Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
A question I’m asked often is: What do you put on your face, Britt? I don’t have perfect skin, but if I run enough and don’t drink too much, it does kind of glow as much as a real person’s skin can glow. That’s because a) it’s very oily and b) I drench it in chemicals. Soak it, basically. And it works. It’s probably not for everyone, but it’s the only thing that has calmed my skin and cured me of cystic acne. So in lieu of the rant I was going to write in today’s newsletter, I’m going to walk you through my skincare routine.
For context, my skin is so oily that a handful of experts — dermatologists, aestheticians — have told me to just not wash it in the morning. (I’ve talked to that many experts because my bad skin actually drove me to become a beauty editor for a couple of years. I figured that if I understood the science behind skincare, maybe I’d finally have good skin.) But then I’m not sure how I’d wake up. So I do wash it, with Glossier’s Milk Jelly Cleanser, in the shower.
Let the chemicals commence! Out of the shower, I splash Biologique Recherché P50 1970 (yes, the one the owner of the company says is too harsh) onto my face. Then I let it sit there while I do everything else: make coffee, read the NYT digest, make my bed, get dressed, etc.
In the summer, I’ll skip moisturizer and just put on Control Corrective SPF 30 Sunscreen. In the winter, I’ll spray a face mist before using Control Corrective Oil-Free Healing Lotion. I honestly think all water sprays are the same — and also unnecessary — but I work near beauty people, and am never in short supply. Also, they feel nice and I do believe in the importance of putting moisturizer onto damp skin, so I use them. Right now, I’m using La Roche Posay’s; it’s unscented.
When I’m using moisturizer, I put it everywhere but my nose. Facialist Shani Darden changed my life when she told me to stop putting products on my nose! If you have oily skin, you probably have nose blackheads and you’ve probably tried everything from Bioré strips to extractions to make them go away. What about just not filling those pores in the first place? Put retinol and sunscreen on your nose, yes, but nothing else.
One of the first things I learned when I was a beauty editor was “don’t invest in cleanser.” It’s on your face for 30 seconds and nowhere near as important as, say, serum. To that I say: bullshit. I started using the $40 iS Clinical Cleansing Complex almost a year ago and it’s made a significant difference for me. I wash my face with that as soon as I walk in the door.
From there, I rotate between three things: Dr. Dennis Gross Extra Strength Peel Pads, Shani Darden Retinol Resurface, and iS Clinical Active Serum. The first is a two-step wipe (the first burns, the second calms), the second is retinol (the cornerstone of any skincare routine), and honestly I’m not even sure what the third does but it’s in rotation and I’m keeping it there. I do not use eye cream, because I’ve tried everything from La Mer to Olay and they all make my eyes red and irritated. I also don’t put on moisturizer at night, even in the winter.
I’d love to know what you’re into right now, so if you’re up for sharing all or part of your routine, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.