In our August issue, we wrote about the high-tech, results-oriented facials administered in doctor's offices around the country. Admittedly, such treatments are more about pain than pleasure, using everything from surgical blades to stinging acids to renew and reenergize the skin. But for those unwilling to undergo chemical peels and suction -like treatments that vacuum dead skin cells up like unwanted dust bunnies. Sophia Phan, a clinical aesthetician who works out of Dr. David J. Goldberg's Manhattan office, shares her at-home skincare basics, as well as what to avoid.

NEW BALANCE: Soap can leave a film on skin - it's also very alkaline, and bacteria thrive in an alkaline environment. Choose a cleanser that helps stabilize the pH in skin - I like SkinMedica's Facial Cleanser. It comes out like a gel and foams, leaving skin nice and clean.

LEAVE THE PICKING TO THE PROFESSIONALS: Home extractions are a no-no. You're causing more problems underneath the surface, and I doubt you're using gloves and cotton pads. Stay away!