At this moment, my bathroom is stocked with exactly 176 skin care products. (Yes, I counted.) I’m admittedly addicted to skin care, and whenever I see something that promises miracle results, I add it to my collection. Plus, my job as a beauty editor requires me to stay up to date on the latest offerings in the industry, so I’m blessed to be able to test new things pretty much every day. (It’s worth noting that I receive a lot of these products for free; it’s also worth noting that I feel incredibly lucky that this is a legitimate profession).
But although my selection of cleansers, serums, moisturizers, and masks is absurdly vast, there are 10 products I slather on my face every single day. When I find products that I love and that don’t give me horrible breakouts or reactions, I use them until the last drop — and then immediately buy more. Keep scrolling for my tried-and-true skin care picks.
These wipes are my ride or die. I use them to take off my makeup every night before cleansing, give my face a quick wipe down after a workout, and always keep them in my bag for in-a-pinch moments. And on nights when I’m too lazy to wash my face (yes, it happens, even to a skin care addict like me), I swipe my skin with one and top it off with some moisturizer. They’re super gentle on skin, but do their job in making it feel fresh and clean.
While I tend to bounce back and forth between a bunch of different cleansers, I’m very loyal to this pure konjac plant sponge from One Love Organics. It’s made specifically for dry or sensitive skin types and gently exfoliates and cleanses pores.
My best friend introduced me to this stuff earlier this year, and I’ve been hooked ever since. For whatever reason, applying toner with a cotton ball had never been my thing, so the fact that this one comes in a spritz-on formula has completely changed the game for me. It’s non-drying but effective and is formulated with natural ingredients like rosewater and aloe to leave skin dewy and glowy. Plus, it makes my face smell like subtle roses, which I can’t get enough of.
This stuff is like a vitamin C serum on steroids. It’s got the brightening and antioxidant properties of vitamin C, but it is also formulated with collagen to give your skin a little extra bounce. I apply it every morning to perk up my complexion; when applied consistently, it works on skin texture and dark spots.
Whenever people ask me about a product that is powerful enough to truly change their skin, I point them toward this cult-fave treatment by Sunday Riley. Yes, it clocks in at $105 a bottle, but it is well worth it. (In fact, this is one of those products I regularly purchase in store because it’s that good.) It’s formulated with lactic acid, a potent exfoliator that helps with the hyperpigmentation and uneven surface texture I’ve been dealing with from my acne-picking teenage years, and is enhanced with licorice and lemongrass for instant luminosity.
Though there is no honeymoon in my near future, I love that this stuff makes my skin look and feel like I’m fresh off vacation. It’s my go-to night serum and is made with a triple-threat of actives — alpha hydroxy acids, salicylic acid, and hyaluronic acid — to buff away the appearance of fine lines and pores while hydrating deep down.
Yes, I rub cannabis on my face every morning and night, but don’t worry — it’s THC free. This cream uses adaptogens to balance skin and keeps it feeling ultra-hydrated with essential fatty acids. It also smells like fall in a jar, vaguely like apples and crisp weather.
“Sleep masks” are a huge part of Korean skin care, and IMHO they are something that should be a part of everyone’s routine. As the last thing you put on your face before bed, they basically serve to seal in all the other products you’ve applied while enhancing their efficacy. This one is a personal favorite because it smells like watermelon, and I always wake up with the most hydrated skin.
Earlier this year, I found my favorite skin care product of all time: Odièle Rose Serum. It’s the ultimate multi-tasker — a few drops of the stuff can function as a serum, moisturizer, oil, and primer. I use it as the final step in my routine, both morning and night (minus my sleep mask), and it’s the only thing I bring with me other than a cleanser when I travel. Big bonus: Multiple people -- mostly men -- have also told me that my face “smells f*cking amazing” when wearing it.
Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 ($36; sephora.com)
Unfortunately, I didn’t realize the importance of daily sunscreen until I hit my late 20s and got my first forehead wrinkle. But, as any dermatologist will tell you, it’s crucial to layer on SPF every day (forget wrinkles — skin cancer is a very real concern). This pick is a mineral sunscreen with a tan tint that blends in flawlessly with my skin, leaving no ghostly cast. Sometimes I layer it on in the morning under my makeup, but I often wear it in lieu of foundation thanks to the great coverage it provides.