Feminism is Not an Ugly Word; How Beauty Brands are Speaking to the Modern Woman on International Women’s Day and Beyond

22march8-superJumboPHOTOGRAPHY: Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

If there ever was a year of the woman, 2018 is looking like a good contender. In this day and age where words like “me too,” and “time’s up,” evoke change and action, the once feminist norm is now part of mainstream culture. Beauty and health brands are also raising their collective voices, allowing women to be unapologetically who they want to be and bringing selfcare to the forefront of common rhetoric.

Millions of girls and women around the world see their periods as a “week of shame.” Managing their monthly menstruation comes with improvising unhygienic and ineffective items like old clothing or toilet paper to get by. In fact, one in ten African schoolgirls skip or drop out of school entirely due to poor access to menstrual products. The Honey Pot Co, a plant-based feminine care line, is aiming to change that. Founder, Beatrice Feliu-Espada, has teamed up with the AFRIpads, a foundation that advocates for women’s health in Uganda, providing a portion of their proceeds to assist school-age girls in manufacturing menstrual care kits in their own villages. The Honey Pot Co’s collection of natural washes, wipes, pads and soon-to-launch tampons, are available nationally at Target.

Men can be feminists, too, as evidenced by father founder of RealHer Makeup, Bill Xiang. After the birth of his daughter, Xiang was inspired to start the collection to empower women. He noticed the societal pressures facing females and did not want his daughter to fall victim to the perceived status quos. Xiang always felt that makeup was a vehicle for female empowerment and in turn, created RealHer. With powerful messages of self-acceptance like, “I Am Tough,” and “I Love Myself,” RealHer also practices what they preach, donating 20% of their profits to the American Associate of University Women, which provides educational funding for women across the country.

“Feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive,” says Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of We Should All Be Feminists. “It is misogynistic to suggest that they are. Sadly, women have learned to be ashamed and apologetic about pursuits that are seen as traditionally female, such as fashion and makeup. But our society does not expect men to feel ashamed of pursuits considered generally male – sports cars, certain professional sports. In the same way, men’s grooming is never suspect in the way women’s grooming is – a well-dressed man does not worry that, because he is dressed well, certain assumptions might be made about his intelligence, his ability, or his seriousness. A woman, on the other hand, is always aware of how a bright lipstick or a carefully-put-together outfit might very well make others assume her to be frivolous.”

We still have a long way to go. While The Honey Pot Co and RealHer are shedding light on equality, self-acceptance and empowerment, there are countless others that are not using their platforms for the greater good. But, even a small suffice to say, these feminist brands will continue to have a place on my vanity and hopefully yours, too.

– Mallory Liebhaber

Celebrate International Women’s Day With These Female-Founded Beauty Companies

When we think of International Women’s Day, we think of all the remarkable ways women have carved out space for themselves in the world — including, the beauty industry. Thanks to many female-founded beauty brands who celebrate women in a new (read: more relatable) light, the beauty industry will never be the same.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting a few of the best female-founded beauty brands, ahead.

Farmaesthetics

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Founded by Brenda Brock, Farmaesthetics got its start in 1999 at an organic farmstand in rural Rhode Island. What began in Brock’s kitchen is now a full-fledged luxury skin care company found in the best spas and boutiques around the world. Though Farmaesthetics products are no longer formulated in her kitchen they’re still the same, 100% natural skin care products so many have worshipped for nearly a decade. Infused with organic herbs, oils, and flowers, the farm-to-skin beauty company has paved the way for natural and sustainable beauty.

Try: Farmaesthetics Calendula Remedy Oil

Enriched with only three ingredients — calendula, sweet almond oil, and vitamin E — the Calendula Remedy Oil is one of our Farmaesthetics favorites. Known as a skin mending herb, calendula can help treat and heal external skin conditions, such as wounds, scars, and burns. But, that’s not all. In addition to calendula’s healing powers, sweet almond oil and vitamin E work together to nourish and soften the skin and protect from environmental aggressors like pollution and the sun’s UV rays. It’s no wonder its been regarded as a facial in a bottle.

Manic Panic

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Founded in 1977 by punk rock legends, Tish and Snooky Bellomo, Manic Panic is one of the coolest (and most colorful) beauty brands of all time. Named after the sisters’ iconic punk-style boutique in NYC, the cult-favorite beauty brand — best known for its wildly fun collection of colorful hair dye — not only represents the punk-era, but the badass woman inside all of us.

