The celebrity skin expert and new brand founder is championing a simpler skincare routine.
With his Lancer line, Dr. Harold Lancer—an Ivy League–educated dermatologist who has worked on many A-list faces during his 30 years in practice—has taken his famous three-step method out of the office and into our bathrooms. The Sephora Glossy chatted with the skincare guru to find out how The Lancer Method works and the reasons behind narrowing our routine down to a trio of steps.
Tell us about your background in skincare.
I have been practicing dermatology for the last 30 years, essentially dedicating my life to my practice. Skincare, skin health, product, and treatment development is my passion and my career.
Can you tell us about your three-step method—and walk us through the steps?
The three-step method—known as The Lancer Method—consists of Polish, an intense physical exfoliator; Cleanse, a gently purifying cleanser; and Nourish, a rich, deeply emollient moisturizer. The system is designed to be used in three parts, each with its own role. Polish creates what is known as “controlled injury” on the skin, triggering growth factors and circulation in the body, thereby oxygenating cells and sloughing away sebum buildup. Cleanse sweeps the lifted debris off the skin, fully clearing any environmental toxins or pollution from the skin. Finally, Nourish is designed to replenish moisture in the skin, protect the cells with antioxidants, and reverse the visible signs of aging. It’s really an all-inclusive skincare regimen.
How did you come to develop the three-step method?
The three-step method is the reinvention of home skincare. I wanted a system that delivered major results for men and women of all ancestries, ethnicities, and age groups. As a practicing dermatologist who knows the biology of how skin works and repairs itself, I developed the three-step method to suit this process and naturally enhance it.
What inspired you to start your own line?
In the early ’80s, I realized that the majority of patients I was treating were entirely uneducated about proper skin hygiene and maintenance. The Lancer Method was developed to help simplify the accurate management of home skin grooming from beginning to end.
What are some of your favorite skincare ingredients and why?
It is essential to increase skin oxygen levels, protein levels, vitamin levels, and antioxidant levels to provide regeneration of environmentally damaged tissue. Retinol, vitamin C, and glycolic acid are the essential tools of a dermatologist, and though they may not fall in the trendy ingredient category, they still deliver proven results in many different types of skin.
Tell us about your “Believability Beauty” philosophy.
I believe that cosmetic and aesthetic maintenance is important—but that there can be too much of a good thing. Any procedure, whether invasive or not, should be approached with caution. As we age, we want to look like our best selves, not an unnatural version of ourselves. This emphasis on natural beauty is why I have put so much time and effort into developing my products. Topical skincare should always be your first line of defense—not surgery, not injections, but high-quality self-care.
What do you love about The Method: Cleanser?
It’s perfectly designed to work with the pH of The Method Polish and The Method Nourish to fully and properly cleanse the skin without over-drying it.
What’s special about The Method: Nourish?
The Method: Nourish is the ultimate luxurious antiaging formula. It’s a rich cream that delivers a payload of hydration and antioxidants. The skin drinks it right up.
What makes The Method: Polish stand out from other exfoliators?
Many other physical exfoliators are composed of particles that are uneven or jagged and thus cause micro-cuts and tears in the skin. The Method: Polish uses an ultra-fine grain of quartz and sodium bicarbonate crystals, which have been tumbled to ensure the grains are proportionate and smooth. Its gritty feel is on par with the crystal used in an office setting to perform microdermabrasion. The results are instantly noticeable.
The Method routine touts fast, dramatic results. How does it work so quickly and what results come about immediately?
After the first use of The Method, you will notice softer, smoother, more even-looking skin, with the results amplifying over time. Eventually, the look of wrinkles and age spots are diminished, fine lines go away, and a youthful bounce is brought back to the skin. Many people shy away from daily exfoliation, but it’s really the key of The Method. When exfoliating daily, it’s important to replenish your skin’s moisture and protect it from your environment, so proper healing and antiaging can take place—this is the role that Nourish plays. It’s an integral system that allows for such fast and noticeable results.