Expert Beauty Picks: Dr. Elizabeth Hale, Dermatologist & Mohs Surgeon


I’m so excited to kick off a brand new series on Tea with MD today that I think all of you will LOVE. I’m sure many of you have read Into the Gloss’ feature called “The Top Shelf,” featuring interviews with celebrities about their skincare, hair, and makeup routine. My brilliant coresident had the thought of doing the same thing but with physicians! Who better to pick their brains about beauty than the derm experts who are dishing out this information (for a fee in their offices!) everyday?

Dr. Elizabeth Hale

I chose Dr. Elizabeth Hale for my first feature because she has got it all going on and she is such a role model for me. She’s a very talented and accomplished dermatologic surgeon (Mohs surgeon), a Senior Vice President of the Skin Cancer Foundation, a dedicated mother of three children, an NYU Dermatology alum (where she was chief resident!), and a cofounder of Complete Skin MD, a state of the art dermatology practice in Manhattan, which she runs with her sister Dr. Julie Karen. Dr. Hale is an expert in the field, having appeared on CBS This Morning, Dr. Oz, Good Morning America, Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Today Show, as well as in magazines such as VOGUE, Elle, and Glamour. We are so lucky to have the chance to hear about her favorite products and personal beauty routine!

Dr Elizabeth Hale

Morning routine:

Dr. Hale’s motto is keeping it simple but using things that work. She starts off with a Dove beauty bar cleanser for her face in the shower and then she puts on an antioxidant serum. She has been using the Skinmedica TNS Essential Serum, which is a blend of antioxidants and growth factors (“It’s essentially a protein shake for your skin!” she shares). She has been using it for a few months now and has noticed a visible difference in her skin (I can vouch – her skin looks amazing)! Then she puts on the very important step of sunscreen. Right now on her face she is using SkinMedica Total Defense + Repair with SPF 34. This sunscreen is a blend of physical and chemical sunscreen ingredients with a subtle tint, antioxidants, and DNA repair products. For the body, Dr. Hale likes Coppertone sport sunscreen. (If you need a refresher on the basics of sunscreen application and choosing one for your skin, check out my post here). She is now gearing up for her SIXTH marathon, and Coppertone provides great sun protection while she is training hard outdoors.


Dr. Hale keeps it simple with the makeup; she uses loose mineral powder (see next section!) to touch up her SPF with light coverage throughout the day and then Nars bronzing compact to add a little glow. She also uses Latisse (see my Latisse post here) a few nights a week to stimulate eyelash growth.

Throughout her (busy) day:

Dr. Elizabeth HaleDr. Hale is always on the go, whether it’s performing surgery at her practice, seeing patients, exercising outdoors, teaching us surgery at the VA hospital, or doing activities with her children. For adequate sun protection from place to place, she never leaves home without a pair of sunglasses (“My favorite brand is Oliver Peoples”) and her StriVectin clinical corrector anti aging lip tint in SPF 20 to protect her lips (my video here for more tips on how to keep your pout perfect).Dr. Hale gets questions all the time about how to reapply sunscreen over your makeup, and she uses Colore Science Sunforgettable powder in SPF 50, a water resistant loose mineral powder, for touching up her SPF throughout the day. After hearing about this product, I’m going to buy it too!

Nighttime routine:

Dr. Hale wears minimal makeup (if only we could all be so lucky!), so her nighttime routine is more simplified (if you DO wear foundation and more heavy makeup, check out my makeup removal tips here). She starts off by gently cleansing her face with Neutrogena Makeup Removing Facial wipes, followed by prescription strength Retinol based product (either Tretinoin 0.025% as tolerated or RetinA Micro 0.04%). Note to readers: you need to see your friendly neighborhood dermatologist for a prescription! Retinoid products are the only scientific proven method to prevent aging so every dermatologist is on it! After retinol, Dr. Hale chooses from her favorite moisturizers: Lifeline Nighttime Recovery Night Moisture serum (derived from human embryonic stem cells) or NeoVa DNA Total Repair, perfect for some skin recovery if she has been outside for a while or if her skin has withstood harsh elements such as wind or sun after skiing. Her other favorite nighttime moisturizers include Olay Regenerist Microsculpting Cream or Cerave PM Night Cream (my personal fave as well!).  Retinoids can be irritating and drying to the skin, so on days off of retinoids, she will use SkinCeuticals triple lipid restore, which is the closest formulation to our own skin for repair and hydration, or the super antioxidant Resveratrol by SkinCeuticals, for an extra boost.

Skincare for Kids:

Sun Smart

Dr. Hale’s adorable and sun protected sons at sleepaway camp

Dr. Hale is a loving mom to not one, not two, but three adorable children, and she stresses the absolute importance of teaching them sun care early so that it becomes ingrained in them. One of her proud parenting moments (see her story on her blog here) occurred when she saw a candid photo posted of her sons at sleepaway camp (see above); everyone else was swimming in the lake shirtless but her two sons automatically wore their swim shirts, even without Mom and Dad there to tell them what to do! You bet they know how to protect their skin!

For her kids, Dr. Hale likes to use Coppertone kid’s spray for the body and Coppertone kid’s lotion or EltaMD UV Shield sunscreen for the face. Remember never to spray sunscreen directly on children’s faces but rather spray your hands and then rub onto your child’s face. To keep their skin well moisturized she likes to use Aveeno moisturizer and also Dr. Rogers Restore ointment, which is free of petrolatum, formaldehyde, lanolin, and preservatives, for any patches of dry skin or even to heal up little cuts and scrapes. At night she has her boys wipe their faces with Neutrogena pink grapefruit salicylic acid wipes, which helps with cleansing and with keeping acne at bay.

Best antiaging regimen:

Antioxidant serum and sunscreen in the morning, and prescription strength retinoid and moisturizer at night (see product feed below for Dr. Hale’s favorites!)

To Clarisonic or not?

According to Dr. Hale, the Clarisonic facial cleansing brush does provide a good deep clean for pores but there’s a caveat: oftentimes people have an obsession with anti aging and will use Clarisonic on top of their retinoids and alpha hydroxy acids, and the combination of everything induces and worsens sensitive skin. If you need a deep clean, on the nights that you use your Clarisonic, skip other potentially drying and irritating products.

Thank you so much for all of your skincare pearls Dr. Hale! If you are lucky enough to be in NYC, you can see her for a consultation at her office CompleteSkinMD at 225 E 64th Street, New York 10065. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and her blog for more useful skin and beauty tips!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *

%d bloggers like this: