The Right Face Sunscreen That Won’t F*ck Up Your Skin

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The days of laying out in the sun and monitoring the UV index like it’s our full-time job are quickly approaching. While this may be a more enjoyable task (who doesn’t like being tan?), something many of us avoid or simply forget to do before basking in the sun is apply sunscreen. You can easily avoid a lobster-red sunburn by just applying a little SPF, especially to your face – one of the first areas of your body the sun reaches. 

Choosing the right face sunscreen is crucial for all skin types to help protect your skin from the sun. Not sure which sunscreen is best for your skin type? Here’s a quick cheat sheet.

Acne-Prone Skin

If you have acne-prone skin, finding any sunscreen that doesn’t completely irritate your skin probably seems impossible. Sticking to an oil-free sunscreen will save you from a horrendous breakout.

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This water-resistant sunscreen is specially made to provide light hydration and broad-spectrum sun protection. It contains a handful of plant-based boosters which help reduce skin inflammation, moisturize the skin and prevent any further dreadful breakouts.

This mineral-based, oil-free sunscreen is formulated with lactic acid, which can help brighten discoloration (like from acne scars) while protecting your skin from free radicals.

Sensitive Skin

Any sunscreen made with chemical UV blockers can aggravate the skin, which is a nightmare for anyone with sensitive skin. Nobody wants stinging, burning, or redness, so if you do have sensitive skin, look for a mineral sunscreen. 

Made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, this 100% mineral, non-comedogenic (won’t block your pores) sunscreen will protect your skin from the harsh sun, while the Thermal Spring Water soothes it.

Hydrate, repair, and protect your sensitive skin with this non-comedogenic, dermatologist tested, and synthetic fragrance-free SPF. This 4-in-1 formula helps absorb oil, reduce shine, hydrate and provide sun protection. Get you a sunscreen that can do it all.

Dry Skin

With dry skin, you want to look for a sunscreen with hydrating ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate, and avoid anything with fragrances as they can be irritating.

The extremely lightweight sunscreen shields your skin against harsh UV rays. Once applying, your dry skin will feel moisturized, hydrated and feel silky soft – all without irritating your skin.

A 100% mineral sunscreen that absorbs harmful UV rays which can damage skin and cause your skin to age quicker. Your skin will look and feel moisturized while wearing this sunscreen. 

Oily Skin

When you have oily skin, you should use an SPF that has a high concentration of Zinc Oxide—at least 5%. This is important as it helps mattify oily skin.

This lightweight, silky, 100% sheer mineral sunscreen blends into skin effortlessly without clogging your pores or leaving behind streaks or white residue. It’s made to help control excess oil that may get worse over the summer and minimizes the appearance of pores.

Made with oil-trapping microspheres that mattify your skin and deliver smooth, soft skin. This SPF controls oil and shine for 10 hours while protecting your skin against the sun.

Wrinkles and Fine Lines

One of the downfalls of basking in the sun is how much it can age your skin. Luckily, using a broad spectrum formula sunscreen everyday can protect your skin from the sun’s rays and delay damaging and premature aging effects of sun exposure.

This SPF moisturizer will hydrate your skin while helping delay any signs of aging. It’s antioxidant-rich White Tea-Infused formula will nourish your skin and further protect your skin’s youth.

A daily hydrating, broad-spectrum SPF that works to promote healthier, younger looking skin. The water-light formula fights visible signs of aging and prevents premature aging of the skin, which we can all benefit from.

Image: Pansfun Images / Stocksy.com

Halle Berry’s Esthetician Shares Tips To Get Her Glowing Skin

The typical quarantine routine consists of overeating, sleeping, and skin care. I don’t know about you, but I’ve mastered the overeating and sleeping segments and am now ready to take on skin care. Since spa getaways are a no-go these days, the assumption is that we have to forgo certain luxuries, like facials. Luckily, that doesn’t have to be the case. Take it from Halle Berry—she’s doing the quarantine life just like the rest of us and hasn’t sacrificed a second of her skin care. Seriously, her glowing skin is what dreams are made of. (Just look at her.) But how does she do it? 

Turns out she gets by with a little help from her esthetician. Berry recently treated us all to a special self-care Sunday with an inside look at her at-home facial routine. The 15-minute tutorial features a fresh-faced Berry applying face masks to her already flawless skin, guided by her go-to skin guru. Since we haven’t all become master estheticians in quarantine yet, I figured it was time to turn to a specialist—specifically, Halle Berry’s skin specialist—to get the insider secrets on everything skin care.

Glow Up

The woman behind Berry’s glowing complexion is celebrity esthetician Olga Lorencin. Olga, aka The Acid Queen, breaks down Berry’s skin care regimen, telling Betches, “Her standard routine is very simple, but it’s consistent.” If I’ve learned anything in all my years, it’s that simplicity is key in all aspects of life, especially when it comes to your skin. So is consistency (things I whisper in the mirror to force myself to wash off my makeup after a night out). Lorencin says, “She uses a rehydrating cleanser morning and night along with a rebalancing toner and a lactic acid hydrating serum.” She also adds that Berry is “very in tune with her skin”, something I hope to say about myself one day.

 

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This is an EXTRA special #SelfCareSunday, you know why? Because I’m finally introducing you to my ultimate skincare secret. Her name is @Olgalorencinskincare, and today? We’ll be showing a facial you can DIY with one of her at-home kits! During COVID I haven’t seen her in forever so I’m VERY excited. 😂⁣ ⁣ I definitely stand by the investment of Olga’s at home kits, BUT if you’re looking for a more affordable option? Olga loves a simple at-home recipe – ⁣ ⁣ 𝐈𝐍𝐆𝐑𝐄𝐃𝐈𝐄𝐍𝐓𝐒: ⁣ ⁣ 1 tsp Full-Fat Greek Yogurt (vegan option = coconut yogurt) ⁣ ⁣ 1 tsp Honey ⁣ ⁣ For Dry Skin – add a slice of avocado + a few drops of avocado oil⁣ ⁣ For Acneic Skin – add a bit of powdered charcoal. ⁣ ⁣ Option – add a few drops of Chlorophyll to fight breakouts and reduce inflammation ⁣ ⁣ 𝐃𝐈𝐑𝐄𝐂𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍𝐒: ⁣ ⁣ 1. Mix ingredients together into a bowl ⁣ 2. Massage into clean skin (face AND neck) ⁣ 3. Leave on for 15-20 minute ⁣ ⁣ Note: for best results, relax in the bath or in a steamy shower for 5-10 minutes before rinsing it off. This mask is rich in probiotics, which are very helpful with skin balancing and congestion. The honey is a natural humectant – it attracts water from the air to your skin.⁣ ⁣ Enjoy and happy Sunday!! ☀️

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While having a crazy amount of skin envy over celebrities is fine, it’s important to focus on and figure out your own skin needs. However, that’s often easier said than done, and according to Lorencin, figuring out what your skin needs is the most difficult part for most people. It can be especially tricky to nail down what your skin needs if you don’t have any particularly concerning issues. But whether you have clear skin or not, nobody is immune to the frustrations of establishing a successful skin care routine. So, like all those brand marketing emails we received in April, we’re all in this together! The Acid Queen recommends, “If the products that you are using are working, stick with it. However, if you have a skin condition or concern, see an esthetician so they can figure out what you need.” When in doubt, always seek out a specialist. 

Routine Rundown 

And the secret to flawless skin care is—drumroll please—it depends. (Sorry, that probably wasn’t worth a drumroll, but it was fun, wasn’t it?) On anti-aging, Lorencin says, “It can vary vastly from person to person, but de-aging ingredients are universally the same. It just depends on how we use them and in what combination.” 

When it comes to how many products we should be stocking up on, Lorencin advises, “As little products as possible, anywhere from 4-10. Don’t overdo it! Layers upon layers will just cancel each other out or cause your skin to be confused.” Lorencin continues, “Buying random skin care products produces random results.” This probably means that the bucket of youth promising serums under my bathroom sink isn’t quite as effective as I had initially hoped. 

Lorencin also breaks down the different products that we should be using in the morning versus at night. “At night, it’s a good time to use retinols and exfoliating products that contain AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) and BHA (beta hydroxy acid). In the morning, it’s a good time to use antioxidants like Vitamin C, whereas hydrating and collagen building products can be used both day and night, such as peptides, ceramides, and hyaluronic acids, etc.” 

In addition to applying the proper blend of serums and lotions, your face can also benefit from an occasional massage. Facial massages are an effective measure for pampering yourself with some much needed TLC. Lorencin explains that, when done properly, facial massages can reduce puffiness and help prevent wrinkles. 

Facial Features

Move over, cucumbers—the at-home facial has received a serious upgrade. From professional kits to DIY recipes, there are endless possibilities to soothe your skin and turn any day into a self-care day. According to Lorencin, step one of doing a facial at home is “making sure you are using facial masks on exfoliated skin, or they won’t do very much.” Help yourself get the best results by allowing the mask to easily find its way to your clean skin. Once your skin is prepped, you can then opt for either a homemade or professional facial mix, depending on your budget. 

Weighing the pros and cons of each method, Lorencin says, “Homemade masks are nice and won’t cause side effects, but they also most likely won’t produce very transformational results.” For more noticeable results, you may want to consider investing in a professional facial kit. It may be more pricey, but getting skin like Halle Berry? Priceless. (Actually, it’s more like $98, but you get the idea.)

While Lorencin has created facial kits for Halle Berry-level results, she also favors an easy and delicious at-home recipe that you can make with ingredients found in your kitchen (or borrowed from your hot neighbor). All you need is 1 teaspoon of full-fat Greek yogurt (substitute coconut yogurt for a vegan option), and 1 teaspoon of honey. If you’re feeling really fancy, you can also add in a slice of avocado and a few drops of avocado oil to soothe dry skin or a dash of powdered charcoal for acneic skin. According to Berry and Lorencin’s IGTV video, adding a few drops of chlorophyll to either mix can help fight breakouts and reduce inflammation. The next step is to apply the mask (obvi) to your face and neck—don’t neglect your neck!—and leave on for the standard 15 to 20 minutes. Lorencin also advises limiting homestyle facials to once or twice a week. Treat yourself, but don’t overdo it. Balance, baby. 

Honestly, when it comes to skin care, just do whatever Halle Berry does. 

Images: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com; halleberry / Instagram

The Beauty Products I Swear By As A Black Woman

My freshman year of college can be summed up with one word: cringe. It’s the year I thought it was a #lewk to wear a bra, leggings, and combat boots to dorm parties; the year I really mastered the art of the peace sign, duck face selfie; and it’s the year I tried my hand at filming my own makeup tutorials. Now, please don’t get me wrong—there is nothing cringeworthy about makeup tutorials in and of themselves. In fact, there have been many a morning when I’ve woken up with “the grumpies” (as my free therapist calls them) and have been seconds from giving up, ordering chicken parm for breakfast, and going back to sleep, only to be saved by my favorite makeup artist, Katie Jane Hughes, and her divine ability to film perfect winged eyeliner tutorials while dancing to ABBA. Makeup tutorials have never been the problem; it was me doing makeup tutorials that were the problem. Me—sitting at a bulky wooden desk, filming on a used MacBook Pro, my twin extra long bed as a backdrop, and the casual cameo from my roommate who did not speak to me—filming makeup tutorials. That was the cringe factor. Needless to say, I took a quick look at the footage from my first 55-minute video, made the Jay-Z yikes face, and decided to permanently retire from the makeup tutorial filming profession. (Okay, you got me—I had every intention of posting that 55-minute video, but my laptop crashed, making the difficult but necessary decision to end my beauty blogger career for me.)

Although my YouTube influencer dreams never came to fruition, my passion for makeup and beauty never stopped. But then again, how could it? Long before I could even spell “going viral,” I had a well-established, indelible, even, relationship to beauty that ran deep. Some of my earliest memories include my mother scrubbing my face every night with Ivory soap and my dad laying down my eyebrows with a thick, nourishing pomade. My parents agreed on very little, but thankfully, they were able to come together on the essentials: skin care. As a teen, I technically was not allowed to wear makeup, so I joined the cheer team to bypass the system, as a glitter eyeshadow was a mandatory part of our getup. But what really solidified my affinity to beauty was my first trip to Sephora. I was a senior in high school touring colleges in New York, and my mother and I had some time to kill (how every great Sephora tale begins). We spent far too many hours and far too many dollars in that black and white striped oasis than I’d care to admit publicly.  

All this to say, if there is one thing I know well, it’s makeup and beauty. I’ve always received much joy, confidence, and even peace in discovering new products and new beauty routines. You have your healing crystals, I have my Bobbi Brown shimmer brick (we both should see health care professionals). But as a Black woman, specifically, my passion for beauty discovery has had to be far more intentional than your average (okay, white) consumer. Let’s face it, despite Black women being a majority demographic for beauty brand consumption, very few products are actually made with us in mind. I can’t tell you how many eyeshadow palettes I’ve opened that disappear entirely on my skin; how many skin care products that seek to fight “redness” when very few dark-skinned people encounter that issue. So, after years of being makeup and beauty obsessed, and even more years of being a Black woman, here are some of the beauty products that I swear by. 

Skin Care

Every girl has a moment in her life that she’ll remember forever. For some, it’s her engagement day, for others, it’s the birth of her first born. For me, it was the day my roommate asked me if I was wearing makeup when all I’d done was wash my face. What can I say? There is glory in proper skin care! In the last few years, models, influencers, and makeup artists alike have been raving about one universal craze: glow. That sunkissed, radiant bronze that screams “I spent the entire summer on a nude beach in Brazil.” Now, amateurs will try to achieve this look with bronzing powders or shimmering highlights or booking an illegal (COVID, etc.) flight to Brazil, but real radiance experts know: the perfect glow starts with the right skin care.

Shea Moisture African Black Soap Facial Wash & Scrub

In all honesty, I first started using this product accidentally. My family lives in California, and whenever I went home to visit, I hated lugging around my entire beauty cabinet. So, I decided to go to Target and randomly select a travel-sized tube of this African Black Soap Facial Scrub and keep it in California. While I was home, I would use this product every day, and would also start saying things like: “Wow, my skin is so much better in California—must be the water!” It took me a couple of trips home to realize that it wasn’t the California tap water that was revitalizing my skin, it was this Shea Moisture Facial Scrub. I then started incorporating this product into my daily routine (the right way, I must add—this is an exfoliant and shouldn’t be used daily, but rather 2-3 times a week max). And, at the humiliating risk of sounding like an infomercial, after using this scrub, my skin feels like legit silk. Not only does my skin feel softer, it is so much clearer. This facial scrub leaves your skin looking clear, feeling soft, and providing you with the perfect canvas for the rest of your skin care routine.

First Aid Beauty Radiance Pads

I discovered this product recently, during the height of COVID quarantine. I was depressed and had a promo code that was “expiring soon”—a lethal combination. I’d been looking for a better alternative to the toner I was using at the time and will be forever grateful that this impulse buy was just that. These radiance pads are unique because they are 3-in-1: they tone, but they also exfoliate and illuminate the skin. I use these pads after I cleanse my face, so they also help remove any excess makeup, oils, dirt, etc. And I can honestly say that within days, I noticed my skin became brighter and more radiant. I also love First Aid Beauty products because they’re conducive to all skin types. My skin is very dry and very sensitive, but I’ve been using this product regularly for about four months now, and haven’t had any negative reactions. Who knew that glow could start with your toner? This product is definitely a must.

Tatcha Violet-C Vitamin C Brightening Serum

Full transparency: the first thing you’ll notice when you look up this product is that it is disgustingly expensive. And to address your questions now: no, I do not have a trust fund, I just have a credit card with no real sense of the word “debt.” And that, I get, is a “me” thing. But I do also sincerely believe that if there is one thing to splurge on, it’s your skin. You only get one face, unless you are a Real Housewife, so I choose to take care of mine at all costs. You’ll also notice that this product is a serum. Honestly, I did not start using serums until about a year ago because I “didn’t find them necessary,” but really because I didn’t know what they were or how to use them. After some research, however, I found that serums are attractive skin care aids because they target specific skin care concerns. Truly whatever concern you may have, there is probably a serum for it. My major issue has always been hyperpigmentation, which is a multisyllabic word for dark spots on your skin. I love this Tatcha Serum, in particular, because not only does it eliminate dark spots, but it also, you guessed it, radiates the skin! I’m looking for glow anywhere I can, babe. Pro tip: this was the product I started using when my roommate asked me if I was wearing makeup. Needless to say, it is worth its weight in gold—and is probably a similar price! 

Makeup

While deeply humbling, it’s important that I admit: it has taken me a while to master the “no-makeup makeup” look. If you unearth any of my Instagram photos circa 2012, you might have trouble identifying me, as in most of the pictures I look like a woman in her 50s going through a nasty divorce, painting on blush and eyebrows to mask her pain and be strong for the children. It’s been… a journey. But after much trial and error and watching Rihanna’s 10-Minute Beauty Routine sincerely once a month, I finally have a makeup routine that’s comprised with products that make me look natural and youthful. So now when I look like a woman in turmoil, it’s because my life is in disarray, not my makeup!

Fenty Beauty

Believe me, I tried to narrow this list down to one Fenty product. But asking me to choose only one product from this brand is like asking me to choose between cheese and sauce on a pizza—it’s simply not done. A few years ago, Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty line garnered critical acclaim and traction when it launched foundations and concealers that were inclusive to, dare I say, all skin tones. From the palest to the darkest coverage seekers, Fenty formulated a hue just for you. As such, I simply cannot mention makeup must-haves without highlighting the Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Concealer. This is a full coverage soft matte concealer that can be used on its own or combined with your favorite foundation. I often find that some matte concealers can be chalky and overpowering, but this one provides the perfect amount of coverage while still offering a dewy, natural look. I bought this concealer a year and a half ago, and it has remained in my makeup bag ever since.

Fenty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Concealer

While we’re talking Fenty, I also have to shout out their Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth Bronzer. Bronzers have always been sort of an enigma to me. I loved how they looked on other people, but I, myself, was unsure of how to use them, especially as someone with darker skin. But, after watching the aforementioned Rihanna video, I learned that bronzers are used to warm the face. After applying your foundations, concealers, and powders, chances are you’ve eliminated blemishes, but you’ve also probably eliminated any warmth in your skin along with it. Bronzers bring that warmth back, and this bronzer, in particular, brings it back effortlessly by bringing out the undertones within your skin. I can’t recommend this product enough. 

MAC Cosmetics Strobe Cream

Earlier this year, I was on the hunt for a great highlighter. I researched powder formulas, cream formulas, and finally came across the MAC Cosmetics Strobe Cream. This product is unique because it’s not a typical highlighter, meaning you don’t apply this product to the high points of the skin toward the end of your beauty, like most highlighters. Instead, this product can be combined with your favorite foundation at the very beginning of your routine, providing for a more natural, radiant glow. This is because the deceptively lucent white cream has iridescent undertones. I wear it every day, either on its own for a natural radiance, or combined with a finishing highlight, for even more drama. This product is one of my most prized (and top-secret) products in my toolbox. You’re welcome. 

Pat McGrath Perma Precision Liquid Eyeliner

I couldn’t honestly tell the story of my makeup journey without mentioning my personal never-ending plight: trying to find a liquid eyeliner that is very black and easy to use. In my quest, I’ve found tons of eyeliners that have been extremely pigmented, but also extremely hard to use, or a liner that glides on effortlessly, but doesn’t show up on my skin at all. Which is why we simply must give thanks to Pat McGrath and her precision liquid eyeliner. If you don’t know Pat McGrath, she is a prominent makeup artist, and she is a Black woman. If there’s one thing she knows, it’s how to formulate beauty products that are bold, pigmented, and inclusive. And she’s done just that with her perfect liquid eyeliner. Admittedly, I can’t take full credit for discovering this product because I first learned about it from watching Naomi Campell’s 10-Minute Beauty Routine (I watch these videos like most people watch the news). It was good enough for top model Naomi Campbell, and it has been more than good enough for me. When it comes to liquid eyeliners, this product is top-tier. 

Beauty products are an integral part of most of our daily lives. At the very basis, they are preventive maintenance agents that work to provide us with healthy and youthful-looking skin for years to come. But beyond that, they’re simply fun—offering so much to play with, discover and explore. Which is why some of us (@ing myself here) decide to throw caution to the wind, foregoing contributions to a retirement plan, and invest in rejuvenating eye serums instead. But believe me, beauty products are far less enjoyable to play with when you don’t feel represented by most of them, when only select products are accessible to your skin concerns and hue. The discussion of beauty inclusivity is a big one and shouldn’t stop here, as there is much work to be done in this arena. And while some brands are making strides to better diversify their products, the work isn’t done until this mindset is adopted widely across all brands. I hope that this list is helpful to you in the meantime.

Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link and purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.

Images: Alex Sorto / Unsplash; Giphy; Shea Moisture; First Aid Beauty; Tatcha; Fenty Cosmetics; Mac Cosmetics; Pat McGrath

Anti-Aging Tips From Martha Stewart’s Dermatologist

Skin care is incredibly tricky to figure out. It seems as if every minute there’s a new product out there promising to give you skin that’s softer than a baby’s ass, because that’s the goal, right? The “eternal beauty” overload has gotten so out of hand that our bathrooms have basically turned into our own personal Ultas, fully stocked with every serum, moisturizer, and anti-aging goop out there. But if anyone has discovered the true fountain of youth, hands down, it’s Martha Stewart. You know exactly what I’m talking about: it was the poolside selfie seen around the world. Her smooth skin and smouldering smize sent shockwaves through the nation and had everyone frantically googling her skincare routine. Stewart’s flawless thirst trap is proof that age is just a number, and that with the right skin care routine, you too can confidently take filter-free selfies by the pool. While there’s no need to go off and start slathering your face with 10 different serums at once, there are certain skin care steps that can help us achieve Martha Stewart’s smooth skin. To find out exactly what anti-aging tips we should all be following, I went straight to the source—Martha Stewart’s Dermatologist.

 

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My pool in East Hampton is the place to be on a 89 degree day! When I built the pool thirty years ago it was designed to be as chlorine free as possible, with a natural concrete finish-no paint- and it fit in a long narrow space between the house and the property line. I made it extra deep for diving and with no protruding steps so we could really race the length without worrying about obstacles. After all these years, It is a fun place to swim!!!

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Engaging With Anti-Aging

Let’s kick this off with what everyone wants to know. How does Martha Stewart do it? According to Stewart’s go-to skin guy, private practice Dermatologist Dr. Dhaval G. Bhanusali, MD FAAD at Hudson Dermatology and Laser Surgery, “She is the best!” No argument there. Besides great genetics, Dr. Bhanusali says, “She starts almost every morning with a CBD-based anti-inflammatory sheet mask that we custom made for her.” Dr. Bhanusali continues, “For daily serum, we made something that combined hydrating ingredients with those that can stimulate and maintain collagen, as well as antioxidants to fight against the sun’s UV rays.” And to finish it off, “We created a richer, CBD-infused night cream that calms the skin and helps restore it.” So apparently skin care can be as easy as ABC CBD. Additionally, Dr. Bhanusali says, “Throughout the day, we made her a hydrating calming mist to keep the skin looking dewy.” Stewart is an absolute stunner, so it’s great to hear that her skin care regimen is totally achievable with the right guidance. 

But at what age should you start getting serious about anti-aging? Dr. Bhanusali likes to think of it more as “skin optimization”. He recommends that, “Once you’re in your mid-twenties, I like to introduce a retinoid to help create the foundation of good collagen production. Into the 30s, I add in more antioxidants and maintenance lasering if needed.” Not to give you a panic attack or anything, but you’re older today than you were yesterday, that’s just a fact, so it’s not totally unbelievable to start thinking about preserving your skin. So where do you start? Dr. Bhanusali says, “I am super biased, but I can’t stress how important it is to see a board-certified Dermatologist. It’s no secret that there are lots of potions and devices out there that don’t do much.” You can actually end up saving yourself some money by seeing a specialist. Take facial rollers, for example: odds are the majority of you caved with the trend and invested in a jade roller or similar device. According to Dr. Bhanusali, they don’t really do enough to justify the price. Instead he says, “My favorite derm hack is to put a spoon in the fridge at night. Each morning, remove it and lightly press it under each eye and gently massage upwards on the cheeks for 2-3 minutes.” Costs nothing and depuffs just as well! Big spoon, little spoon, whatever your preference is, it’s a lot cheaper than spending your money on a fancy facial roller.

A Wrinkle In Time

Age before beauty? How about we follow Martha Stewart’s lead and blend the two. Beauty is timeless, and when you put as much love and care into your skin as you do when ordering a pizza at 3am, beautiful things can happen—like a large pizza and cheesy bread, or skin that’s better than any Instagram filter. Aging is a natural progression of life, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t take measures to slow that process down. For instance, stop sleeping in your makeup. And if you don’t think that statement applies to you, then please stop lying about sleeping in your makeup. We all do it. It may not be every night, but we’ve all gone to brunch with makeup that was leftover from the night before, it happens. So on a scale of 1-10, how bad is it to sleep in your makeup? Dr. Bhanusali rules that, “As a one-off, maybe 2-3 out of 10. If it’s a habit, 10 out 10. It can lead to breakouts, oil buildup, and even collagen breakdown over time.” Do yourself a favor and leave your makeup wipes somewhere easily accessible after a long day or night out so you can let your skin rest when you do. 

Moreso, if you take anything away from this, it should be that your mom was right about sunscreen. All those annoying times she made you cover up really were important. You should be constantly applying sunscreen, every day. As Dr. Bhanusali says, “Sunscreen should be the staple of the early years and beyond.” To get the most out of your sunscreen, you should be using a minimum of SPF 30. Dr. Bhanusali emphasizes, “More than literally anything in the world, it’s the simplest and most powerful intervention to not just protect against skin cancer, but also the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.” Just. F*cking. Use it.

The Skin Care Setlist

So, what is the secret to the fountain of youth? While routines will ultimately vary between skin types and individual needs, there is a solution for everyone. Dr. Bhanusali recommends using a “Moisturizer with SPF 30, two types of cleansers , an antioxidant , and retinoids or bakuchiol .” It’s cool, we can pause here while you check your cabinets and update your shopping cart. All set? Let’s continue. 

Now that you know what you need, it’s time to figure out what the hell to do with it all, besides the obvious: put it on your face. Dr. Bhanusali breaks it down. “In the morning: first cleanse, then antioxidant, and finish with moisturizer with SPF. At night: first cleanse, then retinoid/bakuchiol, and finish with calming cream if needed.” Dr. Bhanusali also adds that, “Throughout the day, I like hydrating mists or products with a touch of hyaluronic acid to keep skin feeling and looking fresh.” 

Within our cleansing routine we should be alternating between gentle daily cleansers and exfoliators. You can’t really mess up with gentle cleansers, but exfoliating can require a bit more strategy. Dr. Bhanusali tells us that, “Most people over do it and it’s one of the more common causes of adult acne.” Yikes. He continues, “I like exfoliation 1-2x a week for drier skin, 2-4x a week for combo skin, and 4-6x a week for oily skin.” Choose your fighter and exfoliate with caution and care. 

Now that we have our routines nailed down, it is important to note that occasionally we can all be guilty of doing too much. Skin care is not the time to be extra. Dr. Bhanusali notes that we should, “1,000%” be letting our skin breathe sometimes. In figuring out what works best for your skin, you should first determine what it does and doesn’t need. So yes, go for the once a week self-care day and do the clay mask, but like in any relationship, don’t forget to also give your skin some space and time to breathe. When in doubt just ask yourself, “What would Martha Stewart do?” In fact, apply that thinking to every aspect of your life and you’ll be set.

Images: Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com; marthastewart48 / Instagram

11 Lightweight Skin Care Products To Add To Your Routine For Summer

I think I can speak for all of us when I say that this summer definitely hasn’t gone according to plan. With travel plans, romantic entanglements, and social lives mostly on pause for the foreseeable future, it can be hard to feel like you have control of anything. But amid this miserable roller coaster of a year, one small thing we can stay on top of is our skin care. Instead of focusing on how lame this summer is compared to years past, put that time and energy into getting your summer skin care routine on lock.

If you don’t normally put much thought into your skin care regimen, switching up your products every season might seem extra, but it makes a lot of sense. While you might spend the winter fighting dry skin with heavy creams and moisturizers, summer is a whole different ballgame. Of course, each person’s skin care needs differ based on location, climate, and skin type, but generally speaking, summer skin care is all about keeping it light and breezy. Here are some must-have products that will keep you glowing (not from sweat) all summer long.

Laneige Cream Skin Mist

If you know about Laneige’s Cream Skin line, you KNOW how exciting this launch is. I admittedly was never a huge mist person until my friends coerced me into keeping a spray in my bag at all times, and now I’m actually unsure how I survived without one. The Cream Skin Mist is great because it gives your skin a natural glow, with or without makeup. A product like this is particularly important in summer, especially during quarantine, when the chances of me wearing makeup are about the same as the odds of me shaving my legs in the winter. This final step makes any routine feel complete, and the mist itself is super hydrating, long lasting, and perfect to bring on the go. The formula is lightweight, and enriched with amino acids from White Leaf Tea water.

Caudalíe Pink Limited Edition Beauty Elixir

If you’re looking for a clean, natural mist, look no further. When I heard the Limited Edition of the cult-favorite Beauty Elixir is back in stock, I had ~a moment~. There is something about this pretty pink bottle that makes this already great product even better. If you can’t relate to my passion for packaging, that’s fine. This product is filled with natural plant extracts that help visibly smooth the skin and tighten the pores. As someone with pores the size of planet Earth itself, this is quite important to me. This product preps and sets makeup, which is extra important in the summer months, because as you can imagine, sweat + makeup = a dangerous combo.

Kiehl’s Calendula Serum-Infused Water Cream

I once won a giveaway for a year’s supply of Kiehl’s, and have since considered myself an expert on each and every one of their products. In winter months, my skin literally feels like sandpaper, so a heavy moisturizer is a MUST. But come summer, the Calendula Serum-Infused Water Cream is my number one. I’ll be honest, this little guy is on the pricier side. That being said, if you know me (or if you’ve read any of my articles) you know I am cheap AF and that me splurging on a product means it is the real deal. The water cream claims to boost radiance (I see this claim from all brands, IDK what it actually means, but I do know that my skin is dewier using this product), reduces redness (can confirm this is true) and helps improve dry skin by softening and hydrating (also can confirm this is true). This is the kind of product that makes me want to skip foundation because my skin is actually glowing, and despite being ultra-hydrating, it’s lightweight and breathable. As I reread this *passionate* rant, I hope Kiehl’s sponsors me. My DMs are open.

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench® Cloud Cream Hydrating Moisturizer

I’ve got to say, this name is very overwhelming to type, but this Hyaluronic Cloud Cream is my other go-to in summer. Even if you’re into skin care at all, you still know hyaluronic acid is ~all~ the buzz right now, and for good reason. It’s hydrating, it’s not heavy, and it’s most definitely summer-approved. I love using this moisturizer after a beach day, because it’s cooling to the skin and helps calm any burning or peeling I may have obtained. It’s lightweight, super moisturizing, and wears well under makeup. This, like the previous cream, is worth the splurge.

Supergoop! Glowscreen (SPF 40)

If you don’t already know this, SPF is the most important thing in your skin care routine. As someone with textured skin (again, pores the size of planet Earth), I am very picky about my sunscreen. If sunscreen has any sort of white cast, it’s an instant horror show. If the sunscreen doesn’t agree with my skin type, my texture is exaggerated and it’s not a good look. And with that, I find myself reaching for my Supergoop! Glowscreen on the regular. It’s dewy and pearly (great for my dry skin pals) and allows for the true no-makeup makeup look (because you literally don’t need makeup). It’s hydrating, too, which is not always true for sunscreen.

TULA Protect + Glow (Daily Sunscreen Gel Broad Spectrum SPF 30)

Something that is not spoken about enough is the fact that SPF should be worn inside. Yes. Groundbreaking, I know. bUt ThE sUn DoEsN’t ShInE iNsIdE! Correct. However, now more than ever, our skin is exposed to harmful blue light. From scrolling for hours, to being glued to our computer screens on work days, and of course binging Netflix, I am excited and impressed to see that TULA has launched Protect + Glow to protect you from damaging pollution and blue light. If you’ve purchased blue light glasses, add this to your list of must-haves. Even if you haven’t, still add this to your list of must-haves.

Peachy Prescription Retinoids

Retinoids are the industry’s best kept secret if you ask me. Summer is fun, but sun exposure leads to skin damage and wrinkles, and I for one want neither of those. I never knew (or cared) what Retinoids were until I was introduced to a local NYC business, Peachy (support local!). Retinoids are the prescription version of Retinol—and clinical studies show that they both increase collagen production and prevent collagen degradation. Increasing collagen results in plumper, stronger skin and the minimization of fine lines and wrinkles. So, in less science-y words, Retinoids are the botox of skin care (without the needles). It’s important that you get the right prescription from a trusted dermatologist and still take care of your skin in the sun (USE SPF), but this product is my secret weapon.

