This is the first article that I’m writing as a 30-year-old. So, what does that mean? It means that while I’ve always considered myself a skincare expert, my similarly-aged friends are finally starting to take my advice.
Below is the daily skincare routine that I’ll be using in 2020. It covers everything from cleansers, to masks, to serums. (And, of course, the all important eye cream.) Although many of the products are natural, this is not a 100% clean routine. It’s simply one that includes synthetics where I deem necessary.
PAI Rosehip Cleansing Oil ($56)
I try to keep my skincare as clean as possible while also recognizing there are some things, like Botox from nurse practitioner Chelsi Dayrit in Beverly Hills, that I remain unwilling to forfeit. Your face wash, however, doesn’t need synthetic ingredients to be effective. Enter… this luxurious oil cleanser from PAI. I use it at the start and end of each day. The best part? It can be used around the eyes and mouth, negating the need for makeup remover.
If oil cleansers don’t work for your acne-prone or oily skin, try Indie Lee’s Brightening Gel Cleanser ($34). Don’t, however, use this product around your eyes.
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel ($150 for 60)
This two-step peel has been a constant presence in my medicine cabinet since 2012. It relies on five types of alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids to remove dead skin, excess oil and impurities. The result? Even, glowing skin. The only “downside” is that it makes you more prone to sun damage, so be sure to slather on SPF every day while using. (I suggest this sunscreen from COOLA.) I also find the suggested daily use a bit too aggressive for my skin, choosing to call these babies up to bat only once twice per week—or whenever I have an event.
Those looking for a less expensive or all natural alternative should check out Indie Lee’s Radiance Renewal Peel pads ($70 for 60).
Indie Lee Clearing Mask ($60)
I don’t have acne, but I do experience clogged pores and blackheads. That’s why I love this natural miracle mask that simultaneously exfoliates and cleanses. Salicylic and glycolic acids remove dead skin cells, while bentonite clay and colloidal sulfur draw out impurities. I use it once or twice per week and have yet to suffer any dryness. I do, however, end up with deeply cleansed, blackhead-free skin.
Vintner’s Daughter Active Treatment Essence ($225)
Anyone who follows my writing knows that I love Vintner’s Daughter—especially their much loved serum, which replaced my need to own face oils. Their second product, a lightly fermented essence, has also become a standby product in my routine. Once my skin is clean and dry, I reach for this all natural product to replace toner while still balancing and hydrating the skin. I use it every morning and night, but it really shines under makeup. Eight hours into any event… and my skin remains glowing and fresh.
Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum ($300)
There’s no question: This is a pricey serum. And while I tend to steer away from expensive products with so few active ingredients—for this product, only hyaluronic acid and purslane—I have yet to find an alternative that offers my skin the same level of deep hydration. I apply it twice each day while my skin is still damp with essence, then immediately move on to my next step (gua sha) to work both products in further. I don’t use a moisturizer after, but I do follow with sunscreen.
If you’re looking for a less expensive (and all natural) alternative, try One Love Organics’ Botanical C Facial Serum ($75). Although this product uses completely different ingredients, it also leaves my skin glowing, hydrated and ready to stun without the need for any additional oils or moisturizers.
Wilding Empress Stone Gua Sha Tool ($65)
I used to love a good jade roller, but those days are gone. My 2020 skincare routine is all about gua sha, an ancient Chinese ritual that detoxifies, reinvigorates and sculpts the skin. While I don’t believe the reports that gua sha is better than Botox, I do notice that it temporarily drains my face of any bloating. (Wilding offers a great video on how to do this.) You can also use your gua sha to slim your legs, your arms, you name it. Just don’t put it in the fridge, as the cold can make the tool brittle and prone to shattering.
Teoxane RHA Eye Contour ($90)
The first thing I do whenever I’m in New York City is visit Dr. Bill Kestin, skincare guru to the stars. On my latest visit, Dr. Kestin suggested that I try Teoxane’s eye cream for de-puffing and fine lines. Sure, it does tackle wrinkles. But this baby really shines when it comes to de-puffing. Apply using Teoxane’s built-in metallic tip, which cools, drains and decongests the under-eye area. Just be sure to use light pressure when doing so, and massage any excess product in with your fingertip (otherwise it will ball up beneath makeup).
If you’re willing to shell out the cash, I also love Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Eye Cream ($140). It’s richer and more luxurious than Teoxane’s, and the cooling sensation is actually addictive.
One Love Organics Skin Savior Multi-Tasking Wonder Balm ($49)
Dry skin, be gone! Another long standing item in my roster is this vitamin-packed balm, aka the heaviest product in my arsenal. I can literally feel my skin gulping the moisture. For that reason, I don’t recommend using this product in the morning unless you have time for it to soak in before applying sunscreen and/or makeup. Pro-tip: When I’m feeling extra dry, I apply use this product as a mask. Apply a thick layer to your face, then cover my face with a warm, damp washcloth. 10 minutes later, your skin will be as hydrated as a rainforest.
Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence ($94)
I spritz this light tonic on at the end of every skincare routine. It’s refreshing, hydrating and also works as a natural way to set your makeup. Carry it in your purse to boost your complexion at any point during the day. It’s the only thing (other than sunscreen) that I’m never without.