Try: Manic Panic High Voltage Classic Cream Formula Hair Color

Manic Panic’s original High Voltage Classic Cream Formula Hair Color is not only known for being one of the best color hair dyes on the market, it’s one of the friendliest, too. The cult-favorite product has been vegan and cruelty-free since day one (that’s impressive for a company that started over 40 years ago!) and is free of ammonia, parabens, resorcinol, phthalate, and other harmful ingredients. And, with 44 shades to choose from, there’s something for everyone.  

The Honey Pot Company

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Founded by Beatrice Feliu-Espada, The Honey Pot Company is the result of one woman’s search for a natural way to care for down there. After searching for natural ways to cure vaginal infections — and stay away from antibiotics that worked only temporarily — Beatrice discovered a formula that would solve her (and countless of other women’s) problem and keep her lady parts healthy and happy. Now, The Honey Pot Company is on its way to becoming a leader in the world of feminine hygiene and is making safer products more accessible to women everywhere.

Try: The Honey Pot Company Normal Wipes

Caring for down there is as easy — not to mention: safe — as The Honey Pot Company’s Normal Wipes. Formulated with all natural ingredients, such as soothing aloe vera, cucumber fruit extract, oat extract, coconut water, and more, the all-natural feminine wipes are the ultimate way to keep your goods fresh and clean. And, that’s not all. Because the products are made with all-natural ingredients and gentle enough to use down there, you can use them as a multi-purpose wipe, too. When you’re in a pinch, use them to clean your complexion, wipe under your arms after a sweaty workout, and more.

3LAB

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Founded by Erica Chung, 3LAB is a leader in the world of high-tech skin care. With a focus on anti-aging, the high-end skincare brand utilizes “smart” technology to reverse signs of aging through improving collagen production, smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles, protecting against environmental aggressors, and more.

Try: 3LAB Super “H” Serum

Looking for an anti-aging product that does it all? Look no further than 3LAB Super “H” Serum. The award-winning anti-aging elixir is a true representation of the company’s astounding products, as it utilizes science to renew the skin and combat all signs of aging. The results? Skin that appears fresher and more youthful than before.

– Jessie Quinn

The 7 Best Face Masks to Meditate In

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In skin care, masking is a lot like meditation — it’s a great way to unwind, de-stress, and set intentions (for the skin, that is). And while both practices are beneficial on their own, together they have an immense amount of mind, body, and skin care capabilities. So, the next time you sit down to meditate, why not apply a corresponding face mask, too? We share how to meditate with face masks, plus the best face masks for meditation, ahead.

How to Meditate With Face Masks

Before sitting down for a meditation, prep your complexion with a gentle cleanser. Cleansing the skin before masking is a necessary step to ensure the surface of your skin is free of any makeup, dirt, or debris that could get in the way while the mask penetrates your skin.

Then, use clean fingers — or, The Créme Shop Glitter Silicone Makeup Blender — to apply a face mask of your choice to your complexion. When choosing a face mask, we like to sinc its benefits with the intentions we set during meditation. If you’re practicing an energizing meditation, reach for an energizing face mask, if you’re practicing a cleansing meditation, reach for a cleansing face mask, and so on and so forth.

After applying your face mask, lay down on your yoga mat, or sit up straight with your legs crossed and hands placed on your knees to begin meditation. Once your meditation is complete, follow the instructions on the packaging to remove your mask and voilá!

The Best Face Masks For Meditation

Purifying: Skin & Lab Glacial Clay Facial Mask

Formulated with three different types of skin care clay — kaolin, bentonite, and Canadian glacial clay — the purifying Skin & Lab Glacial Clay Facial Mask deeply cleanses the skin, purifies pores, and helps keep acne and excess oil at bay with added tea tree oil.

Brightening: emerginC Vitamin C + Retinol Mask

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Brighten the look of your complexion with emerginC Vitamin C + Retinol Mask. Formulated to fight against free radical damage, boost collagen production, protect against sun damage, and improve the skin’s tone and texture, this brightening mask can reveal a softer, brighter, more youthful-looking complexion with regular use.