Kosas Tinted Face Oil

“Foundation, but make it skincare” are the first words that can be read under Kosas’ Tinted Face Oil description, and it sums this product up flawlessly. During summer months, a cakey foundation is awful, to put it simply, and this has been my personal solution. The product does a great job of giving your skin the “blur effect” but doesn’t overdo it. Think “is she wearing makeup or does she just have amazing skin???” type vibes. Overall as a brand, Kosas has multiple products that dabble in both the skin care + makeup category, but this stands out above the rest for me.

Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm

Summer Fridays is one of those brands that is actually worth the hype. Their products are great, their branding is great, their social media is great, their packaging is great, even their p-page images are great (few will understand, but those who do will appreciate this callout). Anyway, during summer months I often love replacing my lipstick with a clear balm and letting my lips go natural-ish. This Lip Butter Balm is actually considered a mask, and it’s created to soothe parched lips while sealing in moisture. I’m a big fan of this product because it’s not like other lip balms that feel amazing for the first 10 minutes and then leave your lips needing more soon after. This lasts what feels like hours, and it makes my lips look glowy like a gloss, but without the sticky feeling.

YSL Beauty Rouge Volupte Shine Oil-in-Stick

If you prefer a little color in your summer lip look, an oil lip color is a great way to go. YSL Beauty launched their new Milk Tea collection (I’m fittingly sipping on milk tea as I write this) and the colors are reaaalllyyy pretty. I feel like we’re all on the permanent hunt for the “perfect nude” and this just might be it. The hydrating formula drenches lips in moisture while leaving a high-shine finish. Think lipstick-meets-balm. All day color and comfort? Yes please.

SheaMoisture African Black Soap

Summer brings an excess of oil and enlarged pores (sorry, I know you’re sick of hearing about my pores). SheaMoisture African Black Soap is THAT product that will help you maintain your natural glow while conquering oil and sweat (we all have it, so don’t pretend you’re better than me). More importantly, the soap won’t dehydrate your skin, which for obvious reasons is important here. This face and body bar is super affordable ($4.99) and is specially formulated with organic Shea Butter, Oats and Aloe to cleanse, moisturize and comfort irritated skin.

Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Body Scrub

LAST BUT NOT LEAST. I used to think body scrubs were a myth, but then I tried one and realized it wasn’t. Thrilling, I know. I’m a big fan of Sol de Janeiro’s OG Bum Bum Cream because it smells like vacation—even after being trapped inside for 100 days. The Bum Bum Body Scrub texture is soft yet gritty, and literally leaves my skin glowing. I think it’s important to be careful with body scrubs, because while you do want to exfoliate the skin, you don’t want the product to be abrasive. I think that BBBS (I’ve made up this abbreviation because Bum Bum Body Scrub is a mouthful) is the perfect happy medium, and the scent alone is enough to keep me coming back for more. WOULD recommend for *summer smooth* skin.

And there you have it, summer skin care, head to toe. Check back in winter for my 100-step routine.

Images: Margot Pandone / Unsplash; Provided by Laneige; Caudalie; Kiehls; Peter Thomas Roth; Supergoop; TULA; Provided by Peachy; Provided by Kosas; Summer Fridays; Provided by YSL Beauty; Provided by SheaMoisture; Provided by Sol de Janeiro

Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link and purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.

7 Common Skin Care Myths & What The Truth Is

In a world where beauty bloggers act like they have a medical degree and influencers promote facial cleansing brushes on their Insta stories, basically anyone can call themselves a skin care expert. While it’s great that we can learn everything we need to know about toners and exfoliators from just a quick Google search, it also means that a lot of us have based our skin care routine on information that might not be accurate. Don’t panic and throw out all of your favorite beauty products just yet, though! Take a look at these busted skin care myths to get all of the facts on how to achieve the glowing skin you’ve always dreamed of.

Myth #1: Anti-Aging Products Are Only For People With Wrinkles

You might think that anti-aging products are for “older” people who have wrinkled skin. What many of those people will tell you is that they’ve had no luck getting their skin to look baby-smooth again like it once did. The truth is, once your skin has wrinkles, there’s no magic cream that can take them away permanently. The most effective way to be wrinkle-free is to start taking preventative measures when you’re young (in your 20s and 30s). That means using moisturizer and sunscreen or another SPF face lotion every day to prevent the development of dark spots and/or other signs of premature aging.

Myth #2: You Only Need Sunscreen If You’re Going To Be In Direct Sunlight

This brings us to our next point: it seems that the only time most of us remember to put on sunscreen is when we are going to the beach, or doing some kind of outdoor activity in the sunny summer months. While it is incredibly important that you use sun protection regularly when you plan to go out in direct sunlight, it’s equally as important to wear sunscreen on a daily basis, regardless of how sunny or cloudy it may seem.  Especially when it comes to preserving and protecting your complexion, a daily broad-spectrum SPF is essential. Whether you realize it or not, even the smallest amount of sun exposure—whether that be through a window, sitting outside, or even through cloud cover—puts your skin at risk for negative effects from sun exposure. We know that getting a sunburn is very bad for your skin, but the sun can also penetrate the layers of your skin and cause damage deeper down, potentially leading to skin cancer, the most common cancer in the United States.

Myth #3: A Set Skin Care Routine Will Work For Everyone

You may be thinking, “everyone with perfect skin is following the same skin care routine, and I need to use exactly what they use if I want to have great skin too.” Yeah, that just isn’t the case. Each person has unique skin needs based on their skin type. A person with oily skin will need to use different products to cater to their needs as opposed to someone with dry skin. The same goes for people with mature skin, or sensitive skin, and so on. Just because one product worked amazingly for one person, doesn’t mean it will have the same effects for you. Take the time to research your skin type, or visit a dermatologist to find out what your skin type is, and the best way to care for it. The good news is there are so many products available that you’re bound to find the right ones for you.

Myth #4: Once Your Skin Reaches Maturity You’ll No Longer Break Out

You’d think that once you make it past your teens, you’ll never have to deal with acne again. Sorry, but we have some bad news. As it turns out, acne doesn’t seem to magically remove itself from your existence once you turn 20. Actually, your skin doesn’t fully mature until you’re about 30 to 35 years old, and even once you’ve reached that age range, you may still find yourself dealing with those pesky zits. But why? The most probable cause of your adult acne is your hormones. Your hormones change a lot over the course of your life, but factors like birth control, menopause, and even just your menstrual cycle can cause your hormones to fluctuate and create acne on your skin. Ughhh, we can’t have any nice things.

