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.
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!! ☀️
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.
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.
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
Everyone wants beautiful, smooth, flawless skin. But navigating the landscape of skin care these days can feel more confusing and complicated than trying to do your own taxes. There are toners, serums, facial mists, oils, washes, gels, masks, and about a million other skin care products that seem to have just popped up within the last few years. Most people don’t know where to start—which is totally understandable, because the skin care industry doesn’t exactly make it easy or transparent to figure out what you actually need. So I’m here to help. As a freelance makeup artist for the past five years, I’ve seen (and used) it all. I’m here to explain where you should start, what various products do for your skin, which ones you can rely on, and what I always keep in my stash!
1. Micellar Water
The number one skin care product and makeup remover I always recommend to anyone is micellar water. Micellar water is a liquid that is just as light as water, but with tough properties that make it ideal for makeup removal. I love the Bioderma Sensibio micellar water, but the Garnier Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water is an affordable drugstore alternative that works really well.
Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water
This product is so amazing, you can say goodbye to wasting your money on makeup remover wipes altogether. All you need to do is wash your face, then wipe your eyes and face with a cotton pad soaked in micellar water. It will take off your makeup so well, you’ll feel like Mulan when she’s singing about her reflection not showing who she is inside.
2. Face Wash
Cerave Hydrating Face Cleanser
Let’s talk about the main thing everyone needs for good skin: face wash. And, just in case you’re not aware, I’m not talking about using your hand soap to wash your face. (No judgment, though—when I was a kid, I knew nothing about skin care and legit thought that’s what you were supposed to do.) I’m talking about a great, well-balanced face wash that’s good for sensitive skin and helps get rid of dirt on your face. My favorite face wash is the Cerave Hydrating Face Cleanser. Most dermatologists approve of this one because it’s great for sensitive skin, has no scent, and is easy to use. Just rinse your face, rub this in your hands, and rinse it off at least four times. Just make sure you’re not pulling a Kylie and you actually take off all your makeup and foundation first.
The third product that needs to be in everyone’s metaphorical (or literal, IDK where you keep your skin care products) makeup bag is moisturizer. Whether it’s for your face or body, moisturizer not only hydrates your skin to keep it more healthy, but it also enhances the function of your uppermost layer of skin. This layer of skin has fats, oils, and skin cells that help keep the moisture in, which in turn helps your skin look more youthful. Who doesn’t want that?! Answer: nobody.
As another added bonus, moisturizer helps your makeup lay more evenly on your face. Moisturizer comes in all shapes and forms, from creams to oils, gels, eye creams, and face mists, and I have tried them all. But personally, I’m into the creams. Right before I apply my makeup, I use the Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base. It’s on the thicker side, but it absorbs faster than you’d think, and it packs a punch. It allows your skin to breathe without being too heavy—I promise!
Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base
For an everyday moisturizer, I love the Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Moisturizer, and for an affordable drugstore alternative, I use the Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer.
Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Moisturizer
Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer
4. Micro Exfoliant
To really make your makeup go on even and last throughout the day, I would suggest using a micro exfoliant beforehand. Exfoliating removes the dead skin, smooths everything out, and brightens dullness. Some people also use a heavier abrasive exfoliating product once a week, which you can do. Sometimes if I don’t want something so abrasive, I use a glycolic acid toner like Pixi Skin Treats Glow Tonic, which combines a light exfoliating feel with a toner. This makes my skin baby soft, and ensures my makeup will sit nicely without as many bumps or dry patches.
Pixi Skin Treats Glow Tonic
5. Face Masks (Duh)
The last items I want to talk about are the ones you can splurge on! I’m talking about if you have extra spending money, and you want to pamper yourself for some self-care (because you deserve it). You guessed it (or can pick up on context cues, whatever): I’m talking about face masks. Face masks come in a variety of types, including clay masks, sheet masks, and thick lotion type masks that you swipe on your face, to name a few. The best thing about face masks (other than the fact that doing one gives you the illusion that you’re actually taking care of your body even when you stay out drinking until 4am) is that there are so many for different purposes. Like, if you’re looking to do a moisturizing mask after a flight, a rough work day, or work week, I absolutely love the Glamglow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment. As an added bonus that does absolutely nothing for your skin, it smells like pumpkin pie. So what’s not to love?
For an in-shower mask that helps with pores, I love the Glamglow INSTAMUD 60 Second Pore-Refining Treatment Mask. It helps me retain some moisture in my skin while I sleep.
Glamglow INSTAMUD 60 Second Pore-Refining Treatment Mask
I also love the Dermalogica Sound Sleep Cocoon, and the lavender scent calms me down for sleep. Masks come in all shapes and sizes. It’s like a first aid kit for your skin when it needs some extra TLC.
Dermalogica Sound Sleep Cocoon
These may seem basic, and they kind of are, but good skin care practices have to start somewhere! These are just some of my go-to everyday favorites that I think will help everyone. If you want me to do a more in-depth skin care article, comment below!
Kat Sketch is your artistically odd internet best friend. An innovative beauty and fx makeup artist, she has a glamorous side to her beauty makeup and a gory side too! She’s known as being one of the first professional makeup artists online to do her own creepy, twisted makeup looks on very popular movie or television characters. Kat inspires many others, by creating online video tutorials of her makeup looks. On her YouTube channel with over 700,000 subscribers, she has managed to achieve a lot of success, and has worked with notable companies such as Disney, Paramount Pictures, Regal Cinemas and many more.
