Welcome to You Look Moist, a regular column wherein Man Repeller asks cool people with glowing visages how they achieved their supreme hydration (amongst other things). Today’s installment features none other than Gyan Yankovich, Man Repeller’s managing editor.
How would you describe your skin?
Moist—according to Harling! I actually went to get a new passport photo taken today and I had to have it re-taken because I was too dewy (the photographer actually used the word “shiny,” but whatever, I was flattered). I have normal to sensitive skin, but I also get seborrheic dermatitis around my nose and mouth when I’m stressed or the seasons change. When I was a teenager, I was on medication to keep it under control but these days my skin is pretty well behaved.
How would you describe your skincare approach in general?
I was a beauty editor for three years, so I’ve been lucky enough to try a lot of products and speak to a lot of experts about skincare. A few years ago, I definitely would have classified my skincare routine as high maintenance, but compared to some people’s habits in these skin-obsessed times, I’d say my approach is minimal-ish.
Which skincare products are integral to your routine for achieving your ideal, glowing, well-moisturized complexion, and how/when do you use each of them?
I’m obsessed with face oils. My number one product used to be The Jojoba Company’s jojoba oil (technically a wax), which I would buy in bulk in Australia and bring back to New York with me, but it was recently toppled from its pedestal by Go-To Face Hero. It’s a blend of jojoba, rose hip (which I find too rich on its own), calendula (so good for sensitive skin), and more. I put a lot of it on before bed and about 2–3 drops in the morning—I don’t mind an oily look.
I only cleanse my skin at night. At the moment I’m using Pai Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil (it has a good reputation for a reason) to remove my eye makeup, followed by BANILA CO Clean It Zero Original Cleansing Balm, which feels so good and is only $16. Every morning, I use a vitamin C serum (I’m liking this $20 one at the moment) and every 2–3 nights apply a retinoid (currently, this one from The Ordinary).
I’m also religious about sunscreen. When I was a baby 20-year-old beauty assistant, I went to a press event and was shown my skin damage in a UV photograph. It scared me so much I literally don’t leave the house without 50 SPF. At the moment, I’m quite liking IPKN Big Apple Sun Cream, which is another under-$25 rec for you!
What about makeup products?
I’ve consistently used Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream for at least four years. It has a really limited shade range, so I’m always hesitant to recommend it to people, but it gives the perfect amount of dewy coverage.
What’s the cheapest product you use regularly and love?
I’m really into this hyaluronic acid moisturizer that’s $22 on Amazon. I’ve tried a few COSRX products, but this one is my fave. It’s like a gel/cream hybrid and is so hydrating I actually only use it at night because I literally look damp (in a good way) after I apply it. Finding affordable skincare products is a bit of a passion of mine. After getting so many free products as a beauty editor, I can’t bring myself to spend $90 on a serum. If I noticed a real difference, I would, but there are so many great low-cost options out there.
Is there anything you try to avoid, skincare- or makeup-wise?
I try to avoid physical exfoliants because I know that they’re not good for your skin, though I will admit I do use Dermalogica Multivitamin Thermafoliant about once a month. Makeup-wise, as I get closer to 30 I’ve started to notice that the more under-eye concealer I apply, the older and more tired I actually look. I apply my concealer using a fluffy eyeshadow brush to keep it looking super light.
Any next-level tips, tricks, or services that you swear by to help you look “lit from within”?
I apologize in advance for these incredibly cliché answers but… sleep and water. I get nine hours of sleep most nights—it’s what I need to function—and the first thing I do every morning is drink a 17-ounce bottle of tap water. I also swear by my jade roller, which I keep in the freezer. My favorite Sunday night routine is putting on a sheet mask (my all-time fave is Dr. Jart+ Dermask Brightening Solution) and rolling my face while I watch TV. It’s the ultimate hydration + lymphatic drainage combo.
What’s your go-to product or trick for fixing a skin disaster?
Besides the rare pimple, my biggest skin disaster is a dermatitis outbreak around my nose and chin. Beyond steroid creams, which I avoid, I’ve found First Aid Ultra Repair Cream to be the most helpful product out there. I was really worried about how my skin would react to its first real winter in New York after I moved here in mid-2017 (Sydney winters are balmy in comparison), but this cream has gotten me through two cold seasons without any dryness or serious dermatitis breakouts.
Do you do anything differently skincare-wise when you travel?
First of all, I never wear makeup on a plane—ever. I’ve taken my jade roller on a flight to Sydney before and always make sure I have moisturizer and hand cream (I love Aesop) in my carry-on, both of which I’ll apply every few hours. I’m also one of those annoying people who drink a shit-ton of water while flying and need to go to the bathroom constantly. This is why I always go for the aisle seat.
What’s something you wish your teenage self knew about taking care of your skin?
I have an incredibly vivid memory of taking a shower before school one day and the hot water irritating my dermatitis so badly I burst into tears. My face didn’t feel like mine—it was so red, angry, and bumpy. I wish my teenage self knew that it would pass, not to take her dad’s advice to wash her face with soap, and to wear sunscreen every single day goddammit.