What Happened When 2 Editors Swapped Skincare Routines

by The Zoe Report

How attached are you to your particular face-washing ritual? Here, TZR's ultimate product junkie, Stephanie Montes, swaps beauty routines for a week with her low-maintenance coworker, Erin Bunch. See what happens when the maximalist and minimalist say sayonara to their tried-and-true skincare stash.

How Would You Describe Your Skincare Routine?

Erin: "Minimalist. I am generally pretty lazy when it comes to taking care of my skin, which I feel increasingly guilty about the older I get. Here's hoping genetics are in my favor!"

Stephanie: "Maximalist. I'm also pretty lazy in most situations, but when it comes to my skin, I believe in taking that extra minute. I use a lot of products, but my routine doesn't actually take that long. Mornings and evenings, I wash my face with three cleansers: an oil to melt makeup, a gentle exfoliator to make my skin glow and a charcoal cleanser to wash everything away. I follow that with a serum to hydrate my skin, a face cream to seal in the serum and a pressed oil to keep me moisturized. At night, I use my two-stem Sunday Riley treatment. As if that wasn't enough, I play with all sorts of face masks almost every Sunday morning."

Which Product Will You Miss The Most?

Erin: "Witch hazel with aloe. I'm addicted and would compulsively use this product around the clock if social norms didn't dictate I refrain from doing so."

Stephanie: "My cleansing oil. I wear foundation, mascara, eyeliner, the whole shebang every day so I need a good makeup-melting oil to remove it all at the end of the day."

What Are Your Initial Thoughts About The Swap?

Erin: "I'm impressed and intimidated but also excited as I (obviously) don't use anything fancy on my face. I'm also really intimidated by the number of products and the amount of time I'm anticipating I will be investing each day in the routine. Honestly, I might be too lazy to do it more than once."

Stephanie: "The swap is pretty comical. I show up with a small box, while Erin pulls a few products out of her cute little crossbody—I'm actually embarrassed at this point. I immediately spot her Thayer's witch hazel—I love this stuff! I haven't used it since I was in college but I'm so excited to get reacquainted with it."

How Did The First Run Go?

Erin: "It didn't take as long as I thought it would, honestly. I had to Google some of the products to remember what they were for and figure out how and when to apply them. I'm such a beauty novice!"

Stephanie: "I started with the cleanser and to my dismay, it didn't foam. This drove me crazy! I literally washed my face four times in a row to try to create a lather. It cleaned my face just fine but I immediately miss my usual cleanser. I still love the witch hazel and the moisturizer is super hydrating—I might have to pick some of this up for myself."

What Did You Learn From The Swap?

Erin: "I learned that it actually feels great to invest so much into your skin and that regardless of the effects (for me, the reason to invest in skincare has always been for the sake of future vanity), it's probably healthy to treat yourself regularly—it felt like a mini spa visit every time. I also learned that it doesn't actually take that long to enact a routine involving several products like this one and that I started looking forward to spending the time on my face each day."

Stephanie: "I learned that I prefer my products to lather. In all seriousness, I learned that slacking on my skincare routine once in a while won't be the worst thing I've ever done. What's the point of treating my skin if it feels more like a chore and less like a treat?"

Will You Be Making Any Changes To Your Previous Skincare Routine?

Erin: "I'd love to say yes, but I fear laziness will win out. The one thing I will definitely change has to do with moisturizing. I have oily, acne-prone skin, so I tend to just dry it out as much as possible. With this regimen, I felt incredibly moisturized but never oily, and none of the products irritated my skin or caused blemishes."

Stephanie: "My love for that witch hazel has been rekindled. I will definitely find a place for this product again in my extensive routine. I'm so glad Erin reintroduced me to it!"