Images: Giphy; Target; Sephora (3); Dermstore (2); Ulta (2)
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As someone who reads and writes about skincare on a daily basis, I find myself hitting something I call “skincare fatigue.” Just when I’d mastered toner (kind of), I start hearing about serums, retinol creams, and whatever the f*ck an “essence” is. Thankfully, the concept of day cream vs. night cream isn’t new to me—but actually using a different moisturizer for morning and evening is. I’d always kind of figured that “needing” two different moisturizers was just a way for companies to sell you more products. But three weeks in to my new regime, I’m sold. Here’s why.
Night Cream Needs Time To Sink In
The purchase that kicked off this whole venture is Tatcha’s Dewy Skin Cream, a moisturizer I feel confident in calling pure magic. From the moment I got my hands on all that silky lavender goodness, I loved it so much I wanted to take a bath in it. This moisturizer has brought my skin back to life after a night out, scared burgeoning pimples back into hiding, and—praise be—NOT activated my rosacea, which just about every other celeb-approved moisturizer does. (Looking at you, La Mer. I wanted so badly to love you.)
Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream
Now that my shameless Tatcha evangelizing is out of the way, on to the real point. Because I was so excited about this moisturizer, I was using it morning and night—and quickly realized my mistake. I have a four-step routine I stick to: cleanser, toner, treatment, moisturizer. Because the sun exists, and because my skin is so dry that sunscreen alone does not moisturize it, I have to follow up that four-step routine with an SPF cream in the morning—all before adding any makeup.
Now, anyone who’s tried to quickly apply five different face products and then add foundation on top will immediately see the problem here. My beloved Tatcha moisturizer is on the thicker side, which is perfect for my dry skin—but it takes a solid 15-20 minutes to be completely absorbed. That would be fine if it were my only morning skincare step, but I also have to give my toner and treatment steps 5-10 minutes each to sink in. That gets us up to 30 minutes on pre-make-up skincare, minimum. In my week of trying to use the Dewy Skin Cream as a day cream, I don’t think I managed to put foundation on once. Since I never had enough time to let the moisturizer sink in all the way, even my sunscreen was barely getting absorbed—which means I was going out looking like a greasy, white-tinged mess.
Note: Dewy Skin Cream isn’t advertised specifically as a night cream—there’s a different night cream from that product line—but that’s how it works best for me. As a rule, night creams will be thicker than day creams, and are formulated to moisturize while you sleep.
Me, waking up post-Tatcha moisturizer:
Day Cream Protects; Night Cream Repairs
Day cream, I learned, has one major job: to protect your face from the sun, so basically to contain as much SPF as you can stand. (For reference, I use SPF 46—do not come at me with your SPF 15 liquid foundation). Like I said before, I have a special breed of lizard skin that requires me to pair said SPF 46 lotion with a second day cream—but if you have the option of combining these steps, I strongly recommend you do. I love this one from Origins (so brightening), or this SPF 50 IT Cosmetics CC cream. (No, I don’t know what a CC cream is, and my head will explode if I research further.) I own this cream, and would refer to it as somewhere between light coverage foundation and tinted moisturizer.
Scott Disick knows what’s up, a sentence I never thought I’d utter.
If you are like me, and SPF products aren’t moisturizing enough on their own, I recommend a super lightweight cream that sinks in quickly. My personal fave for this is Cerave, which makes both a day cream and a night cream.
While day cream bears the brunt of sun protection, your night cream can and should have active ingredients too. We’ve already discussed the benefit of adding retinol to your daily routine, and 2019 is heading toward being the year of glycolic acid. These ingredients are both great, because they help speed up cell turnover, AKA get rid of the dead skin and bring in the new, better skin. Very scientific, I know. However, both of these ingredients also make your skin more sensitive to the sun. I can personally attest to this—this past December, I used a retinol oil and then went out for a day of skiing. Within 24 hours, I developed dark, rough patches of sunburn on my face like I’d never seen before, and they lasted well through New Year’s Eve. Happy 2019 to me!
So, while retinol and AHAs are a good addition to night creams, they should absolutely be avoided in your day creams. On the flip side, you’re welcome to put on SPF at night—but unless you’re sleeping at a campsite, I’m not sure why you would.
Ultimately, you could just say f*ck it and use the same lightweight moisturizer with zero active ingredients for both day and night (plus sunscreen, obv). But if you have skin that’s on the dryer side, I highly recommend investing in a thicker night cream—and not making the mistake I did of piling it on in the morning, too.
Images: Tatcha; Giphy (2)
Judging from all the “gifts to give yourself” guides out there this season, I gather I’m not alone in treating December as “spend yourself blind” month. (Also: go get the Skin Laundry facial that list recommends; it’s amazing.) And what better way to spend a sh*t ton of money invest in yourself than by amping up your skincare routine? In the past two weeks, I’ve added a serum, a facial oil, and an “elixir” to my fairly basic four-step routine. But within twelve hours of my exciting new purchases, I realized I had no idea how to use them correctly. Skincare products all tend to list “apply daily to clean, dry skin,” but that’s about it. So, in an attempt to not waste my new goodies, I actually sat down and researched. Here’s what I’ve learned about the best order for your skincare routine.
Step 1: Cleanser
All authorities I consulted concurred on this. The first step in any skincare routine should be cleaning your face. If this strikes you as surprising, then I have the perfect gift for you. Enjoy!
Step 2: Toner
Byrdie offers a little dissent here, suggesting that Step 2 should be exfoliator, not toner. However, my skincare-savvy readers will know well that not all skin types require and/or take well to regular use of an exfoliant. And very few exfoliants are suitable for anyone for daily use. (You can go shave your back now Byrdie!) Anyway, exfoliate if you need to, but consider it part of the cleansing step of your routine. Toner then clears away any remaining makeup/product, as well as doing whatever else the bottle promises (tightening pores, evening skin tone, giving you eternal life, etc.).