Cleansing: The Créme Shop Little Black Mask

Cleanse your complexion and rid pores of blackhead, whiteheads, and dead skin with The Créme Shop Little Black Mask. Formulated with antioxidant-rich vitamin E and charcoal, the peel-off mask can help target excess oil, deep cleanse the complexion and soothe the complexion.

Hydrating: Farmaesthetics Herbal Hydration Complex Remedy Reserve Mask

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Got dry skin? Nourish your complexion with Farmaesthetics Herbal Hydration Complex Remedy Reserve Mask. Formulated with nourishing shea butter, aloe vera, natural lactic acid, peppermint and lavender essential oils and more, the all-natural face mask can work to replenish the skin, maintain moisture levels, remove excess oil, and protect against environmental damage.

Soothing:  The Créme Shop Aloe Vera Face Mask

Is there anything more relaxing than meditating with a soothing face mask? Formulated with aloe vera, The Créme Shop Aloe Vera Face Mask works to nourish, moisturize, protect, and cool the skin. What’s more? Because of it’s soothing properties, it can also help relieve skin irritation and may be able to treat chronic skin conditions, too.

Protecting: PureHeals Ginseng Berry 80 Overnight Mask

If you’re meditating for deep sleep, consider applying an overnight face mask like PureHeals Ginseng Berry 80 Overnight Mask. Formulated with antioxidant-rich ginseng berry extract and soothing chamomile, this face mask works to protect the complexion against environmental aggressors, tightens and energizes the skin, and provides a mask of comfort while you sleep.

Energizing: The Créme Shop Cold Brew Face Mask

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Like a cup of coffee for your skin, The Créme Shop Cold Brew Face Mask is a great mask to recharge in. Formulated with concentrated coffee extract, the face mask can promote a more awake-looking complexion, improve circulation, reduce puffiness, and awaken the skin.

– Jessie Quinn

How to Give Yourself a Spa-Worthy Facial at Home

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We don’t know about you, but spending a day at the spa is one of our favorite ways to relax, recharge, and give our skin some extra attention. That said, you don’t have to book a pricey treatment to reap the benefits of a relaxing spa day. In fact, all you need is a little mood lighting, relaxing aroma, soothing music, and a roundup of spa-worthy skin care products.

Want to know how to give yourself a spa-worthy facial at home? We share the details, ahead.

 Step 1: Cleanse: Farmaesthetics Fine Herbal Cleanser

First thing’s first: Let’s cleanse. Formulated with only five ingredients, the Fine Herbal Cleanser from Farmaesthetics delivers powerful results. 100% natural and gentle enough to use on all skin types — including, sensitive — the daily cleanser works to rinse away daily impurities and excess oil while maintaining the skin’s natural pH level. As step one in your at-home facial, it can thoroughly cleanse the skin and create a clean slate for other powerful skin care formulas.

Step 2: Exfoliate: emerginC Micro-Scrub

Step two in giving yourself a spa-worthy facial at home? Exfoliation. Exfoliation works to slough off dead skin cells, improve circulation, and creates a softer, smoother-looking complexion that is ready to absorb some of the skin care superstars in your arsenal. We love emerginC Micro-Scrub for its soothing plant extract formula and ability to get rid of dead skin cell build up, even out the skin’s natural tone, and reveal a more vibrant complexion.

Step 3: Steam: Farmaesthetics Dreaming Oil

No facial would be complete without a little facial steam. Give yourself an at-home steam sesh with the soothing aroma of Farmaesthetics Dreaming Oil. Enriched with lavender and clary sage essential oils, adding a few drops of this to hot water can create the ultimate spa experience.

To give yourself an at-home facial steam, simply boil a large pot of water, add a few drops of the Dreaming Oil, place your face over the pot — as a rule of thumb, keep a one foot distance between your complexion and the boiling water — and allow the steam to work it’s magic. For extra relaxation, take deep, cleansing breaths while steaming.

 Step 4: Mask: Skin & Lab Pink Clay Facial Mask

After your steam, reach for The Créme Shop’s Glitter Silicone Makeup Blender  and apply your favorite face mask. We love the Skin & Lab Pink Clay Facial Mask for its ability to brighten and tighten the complexion, extract impurities from pores, and reduce the look of redness and irritation. The perfect once-a-week treatment, this kaolin clay face mask will help you put your best face forward.

