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After decades of trial and error (and a bout of serious postpartum acne), Iskra Lawrence finally feels confident and comfortable with her skin. “I'm trying to listen to it,” the model and entrepreneur says. “I'm in the best place of understanding my skin I've ever been in.”
It wasn't always this way. Like so many others, she started feeling insecure about her skin when she was around 14 years old and experiencing acne for the first time. “Mild acne still feels like the end of the world when you're a teenager,” she says. “I would wear Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation all day, every day. I was a competitive swimmer and would wear foundation to my swimming meets. I developed a habit of keeping my fingers in my mouth to cover my chin area because I was so insecure about the breakout.”
Lawrence says she couldn't afford to go to a dermatologist, let alone buy expensive products, so she would use drugstore acne solutions that, in hindsight, were too harsh and abrasive. Over time, as Lawrence built her modeling career, she also realized that her skin was something she needed to manage from the outside and inside. She tried a healthier diet and treatments like colonics and acupuncture. Things were good—until new motherhood came with a plot twist.
“Being a new mom, postpartum was probably some of my craziest breakouts,” Lawrence says. “It felt like I had a different skin texture. It felt a lot more hormonal, and it's very hard to improve that with products alone.” So she found an acne treatment specialist who advised making some basic switches, like changing her laundry detergent and adding a second cleanse to her skin-care routine.
Now Lawrence is all about giving her skin the care it needs—no matter how long her nighttime routine might be in order to achieve it. The model even enjoys taking the time to do her own treatments whenever possible. “I wax my mustache, I dye my eyebrows, and I dye my lashes,” she says. “Those are monthly little self-care treats that I love doing for myself.”
Most important, however, is moisturizing—on her face, yes, but also her neck, décolletage, the back of her hands, and behind the ears. Always. “Moisturizing the skin on my body is just as important as my face,” she says. “And I really take the time to do that. I even think about what products I'm putting on my skin—do I want to even my skin tone? Do I want more brightening? Am I looking for serious hydration if I'm dry?”
It's fitting then that Lawrence started her own skin-care-inspired body-care brand, Saltair. The collection of cleansers and lotions are made with natural botanicals and avoid any questionable materials, preservatives, or common skin irritants. But besides softer skin, the goal of Lawrence and Saltair is to make the sometimes mundane routine of a shower feel like a luxurious self-care ritual.
“I love that little bit of time that I have every day to invest in doing something for me and my skin,” she says. “Your skin is a part of you—it's your biggest organ—so giving it some love is a priority.”
Here, Iskra Lawrence drops her skin-care routine.
I've gotten very into double cleansing, and this brand Make does a precleanse. It's an oil cleanse; I've tried oil cleansers before and some stick to my skin, some are too thick for me, but this one is the most beautiful texture. It goes on really nice and milky when you activate it with water. At night I'll put my precleanse oil on and rub it in. Then I get some warm water in my hands and then I'll have my second cleanser right there, so I can kind of blindly find that. I'm using the Face Reality Ultra Gentle Cleanser. That has really helped me with my breakouts and acne.
And then I've always got a hot face cloth that I have hung up by the side of me. I personally like my face cloth to be super hot and steamy. It makes me feel extra clean. So I get that pretty warm, wring it out, and then I put the flannel on my face and just really enjoy that moment of feeling super clean and my pores opened up. And then, while my skin is still damp, that's when I apply my serum.
$24.00, Violet Grey
$28.00, Art of Skin Care
I have a couple of different serums that I like to use. I'll sometimes put face serums on parts of my body, and I always put it on the backs of my hands. Always. So depending on whether my skin is dry, congested, or needs brightening, I really switch it up between my different products. Right now I'm mostly going to my Naturium Hyaluronic Acid, which is really, really moisturizing and nourishing. It's very gentle and calming on my skin.
But I also have this Face Reality Mandelic Acid and I've been working my way up. I don't use that every day because it's quite an intense acid. I use that every other day or every second day. I'm currently on 8%—I started at 5%, I'm on 8%, and I have an 11% ready for when I finish this bottle. I'm loving the results. It feels like it just really exfoliates my pores, and I haven't been getting congestion since using it. I wouldn't do it every day because it might be a bit intense for me and I need the benefits of moisturizing products and hydrating products as well.
My Body Wash
In the morning I shower with my Saltair Body Wash. It's beautiful. We really did formulate it with skin-care-loving ingredients, and I've noticed my skin is brighter. I am someone who suffers with redness and bumps and that definitely helps. At night I will sometimes shower and then do a really nice, thick, creamy lotion after that feels like I'm cocooning my skin.
My Face Spray
I've been using the Cocokind Rose Water Toner. It's just a really moisturizing, gentle spray. It's something on my face to rehydrate it, so that when I put my moisturizer on I lock that all in.
I've been using the Super Cell Deep Moisture Cream by Make because it's so thick and luscious and doesn't feel greasy. It's like a cocoon on my face, and I'm obsessed. I'm on my second tub in a month. I plaster it on my chest, neck, hands….
$38.00, Make Beauty
My Lip Balm
I always use Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, the vanilla one, at night. I don't know what it is, but I prefer nonscented products at night or ones that have a more calming fragrance. So I put that vanilla one on, which is delicious
I try and hold off on makeup and instead focus on SPF. I focus on nice tinted SPFs if I want to get the best of both worlds. I love the Ilia Skin Tint if I want an even kind of base that's glowy. Or I love EltaMD's tinted sunscreen. I just wish they had more range of shades, though.
My Hair Treatments
Once a week I'll do a hair treatment. Because your hair, your scalp—that's part of your skin-care routine too. I feel like people forget that clearly you have skin on your scalp, on your head. I've got this applicator; whatever serum you put into it, it goes through the little bristles and so you can literally just get all that serum right onto your scalp. Right now I've got the Carol's Daughter growth serum. It's potent, but it's so light that it's not greasy. So I can use it one or two days before I even wash my hair. I haven't found many scalp treatments like that—that just absorb in and you can't tell the difference. I will then do something heavier the night before I'm going to shower. I love putting oils in my hair, like a combination of castor oil and sweet almond oil. Sometimes I use peppermint oil to really stimulate my scalp. I got pretty obsessed postpartum because I lost a lot of hair.
Anna Moeslein is the deputy editor at Glamour.
Originally Appeared on Glamour