12 Skin-Care Gurus Reveal the Products They Can’t Live Without
Want a dewy, glowy, youthful complexion? We asked the creators of cult classic beauty products about the products they rely on to achieve a flawless face.
Shannon Drake, founder of The Dirt
“My number one can’t-live-without-it product is The Dirt’s Dirty Balm lip moisturizer. This little stick goes a long way. With amazing natural ingredients like organic cocoa butter and vitamin-rich ghee, it actually heals and moisturizes my lips long after it has worn off. I also use Dirty Balm on my cuticles, dry patches, or anywhere that could use a little TLC. Chock-full of therapeutic-grade essential oils, it’s a one-stop-shop for soothing thirsty skin, and I have at least one stick in every bag I own.
“I think every woman spends her life looking for a great clay mask. I know I’ve tried hundreds of them, but none seemed to do much besides dry my skin out. That is until I found Alitura. Alitura’s Clay Mask combines amazing out-of-the-box ingredients like colostrum and freshwater pearl. I mix mine with a touch of apple cider vinegar for a mini acid peel effect. It leaves your skin glowing and rejuvenated.” (Here’s how to find the right face mask for your skin type.)
Vicky Tsai, founder of Tatcha
“Whenever people ask me this, it feels like asking me to choose between children. If I absolutely had to pick three favorite products, they would be:
Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder. The water-activated enzymatic formula is gentle enough for daily use, but efficacious enough to promote cell turnover in minutes. I use it each and every day to bring my skin back to neutral—now it’s like brushing my teeth before bed.
The Essence. I went for years without an essence in my skincare routine, but when I learned that 97 percent of women in Japan use one daily, I had to try it. The pure and powerful formula is made of anti-aging Japanese superfoods: nourishing green tea, rice, and algae. An essence resurfaces skin and deeply hydrates to make all skincare work better.
The Silk Cream. My skin can be both dehydrated and oily, which is why I love this moisturizer. It’s a rich, light gel cream that hydrates skin without weighing it down. Silk and Pearl extracts support collagen and elastin to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles.”
Tata Harper, founder of Tata Harper Skincare
“Our Elixir Vitae Serum is my number one product. It’s our most powerful serum, and it boosts the look of plumpness and volume while smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles with our most advanced age-defying technology. Its sister product, the Elixir Vitae Eye Serum, is probably my number two. I’m really focused on my eye area, so this is one of my essentials. It’s powered by neuropeptides to help smooth the look of fine lines and crow’s’ feet.” (Don’t miss these vitamins for healthy eyes.)
Bryan Johns, President and CEO of iS CLINICAL by Innovative Skincare
“In this fast-paced world, most of us like our skincare regime simple, quick, and effective. The three products I could not live without are Active Serum, Cleansing Complex and Extreme Protect SPF 30 by iS CLINICAL. These products are botanically based, yet very scientifically advanced, and are all designed to help keep your complexion more healthy and youthful. One of the great things about these iS CLINICAL products is that my entire family can use them; and all see benefits no matter their age.
Active Serum is my overall favorite product because it addresses three things simultaneously: wrinkles, breakouts, and pigmentation. This lightweight multiitasker also produces noticeable results very quickly; in fact, you will usually notice a smoother texture overnight. It is a great product for all ages, genders, and ethnicities.
Active Serum is truly unique, and it has received countless accolades and endorsements from leading dermatologists, famous medical clinics and hospitals, and A-list celebrities (all unpaid, by the way).” These are the skin-care tips dermatologists use on themselves.
Young-Ji Park, founder of PurpleTale
“I absolutely cannot live without our Setting the Scene Treatment Essence and IOPE’s Air Cushion. As an entrepreneur, time is very precious and limited, so I tend to gravitate towards products that shorten my beauty routine in the morning. I love our Setting the Scene Treatment Essence because it’s a toner and an essence in one. It helps to re-balance the pH of my skin back to its natural state after I cleanse, and gives me a boost of hydration and anti-aging benefits before my moisturizer.
“IOPE’s Air Cushion is another great multi-tasker that gives me the right amount of coverage and SPF protection when I’m running out the door. And it’s super easy to touch-up throughout the day, whenever I need to.” (These are the sunscreens dermatologists swear by.)
