In this series, Top 11, influential people with beautiful skin share 11 ways they take care of it. Knowledge is power!
For a good 20 years, I had the oiliest of skin. It started at 13 and gushed on out well into my thirties. As I sat there dabbing the shine away with either a Papier Poudre, tissue, or the back of my hand, I’d always say saying to anyone who would listen, “Well, I’ll be happy when I’m 60!”
No, I am not there yet, but, by and large, I’m more at peace than I ever have been in my early fifties. Sure, there are age spots and some moderate wrinkles on my forehead and I tend to try not to reverse my phone camera lens up close, but all that sebum did protect me, in a way. And being so fair-skinned, I learned early on that mine does not tan, and never will, so no use trying. That was around the time I quit the swim and diving teams.
I fell into the beauty business by sheer dumb luck. A temp job in college landed me at Glamour magazine’s beauty department. I’d never been into makeup and, well, you can imagine my skincare routine back then; but all the free stuff in the beauty closet proved irresistible. I’ve been playing with lipstick, moisturizers and bath gels ever since.
Being a beauty editor certainly has its kid-in-a-candy-store elements to it. We have everything at our fingertips, sure, but managing it all can be overwhelming. Now that I’m freelance, I work out of my home, but still get dozens of packages a day, so let’s just say I tip my doormen well. It’s also like that I Love Lucy chocolates factory episode. I can never keep up with opening all these packages and organizing everything. We used to have beauty sales when I was at W, giving the proceeds to charity. I’m currently in the midst of holding one with a friend and we’ll be doing the same thing with the proceeds. God knows, lots of charities need help these days.
To give you a peek into my medicine cabinet, I am sharing the top 11 products I use and treatments I personally use.
Clean, Clear Skin Products
While I’ve been experimental with things that go on my hair and nails, I’ve tried to take less risks on my skin. Back when I was Oily Jane, I’d only use stuff like Erno Laszlo or prescription medications. When my skin became dry, I went to town with every moisturizer and serum out there.
Then my complexion reminded me that it might not be oily anymore, but it was more sensitive than ever. And, boy, it did not like products with long ingredient lists, so lately I’ve pulled way back and stick with a few tried and true. My go-to’s are Drunk Elephant™ and Peach & Lily©’s new line. They’re gentle, and while not 100 percent organic, they contain only clean ingredients.
Sunscreen and Shade
Anytime I find myself in the sun, I feel so vulnerable. I kind of treat the sun like a rainstorm: So long as it’s in its full-strength mode, I stay inside or on the porch. Being out in the sun is like walking around with a bullseye on my back!
Annual Body Checks
I’m pretty relentless about this. More than once, I’ve called my dermatologist Amy Wechsler to schedule a body check and the staff at her office is like, “You just had one six months ago.” I still go anyway. Skin cancer can be identified early “pre.”
You know how the cobbler’s children have no shoes? I’m kind of that way about facials. If they’re offered to me, I’ll go, but I’m on no set schedule. I guess I’m what you’d call somewhat loyal. I usually see Georgia Louise, but I also love Kristina Holey, Shani Darden, and Nichola Joss.
Injectable Wrinkle Reducers
I get injectable wrinkle reducers when I remember to do it, no more frequently than every 3 months. Or when I happen to notice that my moderate to severe lines on my forehead are more visible. Dr. Wechsler usually does it.
[Editor’s note: Click here to learn more about these treatments, which temporarily smooths the appearance of moderate to severe lines on areas of the face (such as the forehead and crow’s feet). As with any prescription treatment, talk to your doctor about possible side effects.]
The Occasional Fill
I’ve had injectable filler twice, both times by dermatologist Dendy Engelman. The first time, she injected into my cheeks. I’d do it again because I trust her injection skill.
[Editor’s note: Filler is a treatment, during which hyaluronic acid is injected into places on the face such as cheeks and lips. Like injectable wrinkle reducers, it is encouraged to discuss potential side effects with your provider.]
I first started using Retin-A Micro gel as an acne curber. These days, I use Retin-A cream. I’ve been slacking off on it a bit lately, so gotta get better. Fortunately, I just had a clean skin check, so no time like the present!
[Editor’s note: Retin A is a prescription product. Please consult your doctor before using.]
Glytone© Dark Spot Corrector
While Dr. Wechsler says they’re seborrheic keratoses — and she’ll remove them as soon as I can hibernate for a few days of down time — I see age spots. I’ve been using this gel ($38) for a couple of weeks and can swear I see them diminishing.
Matcha and Yogurt
I always say my skin freaks out if you look at me the wrong way. Couple that with too much beauty editor experimenting, and I’m bound to put my complexion at risk. Every once in a while, I push it too far from trying the wrong products and a flareup occurs. Years ago when this happened, the first person I texted was Kristina Holey and she said “STOP. USING. ANYTHING.” Just a calming DIY mask of plain yogurt and matcha powder. I have a generic jar of it at our place upstate, but in New York, I go fancier with Loli’s© Matcha Coconut Paste.
I’ve never used body lotion. My skin doesn’t seem to need it, and I’m glad because it just seems so gross and sticky to me. And I’d rather not use product all over my body. That being said, I’m obsessed with body scrubs. Full disclosure: I use them mostly as part of my no-deodorant plan, but I’ll also rub a little on my neck and upper arms, but mostly for the subtle shine they leave behind. Favorites are the eucalyptus-scented ones, like ones from 100% Pure® and L:A Bruket.
Sugar and Wine Monitoring
I lived on Twizzlers and Swedish Fish in my twenties and most of my thirties, and I wondered why my skin was so bad. My husband, however, is the healthiest eater I know; so my sugar intake has gone way down, and I think my complexion is less red because of it. I also have never been much of a drinker. I mean, I love my rosé, but I am a cheap date. Four sips in, and I’m already feeling it.