I’ve written more about toner types here, but Cosmo offers a key tip I’ll include. If your toner contains an AHA (like glycolic acid or lactic acid) or BHA (like salicylic acid), you’ll want to wait a “full five minutes” before moving on to your next step. Otherwise, you’ll neutralize the acids, rendering the active ingredient useless. (Moment of silence for all the toner I’ve wasted on my face please.)
Me @ my toner:
Step 3: Serums/Eye Cream
Once again, all my sources voted to use a serum as step 3. Cosmo describes serums as “shots of extremely concentrated nutrients, hydrators, and antioxidants.” Like with toner, you’ll want to pick the specific one based on your skin’s needs. The one I’ve recently invested in contains Vitamin C, a common dermatologist recommendation. But you can also use different serums in the morning and at night, in which case you could swap in a hydrating serum at night. Again, all depends on your skin.
Eye cream, which I’ve realized over the course of my research is still lacking in my skincare routine, is a slightly more conflicted issue. Cosmo says to apply after serum and before moisturizer, since eye cream “tends to be lighter and thinner,” and can’t “penetrate thicker products,” AKA your moisturizer. Dermstore suggests using it before serums in the morning, but after serums at night. (And it stresses the importance of applying twice daily from a young age—good thing I have endless money and time, am I right??) For Dermstore, the key thing is to apply eye cream before your “treatments” (more on that in a minute), to “protect your eye area against potent ingredients.” Both of these rules make logical sense to me, so if your serums has potentially irritating ingredients, do eye cream first. And def do it before moisturizer.
Side note: this research has also convinced me that I’ve been applying my new serums at the wrong time, in addition to neutralizing my toner.
Step 4: Treatment
If you’re thinking “treatment? what’s that?” you either have perfect skin and I hate you, or you need to get to a dermatologist ASAP. “Treatment” can refer to a spot treatment (active ingredients will vary depending on whether you’re treating acne scars or regular old pimples), or prescription treatments for acne or rosacea. (For example, I use my Finacea foam for rosacea during this step—though for the past two weeks I’ve been using it before my serum. Ugh.)
Dermstore again recommends different things for your night routine here. At night, they suggest you add any “mists, essences, beauty waters, or hydrating (hyaluronic acid) serums” to your toner step—applying “from thinnest to thickest.” (I can’t really begin to wrap my head around what those products are, but Dermstore sums them up as “skin care boosters” whose purpose is “mainly to hydrate.” Cool.) Then, Dermstore recommends chasing your nightly eye cream with whatever treatment serum your skin needs that night. So, not just blindly slathering on every product you own (strike three for me).
Specifically, they advise against using an exfoliating treatment (AHA/BHA pads, peels) the same night as any prescription meds or retinol creams, since the potency can quickly become irritating. And they recommend using an exfoliating treatment no more than three times a week. In simpler terms, it sounds like alternating a prescription treatment or retinol with an exfoliating treatment is the best way to go.
Step 5: Moisturizer/Face Oil
Once you’ve gotten to moisturizer, you know you’re nearly there. (Good job! Now you just have a 16-step makeup routine to get through). For your nighttime routine, Dermstore recommends adding face oil before your moisturizer, with the warning note that “if you are using the right moisturizer…nothing is going to get through it.” Cosmo, however, vehemently disagrees, stating “no products can penetrate an oil, which means they need to be applied last.” Cosmo also recommends putting a retinol-based product between moisturizer and face oil, while Dermstore lumps in retinols with your pre-moisturizer treatments. One of my new products is a face oil that contains retinol, so no matter what I do I’ll be f*cking up one of these rules.
My best advice here is to try it both ways (the order of your oil/moisturizer/retinol), and see what feels best to you. Since oils and moisturizers vary in thickness and active ingredients (and everyone’s skin is different!), do whatever feels best for your face. In my case, I’ve found that mixing the face oil with moisturizer is most effective for absorbing both products.
Step 6: Sunscreen
This is a morning-only rule, obvs, but it’s also one you need to follow every single day. Is it annoying? Yes. Does it feel like it will solve all your problems, like serums and essences do? It does not. But just do it, because otherwise you’ll get dark spots and sun damage that only a laser can fix. And that’s way more expensive than even the fanciest sunscreen option.
Hilary Duff may not be able to name babies, but she can still give good skincare advice!
What have I learned from this article? Well, I’ve wasted at least $50 of skincare products in the past week, that’s for sure. And my vague inkling that I was loading on too many products every day was validated. My final note here is that if any of this advice goes against what a dermatologist has told you—go with the dermatologist. My dermatologist gave me the simple outline of “cleanse, treat, moisturize, sunscreen,” and actively warned me against incorporating anything else. It’s only because I’ve followed her advice faithfully for six months that I feel comfortable building back in other products. So, listen to your doctor, listen to what your skin tells you, and if you have an eye cream you like, hit me up in the comments—I’ll be spending the rest of my afternoon shopping.
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (4)
As you can probably tell from the title, this skin care diary entry will be less sexy than others we’ve published. Welcome to the world of sensitive skin. I graduated college a little over two years ago, and it’s been an absolute whirlwind watching my skin and metabolism compete over who can deteriorate faster. I’ve never suffered from serious acne (*knocks on every piece of wood in the tri-state area*), but my post-grad skin has offered up plenty of dullness, dryness, and increasingly visible pores. I also developed what I refer to as “my problem cheek,” and my dermatologist refers to as “rosacea.” Basically, one stubborn patch on my face is perpetually red with some bumps—not quite pimples but just not smooth.