 Step 5: Tone: The Créme Shop Chia Seed Calming Spritz Toner

Once you’ve removed your face mask, it’s time to tone. Toning the complexion can help balance the skin’s natural pH, as well as prep it for hydration. Our go-to facial toner? The Créme Shop Chia Seed Calming Spritz Toner. Enriched with 100% chia seed extract, the antioxidant-rich facial toner works to restore hydration, eliminate puffiness, and protects the skin from aging aggressors like pollution and the sun’s damaging UV rays.

 Step 6: Refresh: Farmaesthetics Cool Aloe Mist

After toner, give your complexion an extra boost of hydration with a nourishing facial mist. We love Farmaesthetics Cool Aloe Mist. Formulated with skin-soothing aloe vera juice, relaxing (and acne-fighting!) lavender essential oil, as well as brightening bergamot essential oil, this all-natural facial spray is the ultimate skin treat.

 Step 7: Serum: emerginC Multi-Vitamin + Retinol Serum

Next step, serum! Serums are a great way to customize your skin care routine and ensure your unique complexion gets the vitamins and minerals it needs. When shopping for facial serum, we like to look for multi-use serums with an anti-aging spin. Our favorite? emerginC Multi-Vitamin + Retinol Serum. As one of the most comprehensive serums on the market, this powerful skin care product can improve cellular turnover, protect against free-radical damage, strengthen the complexion, improve texture, and so much more.

 Step 8: Moisturize: Yon-Ka Elastine Nuit

The last step in your at-home facial? Moisturize. Keeping the skin hydrated is not only key for comfort, but also for the overall health of your skin. After your serum application, reach for your favorite moisturizer and apply it to your complexion and neck in upward massaging motions.

We love Yon-Ka Elastine Nuit for its ability to fight signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of elasticity. Formulated with elastin, milk peptides, and shea butter, the luxurious facial cream protects the complexion, repairs skin, and provides an overall hydration that lasts.

–  Jessie Quinn

Bet You Had No Clue These 9 Superstar Ingredients Could Treat Your Skincare Concerns

untitledFinding the right product to fight off your unwanted acne, redness, irritation, and lackluster complexion can seem overwhelming. Believe me, I’ve been there! But the cure to your acne and skincare ailments can be found in some unlikely places . . . like your kitchen cabinets. Crazy, right? You may be surprised by what ingredients make up your skincare products. Here are nine of the most “OMG, I didn’t know that did that” skincare products that will pave the way for a brighter complexion.

Turmeric and Cranberry Seeds

The Product: Kiehl’s Turmeric and Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Mask ($39)

This two-in-one game changer pulls out all the stops! If your skin is anything like mine — lackluster and dull — this mask is for you. Formulated with turmeric (brightening) and cranberry seed (exfoliating) extracts, this mask works to restore your skin over time by evening out your skin’s texture.

Garlic and Honey

The Product: Lush Cosmetic Warrior Mask ($10)

This whipped cream mask delivers all the cosmic feels and more. Its creamy and jelly-like texture makes it easy to apply, so you don’t have to use a lot of product to get the job done. The garlic and honey cleansing properties work together to stop irritation of the skin, calm redness, and reduce blemishes over time.

Witch Hazel, Green Tea, and Lemon

The Product: The Creme Shop 2-in-1 Facial Foam: Witch Hazel + Lemon + Green Tea ($10)

This cleanser is unlike any other I have ever tried. Its creamy texture turns straight to foam as soon as you apply it to skin with little water added. Your skin will be left as smooth as ever after rinsing.

Aloe Vera

The Product: Ole Henriksen Aloe Vera Deep Cleanser ($12)

This powerful cleanser truly works to calm, moisturize, and heal the skin. This cleanser works best with oily or blemish-prone skin. Its foaming texture is paired with aloe vera, which works to soothe and calm the skin without stripping and dehydrating the skin.

Yogurt

The Product: Korres Greek Yoghurt Moisturizing Face Mask ($36)

Your skin deserves dessert, too! This is an advanced night facial designed to nourish the skin with proteins found in yogurt to combat dryness and dehydration.

Azelaic Acid

The Product: Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Medi-Spa Peel ($36)

Weekly facial peels are one of the hottest skincare trends to date. Although finding the perfect one for your skin can be tricky, this two-part medi-spa peel (a one-month supply) by Dr.Dennis Gross is the answer to all of your skincare worries. Infused with azelaic acid, which is proven to aid in treating acne, brightening the skin, and gently reversing impurities, this professional product allows you to experience a two-part facial without having to leave your home. I am a huge fan of this product because you can see results within the first week! My skin looks brighter and my complexion is completely glowing. Skincare win!

