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ChatGPT versus a Dermatologist: Who Creates a Better Skin Care Regimen?



Can an AI chatbot compete with a dermatologist when creating a skin care regimen? We asked the AI ChatGPT to “create a skin care regimen for an adult female that is concerned about fine lines, wrinkles, and brown spots.” Below is its answer and Dr. McKelvey’s commentary.


ChatGPT's Skin Care Regimen Reviewed


ChatGPT: Sure, I can help you create a basic skin care regimen for an adult female who is concerned about fine lines, wrinkles, and brown spots. Keep in mind that everyone's skin is different, so this regimen may need to be adjusted based on individual skin type and specific concerns.


Chat GPT's Morning Routine:


  1. Cleanse: Start by washing your face with a gentle, non-comedogenic cleanser that won't strip your skin of its natural oils. Look for ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) that help to exfoliate and brighten your skin. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat dry.

  2. Antioxidant serum: Apply an antioxidant serum containing vitamin C or E, or niacinamide that helps to protect your skin from environmental damage and reduce the appearance of brown spots.

  3. Moisturize: Use a hydrating, anti-aging moisturizer that contains ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, or peptides to help plump and firm your skin. Choose a product that is suitable for your skin type and absorbs easily without feeling greasy.

  4. Sunscreen: Finish your morning routine by applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to protect your skin from harmful UV rays that can cause further brown spots and wrinkles.


Dr. McKelvey's Response:

We also recommend gentle cleansers such as Cetaphil or CeraVe. But because this regimen recommends other exfoliants and retinol (see Evening Routine), using cleansers with AHA or BHAs can be too irritating.


That said, cleansers with AHA or BHAs are good for people with sensitive skin who are not using another exfoliant, or for people looking to enhance the effectiveness of their retinoid therapy. Glytone gel is one of my favorites.


I agree that DermaMade Antioxidant C Serum and Skin Medica Vitamin C +E Complex are good options for a serum following cleansing, and for moisturinzing, Neutrogena hydroboost serum is a good value for hyaluronic acid. EltaMD AM therapy moisturizer is great for acne-prone skin and to combat irritation from retinoids.


I'm also glad to see that ChatGPT didn’t forget the sunscreen! Newer sunscreens can do double duty to both moisturize and protect. EltaMD UV daily broad-spectrum SPF 40 is highly recommended and comes in a tinted version to help prevent brown spots.


ChatGPT's Evening Routine:

  1. Cleanse: Start by removing any makeup with a gentle makeup remover. Then, wash your face with the same non-comedogenic cleanser you used in the morning.

  2. Exfoliate: Use an AHA or BHA exfoliant once or twice a week to help slough off dead skin cells and improve skin texture. This step helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

  3. Treat: Apply a retinoid serum that contains vitamin A derivatives like retinol or retinyl palmitate, which are clinically proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and brown spots. Start slowly and follow the product instructions carefully to avoid irritation.

  4. Moisturize: Apply a hydrating and anti-aging night cream to nourish and replenish your skin while you sleep.

Dr. McKelvey's Response:

Home peels can be a potent enhancer to your anti-aging regimen, but care must be taken not to over use and irritate the skin. DermaMade AHA + BHA Peel pads once weekly is a good starting point.


Retinoids are some of the best studied agents to battle the changes of aging skin, but they can be quite irritating. Antioxidant serums can be used as an alternative for people with sensitive skin, otherwise start with a mild retinoid like Avene RetrinAL .05%. Your doctor may eventually recommend advancing to a prescription retinoid such as tretinoin.


Once your evening treatment has had time to absorb, you can follow the therapy with a mild moisturizer such as CeraVe cream.


ChatGPT Had Additional Tips:

  1. Drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to nourish your skin from the inside out.

  2. Avoid smoking, alcohol and high sugar intake, as they may accelerate the aging process.

  3. Wear sunglasses and hats to protect your face from the sun and harmful UV rays.

  4. Consider consulting with a dermatologist for more specialized anti-aging treatments, such as chemical peels, laser therapy or injectables, if needed.

Dr. McKelvey's Response:

Good tips, though the link between skin aging and diet is tenuous and without a lot of science to guide us with recommendations. Smoking and alcohol are well known factors that prematurely age the skin. Also, diets that promote high blood sugar levels and subsequent insulin resistance promote many abnormal skin growths.


Sound advice on sun protection, and the suggestion to consult a dermatologist!


Overall, I’m very impressed by the quality of the recommendations that the AI produced.


Inaccurate information is still pervasive in these early chatbots, so caution should be used when considering any recommendations. While the AI represents an exciting new tool and its usefulness will undoubtedly continue to grow, it’s still no replacement for personal, tailored advice from a board-certified dermatologist.


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