For some reason, lately, I’ve been getting a lot of compliments on my skin. I first noticed this shower of flattery 3 months ago when talking to an editor at Epicurious, Anna Stockwell. While working on a shoot with my main stylist, she turned to me and said, “Wow…your skin is stunning. What do you use?” To that I was flabbergasted. I have never been one that would declare my skin is “stunning” nor would I ever expect someone to bring it up that way. Stunned aside, I struggled to find an answer. I couldn’t even remember the name of my cleanser and the only advice I had to offer was, “I use this cream cleanser and a moisturizer and a bunch of other things…that’s really all I do.” Following my jumbled explanation of what I do to my skin, I found myself receiving more and more compliments. A woman on the street looked at me and said, “Well aren’t you positively radiant!” (!?!?) Point being, I took some time to look in the mirror and appreciate the skin I have and to remember all that I do for my skin.
I have sensitive skin, a little rosacea (thanks, Dad!), and had acne as a teenage. All this to say that I’ve found a routine that works for me and products that make my skin feel happy…or healthy. Well, both – really. Through a rough trial an error of the last year or so, I’ve found some amazing products that I love. Let’s dive in!
First things first – clean that mug
The most important step in my routine is obvious – cleansing the skin. I’ve used a slew of products from Clean and Clear to La Mer and found that my skin reacts differently to all of them. The one that has stood out thus far as my all time winner, though, is the Grown Alchemist Hydra-Restore Cream Cleanser. This cleanser is gentle enough not to irritate my already sensitive skin, removes any concealer or foundation on my skin, and sets my face up to feel supple and ready for moisturizing. With extracts from olive leaves, oatmeal, and red seaweed, this face wash has never left my face feeling tight or dry out of the shower.
For the days you need a little more than cleansing…
If there’s anything you should take away from this article, it’s that this product is the one to buy. Recently, I attended an event with West Elm at the Naturopathica Spa in Chelsea. The team at West Elm was launching their new bath collection (which is stunning and you need check out here), and treating us to facials at the Naturpathica Spa. While the esthetician took detailed notes on my skin and the products I use, she introduced me to a cult favorite peel. This brightening peel is mask that you can apply before you enter the shower. The active ingredient of sweet cherry and lactic acid gently remove dead skin cells while promoting regrowth and rejuvenation in your pores. I’ve been turned onto this bad boy and I can’t quit. To use, put a small amount all over your face and neck, get into the shower (without putting water on your face), and allow the steam to activate the mask. After about 3-5 minutes, rinse off and continue your skincare routine sans cleanser.
Now let’s get some hydration
One of the most simple steps in my skincare routine came from my brother, of all people! While on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard two years ago, my brother got sunburn all over his back. It was bad. However, he started spraying this concoction from a spray bottle that smelled amazing. The next day, his burn was noticeably better and he was actually starting to tan! He told me that the bottle was witch hazel, lavender oil, and peppermint oil. The next time I got sun, I sprayed this mixture onto my skin and was amazed by the instant cooling sensation. Not only did it cool and relax my skin, but I noticed a huge difference in elasticity and hydration. So, I figured…why not bring this into my daily routine. It’s become a staple and I am so glad my brother introduced me to it. In a spray bottle, add witch hazel to nearly fill the bottle. Then add 20 drops of lavender, and 20 drops of peppermint essential oils. Spray it on the next time you’re sunburnt, or use this as a natural toner and let me know what you think!
Calm it down, calm it down
Three years ago, I discovered the Cold Spring Apothecary in upstate New York (check out my post about it here if you want to check it out, I highly recommend it!) When I was up there last and discussing skin care with the associate, she mentioned I should introduce the Calm Oil into my skincare regimen. This bottle packs a punch of hydration and soothing notes of chamomile, calendula, and argan oil. Simply put three to five drops of this into the palm of your hand and gently press into the skin to activate. I would recommend using this at night before a serum or before a moisturizer. I know a lot of people who add some oil into their foundation before applying, which I’m sure this oil would be perfect for.
LOCK IT IN Y’ALL
Earlier this year I was introduced to Venn Skincare. I’ve tried the two products from Venn in the past year and have to say, this lifting mask if the perfect addition to my regimen. While this product is advertised as a “mask” really, this is a leave on moisturizer. I use it everyday and every night to lock in all the work I’ve done before hand. The silky texture is perfect as a dual moisturizer and primer for applying make-up or for an evening moisturizer before bed. If you’re looking to simplify your skincare regimen without all of the mentions above, check out their All-in-One Concentrate…It’s a little pricey at $185, but was my go-to before I found all these other products.
Eye on the prize
The first place I start to notice any semblance of aging on my face is around my eyes. In the past I’ve used a ton of different products. Some have left the delicate skin around my eyes red or burning…not great. The formula from this ferulic and retinol eye cream is one that soothes, visibly tightens, and helps keep the skin around my eyes feeling refreshed. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone looking for a simple yet effective eye cream. A little goes a long way with this one!