I’m a routine person. When my alarm goes off in the morning, I pop up, slip on my spandex, and head to the gym. I rotate through three regular lunch options, swapping every time I finally can’t bear to eat them again. And to wind down at the end of a long day, I have a nighttime beauty routine that signals to both my body and brain that it’s time to snuggle up alone and watch Gilmore Girls until I’m finally ready to doze off.
Now, I know that some swear by a very specific set of products (and the order in which they’re applied). I can’t knock that kind of attention to detail. But frankly, my routine is more about the acts of care than it is the exact layering of potions I put on. My skin is generally on the dry side and I can get occasional blackheads along my jawline and on my cheeks, but otherwise, it’s relatively well behaved. I used to suffer from melasma on my cheeks and upper lip (a result of my IUD), but I’ve found that over the years, the dark patches of skin have mostly faded. All of this is to say, I do try to think about how best to clean and coddle my skin before I wind down for the night, but I haven’t set out to “fix” any pain points. I simply want to give my skin the love it deserves.
Below, I’ve outlined my routine from top to bottom (along with a few alternative products I love but aren’t in my current rotation), but what I should preface this whole routine with is that before you try it out yourself, make sure you have Kind of Blue playing through the speakers and that a candle is lit somewhere nearby. It’s all about relaxation, after all.
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Step 1: Cleanse
To start, I cleanse my face — since I tend to work out at the start of the day, I usually shower then. So, it’s key to start my wind down routine with a facial cleanser to make sure I’m not sweaty and covered in post-subway-commute grime, leaving myself prone to blackheads. This cleanser leaves my face feeling refreshed without leaving it dry or tight.
Step 2: Mask
It’s not an everyday part of my routine, but one to two times a week (or realistically, every few weeks when I’m busy), I go for a face mask. Full disclosure, Lesse was founded by my uber-talented friend Neada, but I’ve tried so many masks and the Bioactive Face Mask still remains my go-to. It’s tingly — made with charcoal and organic flame tree — but I also find it to be hydrating. A win-win.
Step 3: Serum
Next up is my serum layer — I’m not one who is great about follow through here. I’ll often try different serums on different nights (likely sabotaging myself from time to time with wacky combinations), but since rotating between these two, I’ve been excited by how clear my skin is, especially since I began to break out more readily from wearing a mask. After using these two regularly, my skin looks practically poreless. Dieux’s serum is sold out, but I suggest you get on the waitlist now.
Step 4: Moisture
As a New York resident, braving the shifts in temperature and humidity require swapping my moisturizers from season to season. During winter, I slather on the heaviest formula that I can find. For summer, I need something lighter that won’t cause me to sweat (I’m already doing enough of that). For between seasons, this moisturizer is a simple staple. It’s mid-weight and doesn’t sit on the skin, but leaves me looking glowy.