The FIERCE editorial team knows how to get down with skincare. In the same way that we’ve shared beauty words of wisdom with our girlfriends, mamas, and sisters our whole lives, our office is on a constant binge of dishing on acne hot tips, mask comparisons and lip balm swaps.
For our first edition of FIERCE Editorial Picks, we decided to compare our own polished skin routines for a deeper look at the pricey pearls and drugstore gems we covet and love.
Wendy, Executive Director
CREDIT: Wendy Barba
Skin Type: Blaaaahhh. Where do I begin? I had moderate acne all throughout high school and always had pink cheeks, never thought anything of it. My skin got better after college but last year everything came back to haunt me. My acne has resurfaced, causing annoying scars. And turns out that pink all over my face is rosacea.
Where to purchase: I buy most of my skincare products at Sephora.
1. NEUTROGENA Deep Clean Purifying Clean Cleanser / Mask, $9. I’m constantly switching cleansers because I haven’t found one that’ll remove all my makeup without drying my skin. I’ve been using this one for about a month since I got it in a goodie bag at an event I went to. It hasn’t dried my skin too bad, but I always have to go over my mascara with eye makeup remover so I probably won’t be using this again.
2. SHISHEIDO White Lucent Anti-Dark Circles Eye Cream, $60. I have the darkest circles ever. I give my eyes a little massage every morning and night to help brighten this area.
3. LANCOME Tonique Confort Re-Hydrating Comforting Toner With Acacia Honey, $26. A lot of the Instagram models I follow have flawless skin and swear by toners. I decided to give his a try because it’s hydrating and comforting.
4. MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator, $32. This scrub is the best for getting rid of dead skin. This activates my rosacea and turns my skin red so I try to use this only once a week.
5. KATE SOMERVILLE EradiKate Acne Treatment, $26. This little pink bottle zaps pimples overnight like nothing else I’ve tried. It’s super easy to use and really does eradicate pimples by the time I wake up.
6. Kiehl’s Since 1852 Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution, $50. I’ve been using this every night for about a month and a half to help with acne scars.
7. ORIGINS Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask To Clear Pores, $27. I use this about once or twice a week after exfoliating to really clear my pores. My skin feels so smooth after using this.
8. ORIGINS Original Skin Retexturizing Mask With Rose Clay, $27. I got this as a sample at Sephora and was hooked. This also leaves my skin feeling baby soft without overdrying.
9. TATCHA The Water Cream, $68. Before you freak, I didn’t pay almost $70 for moisturizer — I got this as a gift. But after seeing how soft this leaves my skin without making it oily I might just splurge when I run out. I love that it doesn’t make my combination skin more oily and because it doesn’t have sulfates, parabens and other chemicals, it doesn’t trigger my rosacea like other scented moisturizers. It’s also very rich so a little goes a very long way.
10. MAC Prep & Prime Fix+, $26. Most beauty bloggers swear by this to set their makeup, but I use this to help tame my acne. Weird, I know. After reading the label, I saw that this spray is hydrating and contains vitamins and minerals so I decided to spray my face at the end of my nighttime routine. Without really expecting results, I noticed it cleared up the stubborn acne I had along my jawline. I mentioned this to a MAC rep and she said she’s heard about all kinds of problems this fixes including a weird rash a woman developed on her belly during her pregnancy.
CREDIT: Raquel Reichard
Skin Type: Combination, light rosacea
Where To Purchase: With the exception of Brujita Skincare and Lush, I save bucks and buy the rest of these products on Amazon or eBay, though some can also be bought at Ulta and Sephora.
1. Dermalogica Ultra Calming Cleanser, $38. This is a nice gentle cleanser. While I don’t think it reduces redness, it doesn’t make my skin redder, as other cleansers do.
2. Brujita Skincare Rose Geranium Hydrosol spray, $13. A yummy spray that restores hydration after washing my face
3. Aveda Botanical Kinetics Hydrating Lotion (for neck), $27. I originally purchased this for my face, but wasn’t a huge fan, so I’m using it for my neck until I’m done with the bottle. Smells great but wouldn’t repurchase
4. Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream, $31. Wonderful eye cream that brightens my eyes in the morning and smells so good.
5. Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub, $10.95. Scrubs everything away, smells good and keeps lips smooth. My fave lip scrub!
6. H2O+ Oasis Hydrating Treatment, $38 When I’m lazy or traveling, I don’t use every product on this list, but I always use this! It’s my holy grail for facial hydration.
7. Neutrogena Ultimate Sport Face Oil-Free Sunscreen Lotion, $5.99. I use this every morning and reapply throughout the day if I’m in the sun to not trigger my rosacea.
8. Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask, $26. This is a thick lip gel, so not everyone will like it, especially not for daytime, but I’ve always been obsessed with having my lips hydrated, so I appreciate it. It is really thick and gooey, though, so I wouldn’t use it as a lip balm throughout the day.
1. Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser, $38. Same as above.
2. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant (every other day), $15. This is a light exfoliating powder that helps remove dead cells but doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin, so I really like this.
3. Lush FOMO Jelly Face Mask (twice a week), $13.95. I just started using this jelly face mask, which is supposed to help reduce redness, but I can’t say much about it yet other than it smells nice. Before this, I used LUSH Catastrophe Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask, which helped cool and calm my skin. I’m a fan of that but also like to try new masks.
4. G.M. Collin Essential Oil Complex, $55. This is filled with essential oils that work to remove comedones and leaves my skin smooth. The scent is strong, and while I didn’t like the smell at first, I do now.
5. Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream, $18. I just started using this as a day cream to help reduce some light wrinkles. I’m not blown away yet, but I’m just about a week in.
6. Lush Mint Julip Lip Scrub, $10.95. (Same as above)
7. Dermalogica UltraCalming Serum Concentrate, $59. This serum helps calm, restore and defend sensitized skin. I’ve been using it for a while, and while it’s OK, I’d like to see if I could find a better nightly serum for redness and discomfort.
8. H2O+ Oasis Hydrating Treatment, $38 (Same as above)
9. Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask, $26 (Same as above)
10. COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch (whenever I need it), $4.97. This is the cheapest item in my skincare routine and it’s also the most effective. I don’t know how it works, but these little patches significantly reduce pimples in hours and sometimes even makes them completely disappear overnight. This goes with me everywhere I go, especially because I tend to breakout most when I’m traveling.
CREDIT: Alex Portée
Skin Type: My skin type isn’t so easy for me to describe. I had to endure hormonal cystic acne and oily skin from the time I was in middle school to the end of college when I finally decided to take Accutane. While taking the medication was a complete saving grace (and everyone on staff can tell you that I preach about it on the regular) it did not completely save my skin from acne. I no longer have breakouts, but I do still have oily skin on my nose. Also because of it, my forehead is fairly dry (more on that later).
Where To Purchase: Nordstrom, CVS, Sephora, Amazon
1. Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser, $10.63. This product was key to getting my skin to an acne-free place and I love it because of how simple it is. My dermatologist recommended it to me when I first started Accutane and I have not stopped using it since. It’s a noncomedogenic cleanser, which means it doesn’t clog your pores (something my oily skin is prone to do). One of my favorite parts about this cleanser is that it comes in a generously sized bottle and is pretty dang cheap/ available at most pharmacy stores so it’s also convenient as hell when I run out.
2. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, $39. I’ve been investing in Clinique products since I was in middle school and this moisturizer will probably be in my life for many years to come. I tend to end up with two different skin types in the morning and evening. When I wake up it tends to be pretty moisturized from the night before so I apply this moisturizing gel.
3. Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream Clinique, $26. As I start to move into my late twenties I’m becoming more and more aware of how important moisturizing my eyes are. I love this because it keeps the skin around my eyes hydrated and feeling firm.
4. Glossier Balm Dotcom Original $12, I’m obsessed with how hydrating this lip balm is! I started using it when I began my Accutane trial which completely dried out my lips and made them peel often. I haven’t stopped using it since!