Chia Seeds

The Product: Perricone MD Chia Serum ($85)

They’re not just good to throw in your pre-workout smoothie; chia seeds also provide clarity to unwanted blemishes, dehydration, and blackheads. After using this product, your skin will be left with a velvety finish that not only feels amazing but looks even better.

Apple Cider Vinegar

The Product: SW Basics Toner ($22)

The last-minute part of any nighttime skincare routine, toner has been dubbed one of the most essential bedtime necessities for a clear complexion. Now imagine adding apple cider vinegar into the mix. What you may not know about the ingredient is that it works to even out your skin’s complexion and neutralize your skin’s acidic deck. This product works best for oily, irritated, and acne-prone skin.

Niacinamide

The Product: Glossier Super Pure Serum ($28)

This serum is super potent and fast absorbing, and its number one ingredient — along with the ever-so-popular vitamin E — is niacinamide. Niacinamide helps calm redness and irritation of the skin, dullness, and breakouts. Without any questions or hesitations, this serum has been amazing on my skin, and it’s been added to the lineup with my other serum miracle workers.

– Gianna Visconti as seen on POPSUGAR

Get Valentine’s Day-Ready With These Beauty Must-Haves

Blog ImageValentine’s Day is right around the corner and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate the season of love than by treating ourselves to some of the best in beauty. Whether you’re looking to achieve soft, kissable lips, silky smooth and sexy skin, or the ultimate glam look — or, all of the above — we’ve got you covered with our head-to-toe guide.

This Valentine’s Day, take your beauty routine to the next level and indulge in some our must-have products, ahead.

ReVive Light Therapy Lip Device

Want kissable lips for Valentine’s Day? Swap your lip masks for the power of light therapy. Clinically proven to improve collagen production, increase firmness, and provide the lips with a natural plumping effect, the ReVive Light Therapy Lip Device is your hot ticket to a plumper, more youthful-looking pout.

LALICIOUS Birthday Cake Sugar Scrub

Want to know the secret to glowing skin? An exfoliating bath and body product that not only polishes the skin by getting rid of dry, dull dead skin cells, but also leaves behind a trace of shimmer. Formulated with nourishing coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and pure sugar cane crystals, the birthday cake-scented sugar scrub leaves behind sexy soft, kissable skin.

Butter LONDON Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer

It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without a festive coat of red nail polish. And we love Butter LONDON Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer in Her Majesty’s Red for the ultimate V-day manicure. Formulated with ingredients that promote stronger, healthier, and brighter-looking nails, the 8-free nail lacquer is uses Shock Resisting Polymer Technology for a gel-like, chip resistant finish that lasts up to 10 days.

 The Honey Pot Company Normal Feminine Wipes

Don’t forget to prep down there. Formulated with powerful active ingredients like aloe, cucumber and matricaria flower extracts, as well as cucumber water and sunflower seed oil.  The Honey Pot Company Normal Feminine Wipes work to maintain pH balance and help keep your lady parts fresh and clean throughout the day.

emerginC Scientific Organics Body Firming Serum

Prep your body skin this Valentine’s Day with emerginC Scientific Organics Body Firming Serum. Formulated with soothing aloe, firming coffee seed oil, grape stem cell extract, and kombucha tea extract, the lightweight body serum works to target cellulite, firm the look of loose skin, and massage the body with a unique glass roller ball tube application system.

Lit Cosmetics Lit Kit

For a show stopping lip that wows, reach for the Lit Cosmetics Lit Kit. Complete with loose color, liquid adhesive, and a brush for flawless application, the high-sparkle lip kit is the ultimate Valentine’s Day lip.

Lash Star Lash Sculpting Mascara 

Bat your lashes this Valentine’s Day with Lash Star Lash Sculpting Mascara. Inspired by professional techniques, the breakthrough formula features two formulas and brushes designed to deliver gorgeously sculpted, sexy lashes.

– Jessie Quinn

These 3 Skin-Care Products Literally Erased My Hormonal Acne Scars

Even if you conquer a pizza face full of pimples, you’ll be left battling the scars. This is the story of how I got rid of mine.

