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Skincare 101: How to Layer All Those Products On Your Vanity


Figuring out how to order your skincare lineup can feel like trying to solve a rubik’s cube—not impossible but clearly a challenge. You’ve got a bathroom shelf filled with products, but which comes first? 

The good news is you don’t to have to be a dermatologist to learn how to get the most out of your beauty routine. Just use this nifty diagram and the tips below to layer your products like a pro.

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Are You Sure You Know How To Wash Your Face?

When it comes to washing your face, conventional wisdom suggests that you lather up and rinse twice a day. But in the last two years of working at Birchbox, I’ve encountered enough quirky face-washing routines to know that not everyone follows the same path. One of the more memorable cleansing rituals I’ve come across is Eve Lom’s signature routine, which centers around the brand’s cleansing balm and has been used by glamorous women for over 25 years (think Sharon Stone and Kate Hudson). Our editorial director, Mollie, was brave enough to demo the steps on camera—click through to watch the video!

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Fight Acne Better With A Balanced Cleansing Regimen: Guest Blogger

Dermatologist-in-training and all around cool girl blogger Aegean Chan is the savvy mind behind super-skincare blog, Aegmora. Chan educates and enlightens readers with particularly informative posts that tie together her science background and her extensive experience with beauty products. We love that she demystifies everything from familiar active ingredients like Benzoyl Peroxide to the newest trends like coconut oil. This week, Chan teaches us how to fight acne better, keep our skin hydrated, and protect it from the sun.

Many don’t realize that cleansing is a delicate balancing act, and also the foundation of great skin. Your skin is tough enough to withstand blistering heat, pelting sleet, and withering looks from haters, but it’s actually a microcosm of cells and structural elements that require a very specific environment to thrive. Just think of it as layers upon layers of the finest cashmere that form a protective barrier. It wouldn’t make sense to try to restore the beauty and softness of that cashmere with a rinse of pure acid or a few passes with a sand blaster, would it?

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My Skincare Essentials: Guest Blogger

This week’s guest blogger, Vida Lee, hits close to home for us—literally! She’s a beauty guru based in our hometown: New York City. Aside from being a product addict, she’s also a medical school student (whoa!) who makes time on the side for her pretty blog, P.S. It’s Vida. Over the next few days, the smarty savant will be sharing her greatest tips and tricks for staying prepped and primed for summer.

Skincare is one of my absolute favorite things. I love experimenting and trying new things, but there are a few products I’ve found that will probably never leave my routine. These are some of the skincare items I use on a daily basis.

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Post-Thanksgiving Skin Detox

I woke up yesterday with an angry red zit that covered approximately 95% of my chin. Okay, I might be exaggerating a bit, but I suspect that all the greasy foods I consumed over Thanksgiving weekend have triggered a breakout. Call it revenge of the deep-fried turkey. 

Since I know better than to give into temptation and pop my own zit, I’m treating my skin with products. The first step: Avène’s Cleanance Soap-Free Gel Cleanser. It’s a gentle, pH-balanced formula made with French thermal spring waters designed to calm and soften blemish-prone skin. Unlike your run-of-the-mill cleansers, it gets rid of dirt and oil without depositing icky residue into my pores. Armed with my new go-to cleanser and a diet full of leafy greens, my skin is already starting to clear up (just in time for the next round of holiday festivities). 


While your skin is detoxing, pick up a full-coverage concealer like Benefit’s Erase Paste.

Banishing Acne Scars: Dr. Dennis Gross Answers

Via our Dr. Dennis Gross Facebook contest, fans submitted their most fervent skincare questions for the guru. Three lucky contestants not only received answers straight from the M.D. himself (see one fan’s query, and Dr. Gross’ advice, below), but they’re also getting free products from his coveted line!

All-In-One Cleansing Foam, $36,

Q: How can I prevent and get rid of acne scarring?

—Lydia Goerner

Dr. Denis Gross: It is understandably tempting to pop a pimple to try and minimize its appearance, but this is one temptation I urge you to resist. The pressure from nails can cause broken blood vessels and permanent scarring.

Acne-scarring usually becomes more noticeable with age. The quality and quantity of our collagen diminishes with age, any depressions in our face appear deeper and any elevations look thicker. Any treatments that enhance collagen production, such as peels, vitamin C, lasers, and Retinol, can help thicken skin to make all scars look less visible.