Blair Hayes | February 2023
The Complete Guide to Using Blair's True Loves
Y’all know I’m a fanatic about skincare science. I devote so much time to researching ingredients, products, and results. I just wish there was a way I could share all of this information in an easy-to-understand, easily digestible format with everyone who asks for help! So I started thinking, how can I further provide valuable skincare guidance for every member of the SBB fam?
Introducing my True Loves Collection! I’ve curated a new routine made up of my favorite products, with its own, dedicated web page, to provide a space you can come to and always count on for reliable skincare with proven ingredients that are effective for every skin type! These are the tried and true products I use on my own skin daily and that I recommend most frequently to patients.
And for those of you who are like me and want to understand the why behind the effectiveness of these products, I’ve broken down a list of “hero” ingredients, their benefits, and exactly how to use each of my True Loves throughout the rest of this post. My hope is that after reading and digesting this information, you’ll feel empowered to confidently kick off a new skincare regimen!
Those who know me well know this love is the nearest and dearest to my heart. It may be a toner, but yall… it’s so much more than that. Think of Tonic as an at-home, daily “facial-in-a-bottle”.
I spent years developing this product because I wanted to make sure every skin type and concern – from super oily, to super dry, to acne-prone, and even rosacea – could benefit from the product. When we were in the initial development phase, I had many of my amazing patients, representing the whole gamut of skin types and concerns, try out the product themselves. If anyone didn’t have an optimal result, I’d go back to the lab and tweak the formulation accordingly. It’s been a labor of true love from the beginning and that's why it’s a cult favorite among so many of you that have tried it! (Check out the reviews here!)
Apply Tonic first thing after cleansing your face using a cotton pad (I personally love these from Amazon, they don’t leave any residue behind on your face!) then continue with the rest of your typical skincare routine. It’s safe to use with retinoids and other “hero” products, has no smell, and is safe while pregnant or nursing!
– Lactic acid provides gentle exfoliation and encourages collagen & elastin stimulation.
– Glycolic acid targets fine lines and wrinkles by increasing collagen production.
– Mandelic acid helps to reduce acne and hyperpigmentation.
– Salicylic acid reduces blackheads and acne by unclogging pores and decreasing oil production.Kojic acid lightens areas affected by melasma, hyperpigmentation, and acne scarring.
– Phytic acid clears the skin to help improve the skin barrier and reveal a brighter complexion.
This combination is perfect for virtually every skin concern – acne, blackheads, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, melasma, you name it! And the best part is the fresh, youthful glow it leaves behind after every application.
Exfoliates, brightens, and lightens skin using six of my favorite, most effective skincare acids.
If you’re new to Tonic, this is how I recommend starting out:
– Oily Skin: Start out applying once a day (I recommend in the morning if you’re using a retinoid at night) and gradually increase to twice a day as tolerated.
– Normal/Combination Skin: Start out applying once every other day, and gradually increase to daily as tolerated.
– Sensitive Skin: Start out applying 2-3 times a week and gradually increase frequency as tolerated.
C+ CORRECTING COMPLEX 30%
Those of you who have been with me from the beginning know how strongly I feel about the importance of Vitamin C in a skincare routine. If you aren’t using it already, we seriously need to talk… but I’ll save that lecture for another day!
Whether you are or aren’t using Vitamin C daily, I cannot recommend Revision’s C+ Correcting Complex enough. It contains the most stable form and highest available concentration of Vitamin C – 30% THD Ascorbate. It combats and corrects damage from free radicals such as the sun’s rays, environmental pollutants, and cigarette smoke, which all lead to accelerated skin aging. But the real difference comes through the “plus” in “C+.” Revision was the first company to figure out how to incorporate glutathione in skin care products without causing them to smell like sulfur (aka rotten eggs!). Using their patent-pending MelaPATH technology, C+ stimulates the body’s natural glutathione production rather than including the ingredient in the product itself! This means brighter skin and better protection against free radical damage.
– Vitamin C corrects existing damage to brighten and even skin tone while simultaneously defending the skin against future free radicals
– MelaPATH technology uses a powerful blend of antioxidants to support the skin’s natural production of Vitamins C and E
– Prebiotics support the microbiome to keep skin balanced and moisturized
Apply one pump evenly across the face every morning (and night for added benefits) after cleansing but before moisturizing.
YOUTHFULL LIP REPLENISHER
Youthfull Lip is my holy grail lip product – while there are tons of lip products on the market, this is hands down the most anti-aging lip product out there. It keeps your lips SO hydrated throughout the seasons, no matter how cold and windy it is outside, delivering that extra special care you need for the thin skin covering your lips that so often gets overlooked. Bonus points for giving the pout a little plumping, too!
– Hyaluronic acid delivers intense hydration, plumping the lips to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles.
– Anti-aging peptides work to improve lip contour and definition, replenishing the appearance of youthful-looking lips.
– Antioxidants provide protection against free radicals for aging prevention.
