Plenty of us have days when we just don’t feel up to an 11-step skin-care routine, even the professionals. When you don’t have the time or the energy, the desire to take so many products down to just one is too tempting to ignore. Of course, no one product will solve all your skin issues, but it might just carry you through to the next time you’re up for a full routine.
But what exactly is your Hero Product, and how do you find it?
We tapped beauty experts across the industry to learn what the one step in their routine they just can’t make themselves skip and what it does for their skin.
The Skin-Care Step They Never Skip
If you’re like model Madison Headrick, founder of care.ē.on, a TSA-approved skin-care line especially for the busy and the jet-setting, your skin might need a good drink more than anything.
“The skin-care step I never skip is hydration, especially a mask,” Headrick explains. “Every night before bed, I use the Flying Highdration Mask ($38) by care.ē.on as an overnight mask. I wake up the next morning with hydrated, baby-soft skin and with all of the traveling that I do, this mask is my lifesaver.”
Dry skin can be a big problem in air travel, especially, as the environment of the plane’s cabin has very little humidity due to the pressurized air. If you’re prone to travel, you might desperately need that hydration to keep dry, rough skin at bay.
But for Headrick, hydration is mandatory with or without air travel. A one-step mask can also restore glow to her skin before photoshoots, making it a necessary companion for every major event.
For Courtney Shields, founder of DIBS Beauty, the most impactful part of her routine is actually a new addition.
“Recently I have been using Tretinoin and it has been doing wonders for the texture of my skin,” Shields says. “It has very quickly become a mainstay in my routine.”
A class of retinoid, Tretinoin is commonly prescribed for treating acne, and is significantly stronger than retinol. Tretinoin can take several weeks to provide the best results, and requires consistent use. This is definitely a skincare step you can’t skip if you want to see results.
Shields recommends pairing this treatment with the right amount of moisture to keep your skin hydrated and happy.
“It does however dry out your skin,” Shields explains. “So, you will want to have hydrating products on hand to counteract that. Two of my favorites are OH! MEGA MILK ($54) by BEEKMAN and Ciciplast Balm B5 from La Roche-Posay.” Another major Tretinoin tip is to wait about 20 minutes after cleansing your face to apply instead of right after.
The Two-Step Dance
If you can make yourself do one thing, you can probably make yourself do two things. That’s the idea behind Martha Soffer’s, founder of Surya Spa, routine.
“Surya’s Balancing Face Oil ($185) and Balancing Collagen Cream ($195) are essential for me, twice a day, after washing my face,” Soffer explains. “First I apply the oil, wait a bit for the oil to absorb—which is quick because it’s all natural—and then I apply the collagen cream. I really don’t need to do anything else. Just those three steps: wash, oil, cream.”
The consistency of her routine helps keep her skin balanced, and it keeps her from getting overwhelmed with a thousand different products. The collagen cream, for example, is formulated to lift and firm while providing critical moisture so that it would fill multiple steps in Soffer’s routine.
“If it’s dry, or windy, I apply a bit more,” Soffer says. “In fact, a little bit does go a long way. And I’m not just advocating these products because we make them. We make them so we can use them! We load them with the most powerful anti-aging and beautifying herbs, oils, and milks that we can. They’re a little magical.”
And if you really want to protect your skin-care investment, you need a good sunscreen. That’s a skin-care step you never want to forget, as UVA and UVB rays are major causes of skin aging.
“I have one additional step,” Soffer explains. “Santa Maria Novella Sunscreen SPF 50 ($89). It was recommended by some friends in Italy. It’s natural, it’s not sticky, and even in strong sun, it really protects your skin.”
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