Brittany Xavier’s skin hates jalapeños. It’s unfortunate for the style influencer and TikTok star — you might have seen her and her daughter, Jadyn, on your FYP, even if you’re not one of her 3.1 million followers — because she loves spicy margaritas. But she knows that the morning after eating or drinking anything with the pepper, her face will look irritated. It’s one of the many takeaways she learned after picking up Adina Grigore’s Skin Cleanse: The Simple, All-Natural Program for Clear, Calm, Happy Skin.
Xavier was struggling with redness and breakouts around her chin and nose area at the time, and in addition to avoiding all skin-care products for a week and cleansing only with water, the book suggested starting a food diary to examine the correlation between her food intake and the appearance of her skin. Xavier has kept a “pretty healthy” diet since her pregnancy 13 years ago, but she ended up cutting out all dairy and refined sugar and upping her intake of dark, leafy greens.
“My skin cleared up, and it was refreshing to see my skin problems may have been a bad reaction with something I was using or eating,” she says. “This inspired me to understand each ingredient I put on my skin and that not every product may be for my skin type.” It’s also when she turned to clean beauty. “During my research, I found that many ingredients that are commonly used in ‘non-clean’ skin-care products were classified on Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database as possible irritants,” she explains. “And what I like about clean skin care is that it gives my skin a chance to be free of chemicals that could irritate it.” Synthetic fragrances, sulfates, parabens, and mineral oil no longer have a place in her routine.
Below, a look at Xavier’s current product rotation, including the LED mask worth the splurge, the retinol that didn’t give her the “retinol uglies,” and the face oil she uses in place of a traditional moisturizer.
The Double Cleanse
“I double cleanse to make sure that I’m removing all my makeup each night, especially because I use an SPF daily with zinc that’s a bit stubborn to remove. I use this on my dry skin, with my fingertips in a circular motion, as my first step in my night routine. It has Moringa-seed extract, which is anti-inflammatory, and sunflower oil. It removes makeup but doesn’t make my skin feel tight afterward. It smells really refreshing too. I rinse with warm water, and I only use this at night after a full day of wearing SPF and makeup.”
“I am fully obsessed with the Éminence skin-care line. I first discovered the brand on Dermstore — I found this cleanser while sorting for calming products and acne help. I love that it has tea tree, which is great for killing acne-causing bacteria, and salicylic acid, which has been amazing for keeping my skin clear. It also contains yogurt, which has probiotic lactic acid — probiotics are great for skin in helping calm inflammation from rosacea and acne. The ingredient list is easy to understand, and I wash my face morning and night with it.”
“So much of what I researched about acne was about the importance of keeping my pores clean. This is why I started incorporating a facial cleansing brush into my routine. My friend was using this one, and she said it was really soft but felt like it was giving her a better clean than a washcloth, which is what I was using before. I’ve been hooked since first trying it out. I put a few pumps of my cleanser on the brush and do circular motions, particularly focusing on the areas that were problematic for me before, like my chin and around my nose area. I use the brush morning and night — anytime I wash my face with my probiotic cleanser.”
The LED Mask
“After my dermatologist used a light mask during a session, I noticed my face was calmer. But I don’t have time to go in frequently for light treatments, so I wanted an LED mask to use at home. I got this mask for the blue light, which helps kill acne-causing bacteria, and I love it because it covers my whole face for three minutes. Other lights I tried had to be held on specific areas, and it was taking quite a while each night to cover my whole face. I got mini eye goggles for this one too, just to be extra cautious. I use this after I cleanse or after the shower, before I put any treatments on my face.”
“I started using lactic acid when I discovered it helps with resurfacing skin and helps decongest, a.k.a. clear, your skin. It’s not the same feeling as what you would expect from a toner. It’s a little heavier, almost like a light leave-on treatment, but it tingles and feels great. My dark spot on my forehead has lightened since using it as well. I can’t imagine a routine without AHAs.”
“I’m usually very hesitant with retinol because it was always too harsh on my skin. This is the only retinol I’ve used that hasn’t made my skin feel too sensitive. Over an Instagram Live I hosted with Vanessa Lee, founder of the Things We Do, she recommended that I use a gentle retinol each night, especially if I was suffering from acne. It hadn’t occurred to me to reintroduce it into my routine, and I love the results. It’s mixed with hyaluronic acid, so it’s ultramoisturizing too. I use this two to three nights a week. It’s very important to wear SPF the next day, though, because your skin is more sensitive to the sun when using retinol.”
“This is another serum I love, and I switch between using this and the gentle retinol every other night. It’s a great mix of AHA that helps with cell turnover, for the same reason I love my toner. This night serum is completely vegan and includes squalene oil, which is antibacterial and has been safe for my sensitive skin.”
The Face Oil
“In high school, I loved a good tan, and my skin was so damaged from tanning it constantly — with real sun too (so bad!). But then my mom had to have a pretty deep area on her stomach cut out after her doctor found an early sign of skin cancer. I realized that being tan wasn’t worth risking my health over. It’s important to wear SPF daily — even on cloudy days when you would assume sun can’t affect you. I love this one for my face, and I also wear a hat on days I’ll be in the sun longer.”
“A healthy gut microbiome is essential for healthy skin. There’s nine strains of probiotics in this supplement, so I figured I was getting a well-rounded amount. The prebiotic is konjac root, which has high fiber. Also, the fact that it said it was specifically for acne-prone skin interested me. I’ve noticed fewer breakouts around my chin area while taking it.”