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I Love the '90s (for Saving My Skin)

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Reddit Turned Me On to This Old-School Acne Treatment
Cotton makeup pads

If you’ve spent any time seeking magic bullet acne cures on the internet, you’ve likely discovered that all winding roads of desperate, late-night web crawling eventually lead to the SkincareAddiction subreddit.

The group, with more than 420,000 obsessive subscribers who have collectively tried every beauty product under the sun, is filled with information on everything from understanding the importance of your cleanser’s pH level to decoding the ingredient list on your moisturizer without a PhD in chemistry.

When I needed a science-based solution for the blemishes and blackheads that have plagued me since puberty, I enthusiastically slid down the Reddit rabbit hole, learning the lexicon of acronyms for chemical compounds and the effects each formula would have on my skin. With all of my newfound wisdom, I was shocked when the best product I discovered in the forum turned out to be so old-school that it’s actually part of the Smithsonian’s permanent collection. Yes, the Stridex pads advertised during Carson Daly-era Total Request Live are still around, and they are now my anti-acne weapon of choice.

I was skeptical at first. In the past, I’d tried celebrity-endorsed favorites like the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, expensive products from brands like Sunday Riley, and probably 75 percent of the skincare aisle at Duane Reade. Could this inconspicuous product I’ve ignored for years really work?  

Diving deep into the top posts, I learned that chemical exfoliation is at the heart of any good acne routine, and one of the gold standards in chemical exfoliation is salicylic acid. (It’s a BHA and lipid-soluble, which means it can also penetrate deeply into pores to dissolve the trapped oil and sebum that cause acne.) Stridex’s Maximum Strength Pads (known among SkincareAddiction regulars as “Stridex in the red box”) are essentially a straight shot of salicylic acid to the face. The pads top their list of recommendations for beginner skincare routines, and one user sings their praises for treating body acne and ingrown hairs too.

The ingredients are slightly different now than they were in the '90s >>
Universal Standard Now Makes Workwear Above a Size 10
Universal Standard's new workwear collection

While a lot popular fashion “disruptors” continue to talk about how difficult it is to extend sizing, Universal Standard — the luxe e-tailer catering to sizes 10 through 28 — seems to just get it done. In November of last year, the brand collaborated with actress Danielle Brooks (of Orange Is the New Black fame) on a small collection, which was followed by a loungewear drop in December and a high-intensity activewear collection in January. Today, the momentum continues with the brand’s first foray into workwear, dubbed The New Executive Class.

You can shop the pieces within the collection individually or together in a starter kit, for those looking to buy a handful of foundational pieces in one purchase. The kit includes a blazer, a fitted dress, a top, and a pair of pants for $450 (it’s like you’re getting the $110 pants for free). The rest of the collection rounds out with basic sweaters and tops, along with standout items like a blazer coat ($230) and a chic jumpsuit ($190).

“Your clothing isn’t going to make you a great executive, but it can be a liability or an asset,” Alex Waldman, the brand’s co-founder and chief creative officer, shared over the phone. “We wanted to create something that put women who were double-digit sizes on an even playing field.

The workwear collection is a big win for women above a size 10, considering that the category is typically filled with frumpy options that don't bother to take fit, comfort, or style into consideration in the slightest.

This way for more photos >>
How The Good Doctor’s Rising Star Gets Her Perfect Skin
Stila makeup

For Antonia Thomas, 2018 is off to a strong start. Not only can you catch the British actress on one of TV’s top-rated dramas (ABC’s The Good Doctor), but she’s also got a starring role on one of Netflix’s cleverest comedies: UK import Lovesick (formerly known as Scrotal Recall — yes, really)the third season of which recently dropped on the streaming service.

But while her Good Doctor alter ego, Dr. Claire Brown, spends most of her time in scrubs and Lovesick character Evie’s look leans bohemian, Antonia herself sticks to the classics. An avid vintage shopper, she collects mid-century cocktail dresses and will happily spend a whole afternoon sifting through the racks in search of pristine past-decade pieces. More on that, plus the beauty products she relies on, below. Elana Fishman, entertainment editor

Hey Antonia! What’s the last great thing you bought for yourself?

It was a moisturizer, actually! SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore. I’m in Vancouver [shooting The Good Doctor], where it gets super cold — and when you’ve got the central heating on high, it just dries you out. I get quite dry skin, so I’m always looking for thick, heavy moisturizers to try that will help without leaving me too oily. Anyway, someone recommended this one to me, and I absolutely love it. I don’t think I’m ever going back!

Tell me about the rest of your beauty routine.

It’s funny: I don’t ever splash out on handbags or shoes — I’m not that kind of girl — but with skincare, I’m happy to spend money. Along with the Triple Lipid Restore, I’ve also started using SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum, which I really like. I always do an eye cream, a serum, a moisturizer, and then a sunscreen on top — SPF 50, come rain or shine! At the moment, I’m using the Kiehl's Avocado Eye Cream, which is a really good one. And at night, I use a different serum, Dr. Jart Ceramidin Liquid, which feels like you’re putting satin on your skin. It’s so silky; I’ve been using it for years.

For my hair, I’m constantly trying new things. Curly hair is such a journey! But in terms of tried and trusted products, there’s a brand called Philip Kingsley — it’s founded by a trichologist — and I’ve always used the Moisture Extreme shampoo and conditioner.

I was also recently introduced to Ouidad by a hairdresser I’m working with on The Good Doctor; they make an amazing hair mask, the Curl Recovery Melt-Down Extreme Repair Mask. I use that once a week, usually on Sundays when I have a bit more time. I don’t wash my hair every day, and on the days I don’t, I use Macadamia Oil Nourishing Leave-In Cream to keep my curls moisturized. I’ve also started using Monoi Oil — it’s Tahitian coconut — which helps with breakage.


Read the rest of the interview >>
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