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Skincare and self-care go hand in hand for me. I’ll start at the beginning: as a girl, the one “glam” thing my Mom really invested time in was always her skin. She had brands constantly sending her products to try, and she always had a ton of products out on her sink and would try out regimens one by one. I was fascinated watching her apply the creams and tonics, the ampules and emulsions. Whenever she was shooting a movie, I would ask the makeup artists tons of questions about what skin products they liked best. As I got older and my hormones started chiming in, my skin went through a bit of a roller coaster. I still don’t know what was ultimately affecting it, but in my late teens and early twenties, I got really bad cystic acne. It would pop up mostly in my cheeks and chin areas, and it REALLY affected my confidence. Especially because I was an actress at this point and the last thing I wanted was to be auditioning in front of producers and directors with bad skin!
I ended up going on Accutane, and while this ultimately cleared my skin up enough, I felt like it gave me a litany of other issues. It’s such a harsh medicine and it really messed with my liver, not to mention it gave me super dry skin! I ended up being on the medicine for about a year before transitioning off of it. My skin continued to have ups and downs, but with good products and regular facials, I got it to an okay place in my mid-twenties. I would still break out every month around my period. When I got pregnant with Marlowe in my late twenties, my skin broke out worse than it ever had. I’d sob because I felt so embarrassed and defeated. Nothing was working. Plus, there is only so much you can do when you’re pregnant!
I knew it was due to so many hormonal changes but it still got me down so much. At that time, one of my best friends in LA introduced me to Shani Darden, a facialist who changed my skin. She really knows her stuff, and she eliminated so many products from my routine– getting it down to a simple and effective system. She now has a whole line of incredible products of her own! My skincare journey continued, but I was always very cautious about introducing new things into my routine. My routine has evolved a bunch since those years, but some products have remained the same. I love trying new products, but it takes a lot for me to keep products in rotation once I finish the bottle.
Today I’m sharing my current skincare routine, weekly and monthly masks included! I will make sure to update it if any significant changes incur. The products are listed from morning routine to night routine, with masks and body products at the end. I’ll also note that this is my routine for spring and heading into summer. Check back during the colder, dryer months for edits and additions! Let me know if you have any questions.
iS CLINICAL Cleansing Complex
I’ve been using the iS Clinical Cleansing Complex face wash for over a decade. It’s simply the best, and I’ve tried them all! It really deep cleanses without stripping. I use this in the morning and as the second step of my evening cleanse.
SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (Pitera Essence)
This facial treatment essence totally transformed my skin, but it is definitely a splurge! I believe it’s worth it. I glow when I use this! I apply a splash or two to my palms and press the essence into my skin morning and night after cleansing.
Drunk Elephant Sweet Biome™ Fermented Sake Hydrating Spray
This hydrating spray is the best dupe I’ve found to the skii and also has ingredients derived from sake. I’d try this one FOR SURE if you’re looking for a toner-type product. Used after cleansing also. You can also use this as a makeup refresher spray during the day!
iS CLINICAL Super Serum Advance+
During the day, after toning, I press a few drops of this serum into my skin. It’s amazing for diminishing fine lines and wrinkles, healing the skin, and providing UV photoprotection.
Supergoop! Superscreen Daily Moisturizer Sunscreen SPF 40 PA+++
I use this sunscreen daily! It feels really hydrating but never clogs my skin. Plus it has SPF 40! It also performs really well under makeup.
Supergoop! Bright-Eyed 100% Mineral Eye Cream SPF 40 PA+++
This morning eye cream has been a game-changer for me! I love that it’s giving me extra SPF for that delicate under-eye area, and it has little particles in it to reflect light and help me look more awake!
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
This is my favorite lip balm! I find it so hydrating and slather it on morning and night.
ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm
I always use this cleansing balm as step one of my two-step nighttime cleansing ritual. First I rub a dollop of this into my face, then wet my hands, and create a creamy cleanser with the balm. Then, I gently wipe my face with a warm, damp face cloth. This removes makeup so well, and without stripping my skin! I follow it with the iS Clinical cleansing complex as the second step.
Shani Darden Skin Care Retinol Reform
Shani Darden Retinol Reform has been a game-changer for me! It’s amazing at warding off fine lines and wrinkles and improving my skin’s texture over time. Plus, the retinol isn’t harsh on my sensitive skin! I use this every other night, after cleansing and then toning with the SKII or Drunk Elephant spray.
iS CLINICAL Active Serum
iS Clinical Active Serum is my holy grail product and the one that changed my skin all those years ago! This serum (though it is more watery than a typical serum, FYI) is amazing for keeping skin clear, and fading discoloration. I use it on the days I’m not using retinol. I put a dropper full in my hands, and then gently press into my skin all over, including my neck.
Shani Darden Skin Care Lactic Acid AHA Exfoliating Serum
Once a week, I swap out one of the two main serums I use for this Lactic Acid AHA Exfoliating Serum. This helps to gently exfoliate on a cellular level and to reveal the glow underneath. Plus, it helps keep my skin clear!
Drunk Elephant Protini™ Polypeptide Firming Moisturizer
After applying my serum, I love this Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Firming Moisturizer! It feels super hydrating but doesn’t clog my pores.
First Aid Beauty Hydrating Eye Cream with Hyaluronic Acid
At night I’ve been loving this super simple but effective First Aid Beauty Eye Cream as my last step. It has hyaluronic acid in it to plump up and protect my under eyes and doesn’t feel greasy.
Necessaire The Body Essentials Set Eucalyptus
For body care, I have been loving this Eucalyptus scented trio by Necessaire for years. The Body scrub and lotion in particular are so so luxurious and make my skin feel fantastic. Plus, it’s totally unisex so Ian and I can share it comfortably!