The Matte Morning Skincare Routine


Don't get me wrong: There's absolutely nothing wrong with shiny skin. Shiny skin is great! I work at Glossier, where I'm contractually obligated to switch out the word "do" for "dew" at least 30% of the time. Dew you read me? It's just that, these days, everything is coming up dewy—my skincare, my makeup, my outlook on life, the grass I assume would be outside my apartment if I lived...somewhere that had grass. And when everything is so well-moisturized, I start to feel a little slick. Like I'm wearing a moisturizing mask to work. Like I jogged a quick 5K on my lunch break. Like I'm looking to make an angel investment in a company that makes face-sized blotting sheets that are also discreet.

I should also say, I think my skin type has changed. I'm not even sure if that happens to people, but what I used to describe as dry now feels distinctly combination, if not completely oily. So for the past six months I've been quietly looking for a solution that suits my skin and my days and my makeup routine, with the end goal of telling all of you about it. And dear reader, I finally have a solution.

Kudos goes to Anna Jube, who introduced me to the La Roche-Posay Serozinc Toner with this story. I start and end my days with this baby, which claims to minimize pore size and address excess oil. And unlike other facial sprays I've used, I actually let it sink into my skin on its own before moving on to other products. I'm not sure how it does it, but it seems to soak up all the oil and disappear. All I'm left with is fresh, clean skin. (It's also worth noting that I don't wash my face in the morning—I just use that toner. I know washing my face would remove all the oil that's accumulated overnight, but whenever I add an extra cleanse into my routine, I seem to break out more.)

This is where the routine goes a little off the rails. I say off the rails because after vetting this routine for y'all, I was told I might be using some of the products off-label. But I'll get on with it and you can decide for yourselves. Back to the story: Hillary Peterson handed me a bottle of True Botanicals' new Antioxidant Booster after a very late night when I showed up to breakfast terribly, and obviously, hungover. Just like their Vitamin C Booster (a recent Top 25 inductee), it's a powder you can add to any serum. The claims are seductive: firms skin, evens tone, brightens hyperpigmentation, clears acne (ding, ding, ding), and reduces redness. It also smells like all those freeze-dried red fruits you find in a box of Special K, but ground up into a nice powder you can put on your face.

Two dashes in a quarter-sized dollop of serum—right now I'm test-driving the Vichy Minéral 89 Hyaluronic Acid—is enough. Mixed together, they make a bit of a paste. Really combine it though, or else you'll end up with grains on your face. Apparently it was formulated as an overnight treatment, but antioxidants scream morning to me. And as long as you mix it with enough serum, it'll sink it. Even better, the powder works to matte out your face a little bit more than just the Serozinc would. So after everything is said and massaged in, my skin looks fresh, feels moisturized, but barely shines. Which is exactly how I want it to look. Highlight at will.

—Emily Ferber

Photographed by Tom Newton.