1. Kate Somerville Gentle Daily Wash, $36. My mom got me hooked on Kate Somerville products awhile ago after giving me some of her soaps and exfoliators for Christmas. They tend to be a bit pricey so I usually only splurge on this wash which never breaks me out or dries up my skin.
2. Clinique Exfoliating Scrub, $22. When it comes to scrubs on my face I stick to a tight routine. I use this Tuesday and Thursday and when I get breakouts. Sometimes I’ll use it as a mini mask for my nose when I notice blackheads.
3. Pore Refining Solutions Charcoal Mask, $27. Like my exfoliating scrub, I try to stick to a regiment with masks and use this on Sunday and Friday. It’s pretty great, keeps my skin feeling baby butt smooth, and has me feeling like Cleopatra when I walk around my apartment with it on. (Honestly, I’m not sure what charcoal is supposed to do for my skin but when I first bought this it was a trending component in skin care products and I had severe FOMO.)
4. Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Bod Buff, $25. A huge part of my skin care routine includes the care and keeping of my legs and arms. I use this exfoliator every other night on my limbs to keep my skin hydrated. The smell is amazing!
5. Cetaphil Daily Moisturizer, $12. If you’re thinking that there’s a trend in my beauty routine when it comes to light spending, you’re definitely onto something. I like to keep my budget lean when it comes to beauty and skin care products, and after struggling with acne for so long and buying into so many products I’ve generally learned that, for me, the most simple products can work wonders on my skin. When it comes to my face I generally massage a thick layer onto my skin before bed and let it soak in while I sleep!
6. Skin Laboratory Salycilic Acid Peel, $18. I first started using this after a dermatologist recommend I use it for my acne scars and to dry up pimples as well. These days I use it as an emergency on the spot treatment for spots and acne.
Victoria, Social Media Manager
Skin Type: Oily
Where To Purchase: ULTA, Sephora
1. Cleanser: Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser, $30. I love a cleanser that wakes me up in the morning! This foaming face wash has vitamin C, which helps to keep my skin glowing and feeling refreshed.
2. Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream to Brighten and Depuff, $31. One skin care product I’ve incorporated into my early 20’s is a good eye cream! I’ve learned that keeping the sensitive skin around the eyes hydrated is so important. This one specifically has coffee beans which help to wake up the skin.
3. Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Oil, $6.99. When I have a breakout I spot treat with this oil. Tea tree oil can be used for so many things. Pro-tip: Make sure it’s 100% because many can be diluted!
4. Nuxe Exfoliating Gel with Rose petals, $16.00. I’ve always admired French women. Their beauty regimen to me always seemed very sophisticated yet effortless. One beauty fave of mine is this face gel that I use one to two times a week that actually contains ground rose petals to help exfoliate and eliminate dead skin cells. What I love most about it is that it smells like a garden of roses!
5. Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum, $45. Although, I have oily skin using a serum helps to control oil production in addition to brightening the skin. I love including vitamin C into my beauty routine because it helps to even my skin tones and creates a radiant looking glow in the morning.
6. Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturizing Cream, $65. I love using this cream in the PM. Waking up and having my skin feel hydrated and extra moisturized is one of the best feelings. Plus since we all can’t be Mariah Carey, this cream is the closest thing I’ll get to a milk bath.
Glossier Priming Moisturizer Rich, $35. When I’m in need of extra hydration I reach for this cream. It’s really thick and rich! I love sleeping in this moisturizer and waking up to dewy skin.
Philosophy Hope In A Tube Eye & Lip Cream, $38. This small cream was my go-to in college for late nights. I love how firm it makes the skin around my eyes feel and love using it to prevent future fine lines.
Purlisse Sheet Masks $36 for 6-Pack. If you couldn’t tell by now I love vitamin C. I try to treat myself to a sheet mask at least once or twice a week. These sheet masks contain green tea, grapefruit, and lemon too! I pretty much will do anything for radiant looking skin.
Brujita Skincare Chamomile Hydrosol, $13. I love supporting Latinx owned businesses like this one! I personally use this facial mist right before I go to bed. Chamomile is known for promoting sleep and treating insomnia.