As one would expect from the owner of a much-loved beauty boutique, Shen founder Jess Richards has incredible skin. That's no filter, she really is that ridiculously glowy in person. 'Yeah, yeah,' you might be thinking, 'but she probably had great skin to begin with, right?' Not quite — in fact, Jess struggles with not only extreme dryness, but also persistent redness. And, she's not immune to the occasional breakout.
"I have very dry, dehydrated skin with a bit of rosacea on my cheeks and easily sunburn," she explains. "No matter what I do to fix my dry skin, it seems to be a constant issue."
Over the years, she's managed to perfect a routine that helps manage that dryness and redness, to maintain an even-toned, smooth, radiant complexion. While she sometimes adds in some additional treatment products to address additional problems she might be experiencing — like the current PPE-caused breakouts that we're all struggling with right now — she keeps it relatively simple with an exfoliating cleanser, hydrating serum, rich moisturizer, and SPF.
Of course, everyone's skin is different and so not every product on her list might be right for your skin — but part of finding the best skin routine for your issues is to identify what those issues are and choosing the ones that address them. "Not everything I do will work for you, but amongst these products are some universal ones that can help multiple skin concerns. That said, one thing in here I think everyone should be using every day is SPF — it's the secret to preventing pre-mature wrinkles and hyperpigmentation."
Another universal tip? Take it easy with the skin cleansing. Contrary to popular belief, washing your face more doesn't actually make your skin "cleaner." In fact, it could actually be causing some of your issues. "I think that washing your skin with soap in the morning is unnecessary if you washed it at night — you might actually be stripping away the natural oils your skin needs and causing you to be dry or even making your skin more oily and prone to blemishes. I would recommend just splashing your face with water or using a wet washcloth in the morning, then do the rest of your routine as you normally would."
We asked Jess to take us through her current routine, and tell us what each does for her skin. Our hope is that by hearing her recommendations, you might discover something new for your skin to help you achieve that same skin nirvana.
Eighth Day Luxe Moisturizer
This is an amazing moisturizer, especially for dry skin. Its formulated with potent antioxidants to protect the skin, plus nourishing Co-Q10 and resveratrol. I like that its so rich and hydrating but doesn't feel heavy — it absorbs really quickly for immediate relief. I also seriously love clean doctor brands as the clinical science backs the ingredients and proves that there are actual measurable results.
Bynacht Hypercharged Glass Skin Serum
This serum has eight different strains of hyaluronic acid — in large and small molecules — so it goes deeper into the skin and helps to hydrate at every level. I literally have noticed a massive difference with this and I love how it isn’t sticky, like a lot of these types of "glass skin" products can be. It doesn't leave a weird residue or feel like it's sitting on the surface and not penetrating, which kind of defeats the whole purpose of a hydrating serum.
EltaMD UV Clear Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
I have used this sunscreen every single day for over a decade and will never go without it. This one has niacinimide in it to help with hydration, but also combats breakouts, so you don't have that greasy feeling or pore-clogging that can be a problem with a lot of SPF. It's a clear zinc (hence the name) so it won't leave behind a white cast to the skin. It comes in tinted and un-tinted — I'll use the tinted on days I don't want to wear makeup. Every dermatologist and skin expert I've ever spoken to loves this sunscreen and it lives up to the hype.
Skin Design London Acne On The Spot Superstar Serum
Wearing a face mask, while definitely necessary to help stop the spread, is also murder on my skin. I've been experiencing breakouts around my chin and mouth. This acne serum, which is made with anti-microbial peptides and salicylic acid has seriously been helping. Unlike a lot of other acne products, this isn't drying and doesn't make your skin feel itchy or flaky. It's clearing and repairing without irritating and causing me to get red. That's key for my skin, since I'm already prone to redness.
Reflekt 1 Cleanser
You might think that someone with sensitive, dry skin should skip anything exfoliating, but I've found that's actually the opposite of the case — provided you have the right exfoliator. This hydrating cleanser is genius because helps to turn over the dead skin cells that build up and helps balance the pH of my skin. It uses ultra gentle jojoba ester beads that gently buff, rather than harsh acids or scratchy crystals, so it clears skin and pores without irritating your complexion. It also has vegetable collagen to boost skin elasticity, making it so much more than just a cleanser. I use it almost every night and my skin always looks so smooth and even-toned afterwards.
And there you have it: The secret to Jess' covetable glow. See something you like? Shop the full list of product picks here.