Before I finally caved and saw a dermatologist about it, I was convinced I had chronically dry skin and was layering on fancy oil-based serums and thick moisturizers every night. I genuinely believed that the more I spent on a skin care product, the better it was for me. But here’s the honest, tragic truth about my (highly sensitive) skin. Just about anything I do to it beyond doctor-recommended cleanser, treatment, and moisturizer only makes it worse. As my dermatologist explained, the rosacea means that my skin barrier is damaged. So any products I’m applying don’t actually soak in. They just settle in the top layer, creating that fun bumpy texture I was describing.
Long story short, many of the fun, bougie skin care products I’d love to try are off-limits to me. All those “intensely moisturizing” products I used to swear by? They make my oil-prone areas worse, and ultimately clog my pores. Any physical exfoliants just activate my redness-prone rosacea patches. And forget about face makeup. Any time I go for a full face of foundation, or—God forbid—highlighter, which I seem to be allergic to in every brand, I accept that my skin’s overall appearance will take a hit for the next three days. So, I’ve worked very hard to assemble a routine that keeps my sensitive AF skin smooth, even, and pimple-free. If your skin is more dramatic about a change in routine than you are when asked to attend a 9am meeting, read on. Here are the products I’ve found really work.
My sensitive skin every time I try to introduce a new product:
Face Wash: I wash my face morning and night with CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser. My dermatologist recommended it, and it makes my face feel crazy soft. I’ll double cleanse on days when I bothered to put on make-up, or if I skipped my routine the night before. And while I’m sure that a Clarisonic or the equivalent would make it even more effective, I frankly just do not have the time or patience to use one. Plus, I kind of hate reusable skin care accessories because I’m a germophobe and convinced they’re growing bacteria. This is a problem I imagine could be alleviated by like, cleaning it, but once again I am lazy/perpetually short on time.
Toner: I follow (most) cleanses with Belif Witch Hazel Herbal Extract toner. In the words of my dermatologist, it’s “not really doing anything,” but she graciously invited me to finish the bottle I’d just purchased. Despite her (rude) commentary, I like the idea of an additional cleansing step while living in the cesspool of dirt known as New York City. Also, it smells refreshing and makes me feel fancy. As I mentioned before, most products that fit that description give me some kind of weird reaction, so I really appreciate the ones that don’t.
Prescription: Once my doc determined that problem cheek = rosacea, I was given a prescription for an azelaic acid called Finacea Foam. It treats the redness and bumps caused by rosacea, and I use it twice a day after cleansing and before moisturizing. While it hasn’t 100% cleared up the problem, I’ve gone from having bumps spread across both cheeks to one small patch (damn you, problem cheek!). The overall texture has also greatly improved, and what was once a weird blotchy redness now shows up as more of a flush after hot showers/working out. Highly recommend.
Spot Treatment: This is not dermatologist-approved behavior, but if I see a pimple coming on I’ll dab some spot treatment with salicylic acid on the area before locking it all in with moisturizer. It’s a little annoying because I have to wait for an additional layer to dry, but fully worth it if you can stop a burgeoning zit in its tracks. If I go a little too nuts and start using it daily I end up getting dry and triggering some redness, but in moderation I find this kind of product to work wonders. My two faves are Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment and Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel.
Sunscreen: I use EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 every morning, at my dear dermatologist’s behest. Apparently rosacea can be triggered by sun exposure, so I guess this plays a role in calming it down. Honestly, I struggle to get excited about any product from which I don’t see immediate effects, but I know it’s good for me and I feel lightly smug for using it for that reason. Also, it sinks in quickly enough and replaces my moisturizer in the morning.
Moisturizer: I use CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion every night and some mornings, depending on how dry my skin is feeling. I love it because it’s lightweight, has the same silky feel as their cleanser, and doesn’t sit on top of my skin like all those fancy jar moisturizers I was buying for years did. Does it make me feel rich and chic? No, but it also doesn’t cost me $50 every six weeks, and my skin is way softer. I’ll take it.
Serum: Eminence Facial Recovery Oil. My dermatologist all but begged me to throw this out (in her words, “I don’t think more oil is what you need right now”). But I’ll still dab a little on my forehead every now and then because I can’t help myself. Nose, chin, and cheeks are off-limits for this riskier product, but I’ll mix a little in with my moisturizer and apply to my forehead a few times a week. It smells amazing and my sister swears it’s improved her fine lines.
Morning: Cleanser, toner, Finacea, sunscreen. I have a week-old pimple on my cheek, and last night I put on a bunch of spot treatment and extra Tretinoin on the area, plus Neosporin since I keep picking it open. (Don’t @ me, it works.) The pimple is finally fading from view, but I see two to three more bumps lurking below the surface. Problem Cheek, will you ever set me free??? I’ve tried changing pillowcases, changing what side I sleep on, never holding my phone to that side of my face… nothing works. I take a few pictures in hopes of taking you on a visual journey, but I’m on week 7 of a 10-week shoot and the bags under my eyes/general lifeless demeanor are a little much to take.
Evening: Cleanser, Finacea, moisturizer. No spot cream or toner because I just worked 14 hours. Moisturizer I applied lying down maybe three seconds before passing out. I manage to apply more Neosporin to my cheek spot, though, because at this point I’ve been wrangling it for nearly 10 days and it’s all I can think about. To anyone reading this: do not pick your face until it bleeds, no matter how fun and genuinely helpful it seems in the moment! I fall asleep praying it will heal overnight.