Youthfull Lip leaves behind a luxurious, high-shine gloss to elevate your day-to-day look, but if you prefer a lower shine level, simply apply a thinner layer of product! The ceramic tip and minty flavor will feel cool and refreshing upon application.
I’ve always considered this my “desert island product.” The one thing I’d take with me when I’m, hypothetically, stranded without any rescue in sight! Why? Well, for starters, you need sunscreen ALL THE TIME. If it's rainy, sunny, cloudy… even if you’re not stepping outside one time all day (and especially on a desert island!) – you still need sunscreen! The only time you have permission to not wear sunscreen is if the sun isn’t up and it’s completely dark outside.
There are a million different SPF options out there, and many are very effective, but Intellishade is special because of its clinically proven, multi-tasking formula that provides five benefits in just one product. Not only does it include SPF 45 (you need 30+ for daily protection), but it also acts as a moisturizer, light foundation, anti-aging treatment, and skin brightener. Yall see why it’s my holy grail?!
– Anti-aging peptides improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, making the skin appear firmer and more youthful.
– Vitamin C evens skin tone and works to prevent further environmental damage that leads to aging.
– Botanicals enhance skin complexion and encourage overall skin health
– Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide provide broad-spectrum skin protection from the sun’s damaging UVA & UVB rays.
I use Intellishade every single day as the last step in my morning skincare routine (and before my makeup) to give my skin a dewy, fresh glow and even out my skin tone so I look and feel my best when leaving the house!
CRÈME DE LA BLAIR
Crème de la Blair is another one of those products that I always get excited to apply. It’s a rich moisturizer specifically formulated to deliver intense hydration while giving you that luxurious, “just went to the spa” glow. Even though it’s a thicker cream, it still allows my foundation and makeup to go on smoothly. While this is an absolute must-have for my dry skin ladies, it is great for all skin types, and won’t clog your pores or sit on top of your skin like many heavy-duty moisturizers do. It seamlessly seeps into your skin barrier, improving overall skin health and enhancing the appearance of every type of skin.
– Niacinamide helps defend the skin against moisture loss, minimizes the appearance of large pores, and evens skin tone.
– Stem cells promote cell turnover and collagen production to improve skin elasticity, fullness, and texture.
– Ceramides repair and protect the skin while promoting a strong, healthy skin barrier.
– Hyaluronic acid works to hydrate and plump the skin for a more youthful appearance.
When skin is normal or dry (or your skin barrier feels compromised), apply twice a day, morning and night. If skin is oily, apply once a day at night and opt for a more lightweight moisturizer (such as DEJ Face Cream) in the morning.
BRIGHTENING FACIAL WASH
If you think a cleanser alone can’t change your skin, then you haven’t tried Revision’s Brightening Wash facial cleanser. This is one of those products that no matter how other cleansers I try, I always come back to it. It feels good, it smells good, and the bottle seriously lasts forever. It effectively removes both the day’s impurities and dead surface skin cells to reveal cleaner, smoother, and brighter skin with every use. The key with an exfoliating cleanser like this is to cleanse and revitalize without disrupting the skin barrier by drying out your face, which Revision has managed to formulate beautifully!
– Salicylic acid provides a deep clean, unclogging pores and removing daily debris.
– Glycolic acid exfoliates dead skin cells and improves overall skin texture.
– Vitamin C brightens the skin and provides antioxidant protection to prevent aging.
– Vitamin E helps to restore moisture and nourishes the skin for a fresh, dewy appearance.
Cleansing should be the first step in your routine morning and night. If you prefer to double cleanse (like me!), you will use a cleansing oil first followed by Brightening Wash second. Use a dime-sized amount of Brightening Wash to gently massage all over your face in a circular motion.
– Oily Skin: Start out using once a day and gradually increase frequency to twice daily as tolerated.
– Normal/Combination Skin: Start out using once every other day, and gradually increase frequency to once or twice a day as tolerated.
– Dry/Sensitive Skin: Start out using once every other or every third day and gradually increase frequency as skin tolerates.
ALL-IN-ONE EYE CREAM
There are so many eye creams out there that I love… but for specific skin concerns only. If you’re worried about multiple eye concerns such, as puffiness and dark circles, at the same time, why would you use two different products to handle them when you could just use one that was equally (if not more!) effective?
That’s where my All-In-One Eye Cream comes in – it takes all of the best aspects of my favorite eye creams and puts them all into one powerhouse product! Everything that may bother you about your eyes (fine lines, dryness, darkness, puffiness, crepey skin) is all handled with this one eye cream. Plus, it’s light enough to apply under makeup and thick enough to deeply hydrate overnight for around-the-clock benefits.
– Caffeine constricts blood vessels for reduced dark circles and puffiness.
– Ceramides repair and protect the thin, sensitive skin under your eyes as it becomes easily irritated or damaged.
– Antioxidants brighten skin and protect against free radical damage.
– Hyaluronic acid delivers intense hydration and plumps fine lines for a more youthful, rested look.
