My Top 7(-ish) Bellacara Must Haves, Skincare Edition

Angela’s post yesterday about carry-on-ready skincare got me thinking about what I can’t live without. Since turning 40, high-quality skincare products have been non-negotiable in my morning and evening routines. Since 45, I’ve added expert advice as requisite, too. Sure, it’s vain, but I want my skin to look as healthy as possible, as long as possible, and there’s no way I’d stay up to date on the latest life-changing retinols and clean beauty breakthroughs on my own. Thank goodness for Bellacara.

Not only is it just a lovely little shop to be in, Angela and her team have solutions to just about every beauty question under the sun. I always have a note on my iPhone of what questions I need to ask and what I need to buy at Bellacara. I’ve been known to throw empty bottles into my purse so that I don’t forget to buy replacements while out doing errands. So, my favorites…


Although it’s the central to my morning and evening routines, I almost forgot to include Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel when compiling this list because it’s not fancy or new or exciting. At all. It’s just a utilitarian, get-it-done cleanser. And by get-it-done, I mean it gets off all my makeup, it doesn’t dry my skin, it doesn’t break me out, and I feel clean. You’d be surprised how many cleansers in my life have fallen short in one or more of those requirements. I have a bottle on my counter and in my shower.

Also in my shower, Seoulscrub Coffee Peppermint Scrub. Even though, as a body scrub, it does absolutely zero to keep my face young-looking and fresh, it might make me the happiest of all my skincare products. A blend of sea salt, robusta coffee, organic cane sugar, a bunch of essential oils, and Vitamin E, this scrub is may very favorite of all time. Ever. Between the caffeine, good for stimulating, tightening, and toning skin, and the invigorating, intoxicating scent, I truly look forward to using this scrub each day. It’s the little things, right?

There is a reason that we have talked about Skinceuticals C E Ferulic so many times on Stylebook (19, I checked): it works. I am all out right now and actively stressed about the lack of Vitamin C protecting my skin.

I’m at the age where retinols are must-have, so once a week or so, usually the night before I have a meeting where I want to look extra glow-y, I break out the Dr. Gross Alpha Beta Daily Peels. Easy and very, very effective…but I’ve learned that daily…wellnot so much for me. My skin simply can’t tolerate hard-core retinols daily, so…

That’s why I might be as wild about Zelens as Angela. What can I say? She knows her stuff. So when she insisted I take home a sample of Zelens Power A Drops, yes, she was right, I was back right away to buy a bottle. The product lasts forever, and I can be sure that with just a few drops I’ll awake looking refreshed. It’s magic and I can use it every night without fear of redness or flaking.

My love of that line continues with the Zelens Triple Action Advanced Eye Cream. What’s the triple action? I have no idea, I just know that this is the smoothest, nicest eye gel I have ever used and my crow’s feet are decidedly diminished. And, I am getting better about remembering to put it on first, before any other products, to protect the delicate eye area. That alone probably helps, not getting retinols near my eye, duh.

As for moisturizers, I break out easily and have dry-ish skin. Jealous? Anyway, my entire life I’ve had a hard time finding a moisturizer I could use daily, until Herbivore. Yes, yes, of course I was sold solely by the amazingly beautiful packaging, but it turns out the all-natural Herbivore Moon Fruit Night Treatment lives up to its good looks. Bonus, it smells heavenly, perfect for falling asleep.

And speaking of sleep! So maybe this is a stretch for skincare, but the CBD-infused Nite Nite from The Good Patch is my go-to for those nights you want to settle into bed and relax into sleep without a million tasks cluttering your mind the minute your head hits the pillow. Oh, wait! There’s also the Slip Pillowcase! So, yeah, definitely not a skincare product, but we’ll file it under beauty sleep because nothing is better for your complexion than a good night’s sleep, right?


Madelyn has been the editor of Alexandria Stylebook since November 2015.

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