People in the beauty industry get tons of goods to test out, so when someone spends their own money on something that they’ve run out of, you know it’s good. In this series, we give beauty buffs $100, and ask them how they’d spend it on the best-of-the-best cosmetics from around the internet.
Aesthetician to the stars, Shani Darden, is well known for keeping Hollywood glowing, which is why she’s become the go-to skin guru for stars like Jessica Alba, Chrissy Teigen, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, helping with everything from getting red carpet-ready to nixing unruly breakouts. And she knows a thing or two about how products deliver as well, testing new ingredients and elixirs and doling out skin-care advice that you should totally check out on her Instagram.
She started her career in a dermatologist’s office, studying up on how different skin types react to different ingredients, which eventually led her to create a retinol (the gold-standard cell-turnover-promoting ingredient) of her own called Resurface. Her first rule of thumb: “Make sure you use the right products for your skin type.” It’s as simple as looking at the label (or doing a quick Google search) for an explanation of a product’s benefits, she explains.
To bring everyone out of the fog and with money still in their pockets, I asked Darden for the products she’d invest in for normal to oily skin types. Here’s what she’d bring home if she had $100 to spend.
Keep scrolling to find out this beloved Hollywood facialist’s secret sauce.
“This is one of my favorite affordable cleansers,” she explains. “You really can’t go wrong with it, because it’s safe for every skin type. I recommend using it at night [to get off all of the makeup and debris from the day], but you can also use it in the morning.”
“I love IS Clinical—it’s one of my go-to brands,” she admits. “This product is a little pricey, but you can use it as an exfoliator or as a mask. To mask, apply it like a scrub, massaging it into skin in circular motions, leave it on for five minutes, and rinse.”
Take note: Depending on your skin type, you should use this product differently: “If you have normal to oily skin and this is the only product you use with active ingredients, start off using it once every week and a half and increase to twice a week over time,” she explains. “However, if you have dry skin or are using a prescription retinol, use it once every two weeks.”
“This is a great light moisturizer that is geared toward oily to normal skin types, rather than dry skin,” she says. “A lot of my patients break out and have acne, so I suggest this one because it doesn’t cause congestion. It really is the most simple oil-free moisturizer.”