New York's Buzziest Plastic Surgeon Reveals Her Anti-Aging Skincare Routine

It includes a $32 moisturizer you can buy on Amazon.

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One Plastic Surgeon's Exact Anti-Aging Skincare Regimen (Dr. Melissa Doft)
Photo: Sephora/ Amazon/ InStyle

In some sci-fi fantasy future, with a simple pill or tincture, aging will be a concern of the past and everyone, and quite literally their mother, will miraculously look like their 21-year-old selves forever. But until that (frankly eerie) day arrives, we're left depending on the tools available to us now, some of which are quite sophisticated as it is; cosmetic enhancements, lasers, and — most widely — skincare lend a hand in turning back the clock on biologically and environmentally induced signs of aging.

No one knows the power we have to control our own aging process better than a plastic surgeon, and every plastic surgeon knows that process starts right at home in our bathroom vanities. Dr. Melissa Doft is one of New York City's most buzzed-about plastic surgeons, having been listed as one of New York magazine's top physicians from 2018 to 2022 and one of Castle Connolly's top doctors of 2022, not to mention being quoted in countless publications including Byrdie, Wall Street Journal, and, yes, even InStyle. Now, she's sharing her very own anti-aging skincare routine with InStyle, and we're excited by how much of it is available outside the closed doors of aesthetics offices.

"I think I may be getting to the age when it is more of a battle than a concern," says Dr. Doft of her approach to anti-aging skincare. As for what ingredients she looks for in her skincare, she highlights retinol as the most important: "Everyone with aging concerns should use it." Aside from that, she uses vitamin C to "brighten and even my skin tone" and hyaluronic acid for maximum hydration, "as I never have time during the day to drink enough water." She goes on to champion peptides, which she says can "help firm the skin and reduce fine lines."

Though Dr. Doft has been able to sample countless formulas from pharmaceutical companies and luxury brands, her at-home routine boils down to just a few choice products; the Clarins Super Restorative Treatment Essence being one of them for morning use. "I do not wear makeup every day, so having glowing skin is very important." She then applies a stem cell C serum from her office, and while the exact product isn't available online, we did find this promising alternative from clean beauty brand Indie Lee.

As for her evening routine, Dr. Doft cleanses away the day with Eve Lom Balm Cleanser, which she says is "warm and gentle and very effective." Next, her nightly anti-aging active comes in the form of a retinyl ester from her office, which she says is "gentler on my skin than prescription-strength retinol." Dr. Doft's exact formula isn't for sale currently, but this retinal and niacinamide serum from Youth to the People is a safe and nonirritating bet. As for specialty areas, she uses the Revox Line Relaxer around her eyes "to help with fine lines" and Nectifirm cream from Revision Skincare on her neck.

"I have used many moisturizers," she continued, recommending the AmorePacific Moisture Plumping Serum and the Tatcha Water Cream. "In the winter, I use the moisturizer in my office as it is a little thicker." Also at the top of her list: the Avene Tolerance Control Soothing Recovery Cream, which she calls, "the best for dry skin."

If you're ready to take your skin even further, Dr. Doft shared that her favorite anti-aging procedures offered at her Manhattan clinic are microneedling with radiofrequency, which makes skin look "better, tighter, and with smaller pores," as well as the CO2 Fraxel laser, which she loves "because it allows me to heal over the weekend and have glowing skin the following week."

Whether or not you opt for in-office solutions, there's still so much impact you can make on your skin with a simple anti-aging skincare routine. Steal Dr. Doft's expert regimen below.

Clarins Super Restorative Treatment Essence

Anti-Aging Skincare Regimen
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Shop now: $62; macys.com

Indie Lee Stem Cell Serum

Anti-Aging Skincare Regimen
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Shop now: $135; nordstrom.com

Eve Lom Balm Cleanser

Anti-Aging Skincare Regimen
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Shop now: $80–$135; nordstrom.com

Youth to the People Retinal + Niacinamide Youth Serum

Anti-Aging Skincare Regimen
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Shop now: $68; sephora.com

Revision Skincare Revox Line Relaxer

Anti-Aging Skincare Regimen
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Shop now: $145; amazon.com

Revision Skincare Nectifirm Advanced

Anti-Aging Skincare Regimen
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Shop now: $142; dermstore.com

AmorePacific Moisture Plumping Nectar Cream

Anti-Aging Skincare Regimen
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Shop now: $160; sephora.com

Tatcha The Water Cream Oil-Free Pore Minimizing Moisturizer

Anti-Aging Skincare Regimen
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Shop now: $69; sephora.com

Avène Eau Thermale Tolerance Control Soothing Skin Recovery Cream

Anti-Aging Skincare Regimen
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Shop now: $32; amazon.com

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