A few years ago, I found getting carded at every bar beyond annoying and complained about it regularly. Now, having just turned 30, I’m still getting carded every time I order a drink, but I’m doing a whole lot less complaining about it. I definitely have genetics to thank for my youthful appearance, and I also credit my esthetician,
Vanessa Hernandez, who keeps my skin looking fresh with her amazing facials and treatments like IPL and micro-needling.
But I believe another major reason I look younger than I am is my dedication to my skincare routine. A few years ago, I got serious about making my skin a priority in my beauty routine (because really, if your skin looks good, your makeup routine can be quite simple), and I’ve stuck to it ever since. I also have
mild rosacea, so that was another key factor in buckling down in the skincare realm. Now that I’ve mastered it, I love to share the knowledge I’ve gained from industry experts and estheticians, so if someone asks me about my routine, I give them the long-winded version. I’m not one of those people who say, “I just drink a lot of water.” I’ll list every detail for those unassuming people who inquire.
Since I’ve gotten the question quite a few times now, I figured it would be worth sharing on here in detail in case any of my favorite products have been on your radar and you were curious to find out more. From the only retinol that doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin to the facial oil that gives a glow like no other, below I’m outlining the 22 products that make up my anti-aging skincare routine.
I have sensitive skin, and it took me a long time to find a product containing vitamin C that didn’t irritate my skin. Once I finally discovered IS Clinical’s Pro-Heal Advance+ Serum, I was hooked. It combines vitamin C, vitamin E, and olive leaf extract to protect the skin against UV rays and environmental aggressors—all with zero irritation.
Another IS Clinical product I swear by is the Youth Eye Complex. It reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eye area using peptides and potent antioxidants. I also feel like it makes my eye area look tighter and brighter.
This serum is loaded with hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 to keep your skin moisturized. Hyaluronic acid holds a thousand times its weight in water, so it’s an important molecule to incorporate into your routine to ensure your skin stays hydrated.
This omega-booster oil is my sensitive-skin hero product that I recommend to everyone. It contains omega-3, -6, and -9 plus lavender to nourish and calm my complexion and leave my skin glowing. I typically use this one at night and then layer a thick moisturizer on top for an ultra-soothing experience.
I swear by Sonya Dakar’s Sensi Wash, which is specifically formulated for people with extremely sensitive skin and conditions like rosacea. It removes dirt and impurities without irritating my skin or stripping the skin of moisture.
Another thing Vanessa has done for my skin is introduce me to M-61’s Powerglow Peel pads. Containing glycolic and salicylic acids, vitamin K, antioxidants, chamomile, and lavender, these pads help exfoliate and resurface the skin to give you a glow like no other. I use them once a week at night and wake up with clear, radiant skin. My pores are also noticeably smaller, and any lines I’m starting to notice are less visible.
Drunk Elephant’s Lala Retro Whipped Cream is a thick moisturizing cream that gives your skin a major dose of hydration upon contact. Containing six African oils, this miracle product feels like heaven on the skin. Despite it being super thick, it absorbs quickly and can even be worn under makeup. Your skin feels plump and moisturized for hours.
Another Drunk Elephant pick is this cult-favorite Marula Oil, which is loaded with antioxidants to soothe and moisturize skin. I use this one at night underneath a thick moisturizer (usually Lala Whipped Cream) and wake up with skin that feels calm and refreshed. It also gives my skin a lit-from-within glow.
It’s no secret that one of the keys to anti-aging is sunscreen, and this clean formula from Supergoop! is a perfect consistency. It’s light enough to be worn under makeup and blends into the skin effortlessly—with no greasy white residue. This has become my go-to whether I’m wearing makeup or not.
Dark spots, be gone! Caudalíe’s Vinoperfect serum works to reduce dark spots while brightening your skin. It’s the best radiance serum I’ve ever used, and I get compliments on how glowy my skin looks every time I use it and go out sans makeup.
Pai’s Rosehip Oil soothes inflamed skin instantly as it’s full of antioxidants (and formulated specifically for sensitive skin). I typically use this one at night when my skin is feeling particularly inflamed since it’s an oil, so it’s a bit thicker. I layer it under my heavier moisturizer and wake up with skin that looks and feels refreshed.
This is my winter skin savior! Eve Lom’s Moisture Cream is thick, hydrating, and all-around luxurious. I use it at night during the colder months, and even though my heater is on all night, I wake up with my skin feeling plump and moisturized. It also absorbs quickly into the skin so you can even wear it during the day under your makeup when you’re feeling extra dry.
As someone with ultra-sensitive skin and rosacea, I had never been able to use a retinol, despite its magical anti-aging properties. That is until I discovered Shani Darden’s Texture Reform, which features a gentle retinol that works to reduce the appearance of sunspots and redness while softening fine lines and wrinkles. I’ve been using this product twice per week, and it doesn’t irritate my skin in the slightest. This is a great starting point if you don’t currently have a retinol in your skincare routine.
This is a newer addition to my skincare regimen, but it’s saving my winter skin right now. Used at night, its thick formula nourishes my dry skin, leaving it feeling ultra-hydrated going to bed and just as moisturized when I wake up in the morning. It also has an instant plumping effect.
The Blue Cocoon is soothing, calming, moisturizing, and smells lovely. The blue tansy and lavender promote a calm complexion, which is particularly helpful for sensitive, easily irritated skin like mine. The balm melts instantly in your hand to the consistency of oil and then absorbs right into your skin. Designed to provide deep nourishment for all skin types, it’s especially helpful for my rosacea-prone skin.
The only AHA product I’ll go near is Drunk Elephant’s Sukari Babyfacial. I typically use this every other week as a mini at-home facial to exfoliate off all the dead skin from my face. You simply apply a thin layer, wait 10 minutes, and rinse off with a warm washcloth to reveal baby-soft skin. This is the product that makes this biggest difference in my skin’s texture.
One of the only masks I’ve discovered and actually stuck with is Sonya Dakar’s Nano Mask. Filled with stem cells, this mask not only moisturizes but also delivers anti-aging ingredients deep into the skin. I use this twice a week for 15 minutes, and afterward my skin feels hydrated, plump, and firm. It also has a light, natural smell, which I appreciate in a product that I have to sit with on my face for an extended period of time.
Meet my desert-island product, Fresh Beauty’s Advanced Lip Therapy is the only lip balm I use. It hydrates your lips like no other and also leaves just the tiniest bit of shine. Despite its steep price tag, trust me, it’s worth it.
Say goodbye to dead skin! Another IS Clinical favorite of mine is the Lip Polish—it sloughs off all the dead skin from your lips with very little scrubbing and zero irritation. Just a few seconds and your lips feel smoothed and plumped.
One of my first estheticians told me skincare should start at your nipples, and that’s a piece of advice I’ve never forgotten. This serum from 111Skin keeps the skin on your neck and décolletage toned and firm and helps reduce creases and lines. Even though I just turned 30, I think prevention is easier than trying to reverse aging later down the line.
A little glow never hurts. I spray this light facial mist every other day to keep up a light, natural-looking bronze glow (no sun required). It gives you just the right amount of bronzing without even a hint of spray tan.
This is hands down the world’s best makeup remover, and it also happens to be totally clean. The green balm melts in your hands and with one swipe over your face, your makeup is gone. It even takes off my stubborn waterproof mascara and eyeliner with ease—zero rubbing required and no damage to your eyelashes or irritation to your under-eye area.
Next up: I’m cleaning up my beauty routine—these 18 nontoxic products are actually legit.
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.