March has been a crazy month for me, and even crazier for my skin. First, there was humid Puerto Rico, then there was snowy Chicago, and of course, there was dry, smog-rich L.A. Here’s the deal: my skin did not know what to do, so it freaked out on me, all month long. The traveling, exposure to different climates, and season change left me with dry flaky skin and cystic acne breakouts. Yikes! Combination skin was an understatement. Needless to say, it sucked. My skin had been at its absolute worst this month, and with just a day left in March, I have found a regimen that works for me. Here are the 5 products that saved my face.
Josie Maran 100 percent Pure Argan Oil Light, $48
This lightweight argan oil is the one product on this list that I cannot live without. It’s a dry, non-greasy oil that leaves skin baby-soft. Argan oil has long been known for its hydrating and anti-aging benefits. It’s ideal for acne-prone skin, as it won’t clog pores or aggravate active blemishes. This lighter formula by Josie Maran was just what my skin needed in its most fragile, sensitive state. My skin had gotten so dry in Chicago that it was literally flaking. I added a drop or two of this oil to my moisturizer at night and my matte foundation during the day. This little trick locked in my skin’s moisture, and provided the dewy glow that I had so desperately been seeking.
Vaseline Cocoa Butter Petroleum Jelly, $1.47
Sometimes, you’ve got to turn to those old reliable household staples, such as petroleum jelly. You will not believe how the cocoa butter formula from Vaseline changed the fate of my daily skincare and makeup regimen. My everyday hydrating eye cream became useless once my eyelids had become so dry that eczema actually started to develop. This happened to me as a kid, and without a prescription eczema cream, I was left feeling really uncomfortable, to the point where my lids burned every time I cleansed my face. Frustrated and annoyed, I grabbed the petroleum jelly one night and layered it over my eye cream. When I woke up the next morning, my lids looked smoother and felt less textured, as if my eye cream had properly absorbed. I was determined to see the same results throughout the day, so I applied my makeup like normal and added more of the jelly as a sealant on my lids. Lately, this petroleum jelly has been my eyeshadow substitute. Surprisingly, this little trick has been giving my makeup a glossy editorial look, and I am so here for it (trend alert)!
Perricone MD Cocoa Moisture Mask, $69
This is a fairly new product on the moisture mask market, and I pray that it is here to stay. As a skincare consultant at Sephora, I tried a new moisture mask every week, that was, until I came across this one. This is the only mask that has been able to save my skin from feeling so dehydrated. Since I began using it on a weekly basis as a part of my current regimen, I can even notice some of my hyper-pigmentation from previous breakouts fading more rapidly. This mask feels like butter on the skin; I leave it on sometimes and almost forget that it’s there. It is so nourishing, and once rinsed off, your skin is left feeling smooth and plump. This mask is not only ultra-hydrating, but it’s also anti-aging, which I welcome at age 28.
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Clarifying Colloidal Sulfur Mask, $42
I’ve been using this mask for a few months, and it is one of few over-the-counter products that help expedite and heal my acne breakouts. So, of course, this product held me down in March. Sulfur is my preferred active ingredient for acne, as sulfur-based masks tend to have the traditional clay mask-feel. On average, individual blemishes climax and heal within five days (sometimes sooner) when I use this mask as an overnight treatment. My favorite tip with this product is to use it as my makeup primer during the day (only on my problem areas). When I do this, existing pimples go away even faster, my pores are blurred, and my foundation goes on smoothly. Did I mention that this product contains retinol and licorice root extract? Say goodbye to wrinkles and dark spots, respectively. This is by far the best acne mask I have found for my dry combination skin.
OLEHENRIKSEN Sheer Transformation Perfecting Moisturizer, $38
After months of searching for the perfect moisturizer, I discovered Sheer Transformation by OLEHENRIKSEN earlier this month when my skin needed some serious T.L.C. This lightweight cream is just hydrating enough, without being too heavy underneath a full face of makeup. It also has that infamous licorice root which eases the appearance of those disrespectful dark spots. I cannot express how happy I am with my skin results in just a short two weeks. This moisturizer has not only kept my skin hydrated and even-toned, but it has also improved my skin’s texture by smoothing out the drier areas. Even better, my skin feels rejuvenated AF the next morning when I mix a drop of argan oil into this moisturizer at night. Together they, pack a punch of sheer hydration.