I know how easy it is to be swept up in fancy marketing and influencer- or celebrity-endorsed brands with cute packaging. But if you truly want results, it's important that you look beyond all the bells and whistles and really do your homework. For me, it's always been about science, research, medical-grade ingredients, and products that not only deliver results but are trustworthy too. (That, and having a solid routine that you incorporate into your daily process along with brushing your teeth and taking a shower.)
When it comes to skincare, I am incredibly disciplined and have been that way since I started a simple cleanse, tone, and moisturize regimen at just 14-years-old (I'm now 38). Growing up in the harsh sun of Australia forced me to be particularly stringent with skin health, and my mom was bullish about sunscreen since I was a toddler. I have clear memories of her slathering my face in the smelly white stuff and me not liking it, but boy I am so glad she did now.
Even with all of that coverage from a young age, I still had to treat my skin with IPL for pigmentation after having my son almost 10 years ago, and preventing another melasma outbreak is a daily battle. It's also one that I'm determined to win. But if you want to have a chance at overcoming the even skin and anti-aging battle, you need to be prepared to fight and arm yourself with the necessary weapons.
However, my strict daily skincare regimen and routine visits to my aesthetician have been worth it (and a little under-eye filler recently also helped). MyDomaine's senior editor, Sophie Miura, recently told me my skin was "ageless"—she also gets non-stop compliments about her skin.
So, without further ado, and after numerous requests from friends, relatives, and IG followers, I'm sharing all of my best anti-aging skincare products for clear, even, and glowing skin. You're welcome.
True story: I've been using this cleanser for years. I like my cleanser to have an exfoliating element to slough off those dead skin cells each day and limit any blackheads from developing. This one does both and it isn't harsh on my skin either like some AHA/BHA cleansers can be.
If my skin is feeling a little sensitive, or I've just had a chemical peel and don't have any dead skin cells to slough, I'll reach for this gentler version from Cosmedix. I am a huge fan of this brand and have been using it religiously for years. I truly credit these products for my overall skin health and clarity.
Hands down, this toner is one of my favorites. It's definitely on the can't-live-without products list. On the occasion that I have forgotten my cleanser on a press trip or vacation, this toner can remove oil and makeup if needed. It keeps my skin clean and clear with salicylic and lactic acids. You can't go wrong with this one.
I am a huge advocate of hydration. Outside of even skin tone, hydration is one of the key requests I ask aestheticians when I go in for a treatment. So naturally, I have tried several hyaluronic acid products, but this fairly recent launch from SkinCeuticals is one of the best out there right now, in my opinion. It's lightweight but packs a liquid punch, keeping my skin feeling plump and dewy all day. I also notice I have less oil on my forehead come mid-afternoon, an unwelcome bonus of working in an air-conditioned office environment.
This mighty serum packs 16 powerful antioxidants and peptide amino acids into one little bottle. Not only does it feel amazing on the skin, but it reduces fine lines and pigmentation while it plumps the skin. I use it every day and love mixing it with Cosmedix Affirm for the ultimate environmental protection. We all need that with the state of CO2 in the air these days.
This is probably one of the most underrated serums out there, but I can vouch for how much a vitamin B serum can change your skin. This one isn't in my current regimen (I have a serum overload right now), but I have bought this so many times to help with pigmentation. It also firms the skin and keeps it clear. My Australian dermal therapist, James Vivian (you can experience his signature facial when he comes to L.A. this month at Gregory Dylan Beauty) first recommended it to help with pigmentation.
I am a huge fan of this entire Australian skincare brand. It has an affordable starter kit with enough product in each to really gauge if it's working for you or not. But I can vouch that it does.
I have tested a few PCA Skin products, but this is my favorite from the line. Why? Because it really works. It's a retinol that brightens the skin, and you really do notice the difference. It's also light enough for sensitive skin but doesn't skimp on results. It's pricey too, but you don't need much, or you can opt to do it every other night. My skin can handle every night, but I know a lot of people who find two to three nights a week is enough for them to see a noticeable difference.
For those uninitiated, Melanie Simon is considered a skincare demigod in facialist circles. I've been using her ZIIP nanocurrent device for a while (it's fantastic for blemish reduction and prevention) but only recently started using her vitamin C serum. It's expensive but extremely targeted, and you really only need a small amount per application. A little goes a long way.
