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The DaSkincare Code

By Amalah

My dearest Amalah, who I may have to name my firstborn child after regardless if it’s a boy or a girl, for the gratitude I feel for you now:

Before reading the smackdown I was one of those wash my face with soap and water kind of girls. If that. And you’ll cringe even harder if I tell you my age, so I’ll refrain from telling you that’s the way I’ve been doing it for thirty four years. I’ve contemplated doing other stuff in the past, but it’s always so complicated with all the steps and the products and I would get annoyed just thinking about it. But I invested in some of the wonder product known as Philosophy Purity Made Simple that you can’t stop talking about, and I am in LOVE.

So now it’s inspired me to want to make the change and be a responsible grown-up who moisturizes and wears foundation and maybe even occasionally tweezes her eyebrows. The problem is, I can’t afford to walk into the local Sephora and say “one of everything please.” I’ve got to budget for this stuff. So I want to slowly phase things in.

Which leads me to my question for you: So I’ve started with the cleanser. And next up is moisturizer. But then, what’s the order in which I should change/add things to the routine?

Because a girl has to continue eating, ya’ know?

Thanks bunches,

Okay, this one is for all women, for all product lines. The Skincare Products You Must Own, In Order of Importance, Though They Are Separated By Mere Fractions of Importance, and Okay, I Will Stop Talking Now and

Type the List Already, Oh My God:

1) A gentle face cleanser
2) A just-for-your-face moisturizer
3) A just-for-your-eyes moisturizer
4) Sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher)

I don’t care what brand you buy or where you buy it, but you should most definitely be using all four of those products. If your moisturizer contains SPF, awesome. Aren’t you just the skincare efficiency expert! Whatever shall you do with those extra 14 seconds every morning? Personally, I would eat a waffle.

So for you, Michelle, I’d definitely go for a Philosophy eye cream next, and soon. I am a fan of the Hope in a Tube Eye & Lip Cream, but if you prefer more moisture over anti-wrinkle effects, go for the Eye Believe Cream. Then keep checking this page for the results of my Sunscreen Price Tag Cage Match (research still in progress, and oh! what tireless research it is! I hardly ever leave my lab these days!) to help you pick product #4. Har.

After that, whenever you’re in a treating-yourself kind of mood, you can venture beyond the everyday essentials. If you’re prone to zits, get the When Hope Is Not Enough Serum I talked about a few weeks back. (Thank y’all for the nice testimonial emails, by the way. It’s so lovely to know I’m not alone in my love!) Ask for the Microdelivery or Oxygen Peel for Christmas.

And remember, gals-on-budgets: the gift sets are your friends. Not only are they a great value, they always include a bunch of additional free samples. Which…you will of course love and then buy the full-price version. Hmm. Wow.

It’s almost like some marketing-genius-type person is putting the free samples in there ON PURPOSE.

I must investigate! Back to the laboratory, Igor! Hurry!

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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