Q+A with Dermatologist Dr. Cristina Psomadakis
Dr. Cristina Psomadakis on sustainability and inclusion in skincare, her current nighttime skincare routine, and more.
Dr. Cristina Psomadakis, otherwise known as Dr. Soma, is a dermatologist based out of London who specializes in skin aging and aesthetics. Passionate about educating her followers about the importance of skin health, she often takes to her TikTok and Instagram accounts to provide her tips, tricks, and recommendations. In this Q+A, we chat with Dr. Soma about seeing the satisfaction her patients get from visible results, her advice for those struggling to find their perfect skincare routine, and more.
Q: How did you get into skincare?
When I was in medical school, I was really drawn to the visual aspect of skin disease and the profound effect it has on people’s self-confidence. On the side, I’ve always loved social media content relating to the beauty industry, and perhaps unsurprisingly I have now ended up combining both interests professionally.
Q: What do you love the most about what you do?
Skin disease is incredibly common; we have all experienced some form of it. This means everyone can benefit from having a good understanding of skincare and skin protection. I love sharing what I know, learning from others, and seeing the satisfaction people get from visible results.
Q: What is a myth about skincare that you want to debunk?
Skincare does not have to be super expensive or super complicated to be effective. Consistency and simplicity are probably the most important aspects. Also, if you have an actual skin condition like acne or rosacea, cosmetic skincare will only get you so far, no matter how much money you throw at it. Sometimes you do just need to see a doctor.
Q: What is one product everyone should be using, no matter what their skin type?
Does any dermatologist ever not say sunscreen?
Q: What is your best advice for someone who is struggling to find a skin routine that works for them?
It can get very overwhelming with so many different people recommending lots of different products. Everyone should have a face wash, sunscreen, moisturiser, and exfoliant that they like. After that, you can add in a few targeted products depending on your skin type, age, and skin concern.
Q: What do you wish people were talking more about in skincare?
Sustainability and inclusion. Trends like shelfie posts (photos of the overcrowded skincare shelves) and single-ingredient products drive consumers to buy a lot of skincare products when really, it is a better strategy to buy fewer good quality, effective products. And inclusion is important because by definition, skin is tied up to issues around race, diversity, and visibility.
Q: Can you walk us through what you’ve been using for your nighttime skincare routine as of late?
I like to rotate between a treatment product like a retinol, an exfoliator, and a skin barrier soother throughout the week. I am currently using the Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream or Dr. Sam Bunting’s Nightly Serum, Maelove Night Renewer Moisturising Cream, and First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream.
Rapid Fire Round
Q: Worth the splurge:
Skinceuticals vitamin C serum is pretty fantastic. If it is outside of your budget, there are some great alternatives by Paula’s Choice, Vichy, and Maelove.
Q: Favorite drugstore or budget find:
So many! I love the Ordinary Squalane Cleanser, the CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream is great if your skin barrier is dry and impaired, the Avene Hydrance Serum is one of my favourites, and the La Roche-Posay Lipikar range is great for dry hands and feet. The Simple Kind to Skin Refreshing Facial Gel is my go-to in hot weather.
Q: Latest beauty empty:
I am running out of the Allies of Skin 1A Retinal & Peptides Overnight Mask and their Peptides & Antioxidants Firming Daily Treatment. I absolutely loved both.
Q: Recent discovery:
I got sent the Youth-Inducing Eye Cream by Swissline. It is eye-wateringly expensive (pun intended), but it is so rich and luscious — an absolute pleasure to apply. If it is not very comfortably within your means, do not feel you have got to stretch yourself. Olay Ultimate Eye Cream is also great!
Q: Product you can’t leave home without:
Predictably, sunscreen. I like the variety of Paula’s Choice moisturisers and sunscreens that suit different skin types. I use the Resist Skin Restoring Moisturiser SPF 50. I also love La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra Light Invisible and the Supergoop! and EltaMD ranges.
Q: Brand you wish more people knew about:
Allies of Skin. I have tried some pretty amazing products from their range.
For more of Dr. Soma's favorite products, check out her shop!