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The Beginner's Guide To Investment Skincare


Skincare investments and financial investments are really not the same thing at all. If you invest your money right, the magic of compounding interest can turn you into a very rich person. Alternatively, if you spend enough of your hard earned cash on skincare products, your skin will be smooth, but I will have no insight into how good you are with money. That’s between you and your accountant. But fiscal responsibility aside, it’s perfectly acceptable to want to invest in your face. Encouraged, even! Assuming you’ve already got your beginner’s bases covered—over here, newbies!—we’re ready to wade into the deeper cuts. The real tea. Where the real benefits come from. Except, instead of dividends, all you get is really firm skin. Which is not nothing. Start spending here:

The serum that everyone trusts

When it comes to anti-aging, the world stops at Skinceuticals CE Ferulic. No other product can hold a candle to it (except maybe its dupe, but that story’s already been written). At $166 a bottle, you actually get what you’re paying for. With 15% vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid), 2% phloretin, and 0.5% ferulic acid, this guy is built to demonstrate results overtime. First you’ll see a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. Then discoloration will start to fade. All the while, the antioxidants are neutralizing any environmental stressors, meaning that as skin improves superficially, it’s also maintaining its youthful structure for longer, allowing you to keep improving what you have instead of warding off what you don’t. It’s not quite “how do you turn a penny into a million dollars” but it’s not far off either.

Hardworking night cream

The simple act of moisturizing at all is important. You should be doing it, regardless of your circumstances. But let’s say you love moisturizing. It’s a lot of fun for you; so fun, in fact, that you want to add more variety. Spice things up a bit. The most fun thing you can do, in this case, is get another moisturizer. If I may be so bold, I’d suggest it’s one that can really work its magic overnight. Waking up to a brighter face really puts the angel on top of the Christmas tree. Augustinus Bader’s Rich Cream harnesses the power of amino acids and nutrients already native to skin to nourish and revitalize your complexion. It’s really freakin’ restorative. Other entrants in this category include Sisley’s Sisleya or Royal Fern's Phytoactive Anti-Aging Cream. The Bader wins, if you ask me, because it comes in a pump and there’s a slightly lighter version that you’ll definitely find yourself craving during the daytime.

A mask that means business

Put down the sheet mask and listen to me: A mask does not have to be a glorified moisturizer. It takes a lot for a mask to stand out in this skincare climate, but I’m happy to say there are a few that do. La Mer’s Intensive Revitalizing Treatment is one of my all-time favorites. Massage onto thirsty skin, hop in the shower and keep massaging, and never rinse off. The steam helps it soak in (at least that’s what it feels like). Let it ride for the rest of the night (even under makeup) and emerge with the plumpest face you’ve ever seen. In terms of clarity and texture, nothing works harder than Tata Harper’s Clarifying Mask. It exfoliates (two ways) until your face feels like the side of a baby seal. But be careful with this one. It certainly packs a punch.


By which I mean regular facials. When asked where they invest when it comes to their skin, three out of three Glossier employees surveyed responded “RESCUE SPA” while running around wildly and displaying Danuta’s likeness tattooed onto their biceps. Consider booking yourself an appointment with someone you trust (this is the time to build a relationship, not flit around to just anyone) and see them twice a year. The professional-grade microdermabrasion and extractions alone will have you seeing the results for months on end. Also, talk about cumulative effects: When someone knows your skin, you can work towards a goal together instead of shooting in the dark alone. Think of this as your skin accountant. Didn’t think I’d take the metaphor that far, did ya?

A gadget

To get the facial look at home. Now this could be anything from a personal face steamer to LED lights for your face and body to the ZIIP. How much you want to spend is up to you, as is your desired result. A steamer is great for fun and at-home product application; LED can impact acne and redness; micro and nanocurrent is the future—think of it like a workout for your face. Instead of treating the top layer, you’re getting straight to the muscle and tightening. Sounds worth it, right?

—Emily Ferber

Photographed by Tom Newton.