Since my skin can handle it, I recently moved up to a high-potency retinol. I use this one each night and can handle it seven days a week, but if you haven't used a product like this before, I would start slow on a lower percentage and work your way up. This product is the hero of my routine because it keeps my skin clear, pores minimized, blackheads reduced, and ensures I have an overall brightness to my skin. Just make sure you use sunscreen every day while using this or any vitamin A.
I have been using Lytera for about five years straight now. It is the only product that truly lives up to the hype. It definitely reduces and prevents pigmentation for a brighter and clearer complexion overall. But don't take my word for it. Who What Wear associate editor, Kristen Nichols also swears by this product.
"I grew up in Arizona, so no amount of sunscreen was able to prevent sun damage," she tells me. "I've tried tons of products that promise to minimize brown spots and brighten up my complexion, but many of them don't do a thing. Lytera, though, really works. I tell all of my friends who are looking for something to correct sun damage to try it out."
If you want a vitamin c that doesn't oxidize and travels well, opt for the Cosmedix Pure C crystals. I also love that this doesn't require an additional step in your regimen. You simply mix these crystals in with your serum or moisturizer to amplify the C content. You really feel the tingling effects of this product working as soon as you put it on. I love it.
I've only just started using this product, but I already love it. The product looks like an oil but is super lightweight and absorbs straight into the skin without any residue or excess shine. It has niacinamide, which is a known brightening ingredient, but the buzz circulating this product is in the new ingredient, tranexamic acid, which minimizes discoloration and brown patches with continued use. I have only been using it for a month but do feel it has given me clearer, even skin overall. I trust SkinCeuticals and have used many of its products before with great results, so I have high hopes for this one.
I never used to be into facial oils until this beautiful bottle came across my desk. I had heard so much about this product thanks to its cult following, but now after using it, I can vouch for the validity of those claims. It feels as luxurious as the price tag and smells incredibly regal. We recently interviewed the founder, April Gargiulo, on the Second Life podcast about her career move from winemaker to facial oil creator. This is the only product in the line too with no plans to launch any others, or so I hear along the grapevine, mind the pun.
If you are looking for an oil that's a little less pricey but just as beautiful in feel and fragrance then reach for this Aussie brand, Edible Beauty. It's lightweight, smells delicious, and is also a very clean brand, which I love.
If you haven't experienced Stacked Skincare founder's signature facial, you haven't lived. Kerry Benjamin is one of the best aestheticians in Los Angeles and her "stacked" treatment is unlike any other. You will walk away with the most glowing skin you've ever had—akin to baby skin. She was working at Microsoft in San Francisco years ago when she decided to give it all up and move to L.A. where she trained to become an esthetician. Now she has a hugely successful skincare line and education platform that empowers women to take care of their skin at home.
This peel is simple to use and can be used once a week to remove dead skin cells and maintain optimal skin health and clarity. It's a game changer. I'm also a big fan of her body peel. There really is no other product out there like it.
For quick and easy exfoliation on the go you can't go past Dr. Dennis Gross daily peel pads. I love taking them with me on the plane. I'll use it as a cleanser and toner, wiping off any excess residue from the day before moisturizing. They're great.
If you have an unexpected blemish or you just want to wake up with refreshed skin, this is a must-use. I always have a pack of these on hand, and they're great for traveling too.
Cosmedix X-Age Moisturizer with Encapsulated Vitamin A (price upon request)
I am a recent devotee of this product. I never thought I would be this obsessed with a moisturizer, but here I am. It's only available through a salon that sells Cosmedix, but it is absolutely worth the trek and the money. It's not cheap, but it's definitely improved my skin thanks to its microencapsulated retinol that helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and clears imperfections. Who has even heard of a moisturizer that does that? I love this product so much.
I love drinking wine, but unfortunately, that doesn't have the anti-aging benefits unless you drink red wine. Well, it turns out that the antioxidant found in grape skin, resveratrol, is actually a potent anti-aging ingredient. Combined with selected peptides, this lightweight moisturizer is one of my favorites for the summer season.
If you want a lightweight moisturizer that's just as hydrating as a thicker version, then this is your new go-to. It's rich and creamy without the heaviness, and I love how feels on my skin. It doesn't leave any excess residue either. My skin absorbs it all for a soft, dewy glow.
