These 4 Esthetician-Approved Products Have Majorly Helped My Dry, Aging Skin

Including a hydrating retinol oil and powerful under-eye concentrate.

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Skincare Routine Revamp
Photo: Instagram @themarabeauty

Three weeks before my best friend's wedding this summer, I called around spas in the D.C. metropolitan area for a party of three. My co-maid of honor and I planned on treating the bride to her first facial, but I was in desperate need of one myself — my skin was flaky, oily-looking, and absolutely lifeless.

It's not that I didn't have a skincare routine; in fact, mine had five steps, including double-cleansing, which I was pretty proud of. But after discovering Heyday Skin's fast and casual spa in Bethesda, Maryland, my esthetician explained that my issue wasn't the amount of steps in my routine, it was my product selection, which was tailored for the wrong skin type. It turns out I'm part of the dry skin club — prior to my facial, I believed I had an oily complexion.

She gave me an incredible facial, and we created a new routine based on three goals: overall hydration, smoothing fine lines, and promoting blood flow to my under-eyes to target dark circles. Here are the four products I revamped my skincare routine with for bright and moisturized skin, all on Amazon:

Mara Algae Enzyme Cleansing Oil

Skincare Routine Revamp
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My esthetician used this antioxidant- and vitamin-rich cleansing oil to remove the full face of makeup I wore to my appointment. Made with marine botanicals, exfoliating enzymes, and superfoods like papaya and pineapple extracts, kelp, and morninga, the cleansing oil brightens, exfoliates, hydrates, and protects your skin barrier simultaneously. I've seen a marked difference in the elasticity of my skin since using this cleansing oil, which doesn't disrupt my skin's moisture and removes my sunscreen well. Beforehand, I was constantly stripping my face of the essential oils it produces, which is why my complexion was dull.

Shop now: $58; amazon.com

Mara Algae Retinol Face Oil

Skincare Routine Revamp
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Retinol is, of course, a no-brainer to add to anyone's skincare routine. It boosts cell regeneration and can treat everything from fine lines to acne to large pores. Mara's Algae Retinol Face Oil is gentle and hydrating way to introduce it to your routine; it's made with several oils including evening primrose, sweet almond, and meadowfoam, as well as green tea and the brand's proprietary algae complex, which locks in moisture and adds plumpness to the skin. Since it's a retinol product, make sure to do a patch test before using it, and keep in mind the skin can purge during early use.

Shop now: $120; amazon.com

Goldfaden MD Bright Eyes Dark Circle Concentrate

Skincare Routine Revamp
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My delicate under-eyes have always been the driest area of my face. Before my facial, I used a gel based eye cream twice daily. It felt cooling when first applied but evaporated as I went through my day. As the finishing touch of my facial, my esthetician applied Goldfaden MD's dark circle concentrate — for the rest of the day my under-eyes actually felt supple. The concentrate contains hyaluronic acid to retain moisture and anti-inflammatory vitamin K, which can brighten dark circles due to its ability to help with blood clotting. I use it day and night, and you really only need a pea sized amount.

Shop now: $55; amazon.com

Supergoop Every Single Face Watery Lotion SPF 50

Skincare Routine Revamp
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Sunscreen is the last and most important part of my morning skin care routine (and it should be yours, too). I've scoffed at the recommendations I received over the years that left me with sunburns and constantly clogged pores. Before my facial, I was using my beloved Black Girl Sunscreen, but my esthetician suggested I use something with a higher SPF sunscreen, so we decided on Supergoop's Watery Lotion. The two share a similar texture: lightweight and smoothing. Since consistently applying the sunscreen — even if the day is overcast — my hyperpigmentation is fading. It doesn't leave a white cast or my face feeling greasy, either.

Shop now: $34; amazon.com

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