Top Derm Reveals Ultimate Skincare for Texture, Scars, Wrinkles and Hyperpigmentation

The board-certified doctor says every dermatologist and celebrity is using a version of this topical item, customized for their own skin.
Dr. Bhanusali.

Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali.

Ask any dermatologist and they will tell you that sunscreen is the most important skincare product. New York City-based board-certified Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali firmly agrees. But, he also notes one other topical product that can help with multiple skincare concerns: prescription retinoid.

“Outside of sunscreen, I think everybody should be on a retinol or prescription retinoid. I know it’s what every single celebrity is using [and] what every single dermatologist uses,” the Hudson Dermatology and Laser Surgery and Aesthetica Skin Lab founder says. “I think if you have an SPF and you have a retinoid, you’re doing 90% better than the next person, because [those are] the foundational pieces. Everything else in between is important, but they’re to supplement that aspect of it.”

He adds that he believes no skincare routine is complete without a retinoid, and it’s a product that is key in addressing texture, scars, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.

What is retinoid?

Retinoids are a class of chemical compounds derived from vitamin A. There are a number of different types and strengths of retinoids—from weaker over the counter formulas to more potent dermatologist-prescribed ones, but they are all meant to regulate cell growth and reduce fine lines and wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen. Retinoids also stimulate the production of new blood vessels, which can help with improving skin color, fading imperfections and smoothing roughness.

How to use a retinoid

Retinoids need to be used with caution, because they are often a prescription strength formulation—even the topical products found over the counter and in drugstores.

Apply your retinoid at night and use just a pea-sized amount for your entire face. Over doing retinoids can be harmful for your skin, so first-time users are encouraged to start by applying the product every other night.

Where to get retinoid

Dr. Bhanusali founded his digital platform Skin Medicinals in 2019 to improve access to affordable topical medications and connect patients with board-certified skincare experts. Those looking to solve skincare concerns can be easily connected with physicians and dermatologists who can offer prescription medications and science-backed topical products at a reasonable price. The brand is now used by more than 500,000 patients and 12,000 dermatology prescribers.

“The idea is that there are a lot of gaps in how we function day-to-day, particularly in the medical world, and so with Skin Medicinals, the idea was to solve a simple problem: How do we get more affordable medications to people?” he shared. “There are obviously a lot of barriers in how the pharma industry works and so it’s not really easy to do, but I think sometimes you have to start somewhere and then see where it goes.” 

The Michigan State University alumnus uses the Skin Medicinals prescription Tretinoin as part of his own nightly skincare routine.

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Ananya Panchal


Ananya Panchal is a NYC-based Lifestyle & Trending News writer at SI Swimsuit. Before joining the Swim team, the Boston University Alum worked for culture & entertainment beats at Bustle, The San Francisco Chronicle and the TODAY Show. When Ananya is not writing or doom-scrolling on social media, she can be found playing sudoku, rewatching One Tree Hill or trying new restaurants. She's also a coffee and chocolate (separately) enthusiast.