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.
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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