We started our YouTube series Dear Derm because of all the skin pros, we want to know what the MDs are wearing on their complexions every single day. Years of studying skin have made them the ultimate experts in recommending how to put together a well-thought-out routine. With all of this knowledge about what’s right for your complexion, it’s safe to assume that they also know a whole lot about what sort of makeup you should be using. So, we asked Mona Gohara, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, about which foundation she uses every day. Her skin-friendly go-to? The IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream Illumination SPF 50+ ($40).
The skin-care and makeup worlds have become inextricably linked over the last few years, with more and more color cosmetics going above and beyond to offer skin-care benefits within their formulas—and this dermatologist foundation recommendation is no exception. This pick as a hydrating serum, sunscreen, and foundation, all in one bottle. “It’s got great blendability and coverage, plus the added benefit of SPF,” says Dr. Gohara. “It doesn’t make my face look cakey, and instead just makes my skin look smoother overall.”
Shop now: IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream Illumination SPF 50+, $40
Though it’s technically a CC (color correcting) cream, it offers full coverage and can easily take the place of your standard foundation. It comes in 12 shades that span cool, neutral, and warm undertones, and evens out your skin without feeling heavy. In addition to its status as a complexion-smoothing color cosmetic, it also offers skin-care benefits, which explains why it gets Dr. Gohara’s stamp of approval. The formula is infused with peptides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid to plump skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, pores, and discoloration, and also contains vitamin C and other antioxidants to protect your complexion from environmental stressors.
On top of the many skin-boosting coverage perks, there’s also the SPF factor. Most derms recommend using at least an SPF 30 on your face every day, and this stuff takes things up a notch by offering physical protection with SPF 50. Unlike many of your usual mineral sunscreens, which can leave behind a chalky, white cast, this CC cream is made with micronized light-reflecting pigments that leave skin luminous without any pasty residue. The best part? It gives you enough protection to use on its own without having to layer on additional sunscreen (which cuts an entire step out of your routine).
Like Dr. Gohara, I, too, am a fan of the IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream. I love how easy it is to apply (I typically put it on with a damp Beautyblender, $20), and that it offers complete coverage without looking like a thick layer of makeup. And I’m not the only one who loves this dermatologist foundation recommendation: It’s been the top-selling CC cream for the last five years, according to The NPD Group, and has earned itself more than 20,000 five-star reviews on their site alone. If this foundation product is good enough for a skin doc (and 20,000-plus other people), it’s definitely good enough for the rest of us.
Curious about what else Dr. Gohara uses in her routine? Check out the video below.