Brittany Xavier Drops Her Skin-Care Routine

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

That being said, Xavier's skin-care routine has largely stayed the same, as she's been sticking to the same simple, clean routine she's sworn by for the past two years. After dealing with consistent irritation that even a dermatologist couldn't clear up, she discovered the book called Skin Cleanse, by Adina Grigore, that completely changed her routine. “It was really interesting because it recommended that I just wash my face with water for a week and not use any products,” she says, “so I did that and my skin cleared up, and I wasn't using anything.”

“It also told me to up my green-vegetable intake too, and I was impressed with the fact that I didn't have to use any products to balance my skin,” Xavier continues. “It took a week to adjust. At first, my skin felt a little too oily, in the middle it felt dry, and then by the end of the week, the redness was gone. It was really an experiment to show me that I need to do less with more with my skin. After that, I cleared out all my products that were potential irritants with any fragrance, perfume, parabens, and sulfates, but really changed my outlook on skin care because I felt like, before, I was almost using too many things. Now I try to stick to the basics, and make sure that items I'm using are safe because I do have really sensitive skin.”Sometimes “the basics” include a few carefully selected products, and other times it means doing nothing at all. “Some days if I know I don't have to shoot anything or if I'm not going to be out, I will just not worry about putting on anything,” she says. “I won't put on oils. I just want to do something else and not worry about a skin-care routine. I will take a break in a way, but it's not usually a conscious break.” Since doing the skin cleanse, Xavier says she hasn't dealt with any major skin issues, save for the occasional hormonal breakouts. Instead, she's focused on staying dewy and moisturized and targeting some fine lines.

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So what products does she swear by? Read on as Brittany Xavier drops her routine.

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My cleansers

I always double-cleanse my skin at night. I use the Farmacy Green Clean Cleansing Balm to remove all the makeup. And then for a cleanser, I'll use the Clear Skin Probiotic Cleanser from Eminence. It's really great for balancing and it doesn't leave my skin feeling super dry. It's a probiotic cleanser that I found right after I did the skin cleanse, and I liked it because I noticed the irritation didn't come back after I used it. I've been using that one ever since.In the morning I'll usually just wash my face with water. Especially if I have oil from the night before, I'll just pat my skin. I'll just throw water on my face, probably five times, to where it feels like I'm cleansing my skin. But I don't use a washcloth. I just use my hands. It leaves the face oil from the night before, so my skin still feels fine.

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My toner

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I love Thayers Witch Hazel, because it's amazing for anti-inflammation. When I was researching all the irritation that I was having at the time, so many anti-inflammatory products came up, and that's how I found Thayers. I'm really cautious about what products I put on my skin for that reason. This one is an alcohol-free formula; it's really hard to find witch hazel that doesn't have alcohol, so I was interested to try it. I love using a toner before serum because I feel like it really preps my skin. It also kills acne-causing bacteria, so I have Jadyn, my daughter who's 14, use it too.

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My serums

I love serums and face oils—those are my favorite. They're probably the majority of my skin-care closet. Right now I love using the Herbivore Cloud Jelly Plumping Hydrating Serum. And I also love the Versed clarifying serum. The plumping hydration one I like in the morning because I'm not too worried about the hydration at night because I use the facial oils. But in the morning I'm trying to use more of the hydrating serums because I'm not using an oil after my serums in the morning.

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My face oils

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I don't use any moisturizers on my skin; I use face oils. I don't know if it's a mental thing, but I feel like moisturizers clog my skin. I have not gone back to them after I did the skin cleanse. I feel like it's more for if you really need the hydration. I don't use anything that says “face moisturizer.” If it says oil, I'll use it.Right now I am switching between the Honey Grail Ultra Hydrating Face Oil from Farmacy. I love that. It smells amazing. I really like the True Botanicals Pure Radiance Oil. That one's so nice, and the smell is really great too. If it smells too off-putting, I won't be able to use it.

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My SPF

It's the Ilia Beauty Super Skin Tint—it has SPF 40. My daughter actually uses it for her base too. I'm really big on making sure she wears a sunscreen at school, so she wears that and she also likes it because it's almost like a tinted moisturizer in a way. I like it before my foundation because it does have that hydration, but with the zinc, it's not a pasty-white sunblock. I really like that. I also like the Suntegrity 5-in-1 Moisturizing Sunscreen. It depends on which one I haven't run out of because I go through them pretty quickly.

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I've been trying to be good with sunscreen since college, because in high school I would tan my skin. I would lay out in the sun and I wasn't super aware of it, but my mom got two spots removed on her stomach that were precancerous. That freaked me out a little bit. I also started researching a ton about prevention and just using the sunscreen every day. I'll never tan my skin again with just regular sun. If anything, I'll use a sunless tanner, but at the beach, I'm fully sunblocked out all over my body. My daughter thinks I'm a freak. She's like, “Mom, I have sunblock on. I'm fine.” But I'm like, “Don't burn your skin.”

My eye balm

I don't use any eye creams, but I really like this stick from Tula, the Brightening Eye Balm. I like it because I can use it before my makeup. Also, I've just noticed my eyes are a lot more puffy now with a baby from lack of sleep. And with breastfeeding too, sometimes I feel like I just need to drink more water, but I just feel puffy in the morning, so I'll put that on and then I'll put on my makeup. A few hours later, I'll put it on top again if I'm going somewhere or need a little bit of a pick-me-up. It's nice because it has that cooling feeling and has caffeine in it.

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My LED light

When I do breakout, I'll just use my LED blue light and put nothing else on my face. The Dr. Dennis Gross LED light is what I love the most for any acne because it kills the acne-causing bacteria. My daughter actually does it too now, so she has gotten into the routine where she's like, “Can I borrow your light mask? I feel like my skin needs a refresh.”

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My “retinol”

I don't use retinol because during my pregnancy I stopped using it, just because I didn't want to have anything that would irritate my skin because I knew my skin was going to be even more sensitive. I found that Herbivore had a retinol alternative. It's supposed to help with skin smoothing and the renewal but without the irritants of retinol, so I still use that about three times a week.

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My lip balms

I love the Summer Fridays vanilla one. I also like the Agave Night Mask from Bite Beauty.

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My masks

Because of COVID, I got out of the routine of getting facials. I'm pretty low- maintenance when it comes to facials overall. I don't really prioritize them. If I have an extra hour, I would get my nails done versus getting a facial. I really like having masks at home that makes it feel like a salon treatment, but not having to go anywhere, especially with a newborn too.

I really love the Blue Tansy Clarifying Mask from Herbivore. It's so good. I'm obsessed with it. And I also love the Tata Harper Clarifying Mask. Those two make me feel like I'm having that exfoliating treatment and it feels like a salon treatment at home

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