Mineral Lotion which I apply on my face, neck and chest.
In the evening, I wash my face with my RESTORE® Face Wash which takes off the day’s grime, my sunscreen, and my makeup in one cleansing step. I apply the U Beauty Resurfacing Compound followed by my Face Cream. I alternate U Beauty’s Compound with my prescription tretinoin.
I also take HUM Nutrition's Turn Back Time every day and one scoop of Vital Proteins Collagen in my morning coffee. Studies show you need between 5-10g daily for a clinical benefit and both bovine and marine sources are effective.
You’ve also said you’re not married to a single brand line and actually believe the best results are achieved when a variety of clinically proven active ingredients are used. Why is variety the secret to skin success?
What your skin needs changes. For example, the heaviness of your moisturizer should increase as your skin oils production decreases. At the end of summer, you may be fighting brown and clogged pores and want a strong tretinoin to promote cell turnover, but in the dead of winter, your skin may be dried out and need a gentle glycolic acid exfoliator instead. I like to think of the treatment step for the skin like a workout. Sometimes you need to sweat and sometimes you need to stretch.
Your own line started with RESTORE Healing Balm, an amazing multitasking product (we can relate!) that has a host of functions. What’s been its most surprising benefit?
I have never seen anything that heals burns the way my Healing Balm does. It is really a miracle worker. It helps all skin heal but burns can be so tricky since they often take weeks to heal and hyper-pigment. RESTORE® Healing Balm and a band-aid fixes all this. I always say that every chef should have RESTORE® in his or her kitchen!
What do you think is the biggest mistake people make with their skincare? And what advice do you give them?
I think there are two. The first is expecting miracles. Skincare is about consistency because your skin needs daily care. You can’t do one or two treatments and expect that will be enough to slow the never-ending onslaught of aging. You have to create good everyday habits and stick with them. And if you do opt for a skin treatment remember that requires aftercare and maintenance, too. A laser treatment can be reversed by one day in the sun without sun protection.
The second common mistake I see is that when things go wrong with your skin, people will try everything and anything on it to fix it. Often when the skin is “misbehaving,” it’s because it is confused, so my advice is to stop making matters worse. Instead, pull back on everything but a gentle cleanser, a face cream, and sunscreen and just give your skin time to help itself.
For those of us who might need to hear it, how important is using SPF and staying out of the sun?
95% of aging is caused by the sun. Its rays are radiation and the longer wavelengths (UVA) come through windows. An everyday zinc-based sunscreen needs to be part of your morning skin routine, and keep a powder sunscreen on you so you can easily reapply your sunscreen (every two hours!) over makeup. I keep this one by Colorescience in my bag and in my car so that I’m never caught short.
If you could only offer one piece of advice when it comes to skincare and health, what would it be?
To get enough sleep! It’s hard to do anything else well if you are not sleeping well. Little steps to take to help with sleep hygiene include: limiting caffeine intake after noon, getting into bed at the same time every night (I recommend setting an alarm on your phone with a 15-minute reminder before you go to bed), sleeping in a cold, dark room and turning off your devices!
What’s the biggest shift you’ve seen in dermatological thinking and trends in the past few years?
The focus is now beautiful skin everywhere, not just the face. We are spending a great deal more time and money caring for our neck, chest, hands, as well as reducing stubborn pockets of fat and tightening skin all over the body.
Where do you see the future of skin going next?
My hope is that the consumer becomes savvier and learns to pick fewer, more effective products made from clean, selective ingredients in sustainable packaging.
What are five simple things you can’t live without?
1. My family
2. My skincare regimen
3. Sleep. I am in bed from 10pm to 6am every day.
5. Gin and tonics