If you really want to ramp your routine up a notch, then La Prairie is definitely where you'll want to take it up to. I have only recently started using this product, but I never thought a moisturizer could actually live up to such a high price tag until I tried it. Honestly, there really is no going back from this now. It's rich and creamy yet lightweight and seriously so luxurious. It really targets skin volume, which is what I need now I'm in my late 30s. It's definitely a splurge, but you'll feel like a princess using it.
Without a doubt, this product shines above the others in your beauty cabinet with that packaging.
Like I said earlier, I'm all about hydration. Ever since I left the humidity of Australia for the dry desert of Los Angeles I have been filling my regimen with moisture-boosting products. This hydrating mask is a must-have. It feels like silk and smooths onto the skin yet sinks in giving your skin the biggest drink it's had all day. It says you can remove after 10 minutes, but I like to leave this one on. It's especially good at night as a sleeping mask. I'm a big fan.
Whenever my skin is breaking out, this is the mask I reach for. It is a clay mask with salicylic acid that helps to clear impurities and prevent future breakouts. It smells and feels medicinal (in a good way) when I apply it and really helps to calm inflammation and redness.
Even though I'm very disciplined about my skincare regimen, sometimes I just don't have time to do a mask that also requires me to wash it off. So I've started leaning into masks that I can sleep in. This Origins mask smells delicious and makes my skin look and feel like a baby upon waking. Okay, slightly exaggerating, but it definitely feels smooth and hydrated.
Eye maks are my secret indulgence. I don't often have time for a full sheet mask (I love this one when I do), so eye masks are a simple solution when I'm in a fix. They hydrate and smooth the one area of my face that shows signs of aging the most. I love the Skyn Iceland eye gels because they're cooling and help to reduce any puffiness too. They also stick on and stay on. I have tried so many others that just slide down your face, and I just don't have time for that.
I apply this firming face mask weekly. It's rich and creamy and is another one of those masks I don't have to wash off. Yes, it hydrates and plumps and firms. What more can you want from a mask? Not much.
When I really want to feel extra special, I apply these Peter Thomas Roth gold eye patches. These are for Sunday masking when I'm relaxing and lounging at home. They're expensive, but I can justify using them because they make me feel so luxe.
I only have one product listed in the eye cream section because I couldn't think of another product I love more or would switch this one out for. This is a seriously magical product. It looks insane when you apply it thanks to its purple opalescent color, which also works as a highlighter for your under-eye area, helping to diminish dark circles by reflecting light while it hydrates and plumps. I honestly think this is my favorite product of all the ones listed in this story. The only other one I love more is the Cosmedix Eye Doctor from its elite line.
Every time I wear it, I get compliments from strangers telling me that my skin is glowing. True story.
I am very fussy about face sunscreens, but this one is super lightweight and non-greasy. I actually prefer it as a body sunscreen and use it daily on my arms to prevent sun damage on the drive to work.
If you really loathe the dewy and oily effect that most sunscreens can have, then buy Reflect. This water-like consistency is distributed via a mister that you spray directly onto your face or onto the palm of your hand and then apply. I prefer the latter so I can be purposeful about where I place it and ensure I get full coverage on every corner of my face right up to the hairline.
This has been my number one sunscreen for at least five to six years now. It's recommended by top dermatologists and estheticians in Australia including, James Vivian and Melanie Grant. I love how dewy it makes my skin look too. It doesn't clog your pores or smells like sunscreen either, which is always a pet peeve of mine. I truly love this product so much that I wear it inside at home because one, I'm truly a fanatic about suncare, and two, I love how it makes my skin look and feel. It's incredibly hydrating, which is rare in a sunscreen.
If I could only choose one face mist in the whole entire world, this would be it. I love the smell and the ingredient list of the mystic hydrating treatment, but you can also use it as a priming moisturizer under makeup or to set your look when it's finished and turn powdery looks into dewy, second skin. It also comes in this super cute travel-size.
While I love the smell of rosewater and the feeling of it misting on my face, I really love the ethos behind this brand more. Beauty Counter is on a mission to change the industry by removing all toxic chemicals from its ingredient list and its packaging. And I love its packaging. This purchase is a no-brainer.