Amanda Hume, green beauty expert and VERT Beauty Boutique founder
“The three products that I cannot live without are: The Laurel Antioxidant Serum, which provides the right amount of moisture and is filled with nourishing antioxidants and whole plant ingredients like Gotu Kola, Calendula, and Pomegranate.
Next, the Dr. Alkaitis Organic Purifying Facial Cleanser, because it deeply cleanses and gently exfoliates without stripping the skin, helping to refine the pores and leaving the skin soft.
My last beauty must-have is my VERT Beauty Concealer Pencil. It helps hide dark circles and brightens the eye area, while also nourishing it with vitamin E and shea butter.” Use these tricks to reduce puffy eyes and dark circles.
Lori Leib, creative director of Bodyography and the Bodyography SKIN line
“My three holy grail skin-care products cover a variety of problem issues. For anti-aging I swear by Sunday Riley Luna Oil, a sleep oil that contains retinol and essential oils to plump and improve damaged skin, while fighting wrinkles and signs of aging.
For resurfacing and hydration, I could not live without Bodyography SKIN’s Microdermabrasion Scrub and their Hydrating Mask. I use the two together to rid my face of dead skin cells and to plump and hydrate with hyaluronic acid—the cocktail of the two products seriously gives your skin a WOW effect.”
Julie Clark, founder of Province Apothecary
“I love our Custom Face Serum. We blend them specifically per person, per season, and it’s tailored to your skin type and needs. If a custom serum if not for you, I love our REJUVENATING + HYDRATING FACE SERUM. I recommend adding a few drops to your moisturizer morning and night in the fall and winter to boost your hydration levels.
“In the spring and summer, I love to apply only my custom face serum. Add a few drops of water or a spray of toner to the serum, and the oils will penetrate deeper into the skin.”
Shel Pink, founder of Spa Ritual
“One of my absolute favorite products is Passionfruit Agave Exfoliating Cleansing Oil for the body. Used in the shower, this multi-use product gently sloughs off dead skin cells with coconut shells and cleanses the skin, leaving it with a healthy, beautiful glow. The uplifting scent also imparts a feeling of joy.
“I also love Ilia’s Multi-Stick in the color “A Fine Romance,” and the John Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator for the face for an instantly hydrating and refreshing spritz for a skin perk any time of day.
“All three products contain natural ingredients and are an excellent choice for green, non-toxic self-care.” If you care about eliminating chemicals from your skincare and makeup routine, try these green beauty swaps.
Shadoh Punnapuzha, founder of Arya Essentials
“I definitely can’t live without the Arya Essentials Face Oil and Botanical Cleanser. When creating these products, we kept in mind people with the most sensitive skin, but at the same time made a product that will be effective and results-oriented.
“I honestly am lazy when it comes to a beauty routine and wanted something that does it all without having to have a 10-product regimen. Our Botanical Cleanser, which is formulated with Turmeric and Papaya Seed Oil, removes waterproof makeup and deeply cleanses skin without stripping it of the oils. Within weeks you will notice your skin will be softer, brighter and balanced.
“Our Face Oil, which is more like a serum, is high in antioxidants and helps battle aging, dark spots, and fine lines while leaving your skin looking fresh and glowing. When I stop using the Face Oil, I immediately see a difference in my skin. My complexion takes on a more dull tone. Our Face Oil uses ingredients such as Brahmi and Tulsi (Holy Basil) which have been used for thousands of years as part of skincare rituals to maintain a youthful complexion.” Why you should consider a facial oil if you don’t use one already.
Maria and Erica, founders of Baiser Beauty
“We definitely can’t live without the Formula N°8 Anti Aging Skin Serum by Baiser. It gives our skin exceptional moisture and balance, plus it smells delicious. The Formula N°7 Cucumber Spritz by Baiser is a facial refresher, toner and antibacterial, three in one, so how could we live without it?”
Elaine Becker, Founder of Alighten Natural Skin Care
“I’m all about multitasking, and the Alighten Natural Skin Care Vitality and Restoration Serum handles so many concerns. It provides light, breathable moisture and antioxidant protection. It’s also skin clarifying, toning, and has age-minimizing benefits from nutrient-rich plant oils and superfoods. The calendula and aloe vera soothe my sensitive skin and the subtle scent is so calming. I notice a significant difference if I skip this step in my skin care routine in terms of overall skin smoothness and vitality. When I use it, my skin just looks healthier.