One of the most prestigious jobs in the beauty industry is that of an editorial director. In addition to having a discerning eye, major writing and editing chops, and vision for their magazine or website, they are experts when it comes to market research. Translation: they know which beauty products are the ones worthy of your investment. After all, they’ve spent years painstakingly smearing, swiping, and otherwise applying different formulas in order to find the best ones to recommend to readers.
The best characteristic about beauty editorial directors, though, is not that they know all the top products — it’s that they’re eager to divulge what they are. We asked five all-stars in the industry — from seasoned print editors to digital pros — to share their beloved at-home peels, sunscreens, and masks they swear by to recover after a late night. Read on to discover their picks, including restorative clay treatments, “one and done” chemical exfoliants, and more.
Gwen Flamberg, Us Weekly® Executive Editor, Beauty and Style
Jessica Matlin, Harper’s Bazaar® Beauty Director
The Favorite Peel: BeautyRx Skincare by Dr. Schultz® The Progressive Peel ($98)
“It’s a 30-day system — you start with a strong glycolic acid serum, then graduate to stronger glycolic acid pads — but it’s worth it. It does brighten and smooth skin as much as an at-home peel possibly can. You have to be consistent with it, though.”
The Must-Have Mask: Mila Moursi® Hydrating & Soothing Mask ($75)
“After a late night, my dry skin just gets drier. This mask is basically a pumped-up moisturizer: It’s rich with hyaluronic acid and smells faintly of cucumber, which I love. When you’re tired, you just want something that feels fresh.”
The Go-To Sunscreen: Kiehl’s Since 1851® Super Multi-Corrective Cream SPF 30 ($85)
“I started using it in 2013 and can honestly say it’s made a difference in my skin. It’s an SPF 30 — the minimum I like to use — and with continued application, the formula firms and re-texturizes. Also, it feels like a luxe moisturizer, not an SPF.”
Jean Godfrey-June, Goop® Beauty Director
“We just introduced a super-strength overnight peel — and I know that I’m biased, but it rules. You swipe it on right before you go to bed, wake up and wash your face, and that’s it. People are always asking how to get ‘The Goop Glow,’ and while there are many ways, this is the quickest, the most effective, and the easiest!”
The Must-Have Mask: Tammy FenderTM Restorative Radiance Masque ($235)
“People like to attack their skin with something intense after a late night, but my strategy is the opposite: Give your skin a ton of soothing moisture and it will plump up and smooth out. Tammy Fender makes a pink clay mask that is just the most moisturizing, calming substance on earth. I leave it on for five to 10 minutes. It’s thick, smells like roses, and will absolutely return anyone’s skin to life.”
The Go-To Sunscreen: Vive SanaTM Daily Protezione SPF 30 ($55)
“Mineral-only sunscreen takes a few more seconds to smooth in, but it’s skin-soothing (chemical sunscreens can contain some of the most irritating chemicals in the beauty industry), doesn’t degrade in sunlight like some chemical sunscreens, and it doesn’t kill coral! My favorite for face is Vive Sana SPF 30.”
Maureen Choi, Violet Grey® Beauty Director
The Favorite Peel: Hanacure® The All-In-One Facial ($29)
“Paint this peptide-infused solution onto your skin and 30 minutes later, your face looks like a desiccated, sundried tomato in an alarming yet remarkably transformative way. That's part of the magic show, though, because once you wash it off, wrinkles, breakouts, pores, and puffiness all seem to disappear."
The Must-Have Mask: Sisley® Paris Black Rose Cream Mask ($162)
"Prized for its soothing properties and heady fragrance, blooming black rose extract gives this rich skin quencher its superpower, reversing — or at least masking — any vice you've indulged in. It brings joy to my skin and soul every time I use it."
The Go-To Sunscreen: AvèneTM Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ for the Face ($24)
“It's easy to forgo sunscreen, with their tacky textures and propensity for pilling. But this sheer, silky formula made with titanium dioxide and zinc, rather than with chemicals, makes it easy to put your shield up every single day."
Dana Oliver, Yahoo!® Lifestyle Beauty Director
The Favorite Peel: M-61® Powerglow® Peel ($66 for 30)
“When I’m in a bind, I reach for these one-and-done exfoliating pads. The combination of glycolic and salicylic acid has worked wonders whenever I’ve had an unexpected breakout. With consistent at-home use, I’ve noticed an overall improvement in my skin not looking as dull or lackluster.”
The Must-Have Mask: Glow Recipe® Watermelon Glow® Sleeping Mask ($45)
“Never before have I ever — and I mean ever— applied a face mask before bed and woken up to the softest, glowy skin. It’s loaded with hydrating ingredients such as watermelon extract and hyaluronic acid, so it’s really effective at staving off dryness. I like to keep it stored in a cool place (like the fridge) so it can help reduce any puffiness upon application.”
The Go-to Sunscreen: Black GirlTM Sunscreen SPF 30 ($16)
“This product was created by and for black girls. Unlike most sunscreens, this one doesn’t leave behind a white or grayish cast on my dark complexion. I love that it’s lightweight, super-moisturizing, and wears well with my favorite liquid or powder foundation.”
Product prices may vary from the time this article was written.
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