A continuation of Things I Can't Stop Talking About, vain as hell edition. I have dry skin that low-level breaks out and also scars easily. Below are the things that help!
  1. Spironolactone
    Are you a lady who gets cystic zits on her chin and/or around her jawline? THIS IS FOR YOU. Spiro is an old-school blood pressure medicine that's prescribed off-label for hormonal acne; dudes can't use it because it's an androgen blocker. I'm all about low dosing though - 25mg, 50 max.
  2. Adapalene
    My retinoid of choice, available under the brand name Differin. I've been using this since I was a teenager and it's great! I prefer the gel formulation (it also comes in a cream). You can use it as a spot treatment for acne, but also as an all-over treatment for hyperpigmentation, scarring, and fine lines. The key is to apply it over face cream so you don't get flaky. Never use it without moisturizing first!
  3. Clarisonic Face Brush
    I know Clarisonics are controversial, but I believe in them DEEPLY as exfoliation tools. I use the Mia with a sensitive head twice a day. The key is not running out the timer - only use it until your face feels clean (even if that's just 15 seconds!). Also, a weekly dousing of alcohol will keep the brush bacteria-free.
  4. Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel
    When you need a serious de-flaking, nothing is better than this two-step system. The wipes also help fade red and brown marks AND make your face feel super soft. I use them once a week-ish, or whenever I'm feeling super dry. Pro tip: Cutting up the towelettes into quarters lets your stash last four times as long.
  5. Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser
    The simpler the face wash, the better. This is basically just soap! When you're doing harsh stuff to your skin (like physically and chemically exfoliating), you need to go with a basic cleanser.
  6. Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Cream
    This is new to my rotation, introduced because this winter was the Driest of All Time. Night cream has always freaked me out, but this one doesn't clog my pores and it hydrates like a dream. I'm also into wearing it during the day because I WANNA BE DEWY.
  7. Glossier Priming Moisturizer
    The word to describe this is plumping. Plump skin is GOOD. This is a nice under-makeup moisturizer, particularly when it's warm out. It's buildable, but you're better off using a thicker formula (see above!) if your skin is extra dry.
  8. SK-II Facial Treatment Mask
    The world's most luxurious sheet mask, for when you want to treat yourself. There is actually tons of excess serum in each pouch, which means you can get almost a week's worth of use out of one expensive mask. Put the pouch in a ziplock and store it in your refrigerator, using the serum as moisturizer every night until you run out.
  9. Neosporin
    Do you pop your pimples and/or pick your face in any way? STOP DOING THAT. But if you just can't, treat open sores (ew sorry) and scabs with Neosporin to accelerate healing and prevent scarring. Cream > ointment.
  10. Aquaphor Advanced Therapy
    I dismissed Aquaphor for a longgggg time and still prefer stick lip balm, BUT this is great for other chapped areas. I use it when I have colds and am rubbing tissues on my nose for days, and also when the skin around my eyes gets desperately dry.
  11. Consistency
    Dude, YOU HAVE TO BE DILIGENT ABOUT SKINCARE. If you have not-perfect skin, you should not go to sleep without washing (and exfoliating and moisturizing and spot treating) your face. Following a routine makes a huge difference! I PROMISE.