Sphere’s newest team member, medical aesthetician Monique Bryson, brings a wealth of knowledge about skin care to our space, and has helped us to merge the worlds of advanced dry eye management and facial aesthetics.  Here, Monique shares her insights about all things healthy skin care because we all know how overwhelming and intimidating it can be to choose your skincare with all the endless products and information available. Keep reading to hear Monique share her top recommendations, tell us what ingredients to avoid, and explain which skin care product lineup is best!   

Sphere: What are your top recommended skincare products?

Monique: There are so many products on the market and it’s no wonder there’s so much confusion about what to have.  For a lot of us, an overly complicated routine is intimidating.  To make it easy, there are three foundational skincare products that everyone can include as part of your daily routine – retinol, vitamin C serum, and sunscreen. 

Sphere: What are the key benefits of retinol, vitamin C, and sunscreen? 

Monique: OK!  Let me break it down for you: 

Retinol is an anti-aging powerhouse.  It increases cell turnover, helps to unclog your pores, has exfoliation benefits, as well as plumping fine lines and wrinkles. It is such a multi-faceted product! Pharmaceutical grade retinol comes in different dosages so if you have sensitive skin, then start on a low percentage and work your way up. Or you can start with once a week and build your way up to daily usage. Also know that the percentage strength of retinol you use on your face is too strong to be used around your eyes – you may inadvertently be contributing to dry eye disease and damaging the oil-producing meibomian glands along your lash line. That’s why using a microencapsulated retinol eye gel, like the one from AlumierMD, is a more appropriate choice to reap the benefits of retinols on the skin around your eyes while maintaining your ocular health.

Next, vitamin C serum is necessary for improving collagen production. After the age of 25, we all lose 1% of our collagen each year! Additionally, vitamin C serum brightens dull complexions, can lighten dark spots, offers antioxidant protection from the environment, all while plumping wrinkles and offering sun protection. It’s another multi-beneficial product I love! 

Sunscreen is a necessary product no matter what your skin tone or reaction to the sun. I recommend a tinted sunscreen as it triples your protection offering UVA, UVB and blue light blocking properties. Sun protection is key to preventing premature aging, skin cancer, sun damage or dark spots, and sunburns.  

So really, with as few as three key products, you can benefit from a full skin care protocol in a very manageable three product routine. 

Sphere: How do we know what order to apply our skin care? 

Monique: This is a great question with a simple answer – thinnest to thickest products! Just remember, it’s important to give each of your products time to absorb before you put on the next layer.  

Sphere: What do you recommend for a morning vs. evening skin care routine? 

Monique: Skin care routines will vary from person to person, but one key tip for a morning versus evening routine is to do your vitamin C serum in the morning, and your retinol at night. These are two products you don’t want to use together as they both contain active ingredients and can create dryness and sensitivity if used together.   So for example, in the morning, you can apply your vitamin C serum on clean skin and then layer with your tinted sunscreen.  In the evening, again on clean skin, you can apply your serum (retinol or a different targeted product) followed by your moisturizer of choice. 

Sphere: What is one skin care trend right now that you would recommend? 

Monique: The one trend I always love to support is “healthy skin is always in”. No matter what your personal style or preferences, everyone feels best with healthy looking skin. 

Sphere: What are some key ingredients we should look to avoid when it comes to choosing skin care? 

Monique: There is actually a “dirty dozen” in skincare products that we should look to avoid when talking about harmful ingredients. This can be broken down much further, but here’s a basic list of the 12 ingredients you don’t want to see on your skin, hair, or cosmetics bottles. 


Coal Tar Dyes 









Sodium Lauryl Sulfate 


Sphere: If you could pick only one hero skincare product what would it be? 

Monique: There are so many great products but if I had to pick something that I would recommend for most people, I’d say a quality tinted sunscreen. In addition to the protection benefits I mentioned earlier, tinted sunscreen also gives you a beautiful even skintone as an added bonus to healthy, protected skin. 

Sphere: What is your top piece of advice for those looking for a new healthy skin care routine? 

Monique: Come see a professional medical esthetician! It’s the best first step in having someone help you sort through information, competing products, and all the marketing out there. We’re here to help you find quality products that are best suited to your individual skin needs. If you are ready to start your journey towards your best skin, definitely connect with me for a complimentary skin assessment and take the time to invest in yourself and your healthiest skin. 

Thank you, Monique! Check out our last interview with Monique here, and learn about why we are adding advanced wellness services to our offering at Sphere here. We are so excited to have her on our team! 

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