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For as long as I can remember, keeping my skin clear, clean, and blemish-free took minimal effort. I slept with makeup on one too many times (eek!) and used whatever drugstore product fit my budget. Then, I got my first big job post-college and proceeded to buy every glamorous skincare product at Sephora known to woman.
Now, with a cabinet full of trendy once-used products and that oh-so-random adult acne my mother warned me about, it took a few too many inopportune post-thirty breakouts for me to realize my questionable skincare “routine” really sucked. I grew up, but my skincare didn’t—and that became obvious (thanks to that zit in the middle of my face at a company-wide presentation).
After taking a deeper look at the products I was using, I did some research (thanks to Reddit’s SkincareAddiction) and decided to bring it back to basics, reinventing my skincare routine from start to finish. Serums, face masks and exfoliants aside, here’s my battle-tested baseline for simplified skincare—plus a few go-to products that are helping me save face, every day.
It’s not a revolutionary concept: washing your face removes dirt, grime, and excess oil, while minimizing shine and keeping your pores clog-free. But are you cleansing your face in the morning and at night? I wasn’t. I thought going to bed with a fresh face meant waking up with one. Remember to start your day with a clean canvas because your skin can accumulate a disturbing amount of bacteria while you sleep.
My Pick: Stratia Velvet Cleansing Milk
This Indie cult-favorite brand is rocking the mainstream skincare world, and I am obsessed with their gentle cleanser. It keeps my sensitive skin soft and smooth, without stripping my face of moisture like many foaming cleansers.
I am a full face makeup kind of gal. While I love experimenting with new products (especially eyeshadow), not all makeup removes the same, and not every cleanser can get that liquid cat-eye off. Instead of opting for wipes, I’ve gone the micellar water and cotton ball route. My skin has never been so happy.
My Pick: L'Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water
Just call this liquid magic. My waterproof mascara has nothing on this cleansing water. With moisturizing properties you don’t have to wash off, your skin will always be extra hydrated and 100% makeup-free.
The hunt for the *perfect* face moisturizer is a never-ending quest. But after trying almost every product on the beauty store shelf, I’ve finally found two that are helping me fight wrinkles while hydrating my skin without a sign of greasy residue.
My Picks: Stratia Liquid Gold
Yes, I have already pledged allegiance to one of their other products, but what can I say? I’m all about Stratia. I mean this brand sold out in three hours for good reason. Just a pump of this lightweight moisturizer, and my skin feels instantly extra luminous, even under my foundation.
L'Oréal Paris Collagen Moisture Filler Day/Night Cream
Ok, now that I’ve accepted I’m in the over 30 club, I am doing everything “natural” to fight wrinkles and reverse the sun damage done in my teenage years. This cream is rich in natural collagen and, after a few weeks, I already started to feel a healing difference. Though it’s for day and night, I prefer this cream before bed.
With work (and life) comes stress. With the strain of a busy schedule, my skin tends to get dehydrated and tight throughout the day. Since I can’t go home when the going gets tough and slap on a watermelon face mask, thanks to my friend and coworker, Keana, I’ve adopted a new habit—carrying a little skin refreshing spray with me, no matter where I go.
My Pick: Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe Herbs and Rosewater
Made with herbal extracts and rosewater, misting your face with this spray is just like an insta-spa. Giving you a dewy luminosity that makeup artists swear by, one spritz will hydrate and illuminate your skin.