My poor, picked-at skin:
Thursday morning I don’t have to be at work until 9am. This would be better news if it didn’t mean I’ll be there until 11pm. However, the extra time in the morning means I can cleanse, tone, apply Finacea, and put on sunscreen all in the comfort of my home. I’m sad to admit I sometimes apply sunscreen on the subway, which I am aware makes me gross. I have a thing about layering products too quickly. I worry I’m just diluting one product with another if I don’t give them time to dry. If I’m totally wrong on this, PLEASE call me out in the comments. I would love to stop putting on sunscreen with hands that just touched subway poles.
I’m not home until 11:40pm, as expected. As I dutifully cleanse, tone, Finacea, and moisturize, I realize something miraculous. Cheek pimple is, if not totally invisible, highly faded. Neosporin saves the day again. I stare at my nearly clear cheek and think about how I definitely would have skipped washing my face tonight if I weren’t writing this diary. This makes me think I should start journaling my food, too. Then I eat four bite-size candy bars I stole from work and fall asleep.
Today is an exciting skincare day for you all! I’m working from home until 6:30, so I don’t get out of bed until 11. I don’t do anything to my face because I want to work out first, a dream it takes me two hours and 15 minutes of yoga to give up on. I wash my face in the shower, then put on Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque. It’s my go-to for all generalist, make-my-skin-look better needs. It’s great for calming down redness and inflammation, improves overall tone, and just makes your skin look clear.
After, my skin is looking the best it has all week. The cheek pimple is totally gone, and those bumps I was complaining about on Wednesday seem to have died down too. I add toner, Finacea, and sunscreen. After sunscreen, I add my new favorite no-makeup makeup product: Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. This is the closest thing to foundation I can wear without triggering a breakout, and despite being sheer, I swear to God it visibly blurs away my flaws. Friday night, I cleanse/Finacea/maybe moisturize? I spent my evening getting high and watching Vanderpump Rules, so I honestly don’t remember. I do remember eating a Twix bar at 1am and thinking the single greatest thing I could do for my health is cut down on sugar, so take that as you will.
Me: I should cut down on sugar!
Also me every time I go out:
Saturday morning, I cleanse and tone, and get dressed in a rush waiting for toner to dry. Then I add Finacea and try to find my insurance card for a doctor’s appointment for 10 minutes. Two hours later, I remember to moisturize—hope it still counts for something. No sunscreen today, oops. Saturday night I make a genuine attempt to go out. But I still end up asleep on the couch before midnight. At least I manage to wash my face before crashing. I tell myself I’ll put on Finacea and moisturizer in bed. I don’t.
Sunday morning I’ve slept for an annoyingly long time. I cleanse, tone, Finacea, and moisturize—no sunscreen. My skin’s feeling dry since I fell asleep without moisturizing the night before, and I don’t really plan on spending time outside anyway. I go to the movies, where I realize the junk food and half-hearted skin care Saturday has resulted in two new bumps rearing their heads on Problem Cheek. I tell myself I’ll do a mask and spot treatments that night. Instead, I drink two margaritas at 5pm, and barely manage to cleanse/tone/Finacea/moisturize. I suck.
I wake up at 4:30am, regretting Sunday’s margaritas with every bone in my body. I seriously consider quitting my job for five minutes, then get out of bed and cleanse, tone, Finacea, sunscreen. Monday night, I get home “early” (7pm), and treat myself to some salicylic acid spot treatment following my cleanse/Finacea/moisturizer routine. No toner because I’m already tired at the prospect of the spot treatment, but the bumps I saw at the movie theater Sunday don’t seem to be going anywhere on their own.
Tuesday morning I cleanse, tone, Finacea, and liberally apply sunscreen to try and make up for the fact that I don’t have time to apply moisturizer (and wait for it to dry). At work, I read a different skin care diary in which someone who clearly has more money and better skin than me also swears by salicylic acid for clearing breakouts. Even though the salicylic acid product is the only one in her routine I can remotely afford, I allow myself a brief moment of smugness. I also remind myself that fancy $100 skincare items have never done anything but made me break out.
Tuesday night, I cleanse/tone/Finacea, and add more spot gel (Clean & Clear) to those bumps on my cheek. I can’t be sure if they’re actually pimples or just rosacea bumps, but I feel hopeless if I can’t even pretend I’m treating it. I tell myself I’ll moisturize in bed, and as I’m sure you can guess, I do not. At 3am, I wake up, realize my mistake and moisturize. It’s terrible.
All in all, the moral of my not-so-exciting skin care routine is that I’ve (reluctantly) stopped chasing Instagram-perfect skin. And both my wallet and face are a lot happier for it. I don’t use drugstore products because I’m low-maintenance and don’t GAF. I use them because the alternative is spending $78 on a moisturizer that sits on top of my broken skin barrier and makes me break out. So if you have sensitive skin like me, remember that the #1 investment you can make is a dermatologist, and when you’re rich, biannual microneedling and injections. Can’t wait.
Images: Giphy (4)
Welcome to skin care diaries, a new Betches segment, where we explore the reality (or not) of sticking to an elaborate skin care routine and how well it works.
Two things happened when I turned 25 years old. One, I tumbled into an immediate pit of existential despair because I had been alive for a quarter of a century and had yet to establish myself as a wunderkind in any field. Two, I started giving a sh*t about my skin. There might have been some other stuff in there, but those are the two that stick out.
Up until that point, I’d never been someone who actively pursued skin care. Like, sure, I washed my face in the shower and sometimes before bed if the simple act of removing my makeup hadn’t already exhausted me, but that was about as extensive as it got. I was more disciplined about sunscreen application than my friends, but definitely not as on top of it as I should have been. Because, it bears mentioning, I am pale as hell. We’re not talking “one base burn away from a tan” pale or “it’s the middle of February and everyone kind of looks like that pale.” We’re talking the kind of pale that would have made me outrageously popular in the Victorian era, but made growing up in Southern California a veritable health hazard.