– Jojoba soothes the skin and reduces inflammation.
While I knew exactly which ingredients I wanted to include in this product, I also knew exactly how I wanted to design the packaging. The product applicator has a cooling tip that aids in manually draining under-eye lymphatic fluid for even more depuffing throughout application. For even more soothing and depuffing, try storing All-In-One Eye Cream in your fridge!
Gently apply one pump to the eye area and along the orbital bone in outward motions twice daily, avoiding direct eye contact.
DEJ DAILY BOOSTING SERUM
This is the most science-driven product that I’ve seen hit the skincare world in a long time (maybe ever?!). Here’s the quick backstory – a neurophysicist was doing Alzheimer's research and found a way to increase brain function using a specific molecule from sunflower sprouts. Revision, being the innovative science-forward company that it is, saw what it was doing for the brain and thought, “I wonder what it would do for the skin?”. So over the course of many years, they worked hand-in-hand with this neurophysicist to develop DEJ Daily Boosting Serum.
Boosting Serum does just that – it boosts your skin cells’ energy (ATP for all of my skin nerds out there!) making them function more efficiently and effectively! So if the cell is supposed to be making collagen, it’s going to do that better and faster! If you break out and a little red spot is left behind, it’s going to heal itself in a few days rather than a few weeks! And not only does it make your skin cells work better, it also makes your other skincare products work better too since the boosted cells are more receptive to the products. A boost on top of a boost!
– Sunflower Sprout Extract Technology boosts cellular energy to allow the skin to function in a more youthful way.
– Antioxidants protect against future damage from environmental stressors.
– Peptides combat fine lines and wrinkles for a more youthful appearance.
– Probiotics keep the skin barrier healthy and balanced.
– Hyaluronic acid provides hydration and increases moisture retention.
Apply serum twice daily to the full face, neck, and chest after cleansing and before applying any creams.
Bakuchiol is a groundbreaking ingredient because it was discovered to have a very similar gene expression to retinoids, (meaning it stimulates collagen and elastin to encourage anti-aging benefits), but without the irritation that often comes from retinoids – making it excellent for sensitive skin. If you’ve always struggled with irritation from retinol, this is the perfect, gentle alternative. And unlike retinoids, it’s also pregnancy and nursing safe!
But for those who aren’t pregnant or can tolerate retinoids without irritation, there is still a benefit of Bakuchiol for you, too! Bakuchiol has been shown to boost the effectiveness of your retinoid by up to 10x!
– Bakuchiol stimulates collagen production to promote a more youthful appearance.
– Anti-aging peptides firm and tighten the skin to promote a more youthful appearance.
– Bakuchiol has antibacterial properties to combat breakouts and melasma.
– Antioxidants protect the skin against environmental free radicals.
Apply in the morning and evening in the same order as you would apply a serum in your skincare layering routine.
If you haven’t incorporated a retinoid into your routine yet, your skin is seriously missing out! Retinoids are a vitamin A derivative that can be sold over the counter or prescribed by a medical professional, depending on the strength of the ingredients. No matter what strength you start off with, you will see improvement in your complexion!
Retinoids exfoliate and stimulate the skin, increasing cell turnover and producing more collagen to reveal more youthful-looking skin. Other benefits include reducing acne, improving hyperpigmentation, unclogging pores, and calming inflammation – just to name a few! If you have sensitive skin or are just starting out with a retinoid for the first time, I cannot recommend a retinaldehyde product more highly. They’re more effective than retinol products sold in stores like Sephora but are still gentle on the skin and provide amazing results.
Apply a pea size amount to your face and neck nightly. Due to increased cellular turnover, you may experience mild purging that can last up to 28 days – it is not necessary to discontinue use if this occurs.
USING MY TRUE LOVES TOGETHER
Every product in my True Loves Collection is safe to use simultaneously! You can use each of them daily, both morning and night (with the exception of your retinoid), as tolerated. I truly love the ingredient synergy between the antioxidants, acids, vitamins, stem cells, and peptides when these products are used together.
As a general rule of thumb, I recommend applying your products in order of thinnest to thickest. But in the case that multiple products share the same viscosity, follow the order to apply below!
- Cleanse: Revision Brightening Wash
- Tone: Skin by Blair Tonic
- Serum: DEJ Daily Boosting Serum
- Serum: Skin by Blair Bakuchiol
- Vitamin C: Revision C+ Correcting Complex 30%
- Eye Cream: Skin by Blair All-In-One Eye Cream
- Retinoid: Obagi Retivance Skin Rejuvenating Complex (nighttime only!)
- Moisturizer: Skin by Blair Crème de la Blair
- SPF: Revision Intellishade
- Lip Treatment: Revision Youthfull Lip Replenisher
And again, if you’re looking for a more personalized and targeted AM/PM routine, don’t forget about our online skin quiz! It’s here to help expand your skincare routine outside of the basics, and the results are data-backed based on your individual responses to questions about your unique skin type and concerns, so real results are guaranteed.