Stevie’s Skin Savers



I can honestly say I have never taken much skin care advice from anyone, except from the women in my family, who swear by such old fashioned tips as swimming in the salty sea and drinking water. Not much help though when one lives in New York, fracking in this city seems a dangerously near reality and skulling Evian just doesn’t seem to cut it.

These past six months or so my skin has actually become my nemesis. My "Newman." It had a lot to do with a breakup, winter lulls, in general, and the fact that apparently I had no idea what I was doing with my skin. I was the kid at school who never got a zit— so, in my late-twenties, to suddenly be having an adolescent skin moment was really annoying, to say the least, and I was a complete ignoramus when it came to figuring out how best to handle it. You know it’s a problem when people start to compliment you when you don’t have a breakout, like, "Wow, your skin is looking good today." Shit. Shouldn’t it always look good? One day of clarity per month was hardly a win.

Enter my dear pal, Emily Weiss. One morning, after Cafe Mogador eggs and me complaining, she gave me two products to try: SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense and Tracie Martyn's Amla Purifying Cleanser. Her instructions were simple: wash your face first with the cleanser and, once out of the shower, pat on the serum. I was skeptical to try either product due to the fact that they included salicylic acid as an active ingredient—I dunno why, it just sounded so harsh as a concept, electing to put any type of acid on your skin. But as a bonafide product virgin, I decided it was worth a shot. Of the two, I saw a more dramatic result, even after the first use, with the SkinCeuticals. And it stung at first, which concerned me. But it works. Both work. I haven't had a zit since. Not one. So now I'm just sticking to these two buddies (plus a moisturizer, either RMS Raw Coconut Cream or, at night, Bepanthen, which Julia Nobis recommended to me as her fashion-week secret weapon). In fact, just three days after starting this Weiss-prescribed routine, I was back to the way I remember my skin. Easy.

Of course everyone is different, but I thought this was worth sharing. Because when you feel good, let’s face it, life starts to look up. Spring is here!

Something worth cheering for.


Stevie Dance is a New York-based stylist and the founder of
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  • sashi

    Great to feel your postive energy first thing in the morning. I remember seeing you years ago on G Dore's blog and looking calm and beautiful. Love to read about a SIMPLE skincare routine. It really helps to feel in control of something!

  • Marta E

    Interesting!! Thanks!!



  • Jennifer Monforton

    Sometimes the simplest routines are the best! I'm totally looking into that serum! Sounds so perfect for my 30-year-old, sensitive, (still, ugh) acne-prone skin :)

    • Lena

      Alcohol is really high (I think second) in the ingredients list, so it wouldn't be good for sensitive skin, acne, or anti-aging.

      • Ona_in_Barcelona

        It's the first ingredient! Jesus. That's terrible for skin. Cue blotchy flaky redness in 3,2,1...

      • Jennifer Monforton

        Thanks for the tip, Lena! My skin hates alcohol-rich products.

  • colleen


  • BlackNyx

    Skinceuticals is amazing - I'm totally obsessed with their products because they work. I've had so many compliments on my skin since I switched to them.

    • Rachel Goss

      Agreed! I love Skinceuticals, especially their Blemish + Age Defense serum mentioned in this post. For acne, this stuff works. Their LHA cleanser is also great.

  • Katie Brown

    I feel your pain! I was suffering from some major breakouts at the end of last year. Things have cleared up thanks to some help from a dermatologist. I also found out I was vitamin D deficient and have been taking a supplement. I think that has helped a lot, since it also helps with inflammation and acne is basically inflammation of the skin. I'm also taking a turmeric supplement, which is also anti-inflammatory. I've been eyeing that Skinceuticals.

    • YY

      I second that on the vitamin D. I am taking high dose of D3 and Riboflavin (B2) and these two fellas did wonders for my reactive and acne prone skin. No cosmetic product has helped me as much as taking supplements.

  • Sarah

    the jump to Newman <3

  • jenny

    I am really happy with cleansing my face at night with coconut oil. Removes everything. Then the oil just absorbs nicely overnight. Then I wake up with really soft and moisturized skin.

    • Ellie_1

      How does the process work, exactly? Do you just wipe coconut oil on your skin, then wipe off? I'd love to try it.

  • Marla Vender

    Where are you applying the bepenthan? Isn't that for diaper rash?

  • fairytalesandcoffee

    I wish my routine were two products. However, an SPF sunscreen should be part of it too. I've used Skinceuticals Age + Blemish Defense or a while and I wish it worked for me. But I did like the LHA cleanser.

  • Aubrey Green

    I use Desitin, which is a diaper rash cream (only at night because it leaves a white film on the skin), glad I am not the only one. Side note; this is not a nightly routine, I only use it in really severe dry skin cases.

  • Lauren Ashley

    Oh man, breakouts in your late 20's are so annoying - it's like "wasn't I past all this nonsense?" I'll have to remember these secret weapons.

  • Panglu

    I love the skinceuticals blemish & age defense. I've used it during the fall time for about 2 months and have not broken out ONCE! now that spring is here, those pimples are gonna start popping up again so grab your buddy now!


Tracie Martyn
Tracie Martyn Amla Purifying Cleanser
SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense
RMS Raw Coconut Cream