After years spent trying to tan at all costs, suffering more sunburns than I can count, and doing God knows how much damage to my skin, I came to terms with the fact that a golden summer glow just wasn’t going to happen for me. But it still took a few years after that to realize that, if I started playing my cards right, I could maintain my youthful complexion for years to come while my friends all slowly withered away into leather bags. Or, at least, that’s what I told myself as I proceeded to drop hundreds of dollars in the name of establishing a skin care routine.
Me: *Spends countless hours and way too much money on skincare products*
After much trial and error, and a few allergic reactions, I have found a regimen that I’m decently happy with. In fact, I can say with absolute certainty that at the ripe old age of 26 and a half, my skin has never looked better. Not perfect, but better than I ever could have imagined as a shiny, perpetually rosy-faced 16-year-old.
I still come home some nights
drunk exhausted and do the bare minimum before falling into bed. My chin still breaks out from time to time. There’s a little more discoloration in places than I’d like, because I will never truly rid myself of the pink undertones bestowed upon me by centuries of ancestors who apparently never saw the sun. But most days I’m comfortable leaving the house without a stich of foundation—something I couldn’t have said two years ago.
What are my secrets? I’ll tell you, under the pretense that I make it very clear that I am not a dermatologist. I am not a skin care professional. I am not a person with any authority on any face but my own. But I’m hoping that by recording one week of my routine, I can at least shed light on the beauty that is skin care. My very own Pay It Forward, but hopefully without me getting stabbed in the end. We’ll see.
For starters, let’s outline the routine. It’s fairly basic, but that doesn’t mean I don’t try to talk myself out of one or two steps at least once a day. I do the following both in the morning and at night:
Face wash: Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin. I’ve tried more expensive stuff that’s been great, but Cetaphil is cheap, reliable, and it doesn’t dry out my skin. Sometimes I’ll experiment with Birchbox samples that I get, but I always end up coming back to Cetaphil.
Toner: Thayer’s Rose Petal Witch Hazel. I pour a liberal amount on a cotton round and cover every inch of my face in it. Not only is this good for your skin, but it feels amazing. I would bathe in it if that was even slightly economically viable.
Serum: The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5. The Ordinary is a skincare mecca, and it’s outrageously cheap. The downside is that the names aren’t the least bit intuitive and require a fair amount of research to understand, but it’s worth it. I also use their Serum Foundation, and can’t recommend it enough. Sure, the founder is certifiably insane, but he’s delivering quality products at a price I can afford. Pick your battles, you know? Hyaluronic Acid, despite what the name may imply, is actually a moisturizer. I slather my face and chest in it morning and night, which is the closest I get to hydration on any given day. It’ll feel a little sticky as it dries, but that dissipates fairly quickly. What’s left is baby smooth skin and an unwarranted sense of superiority. Relish in it.
Moisturizer: Boots No.7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream – Normal/Oily. Much like Cetaphil, this is more a purchase of convenience than anything else. It works well, it’s affordable by most moisturizer standards, and it doesn’t leave me feeling oily. I could probably find one I like better, but I’m not desperate to search at the moment.
Sunscreen: Either La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra Light SPF 60 or Sun Bum Original SPF 50. I wear sunscreen on my face from the second the sun appears in the spring until it goes into hiding in the fall. In Portland this runs from about mid-June through to the end of October, which can get expensive. To try and combat that, I’ll switch between La Roche-Posay, an expensive option that feels less sticky under makeup for work days, and Sun Bum, which is a drugstore-priced option without all the gross chemicals that come with Banana Boat or Coppertone.
If we’re being honest here, there are a lot of mornings where I’ll skip the Cetaphil and move straight to toning. But in honor of the first day of my skin care diaries, I actually washed my face before work. I do it for you.
Monday was the last day of the life-cycle of a truly heinous PMS-induced breakout on my chin, so I was still feeling a bit self-conscious. My foundation is super light and not made for that kind of coverage, but nothing some green concealer can’t fix.
I came home that night and followed my routine through without incident. I dabbed on an eye cream sample for good measure, because I figured overcompensating on the first day would make up for whatever mishaps I incurred throughout the week.
My skin to me:
Much like the rest of the world, Portland is in the middle of a heat wave. This is miserable for all the reasons you would imagine, with the added benefit that my 100-year-old apartment has no air conditioning. It gets so hot and humid in here that my roommate and I have started referring to it as the Everglades. Over the course of Tuesday, I break out the Witch Hazel no less than five times, because those split seconds of cool relief were the most comforting part of my entire day.
I kept to the routine on Tuesday except for one small divergence. That night I slept at a friend’s house, because she had the foresight to live somewhere with AC. Not only did she graciously usher me into her chilly oasis, but she let me use her Glamglow Face Wash, and in a moment of weakness I truly considered driving to Sephora and buying my own. Sure, it’s $32 a bottle and smells vaguely of licorice, but I don’t think there was an impurity left in my body after using it. If I washed my liver in Glamglow it would probably revert back to the state it was in before I discovered wine. It’s a miracle and truly worth a splurge on your next treat yo’self occasion.
Wednesday & Thursday
Both Wednesday and Thursday went by without incident. My chin was newly blemish-free, my skin was thriving in the sudden overcast weather, and I was feeling overtly confident having stuck fastidiously to my regimen over the past couple days. Which naturally meant disaster had to strike.