The teenage years are when most adolescents suffer from acne flare-ups and cystic pimples. Lucky for me, I had clear, porcelain, glowing skin. I never even used skincare products! Yep, not a drop—true story.

I remember how lucky I felt to not have to suffer the emotional stress and embarrassment of having a face covered in craters, redness, hyperpigmentation, and dry flakey skin… until it happened to me.

Around the time I went to college, I started noticing small breakouts along my jawline and had no idea why. I wasn’t doing anything different than I had been doing my whole life. And ironically, the better care I took of my skin, the more acne I got. I was embarrassed and depressed.

Naturally, I ran to the local pharmacy and purchased cult-favorite skin care products, including Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser paired with Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15which resulted in nothing. Nada. If anything, my skin looked and felt worse.

That’s when I got serious and made an appointment with a dermatologist, who put me on topical and oral medications to treat what turned out to be hormonal acne, due to the fact that I had stopped taking birth control. Board certified dermatologist Debra Wattenberg, MD, explains, “Hormonal acne tends to develop post-teenage years and is commonly distributed along the jawline, neck, and cheeks. It often presents with cysts that are caused by fluctuations in hormones, specifically increases in androgens like testosterone.” Causes of hormonal acne, according to Dr. Wattenberg, founder of NY Skin RX, include irregular periods, discontinuation of birth control pills, and menopause. The cysts that develop from hormonal acne are deep and hard to treat, so Dr. Wattenberg commonly recommends antibiotics, birth control pills, and anti-androgens such as Spironolactone, which dials down male hormone expression in the body. These are the clear signs you probably need prescription acne treatment.

Unfortunately, that’s not the happy ending to the story. Although my acne slowly cleared up, it left behind terrible scars, including hyperpigmentation and discoloration of the skin, which is usually caused by excessive picking at areas of irritation, popping pimples the wrong way (here’s the right way to pop a pimple, if you must), and picking away at pimples as they are healing.

I struggled to find the solution to correct my damaged skin. I tried Sephora’s top picks for scarring from holy grail dermatologists and celebrities such as Kate Somerville, Dr. Dennis Gross, Dr. Jart, and more. Once again, I was left feeling hopeless that my skin would ever be the same.

After months of research on powerful skin care ingredients such as Vitamin C, turmeric, and retinoids, I finally found my skincare saviors: Peter Thomas Roth’s Acne Clearing Wash and Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum mixed with a K-Beauty staple, Skin & Lab’s Red Serum, have worked their magic to completely clear my hyperpigmentation, scarring, and redness. This product combination is a skin care miracle like I have never experienced before.

Here’s how they work: The Acne Clearing Wash has 2 percent salicylic acid, which helps eliminate the breakout cycle while removing excess oil, makeup, and bacteria. “Salicylic acid helps to destroy the attachments between skin cells, which allows exfoliation of the skin and helps to unclog pores,” explains Dr. Wattenberg. “It also has anti-inflammatory properties.” The formula soothes and conditions the skin with allantoin and pro vitamin B5, leaving it thoroughly clean and residue-free.

The star ingredient in Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum is obviously Vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps to destroy cell-damaging free radicals, according to Dr. Wattenberg. It decreases inflammation from acne and helps to reduce redness, scarring, and pigmentation. This particular formulation has rose extracts to hydrate the skin, and it adds its own anti-inflammatory properties to decrease the chance for discoloration.

Skin & Lab’s Red Serum has one of the most powerful super-fruit products to slough away dead skin and prevents pore congestion. “These products exfoliate the skin, increasing cell turnover, preventing pigmentation, and scarring,” Dr. Wattenberg explains. “The anti-inflammatory effects of the vitamin C prevent superficial reddening of the skin. Salicylic acid can dissolve the keratin plug that causes a blackhead—it dissolves oil and dead skin cells, making pore look smaller. It also decreases oil production because it’s lipophilic, or water-loving, and has the ability to penetrate the pore, destroy the oil and unclog the pore.”

With this trio of products, my skin has not looked and felt this good since 2008. (Yes, that is an accurate number).

I wish I could tell you that the road to finding the products that work best for your skin ailments is quick and easy, pain-free, and not at all emotionally draining, but everyone’s experience is different. Luckily, you’re one step closer to trying something that your skin and soul will thank you for!

– Gianna Visconti