The 10 Best Skincare Tips I’ve Ever Gotten

How much are we all studying our faces right now? Like a solid 30 minutes in front of the mirror slathering and massaging AM and PM. I feel a bit like Narcissus these days but my skincare routine is definitely helping me relax and take my mind off the news. There’s only so much I can do in this little apartment.

A lot of us are also doing some experimenting right now with our routines. I’ve gotten a lot of advice about my skin over the years but there are 10 skincare tips that have never failed me:

Use a toner before a mask.
When I first started using P50 a few years ago, I was confused as to why I was supposed to apply it before Masque Vivant, per my facialist’s recommendation. Don’t I want the toner to stay on my skin all day? Even though my skin always looked and felt great after, I wasn’t sold. Still, I reluctantly did it twice a week until about a month ago when I decided it would be a good lockdown experiment. Since I’m masking in the morning five days a week right now (I am NOT alone) I decided I would make the switch during the week. I’ve found my masks are working more effectively and my skin is less oily throughout the day because it was hydrated and balanced before the treatment went on. When I use the toner on the weekends and leave it on under my serums, I don’t have any breakouts or irritation, but my skin seems to be more oily since it’s got an exfoliant sitting on it all day. Now, it’s important to note I’m not using P50 before anything like a peel.

Apply your spot treatment on top of your moisturizer.
A Japanese pharmacist told me this while I was living in Tokyo about six years ago. The climate and a switch to non-hormonal birth control was wreaking havoc on my skin. When I was picking up my prescription for a spot treatment, she explained that applying it on top will still allow all the goodness to get through without any irritation. If you smear cream or lotion on top, you’re also wiping a lot of it away. I’ve done it ever since and it’s worked ever since.

Oily skin is dehydrated.
Growing up greasy (that should be a hashtag) meant I was constantly buying oil control products to dry me out. But once I started getting facials in my late 20s, I learned why I was producing so much oil: my skin was thirsty. Once I leaned into moisturizing — and forced myself to drink more water — I noticed my skin was much more balanced and clear. I’m still not great at at the drinking water part, but every day I’m using a hydrating serum and a moisturizer morning and night and avoid anything specifically to control oil.

Eat more water.
Building on the point above. Fruits and vegetables like cucumbers, watermelon (duh), bell peppers and lettuce are packed with water. Eat more veggies not just for the vitamins and minerals (which should be reason enough) but also for the water.

You need more sunscreen than you think.
To sufficiently cover your entire body in sunscreen, you need an entire shot glass full of sunscreen at least. No dainty dollops. Slather it on. Or end up with grisly scars from mole removals like me.

Ditch the loofah.
It’s pretty common knowledge now loofah’s are basically bacteria parties. But I will admit, hand on heart, I was still using one a year ago. I just liked the exfoliation and dismissed the bacne as hormones. Finally made the switch to a wash cloth (that I switch out regularly) and found the right scrub and now bacne is no more. We are a loofah-free household.

Use a clean face cloth each night.
Every night I wipe my face with a clean cloth to remove any product or makeup as step one in my double cleanse after using a cream cleanser. The cloth — soaked in warm water — provides a gentle exfoliation and gets everything off so my second cleanser is more effective. I’m sure my husband is annoyed that they’re always hanging in the bathroom and taking up space in the hamper, but I won’t remove my makeup/skincare products any other way.

Give your water a boost with chlorophyll.
I have the Sakara Life 10-Day Reset to thank for this. This kit includes their Detox Drops, which you add to water before bed. Despite turning your water dark green, the taste doesn’t change much at all. Maybe more of a mineral taste but not grasslike at all. My skin is brighter and clearer in the morning when I use these drops and I’m less bloated, too. And if you’ve had some cocktails, they can help keep a hangover at bay. Get those greens however you can.

Take a probiotic.
I worked for an online supplement retailer 10 years ago and one of the big takeaways from my time there was to take a probiotic — a great one — every single day. The benefits of the “good bacteria” in probiotics are well documented at this point, but in summary, a healthy, happy gut makes for a healthy, happy body. What goes into your body directly effects your skin and probiotics help you get the good stuff out of your food. This is my current favorite probiotic.

Trends don’t mean anything.
I’m not immune to great marketing. I’ve bought plenty of trendy products in my day, but learning to pay attention to the ingredients and really knowing my skin has prevented a lot of mishaps. Case in point: My skin doesn’t like oils. Face oils are super trendy and I’ve tried a lot. A gorgeous blue one for acne, a golden once full of botanicals for balance and lots of oil cleansers. My skin just isn’t having it. And that’s fine. There’s no one universal product for everyone.

P.S. How gorgeous is that bathroom? Taken at the Vanderbilt Mansion last Thanksgiving.

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