Even those of us with the best intentions can wind up with an ill-timed spot now and then. It happens to me on occasion when I’ve tried a new beauty product that did not agree with my skin or it’s that time of the month (despite adhering stringently to my skincare routine). At the first sign, I pull out a few products that have proven to clear things up in record time.

After a thorough cleanse, I use a purifying face mask either all over or as a spot treatment. I love May Lindstrom The Problem Solver all over. I mix a tablespoon of the powder with a tablespoon of water and apply with a mask brush. Otherwise the Peter Thomas Roth Sulfur Mask works wonderfully as a spot treatment – it’s too harsh on my skin to use all over.

In the interest of not overdoing it with too many harsh treatments that can dry and stress out skin even worse, my next step is the Farmacy Honey Potion Mask. It gets a little warm upon application which is so soothing on irritated skin. It also nourishes, hydrates and reduces inflammation.

Next up is an overnight spot treatment. I use Kate Somerville EradiKate Acne Treatment if the spot hasn’t been popped or has just been popped – it helps bring the infection up and out and dry it up. The following night I’ll use Osmia Organics Spot Treatment to speed up the recovery process. I’ve found it reduces redness faster and helps avoid scarring.

Once a breakout is on its last leg, I use the Murad Lightening Gel as my serum for a few nights in a row. It has hydroquinone, willow bark, tea tree and AHAs to fade discoloration and even skin tone.

Photo, Ji Hye Park, Vogue China

glow-tonic-review

Pixi Glow Tonic is another one of those products I’ve been through countless bottles of. I was ecstatic when the brand sent me a giant bottle with my name on the label last Christmas. Just last week it was running low so I bought a regular-size bottle and refilled.

This exfoliating toner contains glycolic acid to remove dead skin cells, witch hazel to smooth and aloe vera to soothe. I’ve found that daily chemical exfoliation, rather than physical, is much better for my sensitive skin, and this is the product that ticks that box. I use one pump on a cotton pad every morning after cleansing and before a serum.

The results are near immediate – serious glow and a smooth surface that better absorbs the serum that follows. I highly recommend it to anyone, no matter your skin type. Shop Glow Tonic and more of my Pixi favorites below.

back-to-school

No matter how many years out I get, the beginning of September never loses its start-of-the-school-year feeling. I can still conjure the excitement of getting my back-to-school shopping list, taking great care to choose the perfect new notebooks and pencils with which to begin. The energy to get organized and start with a clean slate inevitably hits and I spend a day cleaning, decluttering and making room for a few new supplies. Here is what’s on my shopping list this season, in line with fall’s best beauty trends.

REN Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream – I’ll be swapping my usual moisturizer for this calming cream that soothes redness and sensitivity plus protects from UV damage and premature aging.

Moon Juice Beauty Shroom Exfoliating Acid Potion – After listening to Moon Juice-founder Amanda Chantal Bacon discuss her new skincare products on Fat Mascara (episode 116), I was anxiously awaiting the launch of this potion she created to give the same results as the cult-favorite P50 but with a clean formula.

Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops – One pump of this serum mixed in with my BB cream creates a subtle glow, but what I love most is the antioxidants protecting my skin from pollution and environmental stressors.

Marc Jacobs Enamored Hydrating Lip Gloss Stick – This is the lip product I never knew I needed until now for a shiny, glossy finish with the convenience of a stick and hydration of a balm.

Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eye Shadow – For upcoming weddings and events, my go-to look will be natural makeup and metallic lids thanks to this eyeshadow infused with micro-glitter in beautiful warm-tone hues.

Slipsilk Scrunchies – Without getting too ’90s, I love these thin scrunchies covered with silk so as to not cause breakage or ridges.

Reverie Milk Anti-Frizz Leave-In Nourishing Treatment – Along with a keratin treatment, this cream is giving me the shiny, soft, smooth hair I want, plus it smells incredible.