I made the mistake Friday of signing up for a 6am workout class. Nothing good ever comes from this, but every few weeks I convince myself it’s what healthy people do. Healthy people also probably responsibly pack a bag the night before rather than blindly racing around their room at 5:30 in the morning, haphazardly throwing things in a duffle bag before sprinting out the door.
I made it through the class and directly to the shower, only to find that I had forgotten both my Cetaphil and my toner. Panic set in. I couldn’t use my serum without washing my face. What was I, an animal?
Not content with just water but afraid to use shampoo, I made do with the only thing I had at my disposal: an Old Spice body wash that someone had left behind in the studio shower. It didn’t feel great, probably wrecked my clog-prone pores, and left my face smelling like my ex-boyfriend. In short, not an ideal start to the day.
I got home that night hellbent on righting the mistakes of the morning and (after thoroughly washing my face) broke out my favorite face mask: the Lush Cup O’ Coffee mask. I fully recognize that 90% of face mask culture is a total farce, something shiny and fun to spend your money on in the vain attempt at making you feel like you’re investing in yourself. I get that most are just oily messes that sit on top of your skin and do nothing but make you smell like an assortment of plants. But none of that is not true of this mask.
Not only does Cup O’ Coffee leave you smelling like, you guessed it, a cup of coffee, but it’s one of the single best exfoliators I’ve ever encountered. Apply liberally, let it sit for 15 minutes, and then scrub away for skin so fresh it’s like you just emerged from the womb. The gritty, lightly brown stained mess it leaves all over your sink is well worth the baby-soft face that you’ll spend the rest of the night caressing. I typically reserve this ritual for Sunday nights, as a way to set myself up for the week, but Friday called for it. I was back on track.
I spent Saturday in a cabin up at Mt. Hood with a group of friends and partook in a bunch of activities that are great for your body, but arguably not for your skin. I spent a substantial amount of time in the sun, likely without adequate coverage. I sweat more than I’d like to admit on a hike that could best be described as a well-meaning walk, then neglected to wash my face. I drank a lot—good for neither skin nor body but great for the soul. I ate kettle corn by the gallon full. And then, after a long night, I crawled into bed, made a half-hearted attempt at toning some of the grime off my face with only the moonlight and my phone to guide me, and then fell asleep. Best laid plans and all that.
On Sunday I woke up, face sticky from a mixture of what I imagine was margarita, kettle corn, and haphazard toning, feeling slightly guilty and a little hungover.
I washed my face and set out to right the wrongs of the night before with extra serum and moisturizer, which definitely isn’t how that works but I let myself believe it anyway.
I washed my face again upon returning home and then covered every possible inch of it with the Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask. I don’t know why I approach skin retribution the way overcompensating, sh*tty boyfriends try to win back their girlfriends after a fight, but it’s probably just as effective. That is to say, it is not at all effective. I went to bed still feeling the effects of a day full of sugar and without any semblance of skin care, dreaming of kettle corn. So, a fairly average end to a weekend.
As you can see, I’m nowhere near perfect in this department. But what I’ve found is that doing something, no matter how minimal, is better than nothing at all. Sure, it can be tedious and expensive. Yeah, packing for overnight trips is kind of a pain. And yes, I’ve hyperventilated in the Sephora moisturizer section on more than one occasion. But barring some kind of Kardashian level of cosmetic assistance, you’re stuck with your skin for the rest of your life. Much like the 401k emails from HR you keep ignoring, it’s probably time to invest in it*.
*Disclaimer: I am even more unqualified to offer advice on 401k’s. Do not take my word for anything.
I am open to suggestions for a new moisturizer, so hit that comments section if you have any.
Images: Giphy (4)
Let me start off by saying that I am not a skincare expert. I am just a 24-year-old human woman. One who discovered six months ago that my college skin care routine (“washing most nights, probably”) was no longer going to cut it. I’m lucky enough not to deal with serious acne. But all the “minor” concerns (dullness, dryness, redness, inexplicable bumpiness)? You bet. SO, I did what all good shopaholics journalists do best: research. I went into a very deep, surprisingly Korean internet blackhole, and emerged with a four-step skincare routine. Cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer. Duh. Of all these steps, toner was the one I resisted most—and the one I still find most confusing. Since I’m sure I’m not alone in this, I’ve written up my findings on this v important topic. What is toner, why do we all apparently need it, and which one is best? Please enjoy.
What Is Toner?
First and foremost, toner is very different than it used to be. The toner I remember from high school was glorified rubbing alcohol prescribed by particularly vindictive dermatologists. But today’s toners are so much more. A good toner can help you even out texture and tone (duh), shrink the appearance of pores, and leave your skin super soft and glowing. To get technical, one skin care specialist describes toner as a way to “complete the cleansing of your skin.” Apparently, cleansers “can leave a film on your face” that toner strips off. Which really makes me question why I’m using cleanser in the first place, but k.
If you want a buzzier description of what toner does, Allure describes it as “a fast-penetrating liquid that delivers skin a quick hit of hydration and helps remove some dead cells off the surface of the skin.” (Seriously, are cleansers removing anything?) And in case I have any toner nerds in the comments, I’ll also mention toner’s effects on pH level. Apparently, a good toner functions by resetting your skin’s natural acidic pH. You can read more here, or just trust me that it means you’ll look good and resist more bacteria. Two equally sexy goals, am I right?
Finally, what is toner actually made of? The general answer is water, plus some combination of acids, glycerin, essential oils, plant extracts, and more. Kewl. Some toners still contain alcohol, but it’s not recommended unless oil is your main problem.
TL;DR: Toners are a water-based product will give you a more thorough cleanse, prep your skin to absorb your moisturizing products, and overall improve skin’s appearance and texture over time.
How Do I Use It?
