Testing Hundreds of Beauty Products Irritates My Skin, so I Count on This 3-Step Routine to Heal and Soothe

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I’ve gotten it down to a science.

As a beauty editor, people often ask how my skin handles the amount of skincare and makeup products I test on it. Keep in mind: For every product I end up liking, loving, and reviewing positively, there are a dozen so-so or bad ones; it’s a tumultuous and tedious process that involves frequent bouts of irritation and breakouts. Yes, it’s frustrating, but it’s part of the job — I do it so that you, hopefully, don’t have to. Thankfully, I found three trusty products that reset my skin when it’s gone haywire. The star of the show is Dermalogica’s Stabilizing Repair Cream, but Tower 28’s SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray and Murad’s Deep Relief Acne Treatment play very important supporting roles, too.

When my skin is reacting poorly to a product I’ve been using or is simply tired of all the change in my routine, I get tender blemishes, congested skin, plus increased redness and oil production. In a past life, any one of those things would’ve made me reach for a pore-purging, clarifying mask, but with age comes wisdom. Now I know that I need to soothe and restore the health and strength of my skin barrier with the right products.




A compromised barrier means that blemish-causing bacteria and debris can penetrate skin, causing irritation and breakouts — that’s why restoring its health is a priority. This is also why Dermalogica’s Stabilizing Repair Cream is the pièce de résistance.

It’s formulated with a ceramide complex that strengthens the barrier, protects against external aggressors, locks in moisture, and minimizes inflammation, redness, itchiness, and discomfort, in addition to making skin soft and smooth. Dermalogica’s Repair Cream also has squalane, cica, and herbal extracts, which neutralize redness, increase firmness and resilience, and provide non-comedogenic hydration.

Applying this moisturizer feels like getting into an oatmeal bath when I have a spreading rash; it’s cooling and makes me forget how angry and damaged my skin is. The only thing better than Dermalogica Repair Cream’s short-term relief, is the long-term resilience, moisture, and rehabilitation benefits it provides my skin.




In addition to the cream, I use Tower 28’s SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray throughout the day when I feel any tightness, have healing pimples, or am excessively oily. The hypochlorous acid staves off bacteria, reduces inflammation, and speeds up my skin’s healing process.




Finally, there’s Murad’s Deep Relief Acne Treatment. When that little bottle begins to run out, I’m sent into full panic mode. It is my fail-safe, “pull in case of emergency” toggle. The salicylic acid-rich formula keeps the active ingredients on the skin the way a pimple patch does using Murad’s second skin technology. Even the deepest, largest, boil-like welts are flattened into nothing within a day or two of use.

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