I owe my acne-mostly-free skin (knock on wood) to the Accutane my mom had me take before freshman year of high school. My 14 year-old face was just starting to show signs of teenage angst, so we decided to nip it in the bud. By the start of 9th grade, I was through the worst of it and got through high school with minimal amounts of concealer. However, it left my adult skin incredibly sensitive—Jake Gyllenhaal living in a bubble-sensitive. Now in my mid-20s, I react to just about everything: sunscreen, foundation, fragrance, and everything else that's fun and fancy and promises to change your skin for good.
An example: After reading much of ITG, it occured to me that Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 seemed to be the reason everyone from Jenna Lyons to Mandy Moore had perfect complexions. So, I too bought Biologique Recherche. I suffered through the P50 smell and assumed I would wake up with Eniko Mihalik’s skin. Instead, I unceremoniously dumped a pile Biologique Recherche on a co-worker's desk the next day when I got a fun face rash.
For simplicity's sake, I stick to a routine of Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser and either Avène Trixera Moisturizer or Glossier Priming Moisturizer depending on the weather. If I stray too far, my skin tends to get rashy bumps in the summer and super dry and irritated in the winter. Sometimes, if I’m really lucky and most often when I use sunscreen, I get BOTH breakouts and dryness! It’s the best.
Until I found Goldfaden MD’s Doctor’s Scrub by way of a sample in the bottom of my bag when I bought the good doctor's Bright Eyes eye cream. First, the jar sat on my counter for about three weeks—I didn't trust it yet. One weekend (after a particularly rough night out), I finally cracked it open and physically assaulted my very sensitive face into poreless, even-textured submission. It has ruby crystals—because who doesn’t love rubbing precious gemstones on your face?—as well as hyaluronic acid and seaweed and red tea extract, which is probably the reason it doesn't irritate my skin while sloughing dryness away at the same time. Now I use it once a day at night three to four times a week after removing makeup. It’s gentle, effective, and doesn’t smell weird while still making you feel like you’re squeaky clean and well-exfoliated. Plus it’s the best my skin has looked since Accutane. That's a selling point, for sure.
Looking to get even cleaner? Here's how to evacuate every pore on your face.