You should think of toner as a chaser for your cleanser and a primer for your serum/moisturizer. If you’re particularly anal, you should apply toner no more than 60 seconds after cleansing. Apparently, that’s when your skin will absorb it best. After, you apply any serums/moisturizers/eye creams. My favorite explanation for how this works is given by Charlotte Cho, co-founder of Soko Glam. “Your skin is like a dried-up sponge,” she says (adds up). “If you put thick cream on a brittle dry sponge, it won’t accept it.” If this doesn’t make you spiral into self-doubt about every time you’ve put $70 moisturizer on your bone-dry face, congratulations. Can’t say the same.
As for like, how do you literally put it on your face—you have two options. You can read the instructions on the bottle (some recommend cotton pads while others say to use your fingers). Or you can really make a day of it and attempt to follow the K-beauty “7 Skin Method.” I’d make a joke here about “who has the time for that,” but I watched a full season of American’s Next Top Model last weekend. I have the time for that.
Patting tips as you try the '7 Skin Method' : Start from the U-zone (cheeks – chin) to T-zone (forehead – nose) and finish with a massage on the neck in an upwards motion. Your U-zone is naturally drier while your T-zone is oilier, so you want to start hydrating the drier parts of the skin immediately after your cleansing step. Katie and I had a blast ???? today sharing our tips and demo'ing layering our fave essence toners on @glowrecipe's Facebook live ???? Thanks everyone for tuning in, we really enjoyed talking to you guys! If you're curious about this #kbeauty trend, my review is on our blog ????link in bio #sarahglowtips
Okay, What Kind Of Toner Should I Buy?
Now you’re asking the important questions. The answer, of course, depends on your skin type. Generally speaking, Korean brands like Soko Glam will have great options, because their toner never went through the gross alcohol phase that American toners did. But beyond that, you should figure out your skin’s needs (or see a dermatologist to find out) and pick ingredients based off that.
For sensitive skin, chamomile, aloe vera, and amino acids all help calm/soothe. Some good picks include Mizon Intensive Skin Barrier Emulsion and Exuviance Soothing Toning Lotion. For oily skin, alcohol will help kill oil and shine, but so does witch hazel—and the latter is less drying. Belif Witch Hazel Herbal Extract Toner is my personal fave, and Pixi by Petra Glow Tonic is another beloved one on the market. For dry skin, glycerin, essential oils, and rosewater are all key hydrating ingredients. Try the Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner or Caudalie Beauty Elixir. For dull, uneven skin, try Son & Park Beauty Water, which has both exfoliating and hydrating properties.
Oh, and whatever you do, stop buying Neutrogena toner. I usually love Neutrogena, but their crazy-drying alcoholic toners (yes, even and especially the “Alcohol-Free” toner) are the reason it took me so long to come around to real toner. I used that shit for two weeks and I may as well have been washing my face in Svedka. If you need any further convincing, take a look at their spokesperson. I rest my case.
That’s all the wisdom I have today! But my recent skincare tear is showing no signs of stopping, so stay tuned for upcoming reviews of dermarolling, Hanacure, and how to file for bankruptcy when you’ve spent all your money on Korean beauty products.
Images: Giphy (2); sarah_glow / Instagram
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Unless you’re into Korean beauty treatments, expensive and rare facial oils, or have an old Swedish facialist that follows you around with helpful tips and tricks (where do I find this), you’re likely heading to your neighborhood drugstore for your facial cleansing needs. And that’s a big, scary world, fam. There are oil-free cleansers, full-of-oil cleansers, cleansers with exfoliators, cleansers with minerals, cleansers for acne, cleansers that will probs give you acne, cleansers for the old, cleansers for alcoholics (hi), and much much more. We’re being great friends by helping narrow the aisle a bit.
Here are some cleansers to literally never fucking use and some that’ll probs help.
1. Witch Hazel
Not really a cleanser, more of a toner, but hear us out. For those of you who crave the cleansing purity of alcohol but don’t love the whole “omg my skin is dry and on fire” thing, witch hazel is for you. Once you actually wash your face, dab some sort of witch hazel on (it doesn’t have to be fancy … generic will do) as a very gentle toner. It’ll chill out your acne, while evening out your complexion.
2. Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing And Makeup Remover
Not only does this actually remove your crusted-on mascara, but it’s also super gentle and is fantastic for zit-prone skin. It’ll leave your face feeling clean AND not overly dry, so that’s a plus.
3. Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash
Removes dirt and oil without stripping your skin, which is super important if you have a sensitive face that doesn’t play well with anything harsh. It can also remove eye makeup without making you feel like you were maced.
4. Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser
Removes dirt, oil, makeup, and nasty shit from your face, while nourishing your face with dermatologist tested and approved cream cleanser. It also doesn’t have any parabens, phthalates, or petrolatum, so it’s hippie approved.
1. St. Ives Invigorating Apricot Scrub
Invigorating here means scrubbing the first layer of your skin off—which, while yes, it’s def smoother, it’s also now super prone to infections, zits, and uneven tone. Did you know there’s a legit lawsuit against St. Ives for marketing this shit? That’s how bad it is. So maybe throw that shit out and be nice to your face for a change. Exfoliating is good. Removing layers of skin and having what feels like a chemical peel every day is not.
2. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser
Want a dry and crusty face? Use this shit. Neutrogena is usually super on top of its game, but for some reason, this stuff makes users’ faces dry and tight. It smells nice, which is great, but doesn’t save it from our shit list today.
3. Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser
Okay, hear us out. This shit is awesome if you have combination skin and acne that flares up from too much drying. However, if you have oily skin, it may make your zits worse. Definitely try it if you must, but buyer beware.