What kind of beauty editor doesn’t wear lotion on her face? The kind of beauty editor you are reading right now. Hello, hi, I’m Ashley! Nice to meet you.
Here’s a little background about me. My skin is extremely oily and it’ll break out immediately if I do something egregious, like forget to wash my face before I go to bed. I’ve always been neurotic about skincare because of that—I just don’t want zits, you know? Thirsty for clear skin, I absorbed a lot of advice from people way smarter than me—dermatologists, my dad, and any lady mag with a beauty section (translation: all of them)—in my teens and early 20s. The advice may have varied, but a few things were pretty consistent. “Wear lotion on your face, no matter what” was something I heard often. I followed this advice for years. Years! Even when it meant I needed to cover my face in a sticky, sweaty layer of goo during the hottest days of summer. You know how annoying that is? To feel like you’re walking around with a steaming hot towel on your face? So one day last year I just...stopped. And amazingly, my skin did not fall off. Instead, it seemed to like this change of pace.
So going on two summers now, I have forgone face lotion almost entirely. That doesn’t mean I don’t moisturize my face at all—I’ve just replaced lotion with other things. Things like essences (beauty-speak for fancy hydrating water) and serums, which hydrate without feeling heavy. First step: Cleanse. Then comes the crown jewel of essences, SK-II’s version. It’s like a light switch for my face—it only takes a few splashes to make my skin look brighter and happy to be here. Missha makes a much cheaper version that is a pretty good dupe—if SK-II’s is an A+ essence, then Missha’s is a solid A-. A year or so ago Sarah Lee, the co-founder of Glow Recipe, introduced me to Olivarrier’s Hyaluron Essence. I like that one when my skin feels drier than normal. The texture is thicker and it’s infused with hyaluronic acid.
After my face is drenched in essence, I like to pat on a serum. All of my serums are hyaluronic acid-based because hyaluronic acid is the absolute best moisturizing ingredient on the planet. Don’t believe me? One molecule can hold over 1,000 times its weight in water—and that my friends, is the definition of “hydration.” I’m a big fan of Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster. Picture a clear hair gel that’s 30% thinner in texture and non-sticky. I wear it on makeup-free days because it doesn’t mix well under foundation. Doctor to the stars, Dr. Barbara Sturm, developed a hyaluronic acid serum with Angela Bassett that I absolutely love—the hand-feel of the serum is more elegant than the one from Paula’s Choice—it’s silky, spreads easily, and is ridiculously smooth. It’s expensive, so it feels like a treat to wear. I alternate between that serum and Vichy’s Mineral 89. There’s an incredible origin story behind Mineral 89. The water in the serum is sourced from a mineral-rich lake in France that sounds like the fountain of youth. I don’t really care about that though—I just like that it moisturizes my skin without adding any shine.
Of course, I occasionally give in and wear face lotion during the summer—especially when I’m traveling and prone to dryness. But for the most part, I go face lotion-free, because lotion? On this face? In this humidity? [Cackles]
Ashley is Into The Gloss' new Senior Editor! Look familiar? Maybe you recognize her from her Top Shelf...
Photo via ITG.