Myth #5: A Skin Care Routine Is Only For Your Face

Finally, you’ve perfected your skin care routine and your complexion looks the best it ever has. While achieving that sought-after facial glow does qualify for a well-deserved pat on the back, you may be forgetting about the big picture: the rest of the skin on your body! 

You can’t forget to invest just as much time and energy into the skin on your body as you do for your face. Though your routine won’t be the same—our body skin is much thicker, which is why you wouldn’t use the same products on your face that you would on your body (and vice versa). TG, because facial products are expensive. 

When it comes to skin care on your body, keep it simple. Wash your skin well with a soap or shower gel to remove the daily dirt, sweat, and other sh*t that collect on your skin. Next, exfoliate your clean skin. Whether you use a dry brush or a scrub to exfoliate while in the shower, it’s important to remove dead skin cells from your body to reveal the healthy skin underneath. Finally, moisturize. Once you’ve finished cleansing and exfoliating your skin, finishing off with a moisturizer is arguably one of the most important steps, as moisturizing serves to replenish your skin barrier, helping to improve its overall tone and texture.

Myth #6: A Skin Care Routine Is Only Effective If You Use A Multitude Of Targeted Products

With the thousands of skin care products available on the market, you may think that your routine will need to consist of 10 products minimum. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that complicated (or expensive). If you want to create a perfectly effective skin care regimen, keep it limited to these three steps: cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize. Cleaning your skin of makeup and dirt, exfoliating off the dead skin cells built up on your face, and moisturizing the new and healthy skin underneath is the simplest way to care for your skin on a daily basis and maintain a clean, clear, and healthy complexion. 

However, if you have any unique skin concerns—like acne, for example—you may want to consider incorporating a specialized treatment product into your skin care regimen, as this will work to effectively target and address these areas. An acne cream containing tretinoin, for instance, is great for increasing skin cell renewal, which helps to prevent acne from the inside-out. On the other hand, if you’re concerned about dryness or wrinkles, applying a serum for overnight recovery can help penetrate the skin at a deeper level for better results. 

At the most basic level, keep your skin care routine short and simple, and only incorporate more targeted treatments if and when necessary. Make sure to apply these treatments only to the particular areas of your skin that need some additional TLC.

Myth #7: “A Little Dab Will Do Ya”

Most skin care products will say to only apply a pea-sized amount of the product to your face, and this is true when using a product like an eye cream, where a little can go a long way. In reality, however, the suggested amount of product for proper use with most skin care products isn’t enough to give complete results for your skin. If you’re going to cleanse, exfoliate, or moisturize, don’t be afraid to apply a little bit extra. The lighter products like a cleanser or moisturizer can’t really hurt your skin, so if you want to get your complexion extra clean and smooth, you can add a little more than the bottle suggests. 

If you do choose to use more of a product than suggested, keep your skin type in mind. For instance, those with dry skin shouldn’t over-cleanse, as their skin will dry out easily, and for those with oily skin, there’s no need to go overboard on the moisturizer or facial oils. 

For products like a serum, a chemical exfoliator, or a targeted treatment, you’ll want to stick to the directions on the label, as these products are stronger and can cause damage to your skin if not used improperly or too frequently. 

Images: Retha Ferguson / Pexels

Why You’re Breaking Out Like Crazy In Quarantine & What To Do About It

As we approach week 9 (58? 102??) of quarantine, many of us are noticing that our skin is reverting back to its acne-riddled high school days. Seriously, what the hell? We’re not spending much time outside getting attacked by free radicals and pollutants, and we have more time than ever to do our involved skin care routines. So, what gives? Dr. Shari Marchbein, a New York-based dermatologist and Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, spoke with us about why our skin is still not behaving even when we’re in quarantine, and what we can do about it.

Why Quarantine is Causing You to Break Out

According to Dr. Marchbein, hormones are a crucial reason our skin is breaking out rn. There’s no way to pinpoint just one culprit, she says, since our sleep, work, and skin care routines are all out of whack from sheltering in place. The key ingredient in all of these, she says, is stress. 

When we think about hormones, our minds typically wander to testosterone, progesterone, and like, things that relate to the pill or middle school health class. However, Dr. Marchbein explains, the hormone causing our current skin woes is cortisol, “which increases in the blood at times of stress or with lack of sleep and can trigger acne breakouts by stimulating sebaceous glands to make more oil.” Increased cortisol, she says, “can worsen other skin conditions such as eczema, acne and psoriasis, as well as cause an increased breakdown of collagen and hyaluronic acid, which is the good stuff that gives skin its glow and plumpness.” Yeah, no thanks.

How to Prevent Stress-Related Flare-Ups

To avoid flare-ups in the first place, Dr. Marchbein recommends several ways to de-stress. “First and foremost, get plenty of sleep,” she says. When our body is sleep-deprived, it makes more cortisol, causing inflammation and bodily stress. Staying active is also important, according to Dr. Marchbein. Her go-to ways to de-stress are meditating and taking a yoga class. To help reduce your cortisol and stress levels, you can also go for a socially distanced walk, if possible. 

And just like your mom’s been telling you for years, “maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet and drinking plenty of water are key.” By following this advice, which tbh you should be doing anyway for your general health, you can be like that meme that’s like, “my skin is clear, my crops are flourishing, my depression is gone” (but like, with actual, non-sarcastically clear skin).

How to Treat Acne Flare-Ups

If you’ve got a particularly aggressive breakout, don’t freak out, because here are a number of treatment methods to try. Under normal circumstances (lol what are those), Dr. Marchbein would advise visiting your dermatologist for a steroid injection. These injections “reduce the pain and inflammation of cystic breakouts,” she says, but at this point, “most medical visits are being done by telemedicine, and in-person visits should be for true emergencies only.” So that’s out.

Then what to do about the acne glaring back at you in your reflection? For starters, Dr. Marchbein recommends certain over-the-counter products to treat existing flare-ups. Retinoids are one useful treatment for acne breakouts—Differin 0.1% gel is the strongest non-prescription one available, she notes. Salicylic acid, a type of acid that can unclog pores, is also helpful. 

“I like St. Ives Blackhead Clearing Scrub with salicylic acid and green tea as a gentle scrub, and I use a St. Ives salicylic acid gel cleanser once daily,” Dr. Marchbein says. She also recommends stronger 1-2% salicylic acid gel for spot treatment. Products with benzoyl peroxide, which is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, can help calm irritated skin too. Dr. Marchbein likes 10% Panoxyl wash and 4% CeraVe wash

Finally, acne patches deliver active ingredients to a pimple. “By occluding the pimple, these active ingredients are able to penetrate the skin more deeply allowing them to potentially work better,” she explains. Watch out if you have sensitive skin, though—acne patches might be too harsh for you and could make the situation worse. 

