I Always Get Compliments on My Skin—These Are the 7 Products I Use Every Day
I'm certainly not a Type A person—not by a long shot. My vintage '70s bedroom chair barely sees the light of day, consistently draped in whatever clothing I tried on that morning (or, more accurately, every day that week). My dresser drawers are never organised, and my clothes are hardly properly folded. One aspect of my oft off-kilter lifestyle is precise, though, and that's my bathroom vanity. The shelves are intricately cataloged, with products grouped by formula and frequency of use. It's a labyrinth of bottles, jars, and tubes.
See, to say I have an elaborate skincare routine would be a massive understatement. It has a lot to do with my job, naturally, but really it comes down to my penchant for a glowy, plump, and blemish-free canvas. All I'm saying is that I care about my skin. And the work pays off. I get compliments on it most days—but that doesn't go without meticulous care. I've done a lot of trial and error and a lot of testing and retesting to find the formulas that work best for me and the frequency with which to use them. Below find every single product I use on a daily basis.
I don't think I'll ever be able to quit this cleanser. It's the only face wash I've ever used that yields as favourable results. Serums and moisturisers are important, but according to celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau, the cleansing portion of your skincare routine is perhaps the most important. Dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, notes, "The wrong cleanser can rub your skin barrier, leading to inflammation (or it may not do an effective enough job). Remember, the right cleanser for you may be very different from what your best friend is using." (TL;DR: Our skin is not "one size fits all"—far from it, in fact.)
That being said, almost every editor at Byrdie HQ has given in to the magical powers of Eve Lom's cleansing balm. I keep samples of it around in every pocket, drawer, and bag I come into contact with. The formula helps improve circulation, open your pores, cleanse, exfoliate, and tone your skin all in the amount of time it takes to massage it into your face. The blend of essential oils—chamomile, eucalyptus, and clove—work to melt away dirt, oil, debris, and makeup all the while smelling like a spa. It's perfect.
After cleansing, I move to toner, specifically Biologique Recherche's Lotion P50 1970 ($91). I first had the tingly, vinegar-scented formula applied to my face during a facial by Toska Husted herself at Toska European Spa, where its dark spot–erasing, pore-shrinking, and complexion-balancing results left my jaw dragging along the treatment room floor. "P50 is an acid toner that exfoliates the skin while nourishing it with botanical extracts and vitamins," says Husted.
The ingredients are a mix of a few of the usuals: lactic acid, salicylic acid, and citric acid blended together with a selection of other, more eyebrow-raising components like onion extract, horseradish, sulfur, and vinegar (which certainly explain the smell). Immediately after drenching a cotton pad with the bottle's contents and swiping it carefully over my face (twice a day, as suggested by Husted), I feel a flush of tingling. It's a sensation that doesn't hurt or feel uncomfortable, but instead, it feels rather satisfying and exciting in that "I can tell this is working" kind of way.
"It is widely believed by scientists around the world that one of the main reasons we age is because unstable electrons in molecules (called free radicals) attack healthy cells and change their composition, which causes them to no longer function the way normal, younger cells do," Rouleau explains. That's why using a vitamin C serum is vital.
If I had to pick one product to supplement the splendor and glory that P50 brings about, this is the one. On its own, the combination of ferulic acid and pure vitamin C and E enhances my skin's protection against environmental damage caused by free radicals, improves signs of aging and photodamage, reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and brightens my complexion each time I use it. Together with P50, the duo is a skincare powerhouse I can't believe I ever lived without.
The thing is that the reason I lived without it for so long (despite its many, many glowing reviews) is the smell. It was described to me as something like "boiling hot dog water," which, to be fair, isn't far from the truth. You get used to it, though, and for what it does to my skin, I'll never complain again.
"Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring polysaccharide found in the human body," says esthetician and StackedSkincare founder Kerry Benjamin. "It acts as a cushioning and lubrication agent for our joints, nerves, hair, skin, and eyes." The magic lies in the compound's ability to retain moisture (one gram of hyaluronic acid can hold up to six liters of water).
To follow CE Ferulic, I use a fairly new product in my long list of time-tested favourites: SkinCeuticals Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier, which has done all the heavy lifting necessary to earn its spot in my medicine cabinet. It's a potent blend of pure hyaluronic acid, pro-xylane, licorice root, and purple rice. Clearly, this is not just any hyaluronic acid serum. It has a thicker, more gel-like texture and visibly boosts my skin as I apply it. That's right—there's no waiting around and no trusting that it's working. It penetrates your skin, and you can watch it plump up. I use it all over my face, but I specifically love to press it on underneath my eyes when I look tired or puffy. Immediately, my under eyes look less hollow and reflect more light. Plus, it's incredible under makeup courtesy of those lovely smoothing properties.
Dr. Barbara Sturm's Face Cream Rich is my most treasured moisturiser—I use it morning and night to finish off my multistep routine. Sturm herself calls it "your cell spa while you sleep," as it is so intensely regenerating. The cream incorporates purslane (a succulent herb packed with omega-3 fatty acids) to reduce redness and skullcap extract to stimulate natural collagen production. No lie: Using this moisturiser results in more youthful-looking skin come morning.
At night, following my Cleanser and Lotion P50 1970, I apply Biologique Recherche's Placenta Serum, an intensive repairing serum that contains placental biostimulin protein extracts to help heal, strengthen, and rebuild my skin. It's especially helpful for those lingering red marks that chronically stay put once a breakout clears up.
Additionally, this tiny bottle of goodness works to lighten dark circles (necessary), restore suppleness and tone to the skin, and lighten pigment spots, as well as reduce puffiness in your skin post–workweek stress (or one too many cocktails).
I finish off the serum portion of the program with a dose of SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel, a lightweight hyaluronic acid serum meant to restore and bind moisture to the skin for enhanced radiance, suppleness, and comfort. It adds the extra moisture I need right before bedtime.