Product Diary: Skincare

Written by Julia Germain

Good news: your search for those few life changing skincare and beauty products has come to an end! After years of researching acne, juggling a few dermatologists and countless product tests, I have finally found the perfect combination of products that keep my skin clear and glowing through the hectic mess of being a college student. 

Acne was a big part of my life in high school, and contrary to every supermodel interview that I poured over, the secret to great skin was not as simple as drinking more water or getting more sleep. Below are a few of my favorite products that I swear by.


Differin Gel (.1%): A major part of my skincare routine today is a retinoid. Retinoids, like Adapalene (the active ingredient in Differin Gel,) speed up cell turnover, so pores are less likely to get clogged and inflamed, while hyperpigmentation and scarring is diminished. Retinoids also help to control inflammation, so if a pimple does pop up it will be much smaller and less red than usual. This type of product used to be available only with a prescription, but lucky for us, Differin Gel just went over the counter and became accessible to everyone! This product definitely does most of the heavy lifting in my skincare routine today. Proceed with caution though. Retinoids can be tough on sensitive skin by causing dryness, peeling and sensitivity to the sun. This little tube did wonders for my skin type, but I would sit down with your dermatologist before you add it to your routine.


That’s Incredi Peel (Bliss Spa): Around once a week I like to procrastinate my classwork and give myself a little exfoliating facial instead. These single-use pads are soaked in spa grade glycolic acid (10%) that targets fine lines, discoloration and inflammation. After a few hours, my skin glows and my pores are visibly smaller. Because this is a strong acid, be careful about sun exposure (perfect to use on your way out the door to Snell Library!)

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Cortizone 10: Trust me on this one. This cream is usually used to treat insect bites and allergies, and it also works mini miracles on pimples. A little dab of Hydrocortisone on a pimple before bed takes away some of the redness and inflammation by the morning. This cream is perfect for stubborn zits that just refuse to go away without a fight.

I am the type of person who goes into Whole Foods fully set on grocery shopping, and ends up leaving an hour later with a chocolate bar and a few skincare products. Whole Foods is underrated for their carefully curated collection of clean skincare and beauty products. While I’m not always in the mood to fight my way through throngs of people at Sephora, I’m always excited to browse the deserted skincare section at Whole Foods. Below are some of my favorite hidden gems that I have picked up on my countless “grocery runs.”


Weleda Skin Food (Light Nourishing Cream): After hearing Victoria Bekham praise this moisturizer as her “body secret” in an interview, I practically ran down Mass Ave to get myself a tube. It smells like citrus and chamomile, which has the soothing effect of essential oils when you put it on. Skin Food is my go-to in the winter for dry hands and it is great in the summer for a post sun exposure treatment for the rest of your body. (I have also heard a few friends with dry skin types mention that they use this moisturizer on their face, but the oily formula makes me a bit too wary to try that for myself.)


Dr. Hauschka Translucent Bronzing Tint: These tinted drops are perfect to mix with moisturizer or to use alone to give yourself a sun-kissed glow. I don’t wear foundation, but these semi-translucent drops are a good alternative. Winters are long in Boston, so I find myself reaching for this product to bring some life into my complexion and blur little imperfections. Dr. Hauschka is good for those of us that are focused on finding clean beauty, but Drunk Elephant recently came out with a similar product alternative, D-Bronzi™ Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops, which can be found at a Sephora near you.


Swiss Kris: Swiss Kriss looks like a loose herbal tea which is primarily used as a laxative, but somehow someone discovered that it actually makes a cheap and amazingly effective steam facial when added to a bowl of boiling water. I originally came across this miracle worker in an article on IntoTheGloss, my bible and the only beauty blog whose recommendations I would trust on my skin. After five minutes of steaming, my skin looks healthier and quickly absorbs the products I use right after.

So now that you’ve had a peak into my medicine cabinet, I hope you found something interesting! Please remember that skincare can be self care, so don’t be afraid to take a few minutes out of your day to focus on yourself and de-stress. If you happen to run into me on campus, stop me – Let’s talk skincare!

The Avenue Magazine