Taking care of yourself and your skin is one of the most important things you can do, especially now as the winter gets colder and finals get closer. Skin care shouldn’t be scary, but instead fun and easy.
Before the pandemic, I worked as a skin care consultant at Sephora for a few years and it was so rewarding and fun helping people with their skin while being able to try every product I could find.
Due to my experience, here is a list of a few key products for every skin type that are must-tries:
A normal skin type isn’t particularly dry or oily, but just happily exists. Many people with normal skin think they don’t need to do much to maintain it, but they couldn’t be more wrong. You still need to hydrate your skin with the right cleansers, treatments and moisturizers.
I have more normal skin myself, and one product I have stood by since the day it was released is the Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Clean Foaming Face Wash.
While this $34 cleanser is on the pricier side, in my opinion, it’s absolutely worth it. It gives your skin a deep cleanse without stripping it of its natural oils while the calendula hydrates and softens your skin for a fresh, glowing look.
Another product that's incredible for normal skin is The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic 2% + B5 Hydrating Serum.
Hyaluronic acid is an amazing ingredient that essentially pulls moisture from the air and onto your skin, like a magnet, to boost your skin’s natural hydration. Vitamin B5 also helps boost hydration and works to heal any imperfections like active acne or scarring.
At just $6.80, this serum is great to add into your skin care routine after your cleanser and before your moisturizer to lock in moisture and keep your skin glowing.
Combination skin can be difficult to find great products for because you need the right balance of oil control and hydration. Typically, people with combination skin have an oily T-zone (forehead and nose) and drier cheeks. But, there are obviously variations to combination skin because everyone's different.
There are two products I always recommend to my combination skin care loving friends. First is the Sephora Collection’s Clean Skin Gel. For only $10, this lightweight cleanser both tones your skin and controls excess oil while still hydrating.
The other product I always recommend is The Ordinary’s Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum. Niacinamide is a product that everyone should be using because it’s hydrating, helps fight acne and oil and brightens your skin for a glowing, even complexion. For my combination folks, this serum helps with every concern imaginable, all for only $5.90.
For people with more oily skin, acne tends to be a concern due to excess oil clogging their pores which takes a lot of trial and error to clear up.
Exfoliating is one of the more important things for people with acne and oily skin to do. Personally, I find physical exfoliators, like scrubs, to be too abrasive and only have temporary results which is why I’ve found that chemical and enzyme exfoliators are more gentle on the skin and prove themselves long-term.
Products with alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids and polyhydroxy acids like lactic or glycolic acid, for example, are great chemical exfoliators. Or if you'd rather go the enzymatic route, anything with pumpkin, papaya and grapefruit are great to buff away dead skin and oil and clear out those pores.
A great choice for oily skin is Glossier’s Solution, for $24. While I don’t love a lot of Glossier’s skin care products, this is one outlier that is tried-and-true. It’s a 10 percent blend of chemical exfoliators that you swipe on with a cotton round after cleansing, just like a toner.
Another thing to consider that not many people with oily skin are even aware of, is that your skin could actually be dry. Most of the time, people with oily skin choose not to hydrate or use moisturizer because their skin is too oily. When in reality, if you’re not hydrating your skin, it may over-produce excess oil to combat it’s dryness.
If this sounds like you, try out a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer like Clinique’s Moisture Surge for $25.
Dry skin is super annoying, but easy to fix. Although, the cold, dry winter is very tough for those already with dry skin. Hyaluronic acid is your best friend, so try out The Ordinary’s hyaluronic serum mentioned earlier.
Your other best friend should be oils to keep your skin’s surface moisturized and seal in its natural hydration and any additional serums or moisturizers you already applied.
In case you haven’t noticed, I love The Ordinary. Their 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil is a show-stopping product. Just two drops for radiant, hydrated and happy skin.
Another incredibly hydrating ingredient I’ve found to be powerful on my drier days is squalane. If you can afford it, literally any product from Biossance is always my first recommendation. Their entire line contains loads of squalane and are some of my favorite highest-performing products.
Particularly for dry skin, I recommend the Squalane + Omega Repair Moisturizer, for $58. It's a rich, ultra-hydrating moisturizer that sinks into your skin, giving your face a tall glass of water without feeling too heavy. It also contains lipids to rebuild your skin’s moisture barrier and has anti-aging properties, because if you didn’t know, dryness is a huge factor in early aging.
No matter your skin type, concerns or lack thereof, your skin is beautiful. It’s the first thing people see when they meet you, and it’s something that you see and feel every day. Why not give it a little extra love?