My skincare routine has come to the point where my face doesn’t feel thoroughly cleansed if I don’t apply a serum, pre-moisturizer. I remember the good ole days of the 3-step routine: Wash, tone, treat. I’d even skip moisturizer! Not anymore. These days, I use at least 6 products morning and night. It usually goes something like this: Wash, tone, serum, moisturizer, eye cream, sunblock. And, at night, makeup remover, wash, tone, serum, moisturizer OR retinoid, eye cream.
I’ve been using Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum EX ($84) since receiving a bottle from the Glow Recipe girls in a Korean Vogue 20th Anniversary Best Of Korean Beauty Products kit. Sarah, from Glow Recipe, always has the best skincare suggestions (like this and this), so I was eager to try this new batch of products. While I could not read anything on the bottle, save for the title (the backside is written in Korean), I liked the clean scent and felt like it was kinda “natural,” so I decided to give it a go.
In a word: obsessed. It was as if my skin drank this sh*t up. Not that this serum is a surge of moisture or even an oil, it’s more like a tall glass of water for your skin — seriously. This lightweight hydrator soothes the skin without leaving any trace of residue. My face soaked it up and made subsequent products absorb that much better, too (hence the “activate” part of the name). No joke, I can feel my moisturizer penetrating deeper into my skin post-application. Now, when I leave the serum step out, my complexion isn’t as glowy and my face looks… dare I say… dull.
This is a can’t-live-without product for a healthy, bright complexion. It can be used on all skin types (even sensitive) and it won’t make you break out. It’s literally the perfect universal serum to combat a multitude of concerns without any downside.
I can’t wait to try the rest of this line: If the other products are as powerful as this serum, they’re about to become my face’s new bestie.
PRICE TAG: $84.00 (buy here)
The summer can take a toll on skin, making it look especially dull and just rather…blah. If your usual manual and chemical exfoliation products aren’t resolving the problem, it may be time to whip out the big guns. Namely, the DermaFlash Facial Exfoliating Device.
Dermaplaning, previously only available in a doctor’s office or medical spa, is a celeb-favorite because of its ability to refresh and revitalize skin by literally shaving away dead cells and debris. In addition to removing surface gunk and grime, dermaplaning also removes unnecessary facial hair. Even if peach fuzz never bothered you before, you won’t know how you lived with it once you remove it. Seriously! The complexion looks smoother and more luminous, meaning your makeup will sit better as well.
DermaFlash is best used once a week. After cleansing the skin, insert a new blade before each use to keep things hygienic (duh!). Lightly and gently run the device over your entire face at a 45-degree angle by following its natural contours. Steer clear of your hairline and eyebrows to avoid any tragic mishaps. Finish with a soothing and non-active lotion to moisturize, just like you would after any deep exfoliation.
If you have any active acne, psoriasis, or rosacea, opt out of this treatment. Otherwise, after just one use, you’ll find your skin is more vibrant with a healthy glow. Looks like shaving your face isn’t just for guys afterall!.
PRICE TAG: $189
-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind www.comfortablycasey.com
Remember Evian spray? The glamorous, overly expensive facial mist of the ’80s and ’90s. It contained water… that’s it. But the idea of spraying purified water onto our face was so…luxe…that we’d shell out over $10 for the high-end hydrator.
Cut to a few decades later and, while Evian Facial Water ($13) still exists, mists that act as toners, serums, and vitamin activators have completed upended the market on luxury hydrating sprays. Being both refreshing and moisturizing, these face mists 2.0 are multitasking, prepping the skin for deeper absorption of products, plumping the complexion with vitamins, minerals, and anti-aging ingredients like hyaluronic acid, protecting and purifying the face from environmental pollutants, and, of course, toning, calming, and beautifying. These mists should be used post-wash and prior to serums and creams. Because of the convenience of a spray applicator, face mists 2.0 are perfect for on-the-go touchups… anywhere (like the gym or post-work).
1. Spray onto a cotton pad and gently swipe across face, neck, and chest for a deeper clean.
2. Spray post makeup to “set” the look and to add a healthy dose of dew (in other words, to un-matte your skin).
3. Spray into the palm of your hand and combine with your favorite moisturizer to a) dilute a heavier cream or b) inject some additional ingredients into the cream.
4. Spray onto hair, chest, neck, even arms to hydrate and refresh.
5. Feel free to mix and match mists for optimal results, and spritz onto your face every few hours for an infusion of healthy ingredients.
Shop a few of our favorite face mists:
Farmaesthetics Cool Aloe Mist ($26) – This award-winning mist contains a simple combination of aloe, lavender, and bergamot for healing inflamed tissue from sun-exposure, burns, or exposure to radiation like lasers. Suitable for all skin types but ideal for sensitive complexions.
Skin Inc. Pure Serum-Mist ($55) – Use on normal, combination, and dry skin types to hydrate, soothe, and calm angry skin due to sensitivity and acne. This product is like a serum in a mist applicator – seriously healing and effective.
Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist ($48) – This celeb-favorite formula leaves the complexion gorgeously glowing. Great to use to “set” makeup as well. Just spritz after makeup application is complete for an all-over healthy, dewy effect. Formulated with 20 percent botanical oils and humectants and infused with a Hadasei-3 Anti-Aging Complex that supports antiaging. Suitable for normal, combination, and dry skin types.
Derma E Purifying Toner Mist ($14) – Ideal for oily, active, or urban skin types, this formula of marine algae and green tea protects against environmental pollutants and rebalances skin for a healthy, youthful glow from the first mist.
Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Skin Energy Hydration Delivery System ($35) – Based on traditional Korean skincare, this mist contains bamboo sap to improve product absorption, 5-Hydra complex™ to protect against daily environmental aggressors, and lotus and green tea extract to tone and hydrate. Leaves a healthy glow to the skin pre or post makeup. Can be used on all skin types, including sensitive and acne-prone.
Fresh Rose Floral Toner ($40) – Rosewater, one of nature’s most decadent anti-aging ingredients calms, moisturizes, and clarifies. The aromatic floral water will leave skin healthy, hydrated, and pleasantly scented. Can be used on all skin types, including sensitive and acne-prone. (Learn how to create a DIY rosewater mist here).
First Aid Beauty Vitamin Hydrating Mist ($16) – Vitamins to feed your face. Contains B5 to moisturize, vitamin E to nurture and protect, and vitamin C to brighten. This alcohol-free mist does it all: replenishes, hydrates, soothes, and restores. Good for all skin types, even the most sensitive and reactive.