I’m a 27-year-old who wants to get rid of my large pores and textured skin. A dermatologist told me I need to add retinol.


  • Mycah Hamilton, 27, is a Sales Marketing Manager at Insider who volunteered to have her skincare routine reviewed for Insider’s Skin Clinic.
  • Her biggest concerns are shrinking her large pores and minimizing the look of her textured skin.
  • If you’d like to have your skincare routine reviewed by experts, fill out this form.

Mycah Hamilton, 27, is a a Sales Marketing Manager at Insider who volunteered to have her skincare routine reviewed by a dermatologist for Insider’s Skin Clinic.

As someone with combination skin, Mycah’s biggest skincare concerns are minimizing the appearance of her large pores and reducing the amount of textured skin on her face.

Dr. Corey L. Hartman, dermatologist and founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama, reviewed Mycah’s routine and told Insider what she’s doing right and what she’s doing wrong.

The order of Mycah’s routine follows the correct order dermatologists recommend

Mycah starts her mornings off by splashing cold water on her face, followed by protecting her skin with Pacifica Sea & C Sheer SPF 55. She tops if off with another sunscreen, Elta MD UV Daily Broad Spectrum SPF 40, before leaving the house.

When she gets home, Mycah ends her night by washing her face with Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser or Cetaphil cleanser and using micellar water to gently remove any eye makeup.

She hydrates her face with Biologique Lotion P50 followed by ROC Retinol Correction Eye Cream, Milk Vegan Milk Moisturizer, and Sunday Riley UFO Acne Treatment Face Oil.

Hamilton told Insider the order in which Mycah applies her products is correct, but one alternative method she could try is the “moisture sandwich” technique.

“I tend to recommend the ‘thinnest to thickest’ approach and concentrating the active ingredients in the first few layers to maximize penetration and enhance results,” Hamilton said. “I also like the idea of the ‘moisture sandwich’ whereby a layer of moisturizer is applied after each active ingredient to increase absorption and hydration.”

None of Mycah’s products are harmful, but some are redundant

None of the products Mycah uses are actively harmful to her skin according to Hamilton, however, some double up on ingredients like SPF.

“The Pacifica Sea & C Sheer SPF 55 is a vitamin C/SPF combination,” Hamilton said. “I have never seen one of those, but it is intriguing. If the SPF is as high as 55, I don’t understand layering on another level of SPF unless the Elta is used as an additional moisturizer, tint or both.”

Hamilton said he is a big fan of Mycah’s Biologique Recherche Lotion P50, which provides moisture and exfoliation.

“It contains lactic acid, niacinamide and salicylic acid in a combination that provides effective exfoliation with a calming anti-inflammatory effect,” he told Insider.

Mycah should add a retinol to help reduce the appearance of texture and large pores

Hamilton would have to evaluate Mycah’s skin in person to give more detailed advice, but because she wants to minimize the appearence of pores and texture, he recommends adding in a daily retinol.

Retinols chemically exfoliate the skin by increasing cell turn over which can give the skin a brighter appearance and reduce the look of fine lines, pores, and texture.

“There are too many benefits of using retinol daily, that it is hard to justify skipping that step,” Hamilton said.

If retinols are too irritating for Mycah’s skin, Hamilton recommends finding a product that contains a retinol substitute like Melatonik.

Overall, Mycah’s products are solid and the order of her routine is correct, she just needs to add a daily retinol or retinol substitute into her routine.

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