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What a Fashion Editor Puts on Her Face Every Day

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Every Single Thing I Put on My Face

A question I’m asked often is: What do you put on your face, Britt? I don’t have perfect skin, but if I run enough and don’t drink too much, it does kind of glow as much as a real person’s skin can glow. That’s because a) it’s very oily and b) I drench it in chemicals. Soak it, basically. And it works. It’s probably not for everyone, but it’s the only thing that has calmed my skin and cured me of cystic acne. So in lieu of the rant I was going to write in today’s newsletter, I’m going to walk you through my skincare routine.

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Morning

For context, my skin is so oily that a handful of experts — dermatologists, aestheticians — have told me to just not wash it in the morning. (I’ve talked to that many experts because my bad skin actually drove me to become a beauty editor for a couple of years. I figured that if I understood the science behind skincare, maybe I’d finally have good skin.) But then I’m not sure how I’d wake up. So I do wash it, with Glossier’s Milk Jelly Cleanser, in the shower.

Let the chemicals commence! Out of the shower, I splash Biologique Recherché P50 1970 (yes, the one the owner of the company says is too harsh) onto my face. Then I let it sit there while I do everything else: make coffee, read the NYT digest, make my bed, get dressed, etc.

In the summer, I’ll skip moisturizer and just put on Control Corrective SPF 30 Sunscreen. In the winter, I’ll spray a face mist before using Control Corrective Oil-Free Healing Lotion. I honestly think all water sprays are the same — and also unnecessary — but I work near beauty people, and am never in short supply. Also, they feel nice and I do believe in the importance of putting moisturizer onto damp skin, so I use them. Right now, I’m using La Roche Posay’s; it’s unscented.

When I’m using moisturizer, I put it everywhere but my nose. Facialist Shani Darden changed my life when she told me to stop putting products on my nose! If you have oily skin, you probably have nose blackheads and you’ve probably tried everything from Bioré strips to extractions to make them go away. What about just not filling those pores in the first place? Put retinol and sunscreen on your nose, yes, but nothing else.

Night

One of the first things I learned when I was a beauty editor was “don’t invest in cleanser.” It’s on your face for 30 seconds and nowhere near as important as, say, serum. To that I say: bullshit. I started using the $40 iS Clinical Cleansing Complex almost a year ago and it’s made a significant difference for me. I wash my face with that as soon as I walk in the door.

From there, I rotate between three things: Dr. Dennis Gross Extra Strength Peel Pads, Shani Darden Retinol Resurface, and iS Clinical Active Serum. The first is a two-step wipe (the first burns, the second calms), the second is retinol (the cornerstone of any skincare routine), and honestly I’m not even sure what the third does but it’s in rotation and I’m keeping it there. I do not use eye cream, because I’ve tried everything from La Mer to Olay and they all make my eyes red and irritated. I also don’t put on moisturizer at night, even in the winter.

I’d love to know what you’re into right now, so if you’re up for sharing all or part of your routine, shoot me an email at britt@racked.com. Britt Aboutaleb, editor-in-chief

Shopping
Etsy Is Lowkey the Best Place to Buy Jewelry Online
Jewelry

Statement jewelry has been steadily on the rise, but here’s the thing about making a statement: When the 12th person on your Instagram feed makes the same one, the shine wears off. Naturally, the hunt for untapped, under-the-radar brands follows, and there is arguably no better place to find them than on Etsy.

To date, the online marketplace has 1.6 million active shops (!!) and more than 35 million items for sale; inside those numbers, jewelry claims a pretty big space. You’ll find shops — old and new — offering everything from newly hand-crafted and vintage to custom and made-to-order pieces from all over the world.

While so many options means a greater chance of finding something you like, the thought of sifting through endless pages of items can (and will) feel overwhelming.

So in an effort to make things easier, we’ve sorted through the masses to bring you a list of our favorite Etsy shops for jewelry right now, all guaranteed to have people asking where you got your new earrings, bracelet, or necklace.

See our list >>
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Just One Thing
The $5 Acne Spot Treatment My Teen and I Fight Over
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Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patch, $5 for 24

If you’re out of your teens, you’ve probably already realized the bitter truth that acne never really goes away. It’s all a big lie that pimples are the scourge of your teenage years only, and then you’ll be fresh-faced throughout young adulthood, at least until the wrinkles and dark spots come to mar your hard-won beauty once again.

I didn’t have terrible acne as a teen, but it really flared up in my 20s due to stress, especially during grad school when I was also working. I received a bit of a reprieve in my late 20s and early 30s (I credit birth control pills), then it came back with a vengeance when I got pregnant and has never really left in the ten years since my second kid was born. Now my hormones are acting up again in one final act of rebellion before they officially shut down for good: My face is on a rager.

This is probably the only thing my 13-year-old son and I have in common at this particular moment in time. On pretty much everything else, from how much he should be on his phone to how cool and not-embarrassing I am, we are in firm disagreement. But our faces are both sort of a mess, and, in this shared misery, we bond. And we fight over my stash of pimple patches from Cosrx, which I keep in a little box under my vanity. I’ve caught him in there sneaking them almost as many times as I’ve caught him texting his friends when he’s supposed to be doing homework.

Last year Charlotte Cho, the founder of K-beauty e-commerce site Soko Glam, gave me these little patches, and I’d never seen anything like them for acne treatment before, so I did a bit of research.

Pimple patches exist in two forms: plain hydrocolloid patches (which is what the Cosrx ones are) or medicine-soaked stickers. The former are based on wound-healing principles used in hospitals, and basically suck gunk out while also keeping the wound — which is what a pimple is — moist, which is optimal for healing. (I used to be a nurse and have changed many a yucky wet dressing.) The latter just feature a concentrated dose of typical acne meds like salicylic acid on a little sticker and are meant to keep the active ingredient in one specific area, and theoretically help it absorb better. (This is an example.) In my experience, the plain hydrocolloid patches work MUCH better.

The only other example of a hydrocolloid patch for pimples I’ve been able to find is from 3M Nexcare, which you can buy at Amazon. They’re inferior to the Cosrx patches, though, because they’re pretty small and don’t seem to adhere as well. The Cosrx patches come in three different sizes. They’re packaged in a ziplocked pouch so they don’t dry out, and cost a mere $5 for 24 patches.

The patches work best on a whitehead or a blemish that you’ve picked or squeezed (it happens and I would never judge you), thus releasing some gooey stuff. They need moisture to grab on to, so they’re not great for those deep pimples that are still working their way up. But I’ve had near-miraculous results overnight. They take down swelling significantly and also suck out all the junk gently, thus deterring you from attempting to do it yourself and potentially causing scarring.

And since there are no active ingredients in them and they work purely physically, there are no weird side effects like flaking or interacting with the other stuff you put on your face.

I’ve since given my kid his own stash, which he now hides somewhere out of my reach. —Cheryl Wischhover, senior beauty reporter

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