The *one* thing we can't live without.
The “desert island product” question, in some form, floats around our office and while we’re interviewing new Cov subjects on the daily. But as a result of our jobs (discovering the very best of the best in fashion, beauty, health, travel, etc., etc.), we hear about and try a lot of beauty products, and subsequently fall in love with a lot of them. That said, in the constant rotation, not many of them make it into the can’t-live-without-it, go-to, hero-level tier that attain a permanent home in our arsenals. And while it’s hard to pick just one product from our extensive skin-care routines—when everything from essence to exfoliators seem to hold a necessary spot—we challenged ourselves to pick just one. As in, the absolute best of the best, numero uno, most essential item in our whole skin care world. Below, the products we’d pry from our bathroom cabinets and travel bags if we were exiled to a deserted island, or, in a more likely scenario, woke up really late and only had time for one swift application.
Noah Lehava, Senior Editor
I’m hardly committal when it comes to beauty brands, but as my skin changes, I’ve slowly been editing down the products I use on my face. The one thing that I absolutely cannot go a day without is a good moisturizer. I love that Tata Harper’s is all-natural and non-toxic—something that I’m increasingly making a priority in my skin-care routine—while it provides me with that extra surge of moisture that’s much needed this time of year.
Alicia Cesaro, Senior Editor
I wish I could say that my skin-care routine is low-maintenance, but it’s really not. I’m a strict AM and PM product applier and my arsenal is always changing, save for a few key products that fall into the cleanser, exfoliator, serum, moisturizer categories. So needless to say it’s hard to pick just one. But I can be sure of my love for Clinique’s OG moisturizer by the fact that it always has a spot in my beauty cabinet and I’ve been using it religiously for many, many years. My super dry skin soaks up pretty much everything and this standby yellow cream is a go-to no matter the season.
Laurel Pantin, Editorial Director
My main skin concern is aging, unfortunately. While I routinely slather on endless anti-aging potions, I really think prevention is the best strategy, so my absolute must-have product is Skinceuticals’ genius SPF. It keeps my skin protected, but also has just enough of a tint to even out the tone. Most mornings this is literally the only thing I use.
Jodi Taylor, Assistant Editor
I’ll admit it: up until this year, sunscreen and I had a very rocky relationship. In other words, I wasn’t very well educated on the benefits and was convinced I wouldn’t get nearly as tanned as I wanted to while wearing it. Oh, how naive I was! Now that I’ve learned (about time), I rarely leave my house without Lancôme’s sunscreen (SPF 50) on my face. I either rock it solo if my skin is in great shape, or under my concealer if I’m mid-breakout. Safe to say this product is never leaving my side.
Emily Ramshaw, Senior Editor
I have problem skin and realistically can’t do without a good cleanser and a range of other products that will take care of whatever issue it is that’s plaguing me on any given day. That said, if there’s one product that seems to keep my skin both breakout-free and moisturized, it’s SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. It feels like nothing—you literally splash it on between cleanser and moisturizer—and yet, when I’m using it, my skin looks as close to flawless as possible. Miracles work in mysterious ways…and evidently have SK-II inscribed on the bottle.
Meagan Wilson, Editorial Manager
Surprise! I shout out this stuff every chance I get for a reason. It’s also the one thing that, whenever someone complains about their skin in my general vicinity, I point them to immediately. But there’s a reason for all of this—and a reason why I’m far from the first person to maniacally sing its praises. P50 works like nothing else I’ve ever tried. You can swipe it on before bed with an entire colony of a breakout on your chin, and it will all be clear in the morning. It’s that good.