“Most importantly,” Dr Marchbein warns, “do not pop or squeeze a pimple, as this will cause even more inflammation and can make a potentially bad situation even worse.” I know Dr. Pimple Popper videos can be satisfying, but seriously, don’t do this to yourself.

Skin Care Advice in the Time of Public Face Masks

As much as we’ve been staying indoors these days, we occasionally have to venture out into the real world to stock up on supplies or grab our curbside pick-up order of pad thai. For those of us responsibly following the CDC’s recommendation to wear cloth face masks in public, our skin might be suffering. Dr. Rajani Katta, a dermatologist and clinical assistant professor at Baylor University, warns against using masks made of irritating materials like polyester that trap sweat, in a blog post for the Baylor College Of Medicine. She suggests masks made of absorbent materials like cotton, which can help absorb sweat and prevent breakouts. 

If you’ve got dry skin, Dr. Katta advises moisturizing before putting on your mask, but if you’re particularly acne-prone, she recommends skipping greasy products like foundation. “These products can get trapped under the mask and possibly cause more skin issues,” she explains. For healthcare workers on the front lines, Dr. Marchbein recommends avoiding retinoids and exfoliants. Wearing abrasive N95 masks daily, she says, “could cause further irritation and shearing of the skin.”

If your quarantine = breakout central, all hope is not lost. There are plenty of products and habits that can help repair your skin and prevent further flare-ups. Plus, it’s not like many people are seeing you these days. If you’ve got a particularly nasty zit, just turn off your video on Zoom.

Images: Andrea Piacquadio / Unsplash; Vera Davidova / Unsplash; Breakingpic / Pexels

Skincare You Can Do With Your BF Who Washes His Face With Bar Soap

Hey all you cool cats and kittens. If you’re quarantined with your significant other, this one’s for you.

I personally am trapped in the small NYC apartment I call home with my boyfriend who thinks it’s ok to wash his face with the same bar soap he uses on his feet, and that’s a battle I have not yet given up on. Especially now that I have the time to wage the war against his so-called skincare routine.

My boyfriend is aware that my daily self-care regimen can be a 10-step process, and in the past few weeks we’ve gone from #coupletrolls to #couplegoals (sorry, I hate myself for that one too). But, let’s face it, if we’re going to come out of the quarantine 15-pounds heavier, at least we’ll come out glowing. 

Here are my favorite self-care remedies, all made more fun with a partner: 

The Basics

cetaphil daily facial cleanser

I personally can’t bear to waste my expensive cleansers on my boyfriend (I swear I don’t hate him, I’m just cheap), but I also don’t want to put my skin in jeopardy by resorting to washing my face with a bar of soap. *Shudders* The solution: Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser is super gentle, boyfriend and girlfriend approved, and extremely affordable ($6, can I get an amen?).

Post-cleanser, we tone with Dickinson’s Enhanced Witch Hazel Alcohol Free Hydrating Toner (whoever named this is dramatic), which comes in a bottle that will last you ten quarantines. If we’re not masking, we finish with Unscented Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Gel Face Moisturizer (again, DRAMATIC), because it’s the only drugstore moisturizer I trust. I myself have a much more intense skincare routine, but this is our morning couples’ drill and so far, so good. 

Masks

 

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Nothing better to do but celebrate #dryhumpday with some moisture masks, couples style. Xo #stayhome #staymoisturized @morehetime @get_rael

A post shared by kristen bell (@kristenanniebell) on

I am not afraid to walk around the house with a sheet mask on. In fact, I’ll even share this mildly terrifying look on social media if it means getting a few laughs. My boyfriend has a beard, so he typically is uninterested in participating in my masking routine. BUT, I am stubborn, so after doing some research I stumbled upon HETIME, a beard-proof mask designed for men. It is Dax Shepard approved, and the perfect option to present to your man when throwing your own sheet mask on. My boyfriend went through his first four-pack in 10 days, so it’s safe to say we’ll be purchasing more. Happy masking!

Cleansing The Pores

biore

Bioré The Original Deep Cleansing Nose Strips

IDK about you, but to me there is nothing more satisfying than unclogging pores with cleansing strips. Bioré is well aware of this, because they literally put out an #oddlysatisfying commercial to highlight just how gratifying the process is. We ALL have clogged pores/blackheads (except for the one girl reading this internally bragging that she has perfect skin), so this is another fun (and kind of gross) step in the couples skincare bible (written by me, in this moment). Always wash your face prior to using the strips, as oily residue can disturb the process. Also, to clarify, I’m sure there are plenty of brands that offer this type of product, but Bioré is at Target, and Target trumps all. Thank you and goodnight. 

Scalp

I think we often forget that our scalp still counts as skincare, and it’s important to treat that and the hair on your head with kindness. My boyfriend will not sit for long periods of time with a hair mask in (unless I casually lathered it in while he was playing video games), but we do use Garnier Fructis’ Hydrating Treat with Aloe Extracts. It’s literally a one-minute treatment, so even my cats would have enough patience to participate (no, I do not put any products on my animals, I’m just proving a point). I like this product because there is no weighing down or greasiness, and my boyfriend likes it because it helps moisturize his dry scalp/hair. An across-the-board win if ya ask me!

Teeth Whitening

crest 3d white strip

We can’t change the fact that the world is ending, but we can change the color of our teeth. My diet mostly consists of coffee and ramen nowadays, so I fear my teeth will turn yellow by the end of this all. You can get some Crest 3D White Strips, and for 30 minutes a day, you just might be able to undo the damage from all that red wine you’ve been guzzling. If we’re going to have to fake-smile at each other after this two-month quarantine, our smiles might as well look blindingly white. 

Body + Soul

Moonergy Moon Ritual Bath Bomb Kit

If you are stressed the f*ck out and your body is suffering, a bath always helps me relax. I will keep it really real with you all, I’m six feet tall, my boyfriend is 6’1″, and we do not fit in our apartment bathtub. BUT, if you are blessed with a home that has a bathtub for two (or you are solo but have made it this far), Moonergy’s bath bombs and teas are amazing. I include these because a lot of bath bombs aren’t as gentle on the skin as they should be, but my skin always feels soft and nourished post-bath using both of these options. You can throw either in a full tub of warm water, and the calming aromas are an extra bonus. This is a good couples activity for reasons I need not explain, but it’s also nice to practice self-care and treat your skin right head to toe (and support smaller businesses). 

And there you have it. Couples skincare, quarantine edition. No TikToks were made in the process of this routine, I promise. 

Images: Dean Drobot / Shutterstock.com; Target; Garnier Fructis; Walmart; Moonergy; kristenanniebell / Instagram

Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link and purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.